The Thomas Worthington High School girls swimming and diving team has returned half of its 200-yard medley relay that competed in the Division I state meet last season.
Seniors Maddie Holub and Rachel Rinaldi both qualified for district in four events a year ago and joined 2018 graduates Emily Huber and Becca Taylor on the medley relay that finished 21st at state in 1 minute, 49.02 seconds.
"Rachel and Maddie have been impact swimmers for four seasons and they both have a great work ethic and are tremendous leaders in the pool and the classroom," said 36th-year coach Jim Callahan, who also oversees the Kilbourne program. "... I expect them to have another great season."
At district last season, Rinaldi placed seventh in the 200 individual medley (2:12.36) and ninth in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.18) and Holub placed fifth in the 200 IM (2:09.42) and 12th in the 100 breast (1:07.73). Both also were on the eighth-place 400 freestyle relay (3:37.6) with junior Audrey Taylor and Becca Taylor.
"We're searching to fill the relay spots, but we have two strong pieces to start and we have a few other returnees with experience, so we'll see what happens," Callahan said.
Among other returnees are sophomores Katie Bozoti and Maia Lin and senior diver Peyton Hull.
Also on the roster are juniors Conny Koehler, Leah Lindemeyer and Hannah Scott, sophomores Lauren Justice, Natalie Kallergis and Izzy Thomas and freshman Sarah Volzer.
The boys team has returned four of its six district qualifiers from last season in juniors Sam Steele and Derek Taylor and sophomores Eli Short and Grant Simeone. The four will be leaders on a roster that includes just one senior in Vigr Lalgudi.
"Derek and Sam are really setting a great tone for a young team," Callahan said. "The boys have not had a state-qualifying relay team and I think they can get that done this year."
The 200 free relay of 2018 graduate Jack King, Taylor, Simeone and Short finished 13th (1:31.53) at district last season.
Callahan also has been impressed with freshman Blake Ament and junior Jacob Carver thus far.
Rounding out the roster are sophomores Jay Fralic and Wes McCallister and freshmen Josh Hickman, Aiden Midgley, Zane Ryan-Hart and diver Ryan Scharff.
Girls basketball team finding its groove
After opening with a 44-34 loss to Watterson on Nov. 27, the girls basketball team won its next three games.
The Cardinals defeated Olentangy Orange 59-36 on Dec. 1 and Licking Heights 73-37 on Dec. 5 before beating Hilliard Bradley 45-34 in their OCC-Cardinal Division opener Dec. 7.
Thomas, which has won a share of the league title the past two seasons, played Kilbourne on Dec. 11 and visits Dublin Jerome on Friday, Dec. 14.
Brooke Ackley had 21 points against Bradley, with Breanne Beatty and Sarah Charley each scoring nine. Against Licking Heights, Ackley had 18 points, Charley scored 13, Lauren Gerber scored 12 and Beatty scored nine.
Boys basketball team drops league opener
The boys basketball team opened OCC-Cardinal play Dec. 7 with a 57-32 loss to defending league champion Bradley.
The Cardinals had beaten Whetstone 72-44 in their season opener Dec. 1 and Westland 64-40 on Dec. 4.
Thomas will try to get back on track Friday, Dec. 14, at home against Jerome.
Ben Wight scored 12 points against Bradley and 11 against Westland. Isaac Settles had 17 points and Jalen Sullinger scored 12 against the Cougars.
SWIMMING & DIVING
Nov. 30 -- Worthington/Westerville Invitational at home
Dec. 1 -- vs. Dublin Scioto
Dec. 5 -- vs. DeSales
Dec. 7-8 -- Viking Invitational at Cleveland State
Dec. 11 -- vs. Bloom-Carroll and Oberlin
Dec. 14 -- vs. Groveport
Jan. 9 -- Worthington Sprint Invitational at home
Jan. 11-12 -- Northeast Classic at Branin Natatorium in Canton
Jan. 16 -- Marysville at Marysville YMCA
Jan. 25 -- OCC-Cardinal diving meet at home
Jan. 26 -- OCC-Cardinal swimming meet at home
Feb. 1 -- vs. Watterson
Below are the coming schedules for the Thomas boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics, hockey and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 14 -- Home vs. Dublin Jerome
*Dec. 17 -- At Delaware
*Dec. 14 -- At Dublin Jerome
*Dec. 17 -- Home vs. Delaware
Dec. 15 -- Pioneer Baker Marathon at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
Dec. 15 -- Hilliard Invitational at Hilliard Davidson
*Dec. 15 -- Springboro at South Metro Ice
*Dec. 16 -- Dublin Scioto at Chiller North
*Dec. 13 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley