The Africentric and Whetstone high school track and field programs will play host to a pair of meets this week featuring several programs from the City League.

The Africentric and Whetstone high school track and field programs will play host to a pair of meets this week featuring several programs from the City League.

It's the mix of teams from other leagues, however,╩that has Africentric boys coach Damon Reed coach excited about the 16-team Africentric Invitational on Friday.

"It'll be some great competition," Reed said. "In the City, sometimes you get tired of running against the same teams from the City week after week. I've tried to get some teams here from outside the City this year."

Defending champion Eastmoor will headline a boys field that also is expected to include East, Linden-McKinley, Mifflin, South, Walnut Ridge and West from the City, St. Charles and Hartley from the CCL and Licking Heights and Harvest Prep from the MSL. Dayton Dunbar╩also is expected to be in the field.

Hilliard Darby won the girls meet last year but is not back.

The meet will begin a two-day event at the school that also includes a middle school meet Saturday.

On Wednesday, Whetstone will play host to the Braves Invitational, which is expected to include Africentric, Beechcroft, Brookhaven, East, Eastmoor, Marion-Franklin, Mifflin, Northland, Walnut Ridge and West.

Last season, the Braves finished sixth (36) of 14 teams behind champion Independence (75) in the boys meet and were fourth (53) of 11 teams behind champion DeSales (62) in the girls meet.

The Africentric boys and girls teams know they might not fare well in the team standings at meets such as their home invitational or at Whetstone. The Nubians do believe, however, that they'll again make a dent once they begin the Division III postseason.

The girls team tied Beechcroft for seventh (30) in the City meet behind champion Northland (94) a year ago but was third (72) behind Fredericktown (79) and Ready (74) in the 14-team Division III district 2 meet.

Then at the regional meet, the Nubians tied Gilead Christian for the championship with 50 points as the 800-meter relay was second (1 minute, 46.64 seconds), the 1,600 relay was second (4:13.67), Shardai Morrison-Fountain won the 200 (26.04) and 400 (58.79) and Breeanca Madison was third in the long jump (16 feet, 10 3/4 inches).

Morrison-Fountain, a junior, was sixth in the 400 (59.46) and was the first Nubian to score at state.

Madison is competing in track and basketball at Heidelberg, but sophomore Kristin Miller -- who was 14th in the 800 (2:29.27) at state -- also is back. Miller and╩Morrison-Fountain ran on the 1,600 relay which finished 15th (4:18.12) at state.

Other top competitors for the girls team include junior Kiani Mullins (shot put) and freshmen CharVonna Chandler (shot put, discus) and Tayshiana Mason (sprints).

"Things have been going all right for us," said coach Clayton Wrighter, who along with Reed has led the Nubians track programs since their first seasons in 2004. "After winning the regional last year we had some kids graduate, but we have five or six freshmen who are developing. By the end of the season, we should be able to put some relays together."

The Africentric boys team╩scored one point at the City meet to finish last of 14 teams a year ago, but it followed with a sixth-place finish in the district 1 meet with 38 points behind champion Columbus Academy (100).

The Nubians scored seven points to place 23rd at the regional and had one state qualifier in Lezhon Gill, a 2007 graduate who finished 10th (20-8) in the long jump. Gill now competes for Central State.

Top Nubians include juniors Deshon Best (hurdles), Victor Graham (100) and Jahleel Mullins (shot put), sophomore Nico Thomas (sprints) and freshman Dominique Young (800).

ĽOUT FOR ANOTHER TITLE -- The Briggs boys tennis team won its seventh City League-South Division championship in a row and then defeated Centennial 4-1 to capture the City title a year ago.

All but two of the players who competed╩last season╩are returning╩regulars. Senior Chettrar Nil has moved up from third singles to No. 1 singles, with senior James Moore dropping to No. 2 singles after being in the first slot last year. Senior Phillip Andrick is at third singles at playing second singles last year.

Senior Charles Moore is back at first doubles and is joined by junior Cameron Rowland. Sophomores Terry Minn and Jimmy Rouen are at second doubles.

The Bruins were 2-0 in the City-South before playing Walnut Ridge last Monday and South last Wednesday. They defeated Central Crossing 3-2 on April 16 in non-league play.

"We play a pretty tough schedule," said coach Mike Herzog, whose team's non-league schedule has included matches against Grove City (4-1 loss April 2), Hilliard Darby (5-0 loss April 7) and Westland (3-2 loss April 9). "We only lost one senior from last year so we've got a lot of seniors this year, plus we've got a whole slew of young players. I think they're all improving.

"It's always competitive in the City. Independence always gets good athletes, West is always going to be up there near the top. You just never know who's going to get the athletes from other sports."

ĽHOOPS ALL-STARS -- Last Sunday at Capital, Brookhaven's Chris Johnson (13 points) and Northland's Devon Moore (7) helped the South all-stars beat the North 104-96 in the Division I-II game.

Africentric's Tyeasha Moss scored 12 points to help the South team beat the North 88-84 in the Division III-IV girls game.