Big Walnut High School girls track and field coach Joe Evener doesn't take the district meet lightly.
"If you feel comfortable going in, you're just fooling yourself," he said. "There is no easy district in Division I."
The girls team will compete in the 17-team district 2 meet this week at Hilliard Darby. The field events will be held Tuesday, May 21, followed by the running preliminaries Wednesday, May 22, and the running finals Saturday May 25.
Among the teams in district 2 is four-time defending state champion Reynoldsburg.
The boys team is one of 15 teams that will be competing in the Division I, district 1 meet at Darby. The running preliminaries will be held Tuesday, May 21, followed by the field events Thursday, May 23, and the running finals Saturday, May 25.
Among the teams competing in the district are OCC-Capital Division rivals Olentangy and Olentangy Orange.
The top four finishers in each district event advance to the regional meet May 29 and 31 at Pickerington North.
"Our team is young this year," boys coach Eric Myers said. "They're heading in the right direction, the times are dropping. But our district this year is an absolute bear. We've got some really tough teams there. Our intention going in is to compete and battle and do the best we can."
Big Walnut played host to the Delaware County Elite 8 meet May 9, with the boys and girls teams winning the titles.
The girls team placed first in seven of 17 events and scored 159 points to finish ahead of Olentangy Liberty (146), Orange (84), Olentangy (54), Buckeye Valley (39), Delaware Hayes (36), Delaware Christian (2) and Village Academy (1).
Winning individual events were junior Jamie Annis in the 100-meter hurdles (14.96 seconds) and 300 hurdles (46.95), junior Olivia Small in the 200 (26.07) and long jump (18 feet, 9 inches), senior Leah Thomas in the 100 (12.89) and senior Bethany Bogantz in the 1,600 (5:27.41).
The Golden Eagles also won the 400 relay (49.86).
"It felt great," Evener said. "I thought it was a huge accomplishment for the girls. They performed wonderfully. They really stepped up. Being at home added to the excitement of it."
The boys team won four of 17 events and scored 131 points to finish ahead of Liberty (127), Olentangy (97), Delaware (69), Orange (57) and Buckeye Valley (42).
Winning individual events were sophomore Cole Stark in the 110 hurdles (16.12) and high jump (6-0) and senior Brant Weiss in the discus (142-8). Stark also placed second in the long jump (19-10 3/4) and Weiss placed third in the shot put (47-5).
Also finishing first was the 3,200 relay (8:18.21).
"It was a big win for us, definitely a surprise," Myers said. "The kids ran great."
Big Walnut, which competed in the OCC-Capital meet May 16 and 18 at Hilliard Bradley, competed in Grandview's Friday Night Under the Lights on May 10, with both teams placing third.
The girls team won two events and scored 87 points to finish behind Grandview (186) and Hamilton Township (121) and ahead of Worthington Christian (81) and Harvest Prep (14).
Jordan Lyle won the pole vault (10-0) and Anna Mackey won the long jump (15-1).
"We don't really go into that meet very loaded to win it," Evener said. "It's more for experience. It's a good meet to finish the (regular) season with."
The boys team scored 97 points to finish behind Hamilton Township (146) and Grandview (146) and ahead of Worthington Christian (95) and Harvest Prep (28).
Offense clicking for boys lacrosse team
The boys lacrosse team was 7-7 overall and 0-5 in the OCC-Central before playing Delaware on May 17.
Big Walnut defeated Licking Valley 16-8 on May 13 and beat Buckeye Valley 15-6 on May 14.
Through 14 games, junior attacker Jhordan Lang had 37 goals and 16 assists, senior midfielder Trevor Severs had 36 goals and 28 assists and senior midfielder Parker Marsch had 30 goals and 14 assists.
Against Licking Valley game, Lang had five goals and had one assist, Marsch had three goals and three assists and Severs had five goals and two assists. Against Buckeye Valley, Lang had four goals and three assists, Marsch had two goals and two assists and Severs had two goals and one assist.
