There likely won't be many Division II programs from central Ohio with as much potential to score points in numerous events this season as the Wellington boys swimming and diving team.

The Jaguars return a pair of state-qualifying divers in junior brothers George Callanan and Taso Callanan.

On the swimming side, junior Heath Thomas missed advancing to state last season by one spot as he placed third at district in the 100-yard breaststroke (1 minute, 2.58 seconds).

Several others who competed on relays also have returned for the Jaguars, who compete at Columbus Aquatics Center in meets Saturday, Dec. 21, and Dec. 28 to close the 2019 portion of their schedule.

"We have a very strong team this year," Thomas said. "We have a good number of freshmen on the team. Overall, the team is looking very strong this year and our relays could break some school records. All in all, I think the team's greatest strength is our support for everyone on the team at all ability levels."

Taso Callanan became the first boys diver from the program to reach the state podium when he placed seventh in 2018, and he duplicated that finish last winter when he scored 376.8 points.

George Callanan, who was new to the program last season after attending Upper Arlington as a freshman, scored 403.15 points at state to finish fourth as Wellington finished 24th (27) behind champion Hunting Valley University School (331).

The Jaguars scored 99 points at district to finish ninth behind champion Columbus Academy (251), with George Callanan finishing first (499.4) and his brother placing second (454.25).

Thomas, who also placed sixth at district in the 200 individual medley (2:02.03), swam program-record times in the 100 butterfly (56.0) and 500 freestyle (5:00.39) in the Ned Reeb Memorial Invitational held Dec. 13 and 14 at Ohio State.

"He's ready to go," 20th-year coach Bill Miller said of Thomas. "Before the season started, he had some of his best swims ever with his club team."

Also at district last season, juniors Will Miller and Avery Rennick and 2019 graduate Evan Albers joined Thomas on the 400 free relay that finished 11th (3:45.08) and Miller, Albers, Thomas and sophomore Alex Lott were on the 200 medley relay that placed 12th (1:53.27).

Sophomores Simon Anderson and Josef Cios are other key returnees.

Coach Miller calls freshman Eric Albers an "impact swimmer," particularly in the breaststroke.

The top returnees for the girls team are senior swimmer Sarah Anderson and junior diver Taylor Vargo.

Last season at district, Anderson finished seventh in the 100 fly (1:00.82) and ninth in the 50 free (25.54) and Taylor placed fourth in diving (294.45).

Seniors Serene Abdelbaki and Kath Olson and junior Paige Bennett are other top returning swimmers.

Senior D'Nisa Oocumma missed most of last season with a concussion.

Junior Christine Cooke and sophomores Joy Neal and Drew Ober are others looking to contribute.

'No nights off' for boys basketball team

The boys basketball team followed a championship at its own event by battling through a pair of tight league games.

The Jaguars defeated Cincinnati River View East 92-51 on Dec. 6 and Toledo Maumee Valley Country Day 77-67 on Dec. 7 to capture the title at the Jaguar Invitational.

Wellington then edged Columbus Academy 56-54 on Dec. 10 but lost to Whitehall 57-55 on Dec. 13 in MSL-Ohio Division games.

The Jaguars are 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the league entering a home game Friday, Dec. 21, against Worthington Christian. They will close the 2019 portion of their schedule Dec. 30 at Westerville North.

Against Maumee Valley Country Day, Marcus Stewart had 21 points, Chase Ouellette scored 19, Elijah Meredith scored 15 and Evan Henry scored 13.

Meredith had 23 points, including four 3-pointers, against Academy, and scored 20 against Whitehall.

"We've moved over to the (MSL-)Ohio Division, so there's no nights off," coach Artie Taylor said.

Haddow to coach both tennis teams

After coaching the boys tennis program for the last eight seasons, Tommy Haddow now also will coach the girls program.

Haddow, who has coached the girls team at Columbus Academy the past five seasons, replaces Rebecca Hinze, a 1996 Wellington graduate who recently stepped down after four seasons as coach.

"I loved the team and athletic staff at Wellington," Hinze said. "Being an alum, it will always have a special place for me."

This fall, the Academy girls finished 15-5 overall and won the MSL-Ohio at 7-0, while Wellington went 14-3 overall and 6-1 in the league.

Marc Wurtzman, who was an assistant the past two seasons at Academy, is taking over that school's girls program.

"It was a great learning experience at Academy," Haddow said. "I made a lot of great relationships with both parents and girls. The athletics department was always very supportive. We had a lot of success and they will continue to be very successful under coach Wurtzman."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek