Last season, sophomore Taso Callanan became the first boys diver for the Wellington School swimming and diving program to reach the state podium.

Taso and his twin brother, George, added to the Jaguars' growing history Feb. 20 by each placing in the top eight in boys diving in the Division II state meet at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

George, who is in his first season with the Jaguars' program after attending Upper Arlington as a freshman, placed fourth (403.15 points) at state while Taso finished seventh (376.8) as he did a season ago.

"This season was my first season competing with George in diving, and it was a really good experience," Taso said.

"Every single day I practiced and was able to push myself, making me work harder, and it was a healthy competition, too."

George was third and Taso was sixth after the preliminary competition at state behind Cincinnati Wyoming's Ilya Gerasimchuk, who also led after the semifinal round and went on to score 452.9 to edge Beachwood's Spencer Bystrom (451.2) for the title. Aurora's Drew Albrecht was third (410.8).

"I feel pretty good about everything," George said. "It was my first year at state and this was my first year diving. I know I could have done better, but I hit every dive and got all my dives in vertically. That's the goal for everything, and that you're up and down and not at any angle. I would say my front two-and-a-half with a pike was my best dive. It felt good getting into the water with it."

The Callanan brothers helped Wellington finish 24th (27 points) at state behind champion Hunting Valley University School (331) as 61 teams scored.

Among the expected swimmers to return for the Jaguars are sophomores Heath Thomas, Avery Rennick and Will Miller and freshmen Jake Browning and Alex Lott.

Juniors Serene Abdelbaki, Sarah Anderson and Kath Olson and sophomores Paige Bennett and Lola Perez are among the girls swimmers expected to return. Sophomore diver Taylor Vargo, who was fourth at district, also is eligible to return.

Most of girls team eligible to return

The 14th-seeded girls basketball team had its season end with a 62-34 loss to fourth-seeded Delaware Christian on Feb. 21 in the second round of the Division IV district tournament.

Wellington finished 4-18 overall and 4-10 in the MSL-Cardinal Division, with its last win coming Jan. 25 against Fisher Catholic, 37-27. The Jaguars lost their final seven games.

"We showed some progress, but we still have a long way to go," first-year coach Kimball Johnson said. "I was talking to the girls the other day in practice and we were talking about birthdays, and the majority of them were 14-year-olds. They're 14 and playing against girls that are 17 to 18 years old. If we keep getting better, we'll be right there when they're seniors."

The Jaguars are losing only one senior in Savannah Childress, who missed eight games but closed the regular season with a 28-point performance in a 52-48 loss to Tree of Life on Feb. 15.

Freshman post player Hannah Jones-Beyene is among the players that Johnson is building toward the future with along with classmates Abigail Burkhardt (guard), Jameela Askira (guard), Jamie Murphy (post player) and Rhea Singh (guard).

Others eligible to return include junior guards Eli Burkhardt and Ellie Weinberg and sophomore guard Lina Grohovsky.

"Hannah Jones really came on and Alexis Burkhalter is a scorer," Johnson said. "I'm looking forward to those two having the most experience on the court. We're hoping to work hard over the summer so that we can compete again next year."

Boys basketball team preps to face Vikings

The 12th-seeded boys basketball team will visit fourth-seeded Columbus Academy for a Division III district tournament second-round game Saturday, March 2.

The winner faces seventh-seeded Africentric or 23rd-seeded Madison Plains in a district semifinal Tuesday, March 5, at a site to be announced.

The district final is March 8 at Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Wellington, which lost to Academy 62-50 on Feb. 11, opened the tournament with a 72-63 win over 20th-seeded Horizon Science on Feb. 25 to improve 14-9. Dallas Patrick led the Jaguars with 25 points and Marcus Stewart scored 22.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek