The Beechcroft High School boys and girls track and field teams have spent the beginning of the season putting together their sprint corps after each lost a state qualifier from a year ago.
The boys team lost 2016 graduate Rodell Rahmaan, who finished 12th in the 300-meter hurdles (39.29 seconds) in last year's Division I state meet, but returned a few sprinters who contributed last season.
Leading that group are senior Tre'quez Parks, who ran on the 800 relay that finished third in the City League meet last year, and senior Christian Thomas and junior Shemar Samuel, who provided depth to the sprint corps a year ago.
Seniors Solomon Conteh (long jump) and Walter Gilliam (high jump) and sophomore Ni'Elle Simmons (sprints) have been other contributors.
"I've got a lot more inexperienced people this year," coach Duane Gosa said. "They're all running about dead even."
The girls team lost 2016 graduate Dayana Banks, who finished seventh in the 200 (25.76) at last year's Division II state meet.
The Cougars could have another special athlete in freshman Makiya Montgomery, who already has recorded one of the Central District's best times in both the 100 (12.28) and 200 (25.46).
Senior Kiara Poole (sprints) and sophomores Patricia Cornejo (middle distance), Lyndse Hicks (sprints) and Jaymie Roberts (100 hurdles) are key returnees for the girls team.
Freshmen Mariame Barrie, Jai Hill and Nia Worsham are middle-distance runners in the program.
boys volleyball team
Eastmoor Academy has added a boys volleyball team this spring.
Sequoia Wright, who formerly helped out with the boys track team and has worked with the girls volleyball program, is the coach.
"I played at Eastmoor for all four years (I was in high school) under Rhonda Peck and I started coaching the (junior varsity) girls team the past two years, so I had a love for the game," Wright said.
The Warriors, who fell to 0-4 with a 25-10, 25-18, 25-12 loss to Licking Heights on April 13, are one of three new teams in central Ohio this season, along with Reynoldsburg and Briggs.
Eastmoor has 11 players on the roster and is playing a mix of varsity and junior varsity teams.
On April 11, the Warriors won a set for the first time in a 25-23, 26-24, 22-25, 25-21 loss to Briggs.
Seniors Asias Brooks (middle hitter), Legend Hunt (right-side hitter), Jalen Hutchinson (defensive specialist), Daylin Jackson (setter) and Khalil Swayne (middle hitter), juniors Tyiquan Jenkins (defensive specialist), Taevion Kinsey (middle hitter), Michael McCoy (outside hitter) and Stanley Williams (right-side hitter) and sophomores Jeron Turner (right-side hitter) and Semaja Wright (defensive specialist) are in the program.
This past winter, Kinsey and Williams were key players for the boys basketball team when it reached a Division II state semifinal, while Hunt finished fourth in diving at the Division II district meet to miss advancing to state by one spot.
"They're literally new to the sport, but they've caught on very quickly," Wright said.
to hold track meets
A pair of track and field meets featuring numerous boys and girls City programs are set for next week.
The Northland Invitational, which is expected to include Beechcroft, Briggs, International, Eastmoor, Linden-McKinley, Marion-Franklin, Mifflin, South and West, is Monday, April 24.
Then on Wednesday, April 26, Whetstone will play host to the Braves Invitational, which is expected to include Africentric, Beechcroft, Briggs, Centennial, East, Eastmoor, Independence, Linden, Northland, South, Walnut Ridge and West.
The City meet is set for May 8 and 10 at Africentric.