Denzell Feagin has always wanted to be faster than his older brother, Lonzell.
They even made an informal bet two years ago as to whether that would happen.
The problem for Denzell as he watched Lonzell become the Canal Winchester High School boys track and field team's top sprinter was that he wasn't sure he wanted to work hard enough.Video •The Canal Winchester boys track and field team celebrates its OCC-Capital Division title.
"I was in middle school and I saw him running all these great times on the track team. I never wanted to do it because he looked so tired," Denzell said. "Then I saw him getting all of this hype, so I figured I'd try to go out and do the same thing and be faster than him."
Denzell has yet to pass his brother, but the mutual tests continued last weekend during the OCC-Capital Division meet.
Lonzell, a senior, won the long jump May 10 at Dublin Coffman with an effort of 22 feet, 4 1/4 inches before sweeping the sprint finals May 13, winning the 100 meters in 10.7 seconds, the 200 in 21.92 and the 400 in 47.35. His times in the 100 and 200 were meet records, and his 400 time was the best in conference history regardless of division.
Denzell, a sophomore who skipped last season after undergoing surgery on his left knee during football season, placed second in the 100 (10.96) and 400 (50.55) and third in the high jump (6-1).
Those efforts led Canal Winchester to 152 points and its first league championship since winning the MSL-Buckeye in 2012. Newark (116) placed second, followed by Big Walnut (96), New Albany (82), Groveport (47) and Franklin Heights (30).
"I decided I wanted to PR in everything, and that was what I did," Lonzell said. "My brother pushes me and looks up to me. He's always trying to beat me. I am here for him, too.
"When I am gone next year, it's all going to be up to him."
Lonzell accounted for 40 points in the league meet for the second consecutive year.
"The thing that is most impressive is the times he's coming up with. He's running state-caliber times three weeks before the state meet," boys coach Kurtis Robinson said. "He has had a phenomenal year and a phenomenal career, and I can already say that, by far, he is the best athlete I have ever coached."
Caleb Jones was second in the 110 hurdles (15.2) and 300 hurdles (40.93), while Danny Jones was runner-up in the discus (166-4) and shot put (50-6 3/4).
Led by Erica Babusci's wins in the high jump (5-2), 100 hurdles (15.3) and 300 hurdles (46.43), the shorthanded girls team finished second (117) in the league meet, behind Big Walnut (158) and ahead of Groveport (94), Newark (59), New Albany (54) and Franklin Heights (41).
Taylor Davie placed second in the 100 hurdles (16.83) and high jump (5-2), and Babusci was second in the 200 (26.54).
Ariana Coleman was runner-up in the long jump (15-11) but was unable to compete in running events because of injury. The Indians also were without freshman sprinter Shalea Byrd, who was sidelined because of an injury suffered May 11 while playing basketball.
"Across the board, we had a good day. We lost because Big Walnut put together something special," girls coach Darren Avery said. "We gritted it out as much as we could. I challenged everybody to step up, and they really did."
Other runners-up for the girls were Emily Clubb in the discus (106-5), Kaitlyn Faieta in the pole vault (9-0) and the 400 relay (52.86).
Canal Winchester began Division I district competition earlier this week.
The girls are in district 3 at Hilliard Darby. The meet began with field events May 17, continues with running preliminaries Thursday, May 18, and concludes with running finals Saturday, May 20.
The boys are competing in district 4 at Westerville South. That meet began with field events May 16, continues with running preliminaries May 18 and concludes with running finals May 20.
The top four finishers in each event advance to regional Wednesday, May 24, and May 26 at Pickerington North. At regional, the top four finishers in each event qualify for state June 2-3 at Ohio State.
advances in tourney
The baseball team played 11th-seeded Olentangy Orange in a Division I district semifinal May 15, needing a win to return to their second consecutive district final.
