Kendall Colvin picked up where she left off for the Johnstown-Monroe High School girls track and field team.
The senior cleared 5 feet, 2 inches to win the high jump in the season-opening Icebreaker Invitational on March 30 at Watkins Memorial. Last spring, Colvin had the same effort in the Division II state meet to tie Norton's Kaliene Allis and Marion Pleasant's Katey Holler for fifth behind champion Allison Lindic (5-5) of Canal Fulton Northwest.
"Kendall is a phenomenal jumper who has a chance to win state," said first-year coach Jerry Tackett, who replaced two-year coach Brad Orr. "She is a pleasure to coach and has been elected as a team captain. We are counting on her to score for us in every meet."
Johnstown scored three points at state last year to tie for 50th behind champion Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (55) as 72 teams scored.
Colvin won the high jump in a program-record 5-4 in the regional meet, in which the Johnnies finished 13th (21) behind champion Dayton Chaminade Julienne (64) as 44 teams scored.
In addition to Colvin, returning regional qualifiers are sophomore Elizabeth Blenk in the high jump (tied for 10th, 4-10) and senior Marissa Sheets and junior Tanner Jakeway, who were 16th in the 1,600-meter relay (4 minutes, 24.74 seconds) with 2012 graduates Stephanie Loshbough and Lizzy Wisma.
Blenk finished fourth in the high jump (5-0) at Watkins Memorial.
"Elizabeth Blenk is one of our best all-around athletes and has a very, very bright future for us in both the high jump and long jump, and also as a sprinter," said Tackett, who is a physical education and health teacher at New Albany Middle School. "We are also counting on great things from one of our other captains, senior Marissa Sheets, who is an excellent 200- and 400-meter runner. She is one of the best leaders I have ever been around and she knows what it takes to be successful after her run with the girls basketball team this year.
"Tanner Jakeway will really get the chance to shine for us as a sprinter. She already set a personal best at the first meet in the 100 (13.86, ninth at Watkins Memorial) and she will compete to be (an MBC) champion."
Other key performers include senior captain Abby Smith (throws), senior Taylor Tackett (distance) and juniors McCalah Mast (distance), Allie Nicholson (sprints), Taylor Thomas (jumps, sprints) and Jessica Turner (distance).
Other competitors are sophomores Lisett Arcos (throws), Kendall Burcher, Miranda Martin (hurdles, sprints), Ebony Schirock (throws) and Haley Vaughan and freshmen Hannah Kinney, Becka Kozel, Grace Mast (distance), Alaina Morrison (hurdles), Noel Offenburger, Lauren Thomas and Ellie Whisler.
"The girls have excellent leadership in Sheets, Colvin, Turner and Smith," said coach Tackett, whose team finished ninth (28) on April 4 in the 13-team Dick Houston Relays at Heath behind champion Watkins Memorial (74). "There are also several (young athletes) who have a chance to be very good for our program."
Johnstown scored 66 points in the 13-team district 2 meet last season to place fifth behind champion Columbus School for Girls (129).
The Johnnies won their third MBC championship in four years by scoring 149 points in the league meet to finish ahead of Loudonville (123), Fredericktown (118), Danville (73), Northridge (61), Centerburg (57), East Knox (31) and Utica (31).
Workman back to lead boys track team
The boys track team returns junior Alex Workman as its lone Division II regional qualifier from a year ago. He cleared 11-0 to win the pole vault in last year's district 1 meet but did not clear the initial height in the regional.
In the opening Icebreaker Invitational, Workman tied for fifth (11-6).
"The boys are a very young squad, led by junior captain Alex Workman," coach Tackett said. "Alex has a chance to break (his own) school record (11-7 3/4). I expect him to get over 13 feet and he will be joined by sophomore Paul Michel and outstanding freshman Josiah Annis."
Joshua Mize (distance, long jump) is the lone senior.
Junior Nathaneal Ashbrook (long jump, sprints) also is a captain. Other key performers include sophomores Aaron Davis (throws), Tommy McCullough (throws), Marcus Nogaj (200, 400), Bryce Sinningson (high jump) and Sam Wirth (high jump).
Rounding out the roster are sophomore Kaleb Matoskia and freshmen David Corbi, Peter Holbrook, Trevor Kennedy, Jared Tucker, Kaleb Walker and Jared Williams.
"The boys also have tremendous strength in Marcus Nogaj and Nathaneal Ashbrook, both of whom are capable of competing for league titles," coach Tackett, whose team finished 12th (3) in the Dick Houston Relays behind champion Watkins Memorial (97). "We are very, very young and lack depth, and the freshmen and sophomores are going to have to make tremendous strides for us to have a good year."
The Johnnies did not score at regional last spring. Eastmoor Academy (60) won as 43 teams scored.
Johnstown finished ninth (22) in the 13-team district 1 meet behind champion Eastmoor (160) and placed fifth (82) in the MBC meet behind Loudonville (133.75), Utica (112), Centerburg (102) and East Knox (88.75) and ahead of Fredericktown (74.5), Danville (47) and Northridge (15).
Errors hurt softball team on opening day
The softball team was 0-2 before playing a doubleheader against Westerville North on April 6.
The Johnnies lost a pair of games at Duncan Falls Philo on March 30, falling 10-0 in five innings and 11-6.
"We made a lot of errors and that may have been good that it happened," coach Steve Smith said.
"We booted the ball all over the place and really would have been in both games had it not been for those mistakes.
"We spent the week working on mental awareness, and the girls have come to practice ready to work. They understand what happened (at Philo) and they don't want that to happen again."
Baseball team splits opening doubleheader
The baseball team was 1-3 after losing to Gahanna 14-2 in five innings April 4.
Johnstown opened March 30 with a doubleheader split against Heath, losing 8-1 and winning 8-7 in 11 innings. David Schaller was the winning pitcher in the second game.
On April 2, Johnstown lost to Lakewood 10-4. Anthony Hollis singled in the third inning for the Johnnies' lone hit.
The Johnnies played Piketon on April 6 at V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe.