GMC Preview - 2014

ZfishInMason

New member
As has been pointed out in other threads, the GMC lost a good number of quality swimmers to graduation last year but then again, when DOESN’T that happen? As is always the case, there are plenty of quality underclassmen ready to step up and take their place as the conference leaders trying to steer their teams towards a GMC Championship on February 1, 2014. Much like death and taxes you can pretty much bank on the fact that the Mason Comets and Sycamore Aves will once again be vying for supremacy in the pool.

Mason is dominated by quality freestylers and if they chose to try, they could conceivably win every freestyle race at the conference championships. This won’t happen though as Coach Sullivan’s biggest concern may be who to pull out of the freestyle events to help score in the other 3 strokes, where the Comets are far more susceptible to their rivals. Mason will be light on senior scoring this year with Cesar Carrillo (100 fly/IM) likely to be the biggest contributor at the conference meet. Mason is led by junior Justin Hove who will contend for conference titles in the 500 and 200 free and is capable of scoring well at the district and state levels in those events as well. Junior Peter He has improved enormously over the past year and will bolster the sprint free (along with fellow junior Brad Siekmann) and 100 fly (with Carrillo). Mason can also expect solid scoring in the mid/distance freestyle events from juniors Alex Mechler and Donald Bleasdale (who will also carry the load in the breaststroke). Sophomore Joel Thatcher will be a force in the 500 freestyle this year with the ability to qualify for the State meet in that event while fellow sophomore Preston Bailey will vie for the conference sprint title in the 50 free. Freshman Mike McDonald will be a welcome addition in the backstroke and several members of Mason’s higly-ranked water polo team will hopefully add some depth across the board. With Hove, He, Mechler, Thatcher and Bailey to choose from, Mason’s free relays will be very strong.

Sycamore was decimated by graduation with the vast majority of their scorers from last year’s conference championship team gone. However, they still have junior Mark Hancher who will be the prohibitive favorite to repeat as conference champ in the 100 fly and is capable of threatening first place in several other events as well. Hancher will no doubt score well at districts and potentially be a force at the State meet as well. Seniors Ben Hammer (breast/IM) and Grant Girten (back/free) will be the elderstatesmen for the Aves this year while juniors Ben Thiss (sprint free), Isaac Goldstein (free/fly), John Heldman (free/fly) and Rick Niu (IM/breast) will help round out the more balanced Aviator team. Like Mason, Sycamore no doubt has a number of talented freshman who will be able to add the kind of depth that makes them nearly invulnerable to any of the other 8 teams in the conference. The 200 medley relay will be good for the Aves, but unlike at last years edge-of-your-seat conference championship, the free relays will have no answer for Mason this time around.

One team that has made great strides this past year is the Lakota East Thunderhawks. Led by junior Matt McDonald, East has closed the gap with Mason/Sycamore. McDonald is a complete swimmer with high proficiency in all 4 strokes making him a threat for conference titles in a number of events. This year he has support in the form of Senior Josh Enrico (back/fly) and Keith Jesse (breast/back). A number of other swimmers will likely find a way to score mid-level points for the Thunderhawks to support their big guns at the conference meet. East’s medley relay will be very strong if they can find a good freestyler to complement McDonald, Enrico and Jesse.


As for the rest of the league... Lakota West loses their stars in Bryan McNamara and John Raker leaving the team in trouble although select individuals (e.g. Jackson Tinsley – breast) will make some noise. Fairfield is led by senior Ross Westrick who is the odds-on-favorite in the 100 and 200 free this year although he will be getting serious competition from Hove, Hancher and Middletown’s one-man-show Mark Andrew (500 free/200 free/IM). Unfortunately, the other teams in the conference will be fighting for bragging rights with each other as the talent in GMC pools is very unevenly distributed most years and this one is no different.

Nevertheless, it should be another exciting year of swimming in the GMC with some fantastic races coming when the top swimmers face off (particularly in the freestyle events). In the end I expect to see Mason hoist the championship trophy and a number of the abovementioned swimmers battling it out with the state’s best up in Canton in February.
 