Fifth-seeded Canal Winchester advanced to a semifinal with a dramatic 4-3 win over 25th-seeded Lancaster in the second round May 10 at home. Nick Tiell singled with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning to score the winning run to cap a game the Indians led 1-0 after three innings, trailed 2-1 after five and led 3-2 after six.
Kavian McMillan and Alex Reed each had two hits for the Indians, who were 19-7 before playing Orange.
The semifinal winner played fourth-seeded Thomas Worthington or 16th-seeded Zanesville in a district final May 17. The district champion advances to a regional semifinal May 25 at Coffman.
The Indians defeated Thomas 2-1 in nine innings on March 29.
Canal Winchester sought its first district title since 2009, when it was in Division II.
Boys tennis season
ends at sectional
Although the boys tennis team did not record a win in a Division I sectional May 11 at Pickerington Central, coach Doug Welsh thought a 6-3, 6-3 loss for sophomores Connor Clark and Jacob Noel in a doubles match against Central's Evan Gibson and Carson Stanley symbolized some of the progress the Indians have made this season.
Clark and Noel gave Gibson and Stanley fits for much of the match before losing and ending the Indians' season.
"They work well together as a team and are able to anticipate each other's movements decently well. Jacob played as well as I have seen him play all year," Welsh said, adding that Noel's usual doubles partner is junior Zeke Blanchard. "We have some definite goals we'd like to continue to work on over the summer and into next season. I am really proud of these kids. They were a very inexperienced group overall - even our older kids did not have a lot of experience - and we tried to lay a nice foundation."
The entire roster is eligible to return for the Indians, who finished 1-13 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Capital and also had a handful of players new to the sport.
Also losing their opening match at sectional were the doubles team of Blanchard and junior Alex Ugrinov and freshman Caden Sweeney in singles.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district Thursday, May 18, at Hilliard Davidson and Saturday, May 20, at Upper Arlington.
Rounding out the roster were freshmen Drew Adams, Vinny Caskey, Zane Diehl and Mason Saunders.
Canal Winchester's only win was against Franklin Heights, 5-0 on April 13.
The Indians placed fourth in the OCC-Capital, behind New Albany (5-0), Big Walnut (4-1), Groveport (3-2) and Newark (2-3) and ahead of Franklin Heights (0-5).
"We're planning on laying out some more goals, like getting stronger physically," Welsh said. "The competitive aspect was there, and I can't ask for any more than that."
Despite finishing 7-19 overall and 3-7 in the OCC-Capital, the softball team took some solace in its improved play late in the regular season as well as a .360 team batting average.
Canal Winchester went 3-4 down the stretch, including a 4-1 league win over New Albany on May 2 and an 11-1 win at 30th-seeded Centennial on May 8 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.
The Indians, who were seeded 36th of 45 teams, lost 10-0 in five innings in a second-round game at fourth-seeded Gahanna on May 10.
"It has been a great group to work with," coach Randy Hinton said. "We did not have as good a season as we had hoped, but we did make progress and were a better team at the end of the season. We will need to replace several players (who were strong offensively) ... and we will also need to improve in the area of pitching."
Senior shortstop Mackenzie Hamilton led the Indians in batting average (.567) and hits (55). Senior first baseman Emily Bryant was second in average (.447) and hits (34) and had a team-high 35 RBI, and junior catcher Allie Saulnier batted .391 with 27 hits and 19 RBI.
Junior pitcher Brandi Gidley is among the players eligible to return, as are junior infielders Kaylee Dunkle (.279, 22 hits, 15 RBI) and Brooklyn Wolfe (.322, 19 hits, 16 RBI).
Bryant and Wolfe shared the team lead in home runs with two.
According to Hinton, the team's batting average was the third-best since he began keeping records in 1995.
Canal Winchester tied New Albany for fourth in the OCC-Capital, behind Groveport (10-0), Big Walnut (7-3) and Newark (7-3) and ahead of Franklin Heights (0-10). The Indians' other two league wins came against the Falcons, 21-3 in five innings on April 17 and 26-17 on April 27.