Central is talented, but thin on numbers in boys swimming, and Yorktown is experiencing a similar tale.
Central coach Steve Sprodlin has only 10 team members, less than half of the usual number.
That means the Bearcats will have a tough time competing for dual victories or team titles in conference and the sectional.
“Beating other teams is not our focus. Our focus is on personal performances,” Sprodlin said. “We need everybody. They all feel responsible for doing their part.”
Expectations are high for the Bearcats to advance in individual and relay events.
Sophomore Cameron Ottinger is the defending Jay County Sectional champion in the 100 breaststroke. He won by better than 3 seconds last year.
He also combined with junior Andrew Dowdle and sophomore Cullen Tyler on the winning 200-yard medley relay team.
“They beat the field out of nowhere,” Sprodlin said. “That set the tone for this year. They are trying to step up earlier to make it back.”
Ottinger, Dowdle and Tyler also were part of the second-place 200 free relay team.
The trio placed in other events: Ottinger finished third in the 200 individual medley, Dowdle third in the 100 free and fourth in the 50 free, and Tyler was third in the 100 backstroke and fifth in the100 butterfly.
The relays add veteran Jacob Carmichael, a senior, to replace the graduated Mason Jones.
The Bearcats are without a diver after losing sectional and regional champion Zane Parker to graduation.
Yorktown has just 11 boys swimmers out, but all swam last season in the Hamilton Southeastern Sectional, said coach Laura Slight.
“Several have had best times early in the season,” she said.
They include sophomore Isaiah Huisman, junior Scott Heavilon and senior Tommy Brown, whom combined with the graduated Alec Durant to take fourth in the 200-yard medley relay at the Hamilton Southeastern Sectional.
Sophomore Luke Ledbetter joined Huisman, Heavilon and Brown in finishing fifth in the 400 free relay.
Huisman took fifth in 200 IM at the sectional, while Heavilon finished sixth in the 200 free. Sophomore Brandon Young finished ninth in diving at the sectional.
The Tigers also will have a hard time scoring points in team competition.
“We can’t fill in every event,” Slight said, echoing the issues with other small teams. “But, we will be competitive.”
Delta has a team roster of 18 under coach Kelly Zimmerman that includes six seniors and eight freshmen.
The Eagles have some strong talent returning.
Senior Landon Carpenter is the top returning diver in the Jay County Sectional. He was third last season and followed that by placing 18th at the regional.
Senior Garland Ivy took second in the 50 free at the sectional for the Eagles, while senior Sam Zimmerman and sophomores Joshua Minch and John Hart joined with Ivy to finish second in the 200 medley relay.
Freshman Cody Anacker is a strong addition to sprints and relay squads. He’s already won races this season for the Eagles.