Being a first-year school didn’t matter for the Hilliard Bradley
softball team, which achieved the top Division II Central District seed at
the draw. Joining the Jaguars as top seeds are Grove City in Division
I, North Union in Division III and Danville in Division IV. Speaking of top spots, Olentangy Liberty brothers Joey and Chris Uhle both broke the state pole vault record last week as well…
Being a first-year school didn’t matter for the Hilliard Bradley softball team, which achieved the top Division II Central District seed at the draw. Joining the Jaguars as top seeds are Grove City in Division I, North Union in Division III and Danville in Division IV.
The strongest divisions appear to be Divisions I and II. Teays Valley, a regional runner-up to Hilliard Darby last season, was the seeded eighth in the stud field that includes Upper Arlington, Gahanna, Pickerington Central, Central Crossing, Marysville and Hilliard Davidson.The district tournament at Pickerington Central later this month should have some outstanding softball.
The top seeds in baseball went to Grove City in Division I, Jonathan Alder in Division II, Fredericktown in Division III and Fisher Catholic in Division IV.
There was also plenty of regular-season action as a pair of Olentangy Liberty brothers broke a state record and a Sparta Highland baseball player had his own home run derby.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Marion Pleasant, softball: Pleasant collected the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Blue Division title with a 10-1 win over River Valley. Kayla Brown homered and singled for the Spartans, Hannah Shaffer doubled and triple, and Lauren Verity, Kendall Lust, Julia Burton and Kara Kubbs each collected a pair of hits. Lust allowed four hits to earn the win in the pitching circle.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Joey and Chris Uhle, Olentangy Liberty boys track: The Uhle brothers cleared 16-7 feet in the pole vault in a meet at neighboring Olentangy High School to shatter the state record in the event. Joey broke the record early last month, unofficially, at 16-05 but the mark couldn’t go down in the record book because improper measures were used.
Over a week ago brother Chris did break the mark in a home event at 16-6 feet. But the brothers topped that mark at Olentangy to both engrave their names, at least for now, together in the record books.
With a month to go in the track season, expect this record to again be shattered by the talented duo.
NEWS, NOTES & NUGGETS
A Lion sweep: Gahanna defended its home turf to win both the boys and girls championships at its home track and field invitational. On the boys side, the Lions tallied 151 points in the eight-team field, led by Herman Washington winning the 110 hurdles in 14.54 and 300 hurdles in 39.22 and Harry McFann winning the 1600 in 4:33.04 and the 800 in 2:00.30.
Jacob Blankenship won the pole vault in 15 feet, Blake Heriot topped the 400 in 48.5 and the 1600 relay of McFann, Tyler Chandler, Lucas Rogers and Heriot posted a time of 3:26.42.
On the girls side, the Lions won the eight-team event with 150 points, led by the 3200 relay of Haley Schmitt, KayKay Garber, Lindsay Salopek and Kassy Thomas winning with 10:06.42; Abby Grooms, Reyna Montgomery, Myeshia Parker and Lynnsey Brim posted a 1:44.01 victory time in the 800 relay and Stephanie Stewart, Montgomery, Parker and Brim with 48.95 to top the 400 relay.
The Lions also captured five individual events as Montgomery won the high jump in 5-02 feet, Taylor Poches won the long jump in 16-11 feet, Thomas took the 400 in 59.67, Dajanae Gaston topped the 300 hurdles in 48.27 and Brim won the 200 in 25.62.
MOAC baseball hardware: Marion Pleasant and Sparta Highland clinched Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference divisional championships.
Pleasant defeated River Valley 12-5 to clinch the Blue Division crown, led by Taylor Braun with four hits, including a double and triple. He also yielded five hits on the mount to earn the win.
Eli Burris and Corey Nielsen each had two hits and Corey Kubbs collected a home run.
Garrett Ulrey smacked four home runs for Highland to help power a 23-17 win over Mount Gilead to clinch at least a share of the Red Division title.
Cole Randolph fell a single short of the cycle, Justin Staton had three hits and Jason Hertz and Ryan Santille each had two hits for Highland.
Big lumber inning: Leading 9-8 in a key Scioto Valley Conference game entering the seventh inning, the Westfall baseball team sent 21 batters to the plate, collected 12 hits and forced host Zane Trace to run through four pitchers to take a 24-9 win. Cody Link hit a three-run blast and Alek Stonerock chipped in a two-run homer. Link, Nathan Hock, Zach Wolfe and Neal Hegarty each had two hits in the frame for the Mustangs, which improved to 14-5. Wolfe also earned his eighth win of the season.
Canal barrage: Canal Winchester hit three home runs, including a key two-run shot by Curtis Steube to put the Indians ahead to stay in a 8-6 win over visiting Circleville in a Mid-State League Buckeye Division game. The game put the Indians a game ahead in the Buckeye Division standings and allowed the team to clinch at least a share of the Buckeye title with a win over Fairfield Union two days later. Drew Dosch chipped in a three-hit performance foe Canal which ended a nine-game Circleville winning streak.
Fisher Catholic looking for boys hoops coach: Todd Huffman resigned as the head boys basketball coach at Fisher Catholic to pursue a full-time teaching position. Huffman coached one season at Fisher Catholic and led the Irish to a 5-16 record. The Irish are looking for their third basketball coach in two years.
Strikeout performance: Liberty Union starter Sarah Klopfer struck out 13 batters and allowed three hits and no walks in a 3-0 Mid-State League Cardinal Division win over Fairfield County rival Berne Union. The win allowed LU to take a two-game lead over Berne Union in the division.
Delaware County tennis: A pair of Delaware County tennis teams earned wins at Olentangy Liberty beat Dublin Coffman 3-2, thanks in part to a sweep of the doubles courts. Tyler Gibbons and Mitchell Lothes won 6-3 and 6-3 at first doubles and Liberty teammates John McMahon and Alexander Hathaway took a 7-6 and 6-0 win at second doubles. Arren Carter landed the other point for the Patriots with a 6-4 and 6–0 win at first singles.
In an all-county matchup, Delaware swept the singles courts to edge Buckeye Valley 3-2 as Robert Homan landed the clinching point with a 6-4, 2-6 and 6-2 win at first singles. Josh Lovelien won 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 and Chris Leyva won by 6-0 and 6-0 blanks.
Circleville Invitational track, Friday at 4:30 p.m.: A mix of schools from the Central and Southeast districts get one final meet in before league meets begin.
Pickerington Central at Grove City softball, Friday at 5 p.m.: This will be the second meeting this week between two of the top teams in the Central District’s big-school division. Grove City is the top-seed in the Division I district and Central is the third in the 40-team field.
Jonathan Alder at Lakewood baseball, Friday at 5 p.m.: The top two seeds in Division II in the district collide for a non-league game to warm up for the tournament. Alder is undefeated with 22 wins and traditional power Lakewood is a sparkling 20-1.
Mid-State League Buckeye tennis, Saturday at 9 a.m. at Teays Valley: Teays Valley and Hamilton Township were co-champions this year. The field appears to be more open this season with Circleville and Bloom-Carroll among challengers.
Hilliard Bradley Invitational track, Saturday at 10 a.m.: No defending champions as the first-year school in the Hilliard school district brings a collection of central Ohio schools together.