Considering the Wildcat Invitational is the mid-season gauge for the Westerville South High School track and field teams, boys coach Jimmy Gaul has to be disappointed that one of the team's top sprinters, Jack Tomlinson, wasn't there and another, Ryan Barber, is still not back to 100 percent from last year's knee injury.

Considering the Wildcat Invitational is the mid-season gauge for the Westerville South High School track and field teams, boys coach Jimmy Gaul has to be disappointed that one of the team's top sprinters, Jack Tomlinson, wasn't there and another, Ryan Barber, is still not back to 100 percent from last year's knee injury.

Tomlinson was participating in the Ohio North-South All-Star football game during the Wildcat Invitational last Friday. Barber, a three-time state qualifier, ran in four events at the Wildcat Invitational last Friday, marking the first time this season that he's done that many events in a meet.

And yet, that's about the only thing Gaul can be disappointed about. Last Friday, the boys finished fourth (92 points) behind Dublin Coffman (111) and New Albany and Brookhaven (110), and ahead of Pickerington North (68.5), Pickerington Central (65), Whetstone (65) and Delaware (37.5).

"I couldn't be happier with how our guys competed (at Wildcat Invitational)," Gaul said. "Everyone from the sprinters and hurdlers, to the distance runners and our field events, they really laid it on the line against some top-notch competition."

Barber won the 200 meters in 22.35 seconds and was third in the 400 in 50.44. He was also on the 800 relay with Brian Anu, Kelly Carter and Noah Prentiss that was third (1:31.81), as well as helping the fourth-place (3:30.13) 1,600 relay with Carter, Nicholas Conley and Matt Hay.

That's a good performance for Barber, who is still trying to toe the line of going 100 percent while not being 100 percent.

"This was the first time in the 400 (this season) and it just feels good to be back," Barber said. "I felt I did all right. This was the most events I've done, so I'm a little sore."

If Barber returns to 100 percent and the Wildcats can get continued good performances from Tomlinson, then the sprint relays could find themselves running at the Division I state meet.

"We were hurting a little bit without Jack," Gaul said. "Jack's just such a unique talent and he's so explosive out of the blocks, and we missed that."

The boys team had a good day, but the girls were spectacular.

They finished second (140.5) behind Pickerington Central (150) and ahead of Dublin Coffman (127), Pickerington North (92), New Albany (84.5), Delaware (37) and Whetstone (22).

Leah Coleman was second in both the 200 (26.04) and the 400 (59.3). Coleman was a member of the winning (1:45.18) 800 relay with Edna Akora, Nikia Buckingham and Alex Hall. She also was part of the second-place (4:09.67) 1,600 relay with Buckingham, Lizzy Gauen and Tori Sumner.

The 400 relay of Akora, Buckingham, Hall and Abbey McDonald was first (50.47). Hall also won the long jump with a mark of 16-feet, 3-inches.

"We had some really good performances," girls coach Jim Gaul said. "I think this gives us a real indication of how we can finish at the league and what events we need to put people in for the league."

South travels to the Marion Harding Night Relays on Friday with an eye on the OCC-Cardinal meet May 13. The Marion Harding Night Relays and the Hilliard Bradley Invitational on May 8 are the only big events left for the Wildcats before the league meet.

"I think (the Wildcat Invitational) will keep those fires burning these next couple weeks because we're gearing up for the league meet now," Jimmy Gaul said.

"It solidified that we're right there with some of the best teams in the area and as long as we keep working we'll be there at the end of the season as well."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Westerville Central, North and South boys and girls track and field teams:

CENTRAL

Last Friday - Boys: Finished third (64 points) behind champion Hilliard Davidson (79) at Olentangy Liberty Freedom Relays; Girls: Finished fourth (64) behind champion Big Walnut (84)

Last Tuesday - Competed against Dublin Scioto

Friday - At Gahanna Relays

Tuesday - At Olentangy

NORTH

Last Friday - Boys: Finished third (68) behind co-champions Hilliard Darby and Lancaster (81) at Lancaster Fulton Relays; Girls: Finished fourth (61) behind champion Dublin Scioto (117)

Last Tuesday - Competed against Olentangy Liberty

Friday - At Gahanna Relays

Tuesday - At Westerville South

SOUTH

Last Friday - Boys: Finished fourth (92) behind champion Dublin Coffman (111) at Wildcat Invitational; Girls: Finished second (140.5) behind champion Pickerington Central (150) and ahead of third-place Dublin Coffman (127)

Last Tuesday - Competed against Marysville

Friday - At Marion Harding Night Relays

Tuesday - Home vs. Westerville North