ThatOneGuy10

New member
I agree that mason will win, but I think it will be closer than I once thought. Lakota East looks like they have 3rd place locked up and after that it seems to be up for grabs. Individual predictions?
 

ZfishInMason

New member
I agree completely ToG... the losses from Mason's team over the past few years have gutted what could have been a special group. As it is now, they are going to be in a dogfight with the Aves and Thunderhawks under the best of circumstances and are an inopportune injury/illness away from being knocked back.

I also agree with you that Lakota East is clearly a dark horse choice with Fairfield probably 4th at this point. Both of those teams have serious point scorers at the top, but likely lack the depth to pick up all of those mid- to low-level points at a championship meet that the deeper teams will be able to grab.

No one knows yet who's really been putting in the work so everything is based off of historical results but to think the 2014 league title is already settled here in October would be a huge mistake.
 
Last edited:

ZfishInMason

New member
Individual results are going to be REALLY hard to predict this year because there are 5 or 6 swimmers in the league capable of scoring high in many events... and the league title is not a slam dunk for anyone!

The question will be who swims what and where do those key head-to-head matchups occur? Coaches strategy is going to play a big part in this competition. Sure Hancher will swim the 100 fly but will he try the 200 free where he could win or he could potentially get 4th? Will McDonald sacrifice a sure win in the 100 back to try and take points away from Mason in the 500 free knowing that if all doesn't go well he could get 4th?? Will Hove depend on Thatcher, Mechler and Bleasdale to get points in the 500 free and instead swim the 100 free to try and collect otherwise lost points? It's fascinating to speculate but until the psyche sheets come out at the end of January, no one knows.

I think Mason's saving grace will be the free relays where I don't think they will lose... it would be a huge gamble for Sycamore or East to try and stack their free relays to try and match up with Mason at the cost of their clearly stronger medley relay (LE is going to win this if they put their best people there) but who knows? And the depth of Sycamore and Mason will likely be too much for any other team to overcome, even if their top swimmers win every event they enter.
 
Last edited:

ThatOneGuy10

New member
I feel the same way. I am not familiar enough with the league or confident enough on which swimmer will swim what to make a prediction

If I was Mason, I would put Hove in the 500 and then an event with less competition than the 200 and 100, assuming he can be competitive in other, non freestyle, events. Mason has the most room to work with, so why not put their best swimmer in events that you know he can win.

If I were Sycamore, I would put Hancher in the 100 fly for certain and then either the 100 free or 50 free. I like his chances better facing Westrick in the 100 free than I do in the 200 free. If he swims the 50 he would be the favorite in that event, assuming Westrick swims the 100 and 200.

If I were East, I put McDonald in the 100 back, and then avoid putting him against Andrews in the 200 I.M, and put him against Hove in the 500 to try to take away points from Mason. East will need to make up as much points as they can if they want to be a serious contender.

For Fairfield, I do not consider them a contender, but they will have a decent team. Fairfield's best option would to keep Westrick in the 100 and 200 so he can take away points from the other schools.
 

ThatOneGuy10

New member
The GMC is going to be awful this year.
Compared to the GCL you are completely right, but to say is will be awful in general is outrageous. The GMC will be the 2nd fastest conference in the southwest cluster and will have 5 kids potentially scoring top 8 at state. I would be shocked if we don't see McDonald, Westrick, Hove, Hancher, and Andrews all in the final heat at the state meet.
 

XSwimming1

New member
Compared to the GCL you are completely right, but to say is will be awful in general is outrageous. The GMC will be the 2nd fastest conference in the southwest cluster and will have 5 kids potentially scoring top 8 at state. I would be shocked if we don't see McDonald, Westrick, Hove, Hancher, and Andrews all in the final heat at the state meet.
Well sir,

I'd be surprised if the GMC has a team in the top 10 at state, which won't happen. You are completely right when you say they are the second best conference, but not anywhere close to the GCL.
 

