Track-and-field was the highlight of spring sports over the past week as
Gahanna and Pickerington North turned in impressive performances at the
big-school Stingel Invitational. But it wasn’t the only track highlight
as the Heath girls continued to win, this time at Granville, and a
Fairfield County athlete turned in a quality performance at a county
Track-and-field was the highlight of spring sports over the past week as Gahanna and Pickerington North turned in impressive performances at the big-school Stingel Invitational. But it wasn’t the only track highlight as the Heath girls continued to win, this time at Granville, and a Fairfield County athlete turned in a quality performance at a county rival.
Miami Trace drew first blood in its rivalry at archrival Washington Court House in baseball, while a Pickaway County school upset a Final Four qualifier from a season ago in Mid-State League Buckeye Division play. In softball, North Union and Lakewood are among the strong teams in the area.
But it all wasn’t about spring sports as Amanda-Clearcreek hired defensive coordinator Dale Olney to become the first new head football coach at the school in three decades after Ron Hinton left in January after two state titles and 29 seasons to take the same position at Chillicothe.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Gahanna girls track: The Lions emerged from last weekend with a championship at the Pickerington North Stingel Invitational with 96 points. Pickerington Central followed with 80 in the 15-team field. Gahanna was strong in relay events with three wins. The 1600 relay of Abby Grooms, Phylicia Marrow, Kassy Thomas and Rachael Tilson won in 4:076.22. The 800 relay of Grooms, Dominae Gaston, Myeshia Parker and Lynnsey Brim won in 1:43.5. The Lions also captured the 400 relay in 50.04 with Tianna Morris, Myeshia Parker, Dominae Gaston and Lynnsey Brim.
Gahanna also won four individual events as Thomas won the 800 in 2:21.11, Grooms captured the 300 hurdles in 48.12, Reyna Montgomery won the high jump at 5-02 feet and Brim took the long jump in 17-04.25 feet.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Daniel Garleb, Pickerington North boys track: Garleb captured a pair of first-place finishes to help the Panthers defend home turf in the Stingel Invitational. North amassed 93.5 points to win the boys title in the 14-team field. Garleb won the 1600 in 4:19.92 and came out on top in the 3200 in 9:47.4.
NEWS, NOTES & NUGGETS
Willamson has big day for Fisher: Fisher Catholic’s Carly Williamson turned in one of the best performances in the district last weekend in track. Williamson won the 100 hurdles in 16.0, the 300 hurdles in 50.29 and grabbed the 100 in 13.01 to help the Irish to a second-place finish with 100 points at the Fairfield Union Falcon Invitational. Sheridan won the event with 135 points out of the 12-team field.
Liberty wins Union battle: The Liberty Union softball team scored seven runs in the second and third innings to take a 8-2 Mid-State League Cardinal Division win over Fairfield County rival Berne Union. The Lions, now 5-3 overall and 4-1 in league play, were led by some power as Jayce Born and Taylor Dickson each hit a two-run home run. Sarah Klopfer allowed Berne Union four hits and two walks and struck out five in six innings.
Tigers hand Canal first MSL setback: The Circleville baseball team scored four runs in its first at-bat and used the pitching of Evan Whitten and Cole Sherman to hand Canal Winchester, which has qualified for the Final Four the last two seasons, its first Mid-State League Buckeye setback of the season, 5-4.
Eddie Strawser had two hits, including a two-run double in the first to get Circleville going. Reily Kiser chipped in three hits and John Klinebriel had two knocks. Whitten allowed two runs over five innings to earn the win, and Sherman threw the final two frames to earn the save for the Tigers (5-7, 3-2). Canal Winchester, led by Ryan Rose with three hits, fell to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in league play.
Miami Trace doubles up WCH: Kendal Munro scattered seven hits in a complete game and fanned six batters to lead Miami Trace past Fayette County rival Washington Court House 4-2 in a South Central Ohio League contest.
Munro tied the game with an RBI single and Ty Leach tripled to score Cody Snyder to put the Panthers, now 7-2 and 5-0 in the SCOL ahead.
Pleasant times: The Marion Pleasant baseball team remained unbeaten in Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference play (5-0) with a 8-0 win over county rival Elgin, led by Corey Nielsen with three hits. Winning pitcher Taylor Braun also singled.
Madison sweep for Jonathan Alder: The Jonathan Alder softball team won the Madison County tournament over the weekend and made it a clean sweep of the county a day later with a 6-1 non-league win over London. The Pioneers, now 6-3, were ignited by Jac Justus with a two-run single in the fourth inning.
Lakewood still rolling: After losing star pitcher Alissa Birkhimer off of last year’s state championship team to graduation, no one could blame Lakewood for taking a half step back. They haven’t. The Lancers are off to a 8-1 start and 4-0 in the Mid-State League Ohio Division following a 12-0 blanking of Licking County rival Heath. Courtney Kidwell connected on a three-run home run for Lakewood. Brayan Gault and Caitlin Houk each had three hits for Lakewood, and pitcher Alyssa Patznick allowed just two hits and fanned seven.
North Union has impressive weekend: North Union hasn’t missed a beat in girls sports after seeing its basketball team win a district title. The softball team is pretty good, too. The Wildcats emerged from a tough doubleheader in Licking County over the weekend with wins of 1-0 over Lakewood and 10-0 over Licking Valley. Maggie McMahan fanned 15 batters in the win over Lakewood and Samantha Webb tossed a two-hitter against Licking Valley as North Union improved to 9-1 on the season.
Caitlin Conrad knocked in the winning run against Lakewood with a double in the fifth inning.
Against Licking Valley, Reagan Stofcheck singled, doubled and scored three times. Shanda Ridgeway and Jennifer Gratz each drove in two runs.
Big inning for Delaware: After falling behind Big Walnut 3-0 in a Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division softball game, the Paces erupted for nine runs in the third inning to claim a 9-3 win. Delaware sent 13 batters to the plate in the frame and had six of its 11 hits. Kalene Schmidt, Cindy Bowman, Kayleigh Huck and Emi Lewis each had two hits for the game for the Pacers, now 6-2 overall and 3-1 in league play.
Teays Valley at Canal Winchester softball, Friday at 5:15 p.m.: Both teams have played tough schedules to open the season are expected to be two of the better teams in the Mid-State League Buckeye Division when the dust settles in May.
Liberty Union Zuber Memorial Relays, track, Saturday at 10 a.m.: Fairfield County schools Amanda-Clearcreek, Bloom-Carroll, Fisher Catholic, Fairfield Union and Liberty Union make up the bulk of the field. The event also includes schools from all three divisions of the Mid-State League.
Dublin Coffman Classic, track, Saturday at 10 a.m.: Some of central Ohio’s top big-school programs will take their talent to Dublin this weekend to put on display. But it was an out-of-area school in Brunswick won both the boys and girls titles last season.
Miami Trace at Circleville baseball, Saturday at 1 p.m.: Two former South Central Ohio League rivals do battle in a game that could help with sectional seeding in the Southeast District in May.
Grove City at Pickerington North baseball, Monday at 5 p.m.: Both teams have combined for a record of 14 wins and three losses at deadline for this story, meaning these are two of the top baseball teams in the Ohio Capital Conference Ohio Division.