Worthington Christian High School track and field coach Loren Hughes was impressed with the mental toughness displayed by Christina Hemmingsen during the Division III girls state meet June 7 at Ohio State.
Considering Hemmingsen was one of just two freshmen competing in the 100-meter hurdles in her division, there could be future appearances for the girls team's only state qualifier this season. She placed 15th (16.64 seconds) at state as the Warriors did not score.
"Even as a freshman, she seemed to have confidence and be calm and was not really super nervous," Hughes said. "She just tried to race like she did all season. She wasn't afraid to race against older girls, and considering there were only two freshmen in the hurdles, it can be intimidating. She's a quick learner and can do whatever you tell her the next time. I think she can really learn from this experience."
Hemmingsen and sophomore Natalee Cole advanced from the 32-team district meet that concluded May 25 at Hamilton Township. Hemmingsen finished first in the 100 hurdles (16.65) and Cole placed second in the 200 (27.37), third in the 400 (1:00.4) and fourth in the 100 (12.96).
Worthington Christian finished eighth (41) at district behind champion Columbus Academy (96.5).
In the regional meet May 29 and 31 at Fairfield Union, Hemmingsen had the fifth-best time in the preliminaries but ended up running a personal-best 16.223 to edge Reedsville Eastern junior Keri Lawrence (16.227) for the fourth and final state berth.
Her performance helped the Warriors place 13th (15) behind champion Academy (63) as 43 teams scored.
Cole finished fifth in the 200 (26.77), sixth in the 100 (13.13) and sixth in the 400 (1:02.18) at regional.
Hemmingsen also competed this season in the discus, high jump and 400 relay.
Others expected to be key contributors next season include junior Sarah Sharp (distance), sophomore Hadley Jones (long jump) and freshman Courtney Parsell (sprints, hurdles).
"We're young, but even though we've got a young team, leading the team are Christina and Natalee," Hughes said.
Most of boys track team expected back
All seven of the boys track and field team's Division III regional qualifiers are eligible to return next season.
The Warriors tied Mount Gilead for third (74) in the 17-team district 2 meet that concluded May 25 at Hamilton Township behind Fairbanks (134) and Grandview (90).
Winning a district title was the 400 relay of juniors Chris Osborn, Jordan Brown and Jay Trainer and sophomore J.J. Phillips (44.99).
Also advancing to regional were Osborn in the 100 (second, 11.45), Phillips in the 200 (fourth, 23.54), junior Mark Parsell in the 400 (fourth, 51.73) and long jump (fourth, 19-2 3/4), junior Luke Proxmire in the high jump (second, 5-10), the 800 relay of Osborn, Trainer, Parsell and Phillips (second, 1:31.88) and the 1,600 relay of junior Matt Watterson, Proxmire, Parsell and Phillips (fourth, 3:33.71).
Worthington Christian scored seven points at regional to place 25th behind champion Columbus Academy (89) as 41 teams scored. Scoring for the Warriors were Watterson in the 1,600 (sixth, 4:33.23), the 800 relay (sixth, 1:32.61) and the 1,600 relay (eighth, 3:36.24).
"We had 23 boys and 13 girls this year, and we were really impressed with the boys that made it to the regional," Hughes said. "With the boys, we knew there was a lot of talent. Our (800 relay) broke the school record by about three seconds and we just put them together before the regional final. We're only losing two guys."
Montgomery ready for final prep season
Joel Montgomery is expected to be the top returnee for the boys tennis team next season after advancing to the second round of the Division II state tournament in singles for the second consecutive season.
The junior won his second consecutive sectional title this season, beating Columbus Academy's Shrikar Kundur 6-0, 6-1 in the final May 20 at Academy, and won the district title, defeating Watterson's Ryan Bibo 6-4, 6-3 in the final May 25 at Academy to advance to state.
Montgomery defeated Sandusky Perkins' Manickam Manickam 6-2, 6-3 in the first round at state May 31 at Ohio State but lost to Cincinnati Seven Hills' John Larkin 6-3, 6-4 in the second round later that day at Elysium Tennis Center in Plain City.
"He showed a lot of maturity this year and put himself in position to be in the second day (of the state tournament)," coach Alex Schmidt said. "Joel elevated his level of play and worked really hard to get to that level."
Also competing at sectional were senior Luke Howard and freshman Jeremiah Ong in singles, the doubles team of sophomores Ben Baacke and Dominic Francis and the doubles team of senior Ryan Billman and sophomore Steven Ruane.
Howard and Ong both lost in the second round and both doubles teams lost in second-round matches.