Although the Columbus School for Girls track and field team won only three of 16 events in the home Jack Guy Alumnae Invitational on May 7, the Unicorns scored 120 points to win the nine-squad event ahead of runner-up Hartley (98) on the strength of their depth.
Coach Elon Simms said depth has been the key to CSG's success this season.
"We didn't have many first-place finishes, but we have a very well-rounded team and that's how we were able to win this meet," Simms said. "We had two, three or even four girls score in just about every event, where the other teams usually had only one or two girls scoring points in most events. Our depth has really made the difference for us this year."
Simms hopes that depth gives the Unicorns an edge when they play host to the CCL meet Thursday, May 16, and Saturday, May 18.
Last year, the Unicorns scored 104.5 points to finish second behind Hartley (162) and ahead of DeSales (102), Ready (64.5) and Watterson (57).
CSG received a confidence boost when it beat three of its league rivals in the Jack Guy Alumnae Invitational in Hartley, Watterson (third, 93) and Ready (fifth, 68).
"Winning this meet ahead of some of our league opponents makes me feel really good about where the girls are at going into the CCL meet," Simms said. "I'm not sure if Hartley put all of their best girls out there in all of their best events, but it was good to get to run against them and see where we need to improve.
"We're still experimenting with where a handful of our girls best fit into our lineup, and we're going to put together our strongest lineup for the CCL meet. I'm hoping our depth will come through for us once again in this meet."
The Unicorns scored well in the relay events May 7, as Alyssa Sugar, Abigail Perrini, Eleanor Smith and Emma Harris won the 3,200-meter relay (10 minutes, 18.5 seconds) and Sabrina Ebner, Isabella Pesavento, Mo Ruff and Rebecca O'Donovan won the 400 relay (52.5).
Ruff, Cecilia Pesavento, Isabella Pesavento and O'Donovan finished second in the 800 relay (1:51.6) and O'Donovan, Isabella Pesavento, Smith and Harris placed second in the 1,600 relay (4:06.5).
"Our 400 relay (looked) good a week after we had a false start," Simms said. "We had good handoffs on all of our relays."
Cecilia Pesavento finished second in the 100 hurdles (17.0) and 300 hurdles (50.2), and Harris placed second in the 800 (2:29.6).
In the 200, Isabella Pesavento (28.2), Ashley Harrington (28.3), Maya Allen (28.3) and Ebner (28.6) finished third through sixth.
But CSG scored only 11 points in the four field events, with Erika Sims winning the long jump (15 feet, 5 3/4 inches) to account for 10 of those points.
"We scored a lot of points in the sprint area because we have a lot of depth there," Simms said. "I'm proud of how Cecilia Pesavento competed in both hurdling events and on her relay.
"I feel real good about how we're competing as a team going into CCL. We're just going to compete the way we always compete and hope it's enough to have us come out on top."
CSG also will compete in the Division II, district 2 meet Tuesday, May 21, Wednesday, May 22 and May 25 at Westerville South. The top four finishers in each event advance to regional May 30 and June 1 at Welcome Stadium in Dayton.
Thirteen is lucky for lacrosse team
Thirteen has been the magic number for the lacrosse team.
During the regular season, the Unicorns were 6-0 when scoring 13 or more goals and 0-8 when scoring 12 or fewer.
That trend continued May 8 when CSG defeated Pickerington Central 14-12 and May 10 when the Unicorns lost to Worthington Kilbourne 20-6.
Against Central, midfielders Erin Balasky and Sophia Sugar each scored four goals, midfielder Avery Hinson scored two and goalkeeper Erin Smith had nine saves.
"When we get into these high-scoring games and they come down to the wire, our girls seem to become more focused and they do a good job of finishing," coach Brittney Zerhusen said.
"Our attack is strong and we have a lot of different girls who shoot well. Sophie Sugar and Erin Balasky are our leading scorers, but Jenny Henderson has stepped up on the low attack as a target, and we're spreading the ball around pretty well."
Jenna Ellis, Maddie McGregor and Caroline Pompilli have been CSG's most consistent defenders, but Zerhusen said her team needed to play stronger overall defense to be successful in the Division II South/Central Region tournament.
The Unicorns opened tournament play May 14 against Bexley. The winner advanced to the second round to play Thursday, May 16, at Columbus Academy.
The second-round winner play host to a semifinal Tuesday, May 21, against Hartley, Cincinnati Indian Hill or Wyoming. The regional final is May 23.
On April 4, CSG lost to Columbus Academy 15-8.
Last year, the Unicorns opened tournament play with a 13-12 loss at Bexley.
"We're focusing on taking care of details and being more aggressive because anything can happen in the tournament," Zerhusen said.
CSG finished 4-3 in the Central Independent League.