It's not often that a 5-foot-10, 140-pound athlete competes in the shot put or discus during a boys track and field meet.

It's not often that a 5-foot-10, 140-pound athlete competes in the shot put or discus during a boys track and field meet.

But Northridge High School senior Derek Hull got that urge out of his system last Thursday against Lakewood. Typically a sprinter, he now has competed in all 16 events for Vikings this season after throwing the shot put and discus and participating in the high jump last Thursday. Northridge does not participate in the pole vault.

"(My teammates) think I'm a little crazy," Hull said. "They don't understand why I want to do distance events or the throws. They really think I'm nuts."

Coach Mike Dudgeon said it's not unusual for an athlete to dabble in several events, but that's usually done when an individual is trying to find an identity in the sport.

"He came to me and said he was interested in trying all of the events and we gave it a try since we only have nine (athletes) on the (boys) team," Dudgeon said. "He's a good all-around athlete and he knows how to compete. He has natural ability that helps carry him through."

Last Thursday. Hull threw the shot put 25 feet and the discus 55-0. But he was third in the high jump as he cleared 4-10.

"I expected to throw (the shot put) about 20 feet, maybe," said Hull, who has a 4.2 GPA. "My form is better in discus, but need to get (the discus) to go. But the high jump is tough because the form is not something you can pick up quickly. You probably need three or four years of working on it to get the form down for that."

Hull was on the Division II regional-qualifying 800-meter relay (1 minute, 32.84 seconds) last year with graduates Marcus Williams, Andriy Savchenko and Nikko Turos. He also was third in the 400 (53.47) at the MBC meet.

He has improved on his 400 this season to 52.3. He also runs the 100 (personal-best 11.7) and 200 (personal-best 24.6) and his best long jump is 17-8.

"The 400 is my favorite event by far," said Hull, who wants to be a math teacher after college. "I've been good at the 400 since middle school and I like to work on it and see how much my time has improved. I'm working on the record, which is 50.8 by (1987 graduate) Jon Warga."

Despite being out of his element in the throws and high jump, Dudgeon was impressed with Hull's performance in most events.

"Derek ran the 300 hurdles in 44.8 seconds, which is pretty good for a beginner," Dudgeon said. "He ran cross country for us last fall, so he knew a little about what to do in the distance events."

Hull said the 110 hurdles were a different story.

"It really surprised me in the 110 because it seemed like it was tough for me to just get over the hurdles," he said. "The 300 (hurdles) was much easier because I had the endurance to go the longer distance and also it helped that they were lower and easier to get over."

Now Hull can focus on the long jump and sprints as the MBC and sectional meets draw closer.

"I wanted to try everything for fun, but also I knew the team was going to be small and we needed to get as many points as we could," Hull said. "Now I can get back to working on the other events.

"I want to not only set the (program) record, but win the conference and make it to state in 400. I'm at 52.3 right now and I'll probably need to get in the 40s to make it there."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Northridge baseball, softball and boys and girls track and field teams:

BASEBALL

*April 17 -- Defeated Centerburg 3-2 in nine innings

*April 18 -- Lost to Utica 11-1

*Last Monday -- Game at Loudonville postponed; rescheduled for May 6.

*Last Tuesday -- Game vs. Danville postponed. No makeup date has been announced.

Last Thursday -- Def. East Knox 2-0. Sean Haines pitched a two-hitter with eight strikeouts. Torey Eckhardt and Matt Herbst drove in runs with singles in the second inning.

*Last Friday -- Played Fredericktown

Last Saturday -- Played Granville (DH)

*Monday -- Home vs. Johnstown

*Tuesday -- At East Knox

*Friday -- Home vs. Utica

Saturday -- Home vs. Big Walnut (DH)

Of note: The Vikings were 5-4 overall and 4-1 in MBC before last Friday.

SOFTBALL

April 17 -- Lost to Uhrichsville Claymont 5-2 in Lancaster Classic

April 18 -- Lost to Wheelersburg 8-0; lost to Bloom-Carroll 4-0 in Lancaster Classic

*Last Monday -- Game vs. Loudonville postponed; rescheduled for May 6.

*Last Tuesday -- Game vs. Danville postponed. No makeup announced.

*Last Wednesday -- Game at Utica postponed. No makeup date has been announced.

*Last Thursday -- Def. East Knox 7-2

*Last Friday -- At Fredericktown

Last Saturday -- Played New Albany and Newark

*Monday -- Home vs. Johnstown

*Tuesday -- At East Knox

Thursday -- Home vs. Newark Catholic

*Friday -- Home vs. Utica

Saturday -- Home vs. Cardington (doubleheader)

Of note: The Vikings were 5-7 overall and 2-2 in MBC before last Friday.

TRACK & FIELD

*Last Tuesday --Boys: Finished fourth (20) behind Johnstown (80), Loudonville (80) and Utica (80); Girls: Second (50) behind Johnstown (122) and ahead of Utica (44) and Loudonville (35)

Last Thursday -- Boys: Lost to Lakewood 98-28; Girls: Lost 63-59

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Centerburg, Utica and Danville

Thursday -- At Licking Valley Invitational

*MBC contest