Evie Scholl begins her first season as coach of the Thomas Worthington High School girls track and field team on Saturday, April 2, in a home meet with Lancaster, Upper Arlington and Westerville Central.

Evie Scholl begins her first season as coach of the Thomas Worthington High School girls track and field team on Saturday, April 2, in a home meet with Lancaster, Upper Arlington and Westerville Central.

Leading a young squad, her transition from assistant to head coach hasn't always been an easy one.

"The kids are trying to get acclimated to the things that I want to do and there are things that I have to get used to," said Scholl, a 2000 Thomas graduate.

"That is one of my biggest concerns."

One thing in her favor is one of her assistants is Nancy Beattie, who retired in June after 20 seasons leading the program.

"(Coach Beattie) reminds me when some of the paperwork needs to be in and other things that I might overlook," Scholl said. "She has always been a great help to me both on and off the track."

Thomas sent a pair of competitors to the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches state indoor championships on March 19 at the University of Akron.

Senior Danielle Henderson was ninth in the long jump (15 feet, 9 1/4 inches) and sophomore Cheyenne Buckingham was 10th in the 3,200 meters (11 minutes, 47.4 seconds).

Other seniors include Abena Agyepong (sprints), Rachel Erb (pole vault/sprints), Krista Palmer (throws) and Brittany Rojas (throws).

Other key contributors include juniors Kendall Kwiatkowski (sprints) and Emily Norquist (pole vault/sprints) as well as sophomore Frannie Frazier (hurdles).

Scholl also expects freshman distance-runner Ariel Rittenhouse to contribute this spring.

"We have a very young team with a ton of freshmen and sophomores," said Scholl, who has 56 runners on the team. "We have a few seniors and a couple of juniors who have to pick up a lot of the leadership roles right now. This is definitely a building period for the program. Hopefully we can score points in the sprints, distance and relays to get us going."

The Cardinals finished third (108) in the OCC-Central Division meet last season behind Hilliard Davidson (136.5) and Hilliard Darby (117) and ahead of Upper Arlington (107), Dublin Coffman (99.5), Worthington Kilbourne (50), Central Crossing (29) and Westland (13).

•The boys team had its 800 and 1,600 relays place at the state indoor meet, and coach Andy Cox hopes that will help set the tone for the outdoor season.

The 800 relay of junior Armand Austin, senior Lukas Cameron, junior Kevin Girgis and junior Nana Kyeremeh was fourth (1:31.17). Austin and Kyeremeh joined junior Andrew Maetzold and senior Ryan McFarland to finish third (3:26.36) in the 1,600 relay.

"We have 78 kids, and I'm excited with where we are headed," said Cox, in his 15th season leading the program. "We only graduated one senior from our state-qualifying 800 relay, and we're picking up where we left off."

Last year in the Division I state meet at Ohio State, the 800 relay of 2010 graduate Alhaji Bah, Austin, Kyeremeh and Girgis was 11th (1:29.31). The 1,600 relay of Bah and senior Madison Murphy joined Austin and Kyeremeh to finish 10th (3:22.35).

Other key seniors are Ray Crook (distance), Greg Highley (middle distance), Dan McGeary (distance) and Mike Pisching, a regional qualifier in the discus who finished 15th (120-7).

"Our strength would probably be the return of the sprinters," Cox said. "Hopefully we will be able to develop some field guys and some distance runners to go with them."

A couple of freshmen who may contribute are distance-runner Jack Dotta and high-jumper Michael Wood. According to Cox, Dotta ran a 4:50 mile in the preseason and Wood has reached 5-10 in the high jump.

"We have a pretty solid freshman class with some pretty good sprinters that we may have to move around because of all of the good junior sprinters we have," Cox said. "We need to get them on the track to get some experience in meets."

In the OCC-Central meet last year, the Cardinals were fourth (101) behind Davidson (136), Coffman (133) and Darby (119.5) and ahead of UA (63.5), Kilbourne (62), Central Crossing (29) and Westland (15).