With a lot of athletes back from last year's OCC-Cardinal Division winning squad, the Westerville Central High School girls track and field team is looking for continued success this season.

With a lot of athletes back from last year's OCC-Cardinal Division winning squad, the Westerville Central High School girls track and field team is looking for continued success this season.

Last year the Warhawks were 53rd at the Division I state meet, ninth at regional and third in the district 2 meet. In the league meet, Central was first with 161.5 points, ahead of Dublin Scioto (154.5), Olentangy (93), Westerville North (66), Westerville South (62), Marysville (51), Dublin Jerome (37) and Olentangy Liberty (37).

The leading athletes for Central are Jordan Hoffman (hurdles), Dominique Hoskins (sprints/relays), Tarela Osuobeni (high jump), Dominique Tirado (hurdles) and Amara Whaley (pole vault). Whaley and Tirado are both returning state qualifiers.

At state, Whaley placed seventh (11 feet) in the pole vault and Tirado was a member of the 400-meter relay that placed seventh (48.78 seconds). Central scored three points at state to tie five teams for 53rd, behind champion Reynoldsburg (82).

Similar to years past, the Warhawks look to be strong in the sprints and sprint relays. Coach Ryan Borland said both the 400 and 800 relays already are looking good.

"Our (800 relay) ran at the state indoor meet (March 20 at the University of Akron) and we've got some girls back from our (400 relay), so we feel that by the end of the year our relays should be pretty strong," Borland said.

Looking to score more points in the field events, Central should be led by Osuobeni, a returning district champion in the high jump, and Daijane Littlejohn and Kristen Norris in the long jump. Littlejohn was the league champion in the long jump last year. Norris is a transfer from Ames, Iowa, and also will compete in the hurdles.

One area in which Borland would like to see improvement is the distance events.

"We're hoping to improve our distance corps," Borland said. "We're to hoping to have a good (3,200 relay) and score more points in those events because that's been an Achilles' heel for Central."

•The boys team still is searching for its first league championship, and accomplishing that feat is going to be the primary goal for the Warhawks this season.

Central returns several athletes from last year's team that tied for 10th at state and was seventh at regional and fifth at the district 1 meet. At the league meet, the Warhawks finished fourth (94) behind Liberty (114.33), Marysville (103.5) and North (94) and ahead of South (82.83), Jerome (71.33), Olentangy (61.5) and Scioto (39).

Leading Central are Trey Devereaux (throws), Channing Doermann (sprints/relays), John Howard (sprints/relays), Davon Reed (sprints/relays) and Dan Steigerwald (distance).

Sophomores Doermann, Howard and Reed were a part of the 400 relay last season that won the state title in 41.83. Doermann also qualified for state in the 200, placing third in 21.86.

Devereaux is a returning regional qualifier in the shot put.

Other key athletes are Spencer Allen (middle distance), Miles Fisher (middle distance), Nick McGuire (distance), Aaron Shepherd (distance), Nick Shepherd (distance) and Kyle Zander (hurdles).

With more than 60 athletes on the roster, this is the largest boys team Central has had and coach Jason Loughman hopes that added depth translates to a league title.

"This is the most well-rounded team we've ever had," Loughman said. "They've all been working hard and I know they're ready to compete."

Competing for the league title will be tough. Liberty, South and North all look to be strong again this year.

"I would view Liberty as our main competition," Loughman said. "South has some nice athletes, but I'm not quite sure they have the depth to win a conference title."

At a glance

•Coaches: Boys -- Jason Loughman, seventh season; Girls -- Ryan Borland, second season •Next meet: Saturday at Thomas Worthington quad meet •Key athletes: Boys -- Trey Devereaux, Channing Doermann, John Howard, Davon Reed and Dan Steigerwald; Girls -- Jordan Hoffman, Dominique Hoskins, Tarela Osuobeni, Dominique Tirado and Amara Whaley

SCHEDULE

March 30 vs. Westerville South April 3 at Thomas Worthington quad meet April 10 at Big Walnut Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays April 13 vs. Westerville North April 16-17 at Mansfield Madison Mehock Relays April 20 vs. Marysville April 23 at Olentangy Liberty Patriot Relays April 27 at Dublin Scioto April 30 at Gahanna Relays May 4 at Olentangy May 7 at Mason Comet Relays May 13, 15 at OCC-Cardinal meet (Dublin Jerome)