Chisom Ifedi of the Centennial High School boys track and field team didn't feel very confident before he competed in the Hank Smith Invitational on April 19 at Heath.
The junior had felt rusty while competing in the high jump early in the season after he didn't compete in the event during the offseason.
Ifedi said he also felt tired as he started warming up for the high jump at Heath because he had just finished running the anchor leg of the 800-meter relay.
Still, he got into a groove as he began clearing the lower heights and he ended up surprising himself by winning the high jump in a team record-tying 6 feet, 6 inches.
"I wish I would have high jumped over the summer or done indoor track because I definitely felt rusty when we started back up this spring, and it was hard for me to get over 6 feet when we competed in cold weather in previous meets," Ifedi said. "When they raised the bar to 6-6 it creeped me out because it was shocking how high it looked.
"But I got 6-6 on my first attempt and I almost cleared 6-7 on my third attempt. I wasn't expecting this, so I'm really excited about it."
With Ifedi leading the way, the Stars placed 12th (26) of 15 teams in the Hank Smith Invitational behind champion Liberty Union (86).
Ifedi also placed second in the long jump (19-11 1/2) and combined with Tyler Patterson, Tyler Hill and Darsean Watts to place seventh in the 800 relay (1 minute, 36.92 seconds).
Kevin Anderson placed fifth in the 1,600 (4:40.29), while Watts finished eighth in the 100 (11.67) and Chauncey Pace, Watts, Patterson and Harry Obusisa placed eighth in the 400 relay (46.18) to round out the Stars' scoring.
"A lot of our guys were out for spring break, so everybody had to do at least three events," Ifedi said. "I'm not much of a runner, but I did my best."
Ifedi said the Stars will be focused on individual improvement when they compete in the Braves Invitational on Wednesday, April 30, at Whetstone.
"We're all just trying to get better for the big meets at the end of the season," Ifedi said. "My goal for the high jump is to beat my personal best by three or four inches, so I'm going to try to jump 6-9 or 6-10 by state."
The girls team finished eighth (35) of 15 squads in the Hank Smith Invitational behind champion Granville (137).
DeAuja Thompson won the long jump (15-1 1/4) ahead of teammate Izzi Luaces (14-11 3/4).
Oreoluwa Obayemi, Luaces, Brianna Waderker and Jazille Williams placed third in the 800 relay (1:52.39), Williams finished fourth in the high jump (4-10) and Obayemi, Luaces, Waderker and Williams placed fourth in the 400 relay (53.57).
Boys tennis team out to good start
The boys tennis team plays host Thursday, April 24, to Hilliard Davidson's B team.
The Stars defeated Davidson B 4-1 on April 11 as Ben Oatney (first singles), Weston Clarke (second singles), Sean Perry (third singles) and Sharif Moon and Edmond Shek (second doubles) each won matches.
Centennial was 3-0 overall before playing Eastmoor Academy on April 22 and 2-0 in the City League-North Division before playing Whetstone on April 23.
The Stars were supposed to play Fisher Catholic on April 14 and Linden-McKinley on April 15, but both matches were postponed because of bad weather. Centennial will play at Fisher Catholic on May 7 and hadn't rescheduled the Linden match as of press time.
"We've already beat Davidson's B team and we hope we can do it again," coach Barbara Stevenson said. "I thought they would beat us, but we played really well. They have 40 kids (in their program) so we may see a different lineup in our rematch. Hopefully, we'll still win enough courts to win this match."
Baseball team set to face Vikings
The baseball team plays host Friday, April 25, to Northland in a City-North rematch.
The Stars defeated the Vikings 5-3 on March 31 behind Gus Ricksecker's complete game.
Centennial lost to Amanda-Clearcreek 7-6 on April 17 and was 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the City-North before playing Brookhaven on April 23.