The Wellington School boys swimming and diving team has nearly doubled since last season.
With only seven members a year ago, the Jaguars were not able to fill all 12 events and, as a result, struggled in meets.
The addition of five freshmen this winter has increased the roster to 12.
"Even when we won all of our events last season, we still lost meets because we weren't able to fill very many events," senior Joe Campbell said. "This year, we have everyone back and we gained a lot of freshmen to the point where we have double the numbers. Our freshmen still have a lot of room to improve, but they have a lot of potential, and once we get better, I think we'll finally have a shot at winning some meets that we didn't have enough guys to win in the past."
In addition to Campbell, the Jaguars have returned seniors Taff Anderson, Josh Roseler and Andy Shepard, junior Michael Haring (diver) and sophomores Trevor Kaufmann and Matthew Xin.
The newcomers are John Haynes, Khalil Jallaq, Jack Miller, Lucas Palmer and Spencer Rieser.
"It's nice for our boys to have a whole group to rally around this season," coach Bill Miller said. "It's nice to have a state diver returning, and Joe Campbell and Matthew Xin are swimming really well right now. We've also picked up a transfer (Kaufmann from Olentangy Liberty) who should make us stronger."
Haring placed 11th (340.45 points) in diving in Division II state meet last season at Branin Natatorium in Canton after finishing first (396.65) at district at Ohio State.
Also at district a year ago, Xin placed eighth in the 200-yard freestyle (program-record 1 minute, 55.48 seconds).
"Michael is looking to make it back to state and we have some guys who have a shot at becoming our first boys swimmers to reach the district podium in four years," coach Miller said.
Wellington scored 145 points and finished fifth in its seven-team Jaguar Invitational on Dec. 14 and placed third (48) in a tri-meet against Hartley (101) and Centennial (71) on Dec. 16. Wellington then defeated Canal Winchester 110-29 and lost to Grove City 131-79 on Dec. 20.
In the Jaguar Invitational, Xin won the 200 individual medley (2:21.36) and finished second in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.6), Haring finished first in diving (192.05) and Campbell won the 500 free (5:13.33) and placed third in the 100 free (56.84).
Anderson looking to win girls diving title
The girls swimming and diving team has returned three Division II state qualifiers from a year ago in seniors Brittany Anderson and Abby Fleeter and junior Kate Miller.
Anderson, a University of Michigan recruit, was the state runner-up in diving the past two seasons. Last season, she scored 415.5 points at state to finish behind 2013 DeSales graduate Andrea Aquista (419.25) after placing second (427.65) at district behind Aquista (476.75).
"Brittany's only goal is to win the state diving title and I think this is her year to do that," coach Miller said. "Our girls are coming along and doing real well."
Fleeter and Kate Miller teamed with 2013 graduates Annie Miller and Jenna Tugaoen to place 23rd at state in the 200 medley relay (1:55.99).
Others expected to be key contributors include seniors Gabrielle Berry and Amelia Palmer and sophomore Sara Brubaker.
"Our girls team is trying to figure out what to do without the three (2013 graduates in Tugaoen, Annie Miller and Gabrielle Regusa) who swam four events for us in just about every meet for four seasons," coach Miller said. "But Kate Miller, Abby Fleeter, Gabrielle Berry, Sara Brubaker and Amelia Palmer are helping pick up the slack."
Wellington finished fourth (212) in the six-team Jaguar Invitational on Dec. 14 behind champion Olentangy Orange (315) before placing third (47) in a tri-meet against Hartley (104) and Centennial (88) on Dec. 16. The Jaguars also defeated Madison Plains 134-32, beat Grove City 120-107 and lost to Canal Winchester 120-110 on Dec. 20.
In the Jaguar Invitational, Anderson finished first in diving (232.5), Fleeter placed second in the 100 backstroke (1:09.17) and third in the 200 IM (2:25.75) and Brubaker finished third in the 100 butterfly (1:12.74).
Girls basketball team bounces back
The girls basketball team bounced back from a slow start in which it won only one of its first five games.
Wellington defeated Village Academy 45-35 on Dec. 14, Madison Christian 46-34 on Dec. 17 and Ridgeway Ridgemont 51-36 on Dec. 19 and is 4-5 after losing to Dayton Miami Valley 76-15 on Dec. 21.
Against Ridgemont, Halle Jefferson had 19 points and Abbey Mayne scored 17. Against Madison Christian, Donnette Cox had 21 points and Jefferson scored 13.
The Jaguars' next game is Jan. 4 at Worthington Christian.