Westerville Central High School junior Charlie Moushey admits that when he started competing in the pole vault, he wasn't very good.

Westerville Central High School junior Charlie Moushey admits that when he started competing in the pole vault, he wasn't very good.

Two years later, he has qualified for his first Division I state track and field meet.

"I started at the beginning of my freshman season and I wasn't very good at it," Moushey said. "I just kept going to practice and working, and that's why I am here now."

Moushey finished second in the regional meet held May 23 and 25 at Pickerington North with a personal-best effort of 16 feet. Reigning state champion Jake Blankenship of Gahanna cleared 17-3/4 to break his regional record of 16-0.

"I did my best and went for a (personal record)," Moushey said. "I was trying to go for second, which I ended up getting and making it to states."

The state meet will be held Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at Ohio State. The pole vault competition takes place the second day.

Moushey finished first (15-6) in the district 3 meet that concluded May 19 at Hilliard Darby.

He credits working with Blankenship during practices at Gahanna as a key to his success.

"We're actually pretty good friends," Moushey said. "I vault with him maybe twice a week. I'm kind of the only competition that he has, so he invites me over and we have jump-offs. I feel like it pushes me and I usually do better when I go against him."

Moushey also credits coach Dave Garcia of the Superkick sports complex in Lewis Center for assisting him with his form. Garcia coached pole vaulters at Ohio State from 2004-09.

Although he realizes Blankenship is favored to win his second consecutive state title, Moushey hopes to challenge for a high finish.

"I want to get at least 16 (feet) again and I want to get second in the state," Moushey said. "I hope to maybe even get 16-6 and possibly even higher than that."

Blankenship set the state record of 17-1 in the district 1 meet.

At regional, the Warhawks boys tied Marietta for 22nd (9 points) behind champion Pickerington North (60).

Senior Davon Reed accounted for Central's other point by finishing eighth in the 100 meters (11.29 seconds).

The Central girls tied Brookhaven, Pickerington Central and Marietta for 24th (8) behind champion Reynoldsburg (77).

Senior Jordan Hoffman was fifth in the 300 hurdles (44.26) and joined seniors Taylor Reneau and Daijane Littlejohn and sophomore Jessie Swisher on the fifth-place 400 relay (48.71).

The top four finishers in each regional event advanced to state.

North boys place third at regional

The North boys team finished third (49) at regional while qualifying for state in five individual events and one relay.

"It was not a bad weekend at all," coach Johnny Jackson said.

Senior Emmanuel Adu and juniors Nick Chatel, Kent Ford and Jacob Dumford won the 3,200 relay in a meet-record 7:42.48.

Dumford was second in the 1,600 (4:13.17) and third in the 800 (1:53.76).

Senior Joey Wilkin earned a return trip to state by finishing third in both the 110 hurdles (14.77) and 300 hurdles (39.15).

"I really didn't have my best races of the season, but at this point, it's just survive and advance," Wilkin said.

Last season at state, Wilkin was 16th in the 110 hurdles (15.14).

"It would definitely be nice to make the finals in both races and have everybody else on our team succeed and do well," he said. "Once you make it to the finals, it's anybody's game from there. I want to enjoy this one last go-around."

Adu was fourth in the 400 (49.01).

"Our goals were to have these guys place in their events and that's still the goal," Jackson said. "It wasn't just to get (to state); it was to get there and to get on the podium."

The girls team did not qualify an athlete for state as it finished 28th (7) at regional.

Freshman Heather Sandvik accounted for the Warriors' points by finishing fifth in the 1,600 (5:16.7) and sixth in the 3,200 (11:38.79).

South girls advance 800 relay to state

The South girls team will be represented at state by the 800 relay of seniors Nikia Buckingham, Alex Hall and Leija Harris and sophomore Tara Thompson. The relay finished second at regional in a program-record 1:41.59.

"For them to finish second in the region, set a new school record and advance to the state meet is a big accomplishment for them," coach Jimmy Gaul said.

The Wildcats girls finished 17th (13) and the boys did not score.