Coach Andy Cox thought his Thomas Worthington High School boys track and field team had the makeup of a champion, and the Cardinals proved that by winning the Division I, district 1 title on May 21 at Hilliard Bradley.

Coach Andy Cox thought his Thomas Worthington High School boys track and field team had the makeup of a champion, and the Cardinals proved that by winning the Division I, district 1 title on May 21 at Hilliard Bradley.

Thomas was one of three OCC-Central Division boys teams to win district championships. Hilliard Davidson won the district 2 title and Dublin Coffman won district 3.

In the league meet, which concluded May 14 at Davidson, the Cardinals finished third (129.5 points) behind Davidson (170.5) and Coffman (158.5).

"The kids performed well (at district). The weather was nice and the kids were feeling pretty good," said Cox, whose team scored 87 points to finish ahead of runner-up Pickerington North (78.5) as 16 team scored. "The league meet is important and everything, but this is where the ball starts rolling. This is where we try to get guys to the next level."

Junior Armand Austin reached the next level by winning the 400 meters in 48.85 seconds to qualify for regional, which began May 25 and concludes Friday, May 27, at Pickerington North. The top four in each district event advanced to regional, where the top four in each event advance to state June 3-4 at Ohio State.

"Armand is starting to believe in himself and that he can go a little faster and not break down," Cox said. "He is well on his way."

Junior Nana Kyeremeh qualified in the 100 (second, 11.36) and 200 (third, 22.71) and as a member of the district champion 800 and 1,600 relays. Junior Kevin Girgis qualified for regional by finishing fourth in the 200 (22.93) and as a member of the 800 relay.

"Kevin Girgis has sometimes been overshadowed by Armand, and he was able to qualify in both the 200 and on the (800 relay)," Cox said. "He really has come a long way from where he was as a freshman."

Austin, Girgis and Kyrermeh are part of a talented junior class that Cox decided to put to the test at district.

"Part of the plan going into the meet was to see how the juniors could handle the volume of running in big meets," Cox said. "We started planning in January where we wanted to be and what events we would be running at this time of the season. We wanted to see if they could handle running four events and what they have done has been awesome."

A pair of freshmen advanced in the high jump as Michael Wood was second (6 feet, 2 inches) and Jalen Wells was third (6-0).

"I really like our team chemistry with a group of older kids and some young ones mixed in," Cox said. "They all get along and like each other, and that goes a long way."

In the Division I, district 2 girls meet, the Cardinals finished fifth (62) of 12 teams that scored as Pickerington Central (126) won the title.

Kilbourne finished sixth (61) in the Division I, district 3 girls meet behind champion Dublin Scioto (139) as 11 teams scored.

"We scored 61 points this year, and we only scored 14 points last year. That's more than four times as many points, so the hard work is paying off for the girls," coach Chip Seely said.

"We were having multiple scorers in events and that really adds up quickly."

Junior Erica Rodriguez qualified for regional in two events by finishing second in both the long jump (15-10 3/4) and pole vault (9-0).

"Erica is only in her second season of track, but we knew she would be a good athlete because she is an outstanding gymnast for the school during the winter," Seely said. "She was fifth going into the finals of the long jump and jumped over three people to take second. She burst out in the long jump and really put it all together."

In the Division I, district 3 boys meet, the Wolves finished 11th (15) of 14 teams that scored as Coffman (116.5) won the title.