In reality, it took only a few seconds before the top three finishers in the 400-yard freestyle relay at the Division II girls district championship were listed on the scoreboard Feb. 18 at Ohio State.

In reality, it took only a few seconds before the top three finishers in the 400-yard freestyle relay at the Division II girls district championship were listed on the scoreboard Feb. 18 at Ohio State.

But for the members of the Wellington School girls swimming and diving team, it may have seemed like an eternity.

First, Granville's winning time of 3 minutes, 37.68 seconds was posted. Then, the time for second-place Columbus Academy (3:46.72) was posted. Finally, after a slight pause, a No. 3 appeared next to Wellington's name, as the Jaguars finished third in 3:53.59.

"From where we were on the deck, you couldn't see the rest of the field," said senior Abby Postle, who swam the event along with sophomore Jenna Tugaoen, senior Anna Viragh and sophomore Annie Miller. "I watched the '1' and '2' pop up there and then to see that third go up was amazing."

The top four in each swimming event and top two in diving at district automatically qualified for the state meet, which began Feb. 23 and runs through Friday, Feb. 25, at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.

"All four of the girls swam a personal best (at district)," coach Bill Miller said of the 400 free relay, the program's first relay to qualify for state. "I've been telling them all week you can only control what you can do. That's been our theme all week. Do your job and do what you can do. Swim your best and see where everything ends up."

"It's the nicest feeling," Viragh said of qualifying for state in a relay. "It's not just you alone in the pool. If you're in an individual event, you just let yourself down. When you're working together as a team. it motivates you more. I know there are other girls relying on me and that makes it better."

Also qualifying for state for the girls team was Tugaoen in the 100 backstroke, after placing fourth in the event at district in 1:00.26.

"I can't even explain how happy I am to finally, finally make it to state," said Tugaoen, a first-time state qualifier who entered district as the top seed. "Being the top seed put a lot more pressure on me, but I am happy with fourth and I am happy to move on."

The girls team scored 140 points at district to finish sixth behind champion Granville (368).

No members of the boys team advanced to state. The Jaguars scored 45 points at district to finish 16th behind champion Granville (256).

•The girls basketball team lost to third-seeded Gilead Christian 40-27 in the second round of the Division IV district tournament on Feb. 16 to finish 7-14.

Wellington had beaten Horizon Science Academy 54-52 in overtime in the first round two days earlier.

"Our girls played well," coach Tysha Crump said. "If we could have gotten a couple of shots to drop, it would have been any even closer game. But our girls fought to the end."

The Jaguars lose only one senior in Grace Korandovich, a 5-foot-9 forward. She played sporadically after tearing a ligament in her right foot days before the season opener against Columbus School for Girls on Nov. 30. However, her doctor advised her to sit out the second half of the season to let the injury heal.

"Grace provided great leadership even when she wasn't playing," Crump said. "When she played, she was all over the floor, sometimes guarding more than one person at a time. She would dive on the floor for the loose ball.

"We definitely missed not having her there on the floor, but her presence was still there."

In Korandovich's absence, juniors Sophie Knowles (5-9, forward) and Aris Troy (5-9, guard) stepped up, according to Crump.

Knowles averaged 10 points and scored 19, including a Jaguar Invitational-record five 3 pointers in a 45-30 victory over Willoughby Andrews Osborne 45-30 on Jan 22, and had 23 points in the district-tournament win over Horizon Science Academy.

Troy scored 21 points against Horizon Science Academy.

"This has definitely been a team effort," Crump said. "It was great just to see the leadership from everyone. Early on, I knew Sophie was a shooter, but she had to come out of her shell.

"Once they got that experience, we told them, the green light is on."

In addition to Knowles and Troy, expected to return are junior Paige Price (guard), sophomores Kayla Barton (guard), Helen Fite (guard) and Jaylen Perkins (forward), and freshmen Donnette Cox (center), Nia Kaudo (forward), Mallory Tannous (forward) and Sarah Wakeman (guard).

Price was lost early in the season to a broken left pinkie.

"You can't coach chemistry," Crump said. "What we have now is one year's experience of working together."

•The boys basketball team seems to have discovered a new gear offensively as it prepares to enter the Division IV district tournament.

The Jaguars averaged 48.2 points in the first five games of the regular season and never topped the 70 points in the first 16.

However, in their final four games of the regular season, the Jaguars averaged 62 points, scoring a season high in a 75-52 win over Madison Christian on Feb. 18.

Wellington plays Gahanna Christian in the first round of the tournament at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Westerville North.

The Jaguars beat the Eagles 57-49 on Dec. 14.

Gahanna Christian is 12-6 and has won three of its last four games.

AT A GLANCE

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Wellington boys basketball and swimming & diving teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Feb. 18 - Defeated Grove City Christian 75-52. Tarren Taylor (21), Tyler Sharp (13) and Jahi Dial (12) all scored in double figures.

Feb. 19 - Lost to Mansfield Christian 70-64. Taylor had 25 points and Sharp scored 11.

Feb. 26 - Gahanna Christian Academy in first round of Division IV district tournament, 8 p.m. at Westerville North. Winner plays Marion Catholic, Fairfield Christian Academy or Morral Ridgedale in second round, 6 p.m. March 3 at Grove City. Winner plays second-seeded Harvest Prep, Village Academy, Gilead Christian or Madison Christian in a district semifinal, 8 p.m. March 8 at Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Of note: The Jaguars are 7-13.

SWIMMING & DIVING

Feb. 18 - Boys: Finished 16th (45) at Division II district meet at Ohio State behind champion Granville (256); Girls: Finished sixth (140) behind champion Granville (368)

Feb. 23-25 - State meet at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton

Below are the state qualifiers with district result and state seed:

Boys - None; Girls - Jenna Tugaoen: 100 back (1:00.26, fourth, 16th); 400 free relay (3:53.59, third, 23rd)

Others who competed at district: Boys - Nick Bruno: 100 back (1:04.81, 25th), 200 IM (2:30.52, 26th); Jon Miller 100 breast (1:03.58, fifth), 200 IM (2:10.68, seventh); 200 medley relay (1:51.55, 10th); 200 free relay (1:38.94, 14th); 400 free relay (3:59.30, 23rd); Girls - Brittany Anderson: diving (447.5, third); Abby Fleeter: 100 back (1:07.39, 17th), 100 fly (1:09.52, 27th); Casey Fleeter: 100 back (1:09.02, 21st), 200 IM (2:35.5, 17th); Brittany Johnson: diving (286.5, seventh); Annie Miller: 100 breast (1:09.72, sixth), 200 IM (2:16.44, sixth); Abby Postle: 100 free (1:02.08, 29th), 200 free (2:18.66, 20th); Jenna Tugaoen: 100 fly (59.75, sixth); Anna Viragh: 100 fly (1:09.29, 26th); 200 medley relay (1:57.82, sixth); 200 free relay (1:57.82, sixth)