"I think we're playing probably our best lacrosse right now," coach Nate Dewey said. "The offense is clicking. We'll have to shore up our back line a little bit and we should be pretty solid for the playoff run."
The OHSLA club division tournament draw is Sunday, May 19.
"I imagine we're probably going to be somewhere in the seven-, eight-, nine- or 10-seed area," Dewey said. "Hopefully it's a nice draw."
Softball team advances to district semifinal
The softball team won its first two games in the Division II district tournament to advance to a district semifinal, where it will face fourth-seeded Granville on Monday, May 20, at Pickerington Central.
The winner will play top-seeded Caledonia River Valley or seventh-seeded Jonathan Alder in a district final Saturday, May 25, at Pickerington Central. The district champion advances to a regional semifinal May 30 at Bucyrus.
Big Walnut, which is seeded fifth, did not play Granville or River Valley during the regular season but defeated Jonathan Alder 2-1 on April 20 behind a no-hitter by freshman pitcher Kate Petty.
The Golden Eagles compiled 21 hits in a 16-0, five-inning win over 27th-seeded Columbus South in the first round of the tournament May 13 before defeating 13th-seeded Bexley 10-2 in the second round May 15.
Senior pitcher Allie Walker held Bexley scoreless for five innings before giving up a two-run home run in the sixth.
Junior third baseman Hayley Apple hit a three-run home run in the first inning. Junior outfielder Shaye Kuhlman hit a solo homer in the fifth inning and junior outfielder Brooke Hatfield hit a two-run home run in the sixth.
The Golden Eagles had 13 hits against the Lions.
Big Walnut was 18-8 overall and 8-5 in the OCC-Capital before playing Orange on May 17. Regardless of the outcome, the Golden Eagles finished fourth in the league behind Olentangy (13-1), Orange (11-2) and Delaware (11-3).
Baseball team opens district tourney
The baseball team was 17-11 overall after defeating host to 15th-seeded River Valley 2-0 in the second round of the Division II district tournament May 16.
Seeded fifth, Big Walnut had a first-round bye.
The second-round winner plays 11th-seeded DeSales in a district semifinal Monday, May 20, at Hamilton Township. DeSales is the two-time defending state champion and defeated the Golden Eagles 2-1 in a district final last season.
The semifinal winner will face top-seeded Granville or seventh-seeded Hamilton Township in a district final Wednesday, May 22, at Beavers Field in Lancaster.
The district champion advances to a regional semifinal May 30 at Tiffin University.
Big Walnut did not play DeSales, Highland, Granville or Hamilton Township during the regular season.
The Golden Eagles defeated East Knox 11-6 on May 13.
Tennis team ties for fourth in OCC-Capital
The boys tennis team tied for fourth in the final OCC-Capital standings.
Big Walnut, Delaware and Watkins Memorial each went 3-4 in league matches during the regular season and completed the league tournament May 11 at Olentangy with 35 points to finish behind New Albany (82, 7-0), Olentangy (55, 6-1) and Orange (53, 5-2) and ahead of Mount Vernon (16, 1-6) and Franklin Heights (2, 0-7).
Big Walnut competed in the Division I sectional tournament May 16 and 18 at Hilliard Davidson.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the district tournament Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25, at Davidson. The top four finishers at district qualify for the state tournament May 31 and June 1 at Ohio State.
Big Walnut's lone district qualifier last season was 2012 graduate Nathan Randall, who placed third at sectional before losing to Gahanna's Canyon Teague 6-2, 6-3 in the first round at district.
The Golden Eagles completed their dual-match schedule with a 4-1 win over Jonathan Alder on May 15 to finish 7-11 overall.
Winning were Logan Adams at first singles, Sean Tribble at second singles, Jeff Tribble at third singles and Grant Burks and Isaiah Kolb at first doubles.
Girls lacrosse loses in tournament
The girls lacrosse team was 1-14 overall after losing to Rocky River 14-0 in the second round of the Division II North/Central Region tournament May 16.