As their track and field careers wind down at Marysville High School, seniors Clay Cochran and Jessica Wickline have the same goal -- postseason success.
Both would like to represent the Monarchs in the Division I state meet June 7 and 8 at Ohio State and, as the boys and girls teams reached the midway point of the season, the pair appeared to be on track.
Cochran specializes in the 800 and 1,600 meters and expects to have his best chance of qualifying for state in the 800.
"I don't want to get cocky, but we always have that goal of eventually making it to states someday, so that's what we're shooting for," he said. "We're aiming high."
Cochran nearly has broken the two-minute mark in the 800 for the first time in his career twice this season, with the latest coming April 23 in a tri-meet at home against Dublin Jerome and Jonathan Alder.
Cochran finished second (2 minutes, .93 of a second) behind junior Nick Williams (1:58.16), who coach J.B. Ritchie said is emerging as one of the Monarchs' top athletes.
Cochran was second in the 800 (2:01.15) in the Wildcat Premier on April 6 at Hilliard Davidson.
"Clay is just tearing it apart," Ritchie said. "He's (ranked) 34th in the state in the (800)."
Cochran has competed at district the past two seasons, with an eighth-place finish in the 800 (2:00.56) in the district 2 meet last season. The top four individuals in each event advanced to regional.
"We need to keep working hard, keep our heads in the game, try our best at practice, stay focused for the races and just set our goals high," Cochran said.
Wickline competes in the discus and shot put, but she believes the discus provides her best chance to advance in the postseason.
"I prefer the discus over the shot put," she said. "It's just easier for me form-wise to get the form down for the discus."
Last season, Wickline was eighth in the discus (104 feet, 10 inches) in the district 2 meet after she finished first (105-3) in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet.
Wickline turned in her personal best of 108-7 in last season's Gary Smith Invitational at Thomas Worthington.
"Jessica is getting a little bit better every single week," Ritchie said. "She lost about 20 pounds from last year and she's still on track to rock it out. She's doing fantastic. Her strength is up and her weight is down physically, which is really great. Her focus and desire is just absolutely awesome."
Wickline won the discus (101-4) in the meet against Jerome and Jonathan Alder.
"I hope that I can make it to regionals this year in at least the discus," she said. "It would be good if I could go in both, but my best chance this year would be discus. I just can't let previous throws get in the way of upcoming throws when I'm at district because I can't doubt myself when I'm throwing or else my throws won't be very good."
In the home tri-meet, the girls team finished first (66 points) ahead of Jonathan Alder (51) and Jerome (50) and the boys finished third (44) behind Jerome (74) and Jonathan Alder (56).
For the girls, senior Mikayla Mosey won the 100 (13.2) and 200 (27.98).
On April 25, the boys were second (111) in the 11-team Cavalier Invitational at Chillicothe behind Chillicothe Unioto (150.5) and the girls were fourth (75.5) in the 12-team Cavalier Invitational behind champion Westerville Central (150.5).
Baseball team looking for consistency
Baseball coach John Carder was hoping his team could play with more consistency in the second half of the season.
The Monarchs defeated Olentangy Liberty 3-1 on April 17, lost to Dublin Coffman 10-3 on April 18, lost to Thomas 1-0 on April 22 and defeated Westland 11-1 in five innings April 23 before losing to Liberty 10-2 on April 25..
"We are too inconsistent at the plate," Carder said. "Our defense and pitching have been very good, with the exception of the Coffman game. We have been getting runners on base, but have struggled getting them across the plate. If we want to have a shot at the league title, we are going to have to hit in the clutch."
The Monarchs were 4-3 in the OCC-Central before playing Upper Arlington on April 26.
Through 13 games, Billy Kidd (3B) was hitting a team-best .447, followed by Aron Mowery (P/2B) at .419, Matt Mulholland (P/CF) at .395, Kyle Hites (OF) at .349, Casey Gould (2B) and Jarod Yoakam (1B) at .333 and Corey Gould (SS) at .323.
Mulholland was 3-1 with a 2.69 ERA, 21 strikeouts and 13 walks in 13 innings, and Mowery was 3-2 with a 2.49 ERA, 18 strikeouts and 15 walks in 19 2/3 innings.
Softball team seeking league title
The softball team remained in contention for the OCC-Central title after defeating Upper Arlington 7-0 on April 25.
The Monarchs were 5-1 in the league before playing Coffman on April 26.
"The team is playing well right now," coach Jennifer Segner-Maxwell said. "They're hitting well, which puts pressure on the other team's defense. Our pitchers are improving and maturing. We have two pitchers who have shown they can handle the pressure position. Our defense is strong. If I had to pick a weak spot, I would say getting the bunt down. I like the way we are playing right now. They are relaxed and having fun."
Through 13 games, senior Kyleah Brey (3B) led the team in hitting at .515. She had a home run and 12 RBI.
Senior Taylor Hicks (CF) was hitting .425 and freshman Maddie Shelley (SS) was hitting .400. Marysville was hitting .339 as a team.
Junior Cori Long was 7-2 with a 2.62 ERA and sophomore Erin Unterbrink was 3-1 with a 1.12 ERA.