The Watkins Memorial High School boys and girls track and field teams will begin what they hope is a successful postseason this week.
Both teams will compete in the Division I, district 2 meet at Hilliard Darby. Field events will be held Tuesday, May 20, followed by running preliminaries Wednesday, May 21, and running finals Saturday, May 24.
There are 17 boys teams and 18 girls teams competing in the meet, with the top four finishers in each event advancing to regional May 28 and 30 at Pickerington North.
The boys team shared the district 2 championship with Hilliard Davidson last season.
"We won our first Division I district championship last season and we returned quite a bit of talent and added to it," boys coach Marty Dahlman said. "Our goal is to go out there and win another one."
Seniors Hunter Holton (high jump and 110-meter hurdles), Donovan Garrison (100 and 200) and Jerrod Lyon (long jump), junior Chance Abbitt (400) and sophomore Desmond Melson (400) were regional qualifiers last season.
"We can compete with anyone, so our mindset is that we need to go out and perform our best and get another district championship," Dahlman said. "We've got guys who can score across the board. We not only have depth, but we have strong individuals in almost every event."
Other key athletes for the boys team include Andrew Jordan (distance), Jordan Rice (distance), Evan Caniff (sprints), Gerald Brewer (hurdles), Jarod Worcester (pole vault) and Jake Eader (throws).
The girls team finished fifth in district 3 last season.
"Our team goal at district is to qualify as many people on to the regional meet as we can," girls coach Nathan Corum said. "I would like a top-three finish as a team. Doing that would lead to a lot of regional qualifiers."
The Warriors have one athlete with state experience in junior Josie Woosley, who finished 11th at state in the 1,600 (5 minutes, 14.9 seconds) last season after placing fourth at regional (5:09.36).
Others who competed at regional last year were junior Kara Robinson (100 hurdles), sophomore Sammi Miller (pole vault) and juniors McKenzie Biniker and Monica Tumblin and sophomore Rachel Lawwell on the 800 relay. The fourth member of the 800 relay was 2013 graduate Stephanie Robb.
"We have a number of girls who could win district titles if they perform well," Corum said. "I suppose Sammi Miller has a chance in the pole vault and Josie Woosley, in whatever distance races she runs, would have a good shot. We also have a couple relays that might sneak up on some teams and Lindsey Finnegan has a chance in the high jump.
"We could qualify for regional in the (400, 800 and 3,200 relays)," Corum said. "Raechal Schoenberger and Samantha Hyme have a chance on the distance side, Kara Robinson in the hurdles and McKenzie Biniker, Kelsey Grove, Maddie Berry and Rachel Lawwell on the sprint side."
The boys and girls teams played host to the LCL meet May 15 and 17.
District baseball game suspended
Mistakes cost the 16th-seeded baseball team in the first five innings of its Division I district opener against ninth-seeded Upper Arlington.
Watkins Memorial was trailing the host Golden Bears 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning of the second-round game when play was suspended May 14 because of bad weather. The game could not be completed May 15 because of rain and was scheduled to resume May 16.
A mental mistake, two errors, a failed catch and a balk by the Warriors led to UA's runs. The Bears scored two in the third inning and one in the fourth.
Starting pitcher Chandler Day had six strikeouts through 4 1/3 innings for Watkins Memorial, which took a 16-7 record into the game. The Warriors had four walks and only one hit against UA pitcher Mathis Newman through five innings.
Both teams had a first-round bye.
The winner advanced to play seventh-seeded St. Charles or 20th-seeded New Albany in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 20, at Gahanna. The semifinal winner will face fourth-seeded Olentangy Orange, 11th-seeded Gahanna, 30th-seeded Central Crossing or 32nd-seeded Dublin Scioto in a district final Thursday, May 22, at Otterbein University.
The district champion advances to a regional semifinal May 29 at Dublin Coffman.
Softball team falls in tourney opener
The softball team lost to host Licking Heights 4-3 in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 13.
The 27th-seeded Hornets turned three inning-ending double plays against Watkins Memorial, which was seeded 30th and finished 9-17.
"If we hit one or two of those line drives (that turned into double plays) eight inches higher, it's a different game," coach Mike Jellison said. "But that's the game. Sometimes you hit it right at them, and that's what happened."
After giving up two runs in the first inning, Watkins Memorial tied the game at 2 in the top of the fourth inning. Singles by Kaitlyn Snider and Anna Shroyer were followed by a sacrifice by Lexi Denison and a two-run single by Brooke Huston to center field.
The Hornets got out of the inning with the first of its three double plays and regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth with two runs on an error and a pair of RBI doubles.
In the fifth inning, Watkins Memorial cut its deficit to 4-3 with consecutive one-out singles by Sarah Beach, Kim Romshe and Kelli Wright. However, a line drive by Snider to second base with two baserunners started another double play.
Shroyer led off the sixth with a walk, but pinch-runner Katy Kirk was thrown out trying to steal second base. Then in the seventh, Jayden Johnson singled to lead off the inning, putting the potential tying run on base. But one out later, a line drive to third base by Beach resulted in a game-ending double play.
"We kept battling and we put the pressure on them," Jellison said. "But in the end, they made the plays when we hit it at them."
The Warriors also lost to Licking Heights twice in LCL play, falling 6-3 on April 11 and 8-7 on May 2.
Tennis team competes in sectional tourney
Seven members of the boys tennis team competed in the Division I sectional May 16 and 17 at Reynoldsburg.
Competing in singles were Dylan Clear, Ryan Cash and Doug Holland. Andy Lyons and Zach Greenlee comprised one of the doubles teams and Drake Addis and John Dolder made up the other.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district Friday and Saturday, May 23 and 24 at Hilliard Davidson.
The Warriors went 14-4 in the regular season.