The smell of chocolate accompanied hugs and cheers and the ringing of the victory bell last Friday in the track infield at Central Crossing High School.

The smell of chocolate accompanied hugs and cheers and the ringing of the victory bell last Friday in the track infield at Central Crossing High School.

Franklin Heights, Grove City and Westland left the track defeated as the Central Crossing boys and girls track and field teams celebrated their sixth consecutive Best of the South-West championships.

The Comets boys scored 95 points to finish ahead of Grove City (88), Franklin Heights (37) and Westland (35) and the girls scored 79 points to beat Grove City (61), Franklin Heights (58) and Westland (55).

The feeling among Comets was so good that Chris Aldea -- who had won the 3,200 meters in 10 minutes, 2.02 seconds a few moments before -- proclaimed that he expected the boys team would win the OCC-Central Division championship. His hands and arms were sticky with chocolate milk, which has become the drink of choice after races for Central Crossing athletes. But by that point, they weren't drinking it.

Coach Mark Tremayne, who has been the coach for all of Central Crossing's Best of the South-West championships, emerged from the crowd of athletes, assistants and timekeepers with his shirt drenched in chocolate milk. He confirmed that winning the OCC-Central meet was the expectation for the boys team, but he didn't let emotion get in the way of adding that that Pickerington North and Thomas Worthington would be tough to beat.

North scored 126 points to win the league title last year last year ahead of runner-up Thomas (114). Central Crossing was fourth (83), also behind Delaware (95), but there were some good signs last Friday that winning the league championship this year was a realistic thought.

Senior Lucas Murphy won the 800 (2:06.0) and 1,600 (1:35.42) and senior Andrew Allton won the 200 (23.3). Junior Matt Shaffer won the 400 (51.61) and the Comets also won the 800 relay (1:35.42), 1,600 relay (3:34.0) and 3,200 relay (8:40.0). The only relay they didn't win was the 400. Grove City earned the title in that event (44.8).

The Greyhounds had threatened to take home the boys team title until Aldea's win cemented the it for the Comets. For the Greyhounds, the Best of the South-West was the first time that senior Andrew Sigrist was able to compete in more than one event. He wasn't scheduled to run in the 110 hurdles, but the excitement of the event had him wanting to do more.

"After running the 300 hurdles, I wanted to do the 110s," said Sigrist, sitting in the infield stretching his hamstrings. "I've just made sure to keep stretching. I'm just excited and I want to get back out there.

"(The Best of the South-West is a) friendly rivalry. It's just a lot of pride at this meet because it's our district. We just want to do the best we can."

Sigrist ran a time in the 300 hurdles last year that would have qualified him to the Division I state meet, but shortly after that he injured a hamstring and it has bothered him for a year. He made his season debut April 15 in a dual with Westerville North that Grove City won 65-63 and competed in the 300 hurdles, which he won (40.85).

His goal is to have that time below 40 seconds by the time the Greyhounds compete in the OCC-Buckeye meet May 15.

Last Friday he won the 300 hurdles in 40.82 and also ran the anchor leg of the 1,600 relay. But it wasn't enough.

"Anytime you can do something six years in a row it's kind of special," Tremayne said.

"We have 23 seniors on this team and we wanted to do this for them. In the large scheme of things it doesn't mean that much, but its special to (the seniors) and so we make it a special thing."

Grove City's Andrew Sigrist catches his breath past the finish line of the 1,600-meter relay last Friday in the Best of the South-West at Central Crossing.

(Above) Central Crossing's Chris Aldea shakes hands with Mustafa Ahmed of Westland after their battle in the 3,200 meters. Aldea and Ahmed finished first and second, respectively. (Left) The Comets' Alex Day runs in the sand pit as he warms up before the long-jump competition. The name of the event, along with the participating school names, were written in the sand by a meet official.

(Above) Central Crossing's Nate Kirk is pumped up after clearing 12 feet in the pole vault. (Below) T.J. Bock of Grove City clears the bar at 13 feet en route to winning the pole-vault competition.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Central Crossing and Grove City boys and girls track and field teams:

CENTRAL CROSSING

April 11 -- Boys: Finished fifth (44) behind Reynoldsburg (146) in eight-team Panther Invitational at Hilliard Darby

*April 15 -- Boys: Defeated Marysville 85-52; Girls: Lost to Marysville 80-57

Last Friday -- Boys: Finished first (95) in Best of South-West ahead of Grove City (88), Franklin Heights (37) and Westland (35). Winners were Chris Aldea in the 3,200 (10:02.02), Andrew Allton in the 200 (23.3), Lucas Murphy in the 800 (2:06.0) and 1,600 (4:39.0) and Matt Shaffer in the 400 (51.61); Girls: Finished first (79) in Best of South-West ahead of Grove City (61), Franklin Heights (58) and Westland (55); Winners were Brooke Bohanon in the 1,600 (5:55.0) and 3,200 (12:43.0), Jenny Galvin in the 800 (2:37.0) and Beth Walters in the 100 (16.31).

*Last Tuesday -- Competed against Westerville Central

Friday -- At Cavalier Club Invitational at Chillicothe

*Tuesday -- At Pickerington North

May 2 -- At Gahanna

*OCC-Ohio dual

GROVE CITY

*April 15 -- Boys: Def. Westerville North 65-63; Girls: Def. North 67.5-60.5

Last Friday -- Boys: Finished second in Best of South-West. Winners were T.J. Bock in the pole vault (13-0), Derek Holt in the discus (118-10), Andre Kaufman in the high jump (6-5), Kory Martin in the 110 hurdles (15.81), Andrew Sigrist in the 300 hurdles (40.82) and Rob Werner in the shot (43-10 1/2); Girls: Finished second in Best of South-West. Winners were Liz Taylor in the shot put (37-5 1/4) and Brittany Maynard in the pole vault (7-6).

*Last Tuesday -- Competed against Reynoldsburg

Saturday -- At Hamilton Township

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Upper Arlington

May 3 -- At Jesse Owens Invitational at Ohio State

*OCC-Buckeye dual