Those who crunch numbers for the New Albany High School track and field teams had the girls winning their third consecutive OCC-Capital Division championship at the league meet that concluded May 16 at Hilliard Bradley.
The same research showed the boys falling short of their third title in a row by almost 30 points to Big Walnut, something for which coach Crickett Anderson wasn't about to stand.
Late adjustments in what New Albany considered key events paid off, as Wyatt Johnston and O.B. Oppong finished third (11.21 seconds) and fourth (11.26), respectively, in the 100 meters, adding points to an all-around effort as the Eagles scored 162.5 points to ease past runner-up Big Walnut by 28.5 points.
"(Johnston and Oppong) are usually just on relays, not the open 100," Anderson said. "We wanted to get them in shape and ready for this moment. ... We knew we'd lose if we didn't put the right people in the right places."
Zack Buck won the 1,600 (4:29.54) and 800 (2:01.54), Brian Krugh won the 3,200 (9:46.04), Daniel Plescia won the discus (140 feet, 7 inches) and the 3,200 relay (8:08.31) and 400 relay (45.12) also took first.
Ben Iten was second in the 1,600 (4:32.09) and third in the 800 (2:03.26), and Dennis Maloney was second in the 3,200 (9:46.43) and fourth in the 1,600 (4:32.31) and 800 (2:05.24) to further boost scoring.
"We always do really well in distance, and you combine that with everything else, it takes us over the top," Plescia said.
Max Frye was second in the high jump (6-0) and third in the 300 hurdles (42.83).
New Albany and Big Walnut finished ahead of Franklin Heights (114), Olentangy Orange (66), Delaware (57.5), Olentangy (52), Mount Vernon (46) and Worthington Kilbourne (27).
Karrington Winters won the 100 in a league-meet record 12.1 and also claimed the 200 (25.72) and 400 (57.95) championships as the girls scored 167.5 points, easily outdistancing Olentangy (104), Orange (102), Big Walnut (89.5), Kilbourne (89), Delaware (56), Mount Vernon (41) and Franklin Heights (10).
Other winners for the girls were Shira Katz in the discus (97-4), Charlotte Matt in the 3,200 (12:16.91), Eliza Matt in the 1,600 (5:19.46), Dena White in the long jump (17-4) and high jump (5-2), the 400 relay (51.22) and the 3,200 relay (9:53.11).
Eliza Matt was second in the 800 (2:28.46), and Donissa Edmonds was third in the 200 (26.29) and fourth in the 100 (12.7). White was third in the 100 hurdles (16.05) and 300 hurdles (49.04), and Katz was fourth in the shot put (30-10 1/2).
"We were projected to win by a lot, but we didn't let that faze us," said Winters, the two-time defending state champion in the 400. "The girls on this team are putting in a lot of work."
That continued with the Division I district meet that began May 20 at Hilliard Darby. The girls are in district 1, competition for which continues Thursday, May 22, and concludes Saturday, May 24. The boys are in district 2, which continued May 21 and ends May 24.
The top four finishers in all events at district advance to the regional meet Wednesday, May 28, and May 30 at Pickerington North.
Girls lacrosse team pulls off upset
Knowing his team might eventually bump into top-seeded Cincinnati Sycamore in a Division I South/Central Region final, girls lacrosse coach Dave Ferguson nevertheless picked a spot on the bracket that kept the Eagles away from defending state champion Upper Arlington.
At least in the first two rounds, Ferguson's move paid off.
On the heels of routing Marysville 20-3 in a first-round home game May 12, New Albany traveled to sixth-seeded Loveland for a second-round game May 14 and won 12-9. Addie Hamilton and Liza Hernandez each scored four goals and Abby Manning added two as the Eagles never trailed.
"(Loveland was) 14-1 coming into that game, but I reminded the girls that the tough schedule we play sets us up to play more competitively in the tournament," said Ferguson, whose team improved to 10-7. "The girls are used to playing at a high, fast level and are simply prepared for most of what we'll see."
New Albany returned home to play Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame in a regional semifinal May 19. The winner visits Sycamore or Cincinnati Anderson for a regional final Thursday, May 22, with the regional champion advancing to a state semifinal May 30 at Thomas Worthington.
Boys lacrosse team falls short of title
Sam Reader scored three goals, Michael Brendle had two and Jackson Beckman made nine saves, but the boys lacrosse team fell short of the OCC-Ohio championship with a 10-7 loss at Orange on May 14.
