Jacob Rider being pain-free has been a great benefit for the boys track and field team at Worthington Christian High School.

Jacob Rider being pain-free has been a great benefit for the boys track and field team at Worthington Christian High School.

At the Dublin Coffman Classic on April 19, Rider finished fourth in the 400 meters (51.8 seconds). Last Friday at the Russ Owen/Bexley Relays, he split a 2:01 as the 3,200 relay -- which also consisted of Daniel Jeong, Luke Helmuth and Nick Bennett -- won in 8:31.7.

"Everything has gone so well from the beginning of the season," Rider, a junior, said. "After being injured all last year, I've focused on staying healthy."

Rider's injuries and pain were attributed to a six-inch growth spurt he went through before last season. But now he has grown into his body and the pain is gone.

Coach Adam Heath said Rider walked off the track dissatisfied with his fourth-place finish in the 400 at Coffman because of his time but came back with a 50.6 split in the 1,600 relay.

"I know he was disappointed, but it was raining and wet when he ran," Heath said. "He ran in the 1,600 relay with a real chip on his shoulder and ran a good split against some of the best quarter-milers in the state. It was a good thing to see a healthy level of frustration.

"Nothing deters Jacob. He has a really laid-back personality but there's a certain level of determination there. He very quietly goes about his work."

The Warriors will compete at the Newark Catholic Invitational on May 10 before heading to the CCL meet beginning May 13.

"Getting the big-meet experience is great because it helps you deal with the nerves you will have at the end of the season," Rider said. "I look forward to it."

Rider didn't like track when he was in middle school, but began running when he and his father, Scott, started competing in 5K road races. The more he ran, the more he enjoyed it.

Rider discovered his gift in the 400 almost by accident.

"I was pretty much an 800 guy, but since I was injured they put me in the 400 a lot more frequently," Rider said.

Toward the end of last season Rider began to see how good he could be in the event. He was a Division III state qualifier in the 400 and joined Max Weston, Kevin Valesky and Jacob Custer on the 1,600 relay, but the pain from shin splits kept him from competing in the 400 at state.

At the regional, Rider was fourth in the 400 in 50.77 but did not run in the 1,600 relay. Zach Hartzell replaced him as Worthington Christian was fourth in 3:28.49.

At state, Rider had to choose between the 400 and the 1,600 relay. He opted for the relay and ran the lead leg as the Warriors were second (3:24.9) behind Gates Mills Gilmour (3:22.93).

"Last year was kind of disappointing," Rider said. "You want to be on the top of your game. Being at the state meet was a good experience to have, but not being able to compete in two events gives me a lot of motivation for this season."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Worthington Christian baseball, boys tennis, softball and boys and girls track and field teams:

BASEBALL

*April 21 -- Lost to Hartley 7-2. Matt Schoonover hit a solo home run.

*April 22 -- Lost to DeSales 26-0

April 24 -- Def. Columbus Academy 5-3. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak.

*Last Friday -- Lost to Watterson 7-3

Last Saturday -- Lost to Centerburg 10-9; lost to Buckeye Valley 7-2

*Last Monday -- Game against Ready suspended. It was completed last Tuesday.

*Last Wednesday -- Played St. Charles

Today -- Home vs. Shekinah Christian

Friday -- Home vs. Hartley

Saturday -- Home vs. Gahanna Christian

*Monday -- At DeSales

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Watterson

Of note: The Warriors were 10-10 overall and 1-3 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

BOYS TENNIS

April 21 -- Lost to Westerville North 4-1.

*April 22 -- Lost to DeSales

*April 24 -- Lost to Watterson 5-0

Last Monday -- Lost to Granville 4-1 in an OTCA match

*Last Tuesday -- Played St. Charles

*Today -- Home vs. Ready

Friday -- Home vs. Marion Pleasant

Saturday -- At Ashland Invitational

Monday -- Home vs. Wellington

*Tuesday -- At Hartley

Of note: The Warriors were 1-9 overall and 0-1 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

SOFTBALL

*April 21 -- Lost to Ready 14-0

*April 22 -- Lost to DeSales 18-0

April 24 -- Def. Wellington 11-9

Last Friday -- Lost to Tree of Life 17-16 in nine innings in Centennial Stellar Classic at Beekman Park

Last Saturday -- Def. Northland 16-6; lost to Bethel 13-3 in Stellar Classic

Last Monday -- Played Horizon Science

Last Tuesday -- Played Harvest Prep

*Today -- Home vs. Watterson

*Friday -- At Hartley

Monday -- Home vs. Wellington

Of note: The Warriors were 3-9 overall before last Monday and are 0-4 in the CCL.

TRACK & FIELD

April 22 -- Boys: Finished second (55) behind Columbus Academy (87) and ahead of Centerburg (23); Girls: Finished second (33) behind Centerburg (76) and ahead of Academy (21)

Last Friday -- Boys: Finished eighth (40) behind champion Bexley (78) in Russ Owen/Bexley Relays. Daniel Jeong, Luke Helmuth, Jacob Rider and Nick Bennett won the 3,200 relay (8:31.7); Girls: Finished ninth (27) behind champion Columbus School for Girls (90). Ashley Bennett, Sarah Slemons, Amber Pope, and Tobie Weston won the 3,200 relay (11:10.1)

Last Tuesday -- Competed against Grandview and Johnstown

May 10 -- At Newark Catholic Invitational

*CCL contest