The Westerville North High School boys and girls track and field teams will compete Friday in the Gahanna Invitational, the Warriors' last big competition before the OCC-Cardinal Division meet May 14 and 16.

The Westerville North High School boys and girls track and field teams will compete Friday in the Gahanna Invitational, the Warriors' last big competition before the OCC-Cardinal Division meet May 14 and 16.

Joining North and Gahanna on Friday will be Central Crossing, Delaware, Logan, Newark, Westerville South and Worthington Kilbourne.

"We just want to continue to improve," coach Johnny Jackson said. "We get better and better each week. The Gahanna Invitational will be some good competition for our top athletes so it gives me a chance to see where we are. And I expect them to continue to improve as they have been."

One the highlights of the Gahanna Invitational will come in the boys 200 and 400 meters. Senior Justin Brewton will race against Blake Heriot of Gahanna in both. Heriot and Brewton have some of the best times in the area in the 200 and 400 this season. In the 200 Heriot's best time is 22.4 seconds and Brewton's is 22.49. In the 400 Heriot has run 48.6 and Brewton's best time is 49.73. Heriot was the Division I state champion in the 200 last year.

"I expect there to be some strong competition there," Brewton said. "Blake's going to run but I think I can give him a good run."

"Gahanna is always a good show for us," Jackson said. "It's always a good test to show me where we're at and to show me and the coaches what we have to fine-tune.

"Of course I expect Justin to do well. I expect the distance corps to do well. And guys like Ryan Weldon, Phillip Palmer and Aarion Moody are coming around and looking good. For the girls, Kya Riley is really starting to look good. Hope Wood, a freshman, is looking good, and when she realizes just how fast she is, she'll surprise some people. Linda Sandvik and Marilu Russo are both starting to come around. So Gahanna will be a good test. Can they give me two good meets in a row? That's what I'll be looking at."

Last Friday , North competed in the Lancaster Fulton Relays. The boys were fourth (37 points) behind Pickerington North (84), Lancaster (66) and Hilliard Darby (62) and ahead of Worthington Kilbourne (36). The girls were fourth (44) behind Darby (89), Lancaster (70) and Kilbourne (61).

The only winner for the Warriors was the boys distance medley (10:46.0) of Brewton, Brian Hanaford, Jeff Hanaford and Weldon.

"Brian, Jeff and Ryan all did a good job running their legs and I was just pumped to run with them," Brewton said.

Despite the low team finishes at the event Jackson said he was pleased with how the Warriors fared.

"I think we did well. I don't judge by what place we finished because there's just some events we can't field," Jackson said. "Truthfully I didn't know what to expect because I didn't know how many teams would be there. And it was the first in the 44 years of the meet that Lancaster held it on a Friday. I expected, overall, to win maybe one or two events and that's what we did so I got what I expected. But the unexpected was also really pleasing. Seeing the distance corps run the way they did, the (boys) distance medley bouncing back from third to win, the 400 out of Hope Wood as well as some others. So I got what I expected but I also got some nice surprises."

At a glance

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

Last Friday --╩Boys: Finished fourth (37) behind champion Pickerington North (84) in Lancaster Fulton Relays; Girls: finished fourth (44) behind champion Hilliard Darby (89)

Friday --╩At Gahanna Invitational

Tuesday -- Home vs. Westerville South