Count senior Michelle Lehmann among those who were feeling good about the Watterson High School girls track and field team as it began the postseason.
Led by Lehmann, the Eagles earned the championship in the CCL meet May 8 and 10 at Columbus School for Girls, scoring 159 points to finish ahead of Hartley (125), DeSales (89.5), CSG (73.5) and Ready (45).Videos •