When Brookhaven High School sophomore Jonzelle Meek was given the baton during the 1,600-meter relay last Saturday, his team's hopes of capturing its first district championship since 1991 were in serious jeopardy.

When Brookhaven High School sophomore Jonzelle Meek was given the baton during the 1,600-meter relay last Saturday, his team's hopes of capturing its first district championship since 1991 were in serious jeopardy.

According to the calculations of the Bearcats' coaching staff heading into the day's final race that proved to be correct, Brookhaven held a four-point lead over Big Walnut.

After the first leg of the race, the Golden Eagles were leading and the Bearcats were in seventh.

Meek then moved the relay to third, and Brookhaven continued to march forward behind the legs of Deonta Stenson and DeShawn Alston all the way to a runner-up finish that helped secure the team championship.

Brookhaven, which took second at the district and regional levels in 1992 and was the 1996 regional runner-up, finished with 89 points to edge Big Walnut (87) at the 16-team meet that concluded last Saturday.

"I was just thinking that I had to catch them," Meek said of his leg of the 1,600 relay. "It's all about winning the meet. It feels really good. We haven't won (a district title) in years."

The Bearcats won the 400 and 800 relays, and Alston (400), Meek (100) and Nigel Preacher (high jump and long jump) each captured individual championships.

Brookhaven advanced in nine events to the regional meet, which began last Wednesday and concludes Friday at Pickerington North.

Alston ran the open 100 and 400 most of the season but only competed in the 400 relay, the 1,600 relay and the open 400 at district. Last season, Alston took fifth at the state meet in the 400 and also advanced to state in the 100 but elected to scratch from the event.

Last Saturday, Meek won the 100 in 11.05 and Aryton Preacher was fourth (11.35).

The district meet was full of ups and downs for Nigel Preacher.

Preacher needed to clear only 6 feet, 5 inches to win the high jump and also won the jump by going 21-9.

In running finals last Saturday, however, he ended up fifth in the 110 hurdles (15.38) and was unable to complete the 300 hurdles after tripping over a hurdle. After the 300 hurdles, Nigel Preacher had an ice pack strapped to his left side but believed he would be OK for the regional.

"I'm happy," Nigel Preacher said. "I was one inch from tying my (personal-best) in the long jump and I did 6-5 to win the high jump. I feel like I'm going to jump higher and longer."

In addition to the qualifiers, the points scored by Nigel Preacher in the 110 hurdles and by Deonta Stenson (seventh in 800, 2:00.49) and Michael Sellers (seventh in 200, 23.5) in individual events were necessary for Brookhaven to complete its first district championship run in 19 years.

Coach Steve Ayers was a senior when the Bearcats won their last district title.

"It was one of our goals," Ayers said. "It was a total team effort. If everybody does what they're supposed to do, we'll continue to be on top."

•The boys tennis team had a much more successful season than a year ago.

After going 2-4 overall and 1-4 in the City League-North Division in 2009, the Bearcats went 7-5 overall and finished sixth in the City League at 6-5.

The City-North and City-South were combined into one division, and Centennial (11-0), West (10-1), Briggs (9-2), Northland (8-3) and Whetstone (7-4) all finished ahead of the Bearcats.

Brookhaven loses its top two singles players, Antwonne White and Asonganyi Atemnkeng, to graduation.

It should return sophomore Clement Osei-Bonsu, who played third singles most of the season, as well as sophomores Kareim Minnis and Isaiah Johnson and freshmen Emmanuel Achirem and Andrews Osei-Bonsu, who were doubles players.

Minnis and Johnson won a first-round match at the Division I sectional tournament May 13 at Upper Arlington.

"Based on last year's performance, I'm pretty happy with how we did this year," first-year coach Malik McWhorter said. "Next year for us to improve they'll have to play in the offseason. Without (Atemnkeng) and White, who were our co-MVPs this year, we wouldn't have won as many matches as we did."

At a glance

Below are the regional qualifiers for the Brookhaven boys track and field team with district event, place and time/distance/height:

DeShawn Alston: 400 (first, 48.64). Jonzelle Meek: 100 (first, 11.05). Aryton Preacher: 100 (fourth, 11.35), 200 (second, 22.61). Nigel Preacher: high jump (first, 6-5), long jump (first, 21-9). 400 relay: Alston, Meek, Aryton Preacher, Michael Sellers (first, 43.52). 800 relay: Donivan Lipsey, Meek, Sellers, Ryland Ward (first, 1:27.87). 1,600 relay: Alston, Meek, Sellers, Deonta Stenson (second, 3:22.82).