The Pioneers finished 6-0 in the league and New Albany went 5-1. The Eagles were seeking their first league title since 2012 and first outright championship since 2010.
New Albany ended the regular season at 13-5 with a 15-3 win at Hilliard Davidson on May 15. Brendle, Cooper Pewitt and Robby Serafin scored three goals apiece, and Noah Berks, Garrett Greco and Andre White each added two goals. Doug Collins made 12 saves.
The Eagles earned the seventh seed for the Division I Central Region tournament and open at home against 11th-seeded Westerville Central in a play-in game Thursday, May 22. The winner visits sixth-seeded Orange on Saturday, May 24, for a first-round game.
The first-round winner visits second-seeded Dublin Jerome, Gahanna or Pickerington Central on Wednesday, May 28, with that winner advancing to a regional final May 31.
Five tennis players advance to district
One singles player and both of the boys tennis team's doubles teams will compete in the Division I district tournament Friday, May 23, and Saturday, May 24, at Davidson.
Stephen Miller advanced in singles from a sectional at Upper Arlington, as did the doubles teams of Nick Blair and Graeme Green and C.J. Cash and Alex Kobelt.
Sectional finals, which would determine exact seeding for district, were postponed from May 17 to May 20 because of bad weather.
Miller played UA's Chuck Shewalter in the championship match. Miller was 4-0 entering the final, having defeated UA's Jeffrey Melvin 6-4, 6-1 in a semifinal.
Cash and Kobelt defeated UA's Tyler Holsopple and Anthony Yang 6-0, 6-0 in a semifinal and advanced to face the Golden Bears' Eric Hunter and Jack Zelezny, who defeated Blair and Green 6-0 and 6-3 in the other semifinal.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles qualified for district.
Every New Albany player won at least one match.
Durga Samanthula was 2-1 in singles, losing to top-seeded Chuck Shewalter of UA 6-0, 6-0 in a district-qualifying match. Noah Fox was 1-1, losing to Dublin Coffman's Bryan Yoshino 6-2, 6-3 in the second round.
From district, the top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the state tournament May 30 and 31 at Ohio State.
No-hitter keeps softball season alive
Sydney Warinner of the softball team no-hit Westerville South in a Division I district tournament second-round game May 16, striking out 10 and walking three as the Eagles won 5-0.
Warinner also had a two-run single and Abbie Skowron added two hits and two RBI for the 13th-seeded Eagles against the 29th-seeded Wildcats.
New Albany, which was 15-10 after losing to Granville 8-7 in 10 innings in a regular-season game May 17, played seventh-seeded Westerville Central in a district semifinal May 20.
The winner plays third-seeded Gahanna or 24th-seeded Thomas Worthington in a district final Friday, May 23, at Pickerington Central, with the district champion advancing to a regional semifinal May 29 at Ohio State.
Kaitlyn Gliha had two hits and three RBI against Granville.
Baseball team falls in second round
The baseball team's season came to an end with a 4-1 loss at seventh-seeded St. Charles in the second round of the Division I district tournament.
The game's first 6 1/3 innings were played May 14 before bad weather forced the game to be suspended. It resumed May 15, and just five pitches were needed to end the game.
Senior outfielder Michael Colgan had two singles, and junior infielder Rush Deeter added an RBI single as 20th-seeded New Albany totaled just five hits.
Senior pitcher Tommy Parsons allowed four runs and 11 hits in six innings, striking out four and walking two.
The Eagles finished 13-14 overall and 7-7 in the OCC-Capital, fifth as Orange and Mount Vernon shared the title at 11-3.
Because of construction at the high school, New Albany did not play at home until May 6.
"I think we had a challenging year, but I couldn't be more proud of the way our kids handled that adversity," first-year coach Justin Grieger said. "We had eight seniors and I couldn't have had a better group of kids. The character they had and the way they always showed up to play was especially great."
New Albany advanced with a 6-3 win over 39th-seeded Kilbourne on May 12. Senior outfielder/pitcher Ross Henze's two-run home run in the first inning jump-started the offense.
Grieger is optimistic about his expected returnees. Junior Jack Flaherty saw time as a pitcher, infielder and outfielder, and junior Matt Trybus was a pitcher, first baseman and third baseman.
"We had seven juniors who had a lot of playing time and we had a freshman catcher (Brandon DeHass)," Grieger said. "We have some good j.v. players coming up and I'm looking forward to the players coming up. We will be looking to make a name for ourselves next year."