Gene Weil brings quite a coaching pedigree to the Northridge High School boys and girls track and field teams.

Gene Weil brings quite a coaching pedigree to the Northridge High School boys and girls track and field teams.

Weil won five state track and field championships and one state cross country title as coach at New Canaan (Conn.). He later moved to central Ohio to be near his grandchildren and became an assistant coach at Capital University, specializing in throws. Now retired from the Crusaders, he has taken on the task of coaching five boys and nine girls with the Vikings.

"We don't have a lot of kids, but the ones who are here really want to be here," said Weil, whose team opens Monday, April 2, in the Newark Catholic Relays. "With the $500 pay-to-participate fee for each of the kids, they really work hard and work to get better."

Four of the five runners on the boys team compete in distance events in senior Michael Derringer, junior Nathan Wigal, sophomore Jesse Kanavel and freshman Noah Orcutt. Junior Tony Shore is a sprinter. Derringer, Shore and Wigal are returnees.

Jessica Holbrook (long jump, hurdles) is the only senior on the girls team, which also includes juniors Taylor Rose (throws), Hannah Shank (sprints, hurdles) and Caitlyn Tulloss (sprints, jumps), sophomore Haley Menix (sprints, high jump) and freshmen Skylar Briggs (sprints, hurdles), Belinda Marcum (throws), Courtney Schneider (jumps, sprints) and Ellie Shedloski (sprints, jumps). All but the freshmen return from last season.

Shank was a regional qualifier last season in the 300-meter hurdles, but Weil said she is out indefinitely with a sprained knee.

Having a small group does have its advantages, according to Weil.

"The positive is that I'm able to spend more time with the individuals and concentrate on working with them," said Weil, who takes over for former boys coach Mike Dudgeon and former girls coach Rebecca Brechbill. "I don't have waves and waves of kids to worry about."

Shank and 2011 graduate Dana VanDervort competed in the Division II regional meet in Dayton but did not finish in the top four to advance to state.

VanDervort placed fifth in the long jump (program-record 17 feet, 4 1/4 inches) and Shank was seventh in the 300 hurdles (47.06 seconds).

The Northridge girls tied Norwood and Springfield Greenon for 29th (6 points) at regional behind champion Hartley (82) as 49 teams scored.

The Vikings finished 11th (22.5) in the 26-team district meet at Hamilton Township behind champion Hartley (111).

In the MBC meet, Northridge finished third (96) behind host Fredericktown (143) and Johnstown-Monroe (141) and ahead of Loudonville (80), Centerburg (77), Utica (53), Danville (37) and East Knox (19).

•The boys team had one Division II regional competitor at Lexington in Derringer, who finished 15th in the 3,200 (11:15.98).

The Vikings did not score at regional as Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary won with 80 points.

In the district 1 meet at Hamilton Township, Northridge finished 13th (11) of 14 teams, behind champion Caledonia River Valley (104.5).

In the MBC meet, Northridge was seventh (40) behind East Knox (168), host Fredericktown (128), Loudonville (83), Johnstown (82), Utica (72) and Centerburg (56) and ahead of Danville (30).

The baseball team won its first three games, defeating Bexley 10-6 on March 26, beating Grove City Christian 5-4 a day later and defeating Berne Union 7-6 on March 29.

"I think our preparation really helped," coach Jeff Wilson said. "The kids worked hard and were well-prepared on all levels of the game."

Against Bexley, Greg Wilson had two singles and five stolen bases. Brad Wilson had two singles and Brandon Hull had an RBI single.

Jerrad Carr hit an RBI single in the seventh to beat Grove City Christian. Hank McCormick had two doubles and drove in a run.

"Our pitching has been more solid this year and we have a new hitting coach in Scott Shepherd, and the kids are making better contact," coach Wilson said. "The kids have more enthusiasm and they have taken a lot better mental approach to the game."