Whitehall-Yearling High School track and field coach Zach Wright was hoping for a big season from senior Kayla Williams.
She hasn't disappointed, continuing her impressive spring by helping to lead the girls team to a fourth-place finish in the MSL-Ohio Division meet May 13 and 16 at home.
The Rams scored 81 points, finishing behind Grandview (162.5), Bexley (113) and Columbus Academy (96) and ahead of London (71), Worthington Christian (62), Madison Plains (28) and West Jefferson (26.5).
Williams won the 100-meter hurdles (16.56 seconds) and was second in the 300 hurdles (50.38). She also ran on the first-place 800 relay (1:51.37) with Kenaja Busby, Madeleine Camara and Janae Edwards-Newton and the second-place 400 relay (52.89) with Busby, Edwards-Newton and Tyra James.
"I had hoped to do this well this year," Williams said. "I listened to my coaches and I was coming out of my blocks as fast as I can. The most important thing is coming out of your blocks really well."
Alexis Kefauver was second in the discus (97 feet, 1 inch) and James was third in the 300 hurdles (52.13).
Camara, James, Norma Jackson and Tierra Copley were fourth in the 1,600 relay (4:35.97) and Copley, Viviane Akot, Ashley Hatfield and Eljada Ellie Wellman were fifth in the 3,200 relay (12:18.38).
Edwards-Newton was fifth in the 200 (28.11) and sixth (13.67) in the 100, and Busby was sixth in the 200 (28.63) and seventh (13.68) in the 100.
Also finishing seventh were Camara in the 400 (1:09.79) and Alurra Parks in the long jump (13-8).
"We're pleased. We ran well," Wright said. "The girls scored 81 points and got fourth and the boys scored 74 and got fourth. We wanted to finish in the top half."
The boys and girls teams are competing in the Division I, district 1 meet this week at Hilliard Darby. The meet began May 20 and continues Thursday, May 22, and Saturday, May 24.
"This definitely gets us ready because we got to see a lot of tough competition," Williams said of the league meet. "It's even going to be tougher at district."
The top four finishers in each district event advance to the regional Wednesday, May 28, and May 30 at Pickerington North.
For the boys team in the league meet, Khalil Tolbert won the 200 (23.3) and was third in the 100 (11.48). Tolbert, Chanse James-McDuffie, Brandon Copley and Jawuan Hammock were fourth in the 800 relay (1:35.56) and Tolbert, James-McDuffie, Hammock and DuWayne Rutland were fifth in the 400 relay (47.3).
The boys finished fourth (74) behind Academy (149.5), Bexley (132) and Grandview (127) and ahead of Worthington Christian (57), West Jefferson (56), London (34.5) and Madison Plains (18).
Nahom Hailu was second in the 3,200 (10:10.62) and third in the 1,600 (4:32.62).
"I have to put more effort in at district," Hailu said. "I have to come strong (on the) last lap."
Hailu, Kevin Diaz, Angosom Weldu and Tamagne Shiferaw were fifth in the 3,200 relay (8:56.34).
Dassan Jefferson was third in the 110 hurdles (16.03) and fourth in the 300 hurdles (42.09), and Copley was fifth (16.43) in the 110 hurdles and seventh in the 300 hurdles (42.58).
James-McDuffie was fourth in the 100 (11.78) and seventh in the 200 (24.57).
Jefferson, Copley, Diaz and Dimitrius Ridgeway were fifth in the 1,600 relay (3:50.87) and Shiferaw was seventh in the 800 (2:12.66).
Softball team loses to Licking Valley
The softball team lost at top-seeded and defending state champion Licking Valley 19-0 in five innings in the second round of the Division II district tournament May 16.
"There is a reason they were state champs last year," coach Brian Anderson said. "They are a great offensive team that hits, hits for power and has great speed and is aggressive on the bases, then add Shelby McCombs in the circle. She is as good as any in the state."
McCombs allowed two hits and struck out eight, and Licking Valley had 23 hits.
Mira Daugherty doubled and Madison Pharo singled for the 13th-seeded Rams, who finished 6-17.
Whitehall defeated 14th-seeded Independence 8-0 in the first round May 12 at home.
Pharo was the winning pitcher, allowing six hits, striking out 10 and walking one. Brooklyn Rayburn and Rebecca Maxstead each had two hits.
Baseball team loses at Watterson
The baseball team lost at fourth-seeded Watterson 10-0 in five innings in a Division II district semifinal May 16.
The 20th-seeded Rams finished 7-13.
Whitehall advanced to the second round with an 18-3, six-inning win at 15th-seeded Independence on May 13.
Cameron Barker hit a pair of two-run home runs in support of winning pitcher Cody Koons.
Tennis team competes in Division I sectional
The boys tennis team competed in a Division I sectional May 16 at Upper Arlington, but none of the Rams finished in the top four in singles or doubles to advance to the district tournament.
Ethan Miller in singles and Matt McGarran and Jacob Dilbeck in doubles won first-round matches before being eliminated in the second round.
Miller defeated Franklin Heights' Nestor Montoya 6-1, 6-0 before losing to UA's Chuck Shewalter 6-0, 6-0.
McGarran and Dilbeck won their opening match 6-2, 6-1 over Franklin Heights' Carlos Andrade and Ivan Cruz before losing to Westerville North's Sean Stacho and Vidit Singhal 6-4, 6-0.
Also in singles, Aaron Miller lost to Olentangy Liberty's Jacob Saliba 6-0, 6-0 and Jiawen Zhen lost to Central Crossing's Kyle Deep 6-3, 6-1 in the first round.
In doubles, Ahmed Abokor and James Pooch lost to Central Crossing's Mikey Massey and Dennis Meleshchuk 6-2, 6-2 in the first round.
"It was OK," said coach Ben White, whose team moved from Division II to Division I this season. "We had fun and won some matches. I'm not disappointed."