Whitehall-Yearling High School track and field coach Zach Wright calls senior Isaiah Turner one of his more dependable athletes, one he can count on in key situations.
Turner turned in one of those efforts April 27, helping the Rams boys team place third in the 59th annual Bellaire Relays. Whitehall scored 66.5 points to finish behind Gahanna (145) and Dayton Dunbar (81) in a 14-team field.
"Isaiah has been great this season and very reliable," Wright said. "He's been a guy we can hang our hat on and count on, especially in big meets like this. We know he's going to show up and put his best effort in."
Turner helped the 400-meter relay finish fourth (1 minute, 36.2 seconds) and was fifth in the 200 (24.5).
He also was part of the 800 relay that tied East Liverpool for sixth (1:36.2).
The Rams opened the meet with seniors Samson Edessa, Abiel Kiflu and Jaleel Morgan and junior Nahom Hailu winning the 3,200 relay (8:24.9).
Senior Ifa Abduljelil, who missed the last month because of a right hamstring injury, won the 110 hurdles (14.6) and was second in the 300 hurdles (40.5).
"He ran a 40.5 in the 300 and hasn't run in a month, so that's really good," Wright said. "We're happy with it."
Kiflu won the 800 (1:59.1) and Hailu was second in the 3,200 (10:13.6).
"There were a lot of good teams there," Wright said. "It would have probably been tough to beat Gahanna as deep as they are, but we had a chance against Dunbar. We just had a couple of mental lapses. It was a pretty good overall day."
"We're very happy," Turner said. "It's a big meet that we go to every year."
Turner is aiming for a strong showing in the postseason to help atone for last year when he was part of the 400 relay that was disqualified for an illegal exchange in the Division II regional meet at Welcome Stadium in Dayton.
"As a team, we're pretty well-rounded," Turner said. "We have good (1,600) and (3,200 relay) teams, but I would like to go in the (400 relay) and (800 relay) with my team. I might have a chance in the 100 and 200."
Turner has personal bests of 11.2 in the 100 and 23.0 in the 200.
Wright said Turner is part of a solid group of sprinters.
"We have about eight good sprinters and Isaiah has been a good, solid core member of the team," Wright said.
"He's motivated when he runs relays because he doesn't want to let anybody down."
Turner also has competed in football and wrestling for Whitehall.
He led the Rams in rushing last fall with 932 yards and was first-team all-MSL-Ohio Division. In wrestling, the 220-pounder went 42-11 this past season and helped the Rams win their first league title since 1968.
Turner would like to play football in college and has shown interest in Ashland University.
The girls team was ninth (21) in the nine-team Elmo Kallner Invitational on April 27 at Hamilton Township behind champion Eastmoor Academy (143).
Kayla Williams was fourth in the 100 hurdles (17.55) and 300 hurdles (52.43).
Softball team looks to bounce back
The softball team entered the week looking to end a five-game losing streak after the Rams fell to Licking Valley 21-2 in five innings April 26.
"It's been tough, but I'm proud of how the girls keep fighting game to game and don't quit," first-year coach Brian Anderson said.
"I knew going in that it would take time to turn this program around. It's not going to happen in one season. We just need to work harder, starting with me on down to the players."
Through 16 games, Danielle Farnlacher (P) was hitting .383 and Delina Farnlacher (C) was at .349.
Brooklyn Rayburn (SS/2B) had 14 RBI and Danielle had 13.
Singles player leading tennis team
The boys tennis team was looking to bounce back from a winless week when it played Central Crossing on April 29.
The Rams lost to Ready 4-1 on April 22, Grandview 4-1 and Fisher Catholic 4-1 on April 25 and Bexley 5-0 on April 26.
The match against Fisher Catholic was suspended April 16 because of bad weather and completed following the match against Grandview.
First-year coach Ben White said second-singles player Jiawen Zhen has been playing well.
"Our one bright note has been Jiawen Zhen at second singles," White said.
"He won three out of four matches last week. Our one singles player, Seth Grassel, continues to round into form as he returns from last year's (left) knee injury."