Todd Deisher knows it's early in the season, so the Worthington Kilbourne High School boys track and field coach isn't ready to panic over his team's opening performance.

Todd Deisher knows it's early in the season, so the Worthington Kilbourne High School boys track and field coach isn't ready to panic over his team's opening performance.

The Wolves finished 12th with 2.25 points in the 16-team Icebreaker Invitational on March 26 at Watkins Memorial. The host Warriors won with 166 points.

"We did OK, but it wasn't one of our finest performances," said Deisher, in his eighth season leading the program. "There is a lot of room for improvement, but it seems like we have been hit a lot with illness already this spring. Some of the guys weren't able to run as much as they should have, so that's where we probably are in conditioning."

In the opener, the Wolves performed well in distance events. Senior Ethan Dixius was sixth (5 minutes, 7.08 seconds) in the 1,600 meters and senior David Lichtenstein was seventh (2:16.51) in the 800. In the 3,200, junior Bradley Polivka was seventh (10:45.57) and Wyatt Allread was eighth (10:52.61). The 3,200 relay of Lichtenstein, Polivka, junior Jonathan Black and Dixius finished third (9:03.82).

Jeremie Nsumbu, a junior transfer from Dublin Scioto, placed in two events. He was seventh (19 feet, 5 1/2 inches) in the long jump and tied for eighth (5-8) in the high jump. Sophomore Jude McCullough was eighth (109-11) in the discus.

The 400 relay of sophomore Garret Pauly, junior Aaron Sass, junior Max Oyer and Nsumbu was seventh (48.65), as was the 1,600 relay of Black, junior Zach Bloom, freshman Chandler Bridges and Lichtenstein (3:54.02). The 800 relay of sophomore Austin Taylor, freshman Miguel Cruz, junior James Kome and Bridges was eighth (1:45.35).

"The (3,200 relay) looked pretty good and both Ethan Dixius and David Lichtenstein had pretty good days," Deisher said. "We're searching for leaders to step up right now. We have a lot of young athletes who are new to track and field."

The Wolves have their first home meet on Tuesday, April 5, against Westland.

Last season, Kilbourne finished sixth (62) in the OCC-Central meet behind Hilliard Davidson (136), Dublin Coffman (133), Hilliard Darby (119.5), Thomas Worthington (101) and Upper Arlington (63.5) and ahead of Central Crossing (29) and Westland (15).

Kilbourne has 39 athletes in the program, which limits Deisher's options.

"It would be nice to have close to 50 (boys) so we could develop the younger folks," Deisher said. "Instead of working to get better they are going to have to learn while competing in varsity meets. We're moving them up quicker than we would like, but it's a reality of our situation and a lot of times that's putting boys against men. There's no place to hide in track and field."

•The girls team finished fourth (59.5) in the 15-team Icebreaker Invitational behind champion Watkins Memorial (140).

"One of our goals is to improve on our score from last year at all of the big meets we go to this year," said coach Chip Seely, in his fourth season leading the program. "We scored 17 1/2 points more than we did last year at Watkins (Memorial), so it's a good start."

Senior Dani Kaufman, junior Erica Rodriguez and sophomore Taylor Hill led the way with third-place finishes. Hill was third (1:03.95) in the 400 and Rodriguez was third (8-0) in the pole vault, with sophomore teammate Paige Martinski placing seventh (7-0). Kaufman was third (13:13.27) in the 3,200 and freshman teammate Lily Fang was sixth (14:06.5).

Sophomore Hannah Loveday, a move-in from Gallipolis Gallia Academy, was fourth (105-1) in the discus. She placed sixth (39-0) in the shot put at the Division II state meet last year.

"We had our best returning thrower, Briana Prichett, move to Scioto, so it was good that Hannah moved in," Seely said. "(Hannah) pulled a tendon in her hand, so we're taking it easy with her. That's why she only threw the disc (on March 26)."

Junior Breonna Brown was sixth (29.86) in the 200 and senior Darby McMullen was sixth (4-8) in the high jump. Sophomore Jenna Boue was sixth (14-0 1/2) in the long jump.

Sophomore Allison Hooley was seventh (53.33) in the 300 hurdles and senior Grace Wesner was eighth (6:12.21) in the 1,600.

The 1,600 relay of sophomores Allie Riebel, Hooley, Emily Cantrell and Hill was second (4:30.03), and the 3,200 relay of Wesner, Cantrell, freshman Kayla Pack and Kaufman was third (11:22.0). The 400 relay of freshman Meagan Thompson, Hill, freshman Tori Castellano and Brown was sixth (55.14), and the 800 relay of Brown, Rodriguez, Riebel and Castellano was seventh (1:59.89).

"We have 16 freshmen this year, which is the largest group I've had," Seely said. "We may rely on them as the season goes on because we're going to lose a group of five or six sophomores who are taking a social-studies trip to Europe. This will give us a chance to give these freshmen more varsity experience."

Last year, the Wolves were sixth (50) in the OCC meet behind Davidson (136.5), Darby (117), Thomas (108), UA (107) and Coffman (99.5) and ahead of Central Crossing (29) and Westland (13).