The Centennial High School boys track and field team appears to be a long shot, at best, to win the City League meet Monday, May 12, and Wednesday, May 14, at Mifflin.
Coach Philip Farmer doesn't agree with that assessment of his squad's chances of capturing its first league title after the Stars tied Beechcroft for third (43 points) last year behind Eastmoor Academy (132) and Independence (130.5).
"If we continue to make progress, stay healthy and have a great performance, I think we have a great chance to win the City meet," Farmer said. "Eastmoor and Independence are the two teams we're chasing. They both score well in the sprints and hurdles, but I'm hoping they will divide those points evenly between them while we score well in several events.
"I believe Chisom Ifedi can win the high jump and long jump if he has a good day. We should score well in the distance races with Kevin Adams leading the way. We haven't scored in the shot put and discus or in the sprints much in years past, but I think we can score points in those events this year."
The Stars finished seventh (43) in the 14-team Braves Invitational on April 30 at Whetstone behind champion Eastmoor (92) and three other City squads in Independence (second, 58), Northland (fourth, 56) and Columbus East (sixth, 44).
"We got a chance to see how we can fare against the other teams in our league, but we were missing some of our top guys for this meet, so I know we can do better," Farmer said. "I feel strongly that we should be training to finish first in the City meet because it's not an impossible goal."
Ifedi won the high jump (6 feet, 6 inches) and finished third in the long jump (20-7 1/4).
On April 29, Ifedi won the high jump in a team-record 6-6 1/2 in a tri-meet at Dublin Jerome.
Also at Whetstone, Hunter Waits was third in the discus (113-3), Alijah Coale, Adam Slappy, Josh Hatch and Adams placed fourth in the distance medley relay (12 minutes, 11.16 seconds) and Slappy, Darsean Watts, Tyler Patterson and Chauncey Pace finished fifth in the 1,600 relay (3:41.15).
"Chisom's having a great season and we're very pleased to see him break our school record in the high jump this early in the season," Farmer said.
Coach Rhonda Reese said she's hoping the girls team can compete for its first league title since 2012 after finishing eighth (30) last year behind champion Eastmoor (111).
"Columbus East, Whetstone and Northland are all good, but we still have the goal of winning the league meet," Reese said. "We need our distance runners, such as Kate Ryan, to win or finish very high in their events and we'll need to score a lot of points in the relays and field events. We have two very good long-jumpers in Izzi Luaces and DeAuja Thompson, and two high-jumpers who are capable of scoring a lot of points in Jazille Williams and Marissa Robertson. We'll need to score a few points in the sprints, too."
The Stars finished seventh (43) in the 15-team Braves Invitational behind champion Watterson (76.5) and four City squads in Whetstone (second, 72), Eastmoor (third, 70.5), Northland (fourth, 58) and East (sixth, 47).
Ryan won the 1,600 (5:47.82) and Robertson was second in the high jump (4-8). Alexis Vance-Townsend, Jaleah Fair-Harris, Adelaide Abbey and Ryan were second in the 3,200 relay (10:39.02), and Vance-Townsend, Luaces, Oreoluwa Obayemi and Ryan were fourth in the 1,600 relay (4:29.51).
"The City meet will be a lot different than this meet, because we could only enter one person per event and we'll be able to enter two in each event in the league meet," Reese said.
Tennis team falls to Village Academy
The boys tennis team lost to Village Academy 4-1 on May 1 to drop to 4-2 overall before playing Fisher Catholic on May 7.
Ben Bendolph and Martin Yzeiri won at second doubles against Village Academy.
The Stars are 2-1 in the City-North Division. They play host to Linden-McKinley on Thursday, May 8, in a league match.
Softball team stays hot
The softball team beat East 19-0 in five innings May 1 to extend its winning streak to eight games and improve to 9-3 overall and 9-0 in the City-North before playing Linden on May 5, Mifflin on May 6 and Whetstone on May 7.
Natalie Thies hit a grand slam and pitched a no-hitter and Alexis Thompson hit a two-run home run against the Tigers.