ThatOneGuy10

New member
Mason and Sycamore have the potential to be in thetop 10 this year at state. With Talawanda switching divisions and with Kings losing a talented class to graduation there is definitely a chance a GMC team can make top ten.
 

XSwimming1

New member
Mason and Sycamore have the potential to be in thetop 10 this year at state. With Talawanda switching divisions and with Kings losing a talented class to graduation there is definitely a chance a GMC team can make top ten.
Mason and Sycamore will at most have 1 kid score at state and no relays, so i highly doubt that.
 

ThatOneGuy10

New member
It is way to early to tell. It seems often that the GMC has kids come out of no where and compete at the state level. I am a GCl guy myself, but I wouldn't count the teams in this conference out in competing well at the state level.
 

XSwimming1

New member
It is way to early to tell. It seems often that the GMC has kids come out of no where and compete at the state level. I am a GCl guy myself, but I wouldn't count the teams in this conference out in competing well at the state level.
The ECC is much better at the top with Kings, Anderson, and Turpin
 

ZfishInMason

New member
...You are completely right when you say they are the second best conference, but not anywhere close to the GCL.
...The ECC is much better at the top with Kings, Anderson, and Turpin.
Thank you for the contradictory contributions that confirmed what everyone already knows about St. Xavier and Moeller, added no insight to the conversation at hand and had no relevance whatsoever to the thread.
 

ZfishInMason

New member
GMC teams about to start hitting the water. Upon further consideration of who's coming back, incoming freshman etc... I'm going to go:

1. Mason (will dominate all individual and relay freestyle events)
2. Lakota East (own backstroke and medley relay)
3. Sycamore (strengths in the fly and breast, relays will be shut out of 1st)
 

SwimReporter

New member
Lakota East just doesn't have the numbers to contend for second place. It will be Mason and Sycamore. You need 16 swimmers to score in 32 individual entries. That formula gives you a shot. East goes only 8 or 9 deep. Even with a relay win, that won't be close.
 

ZfishInMason

New member
Lakota East just doesn't have the numbers to contend for second place. It will be Mason and Sycamore. You need 16 swimmers to score in 32 individual entries. That formula gives you a shot. East goes only 8 or 9 deep. Even with a relay win, that won't be close.
You're likely correct SR... they have enough on top with McDonald, Enrico, Jessee, and a new McDonald to score a bunch though so I thought I'd go out on a limb and stimulate some conversation!
 

ZfishInMason

New member
He's a very talented kid. I grabbed a few times off of USA swimming to give you a flavor. Mind you, these were from last year when he was only in 8th grade!

100 free 50.68
200 free 1:49.44
500 free 4:46.45
200 IM 2:05.60
 

ThatOneGuy10

New member
He's a very talented kid. I grabbed a few times off of USA swimming to give you a flavor. Mind you, these were from last year when he was only in 8th grade!

100 free 50.68
200 free 1:49.44
500 free 4:46.45
200 IM 2:05.60
Impressive times for an 8th graders. I believe his LCM times are even more impressive.
 

ZfishInMason

New member
Good news Comet fans... He's baaaaccccckkkk!

One of the members of the junior class at MHS has returned to the pool after skipping his sophomore season to pursue other interests. I'll let you all ruminate on who it might be but I'll give you a hint...

The 50 and 100 freestyle events at districts have a new contender and Mason will now likely be scoring well in both free relays at state.

And this just in... With a conference title contender in both freestyle sprints to bookend our solid sophomore sprinter (Preston Bailey), the GMC title is likely coming back to Mason this year.

:banana:
 
Last edited:

XSwimming1

New member
Good news Comet fans... He's baaaaccccckkkk!

One of the members of the junior class at MHS has returned to the pool after skipping his sophomore season to pursue other interests. I'll let you all ruminate on who it might be but I'll give you a hint...

The 50 and 100 freestyle events at districts have a new contender and Mason will now likely be scoring well in both free relays at state.

