The New Albany High School boys track and field team has never come as close to winning an invitational of all Division I teams as it did last Friday.

The New Albany High School boys track and field team has never come as close to winning an invitational of all Division I teams as it did last Friday.

The Eagles scored 110 points to tie Brookhaven for second behind Dublin Coffman, which won last Friday's Westerville South Invitational with 111 points.

"As a program, we've never won a meet of that caliber of all Division I teams," coach Chad Olinger said. "We had a chance to win the invitational going into the (1,600 meter) relay. As a program, all you want is to have a chance to win it in the last event. We got points in every event except the 200."

New Albany is on the upswing and Olinger hopes that means more representation at the Division I state meet on June 4 at Ohio State.

Since the Eagles joined the OCC in 2007, only Blake Taneff has advanced to the state meet. The Eagles hope to get Taneff back to the state tournament, and possibly the 3,200 relay, which broke the program record by 14 seconds last Friday.

The 3,200 relay of Eric Macchi, Taneff, Craig Manion and Drew Windle finished first last Friday in 8 minutes, 11.3 seconds.

Manion, a sophomore, was making his debut with the 3,200 relay during its record-setting performance.

Olinger said the goal is to get the relay's time down to 8:05, which he said could give New Albany a good chance to make it to the state meet.

The Eagles are also looking for Taneff to make it back to state as an individual. A state qualifier in the 3,200 last year, Taneff won the 3,200 (9:47.04) and 1,600 (4:30.21) last Friday.

"We're very pleased with the way the season has started," Olinger said. "In the distance events (last Friday) we scored guys in the 800, 1600 and 3,200, which is big."

•The girls 1,600 relay briefly had the fastest Division I time in Ohio after competing at the Penn Relays on April 22.

The 1,600 relay of Mycah Mason, Haley Robertson, Lori Kelly and Taneisha Cordell finished in 3:57, the fifth fastest time in their heat. Brooklyn (N.Y.) Medgar Evers had the fastest (3:43.14). The Eagles competed in the small high school division.

New Albany's time stood as the fastest Division I time in Ohio until last Saturday when Cleveland Height's 1,600 relay won the Ned Weingart Relays in 3:55.12. The state's fastest time overall in the 1,600 relay belongs to Hartley (3:51.66), a Division II school.

"Right now we have the second fastest time in the state and we didn't run that fast until June 6 last year," coach Otis Winston said. "It's April and we're a month and two weeks ahead of last year."

The 400 relay of Cordell, Haley Robertson, Hannah Robertson and Mason had the 24th fastest time (49.54) in the small high school division. The Queen's School, from Kingston, Jamaica, had the fastest time (46.31).

On Saturday, New Albany returned for the final day of competition where the Eagles were able to take in the atmosphere without the burden of competing.

"The girls got to experience the culture of track and field," Winston said. "I got to look in their eyes and they got to look at me and say 'wow.' When we went on Saturday, we were right by the finish line. We got to see (Olympic goal medalist) Usain Bolt. They just said it was amazing."

The competition won't ease up much on Saturday when the girls team travels to compete at the Cincinnati Walnut Hills Invitational.

The event is expected to include Hartley, last year's Division II state champion, and Cincinnati Withrow, last year's Division I state runner-up.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the New Albany track and field team:

*April 20 - Boys: Defeated Olentangy Orange 94-47; Girls: Def. Orange 74-63

Last Friday - Boys: Finished tied with Brookhaven for second (110) to Dublin Coffman (111) at Westerville South Invitational

*Last Tuesday - Competed against Franklin Heights

Friday - Boys: At Marion Harding Night Invitational

Saturday - Girls: At Cincinnati Walnut Hills Invitational

*Tuesday - At Big Walnut

*OCC-Capital meet