And this just in... With a conference title contender in both freestyle sprints to bookend our solid sophomore sprinter (Preston Bailey), the GMC title is likely coming back to Mason this year.

:banana:
I don't understand where your mentality is right now. This kid is obviously Mpoki and he only went 22-mid in the 50 his freshman year and 48.8 in the 100. I don't understand where you're coming from when you say he could win districts in the 50 or 100. With taking a year off, you expect him to drop 2 and a half seconds in the 100 and over a second (most likely more to win) in the 50? That's absurd!
 

ZfishInMason

New member
I don't understand where your mentality is right now. This kid is obviously Mpoki and he only went 22-mid in the 50 his freshman year and 48.8 in the 100. I don't understand where you're coming from when you say he could win districts in the 50 or 100. With taking a year off, you expect him to drop 2 and a half seconds in the 100 and over a second (most likely more to win) in the 50? That's absurd!
1. Of course you don't understand "where my mentality is". You're a reactive kid who is only focused on his school and it's conference and I'm a reasonably thoughtful adult who started a thread about another school and another conference.

2. Yes, it's obviously Mpoki... everyone here familiar with SW District teams/swimmers knew that, I was having a bit of fun. Thanks for pointing it out for us all though and acting as if you found Jimmy Hoffa in the process.

3. He "only" went 22.48 and 48.78 as a high school freshman. Is that world class? No. Is it extremely good for a HS frosh? Yes it is, particularly in events typically dominated by more physically mature upperclassmen. To put it into perspective, the 22.48 was good for 22nd place at the district meet 2 years ago... the kid in 20th place at 22.27 was another freshman, Morrow's Jack German who took second last year at districts.

4. Yes, he took a year off from competitive swimming but it's not like he's falling into the water for the first time in 12 months. In addition, as a sprinter he's not going to need as much time as if he was a miler or was swimming a more technical stroke or the IM... it's the splash and dash and he's got several months of doubles to get into sprinting shape.

5. Finally, this kid hasn't been sitting on the couch eating potato chips and watching TV. He's been running and lifting daily for a year with the Mason lacrosse team. He's grown 6 inches and put on 40 pounds of muscle since his freshman year... but that probably won't help him cut a good bit in the 50 and 100 free eh?

Bottom line is that I said he'd be a contender and I think that's true. It's my opinion he'll be in the final heat at districts and will make it to State in both events. Your assertion of what he'd have to do to win is daunting, but I never said he would... I said he'd contend. And there is no doubt, given what a competitor he is, that he will definitely be much faster than he was as a freshman, and that's going to be plenty fast to do the other thing I suggested, help Mason to win the GMC title and get the 200 free and 400 free relays to the State Meet (every other kid on the 200 free relay has split 21.x a year ago... and they are ALL faster this year).

You still standing by your opinion that Kings, Anderson and Turpin are all much better than Mason? Or that Mason will have 1 kid maybe score in 1 event with no relays at State? Guess we'll find out in part... Mason and Anderson visit Turpin for a Tri-meet on December 16th... and everyone will be tired (and tapered) from the Makos meet that weekend! The Comets will face off with Kings and Lebanon in a Tri-meet at Mason on January 10th... if the varsity swims are you taking Kings? :p

Have a nice day!
 
Last edited:

ZfishInMason

New member
6 inches and 40 pounds? How tall is he now?
As big as his teammate and buddy who grew similarly over the past two years (those are guesses by the way... I'm sure the real data is marked in pencil on a door jamb somewhere! :) Three inches a year from 14-16 isn't all that remarkable... I know some Moeller kids who have grown like weeds over that time too!
 

ZfishInMason

New member
What kids will make up the 200 and 400 free relays and what do you think they can realistically split at districts and state?
So hard to tell this early and with so many variables on this team but if you held a gun to my head I'd guess the best they could realistically expect (with a full taper at districts) would be something like:

200 free relay: Hove 22low, He 21hi, Bailey 21mid, Mwalupindi 21low = 1:27

400 free relay: Hove 48, Bailey 49, He 48, Mwalupindi 47 = 3:12

Of course, if I'm wrong and Mpoki doesn't round into form then you can throw all of that out! The other three are pretty dependable though and capable of coming up with a big split at any time.

Considering they're all underclassman it could make for a strong team at state next year when they are 3 seniors and a junior.
 
Last edited:

ThatOneGuy10

New member
I believe that mason will be able to compete and maybe win a dual or tri meet against Anderson, Turpin, and kings, but when it comes to classic, districts, and state, I don't think Mason has enough top swimmers to compete with those teams. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in the GMC as well. Mason will most likely win the GMC, but I can see Sycamore and Lakota East beating Mason at classic and state.
 

XSwimming1

New member
So hard to tell this early and with so many variables on this team but if you held a gun to my head I'd guess the best they could realistically expect (with a full taper at districts) would be something like:

200 free relay: Hove 22low, He 21hi, Bailey 21mid, Mwalupindi 21low = 1:27

400 free relay: Hove 48, Bailey 49, He 48, Mwalupindi 47 = 3:12

Of course, if I'm wrong and Mpoki doesn't round into form then you can throw all of that out! The other three are pretty dependable though and capable of coming up with a big split at any time.

Considering they're all underclassman it could make for a strong team at state next year when they are 3 seniors and a junior.

21hi for He? What did he split last year.
 

ZfishInMason

New member
I believe that mason will be able to compete and maybe win a dual or tri meet against Anderson, Turpin, and kings, but when it comes to classic, districts, and state, I don't think Mason has enough top swimmers to compete with those teams. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in the GMC as well. Mason will most likely win the GMC, but I can see Sycamore and Lakota East beating Mason at classic and state.
Agree that the tri-meets will be fun. I think that Mason's free relays will win and their depth is superior to either of the other teams so that will help alot. I think it'll be Mason, Anderson and Turpin (in that order) although Anderson may slip past the Comets... they have several strong kids. Gotta be honest though, I think they are going to crush Kings... they only return two (albeit very good) swimmers and Lebanon lost their strong swimmers I believe. Now both Koloseike and Matheus may both make noise at State but I don't see how they qualify a relay unless they have some outstanding freshman we don't know about.

Not sure I agree with the Sycamore or LE assessment either. I don't see how Sycamore qualifies a relay which will hurt them... Mark Hancher will obviously qualify in two events but I don't see anyone else there doing too much on the State level. LE should get their medley relay in and McDonald will score twice. His little brother may get there too but I think Enrico and Jesse will struggle to make State in individual events. Mason could conceivably have both free relays, Hove (2), Thatcher, Mwalupindi (2) and Bailey qualify if all goes well so I'm going to take them over LE and Syc (in that order) but at this point who really knows!?

21hi for He? What did he split last year.
If I remember correctly Peter He went 22.01 in the prelims at State last year. I remember he added alot in the finals though. 21hi doesn't seem too unrealistic if all goes well.
 

ThatOneGuy10

New member
I don't know if I see Thatcher and Bailey scoring at the state level; I even think Mpoki will struggle to score at the state level. The 200 free relay will most likely score, but in the 14th-16th range, and I'm confident Hove will score in two events.

I'm still sticking to my prediction that kings and Lakota east will out score mason at the classic and state level. I expect to see Kolosieke and mathus both score in two events and both of them to be in the final heat for at least one event. Matt McDonald will score very high at the state level in two events, and I think his brother will score too. Lakota also has the potential to take a relay to state as well.

As for Anderson, Turpin, and Lebanon there isn't enough at the top. Turpin and Anderson will have strong district and conference appearances, and possibly compete with mason's depth; however, Lebanon will be lucky to have a state qualifier this year.

Everyone knows that districts will be dominated by the GCL. There are very few spots at the top that are available, and there are only one or two individuals from a handful of teams that are capable of filling them. With Mason having 5 or 6 quality swimmers they could do well at districts, but again I don't think they will be much of a factor at state.
 
.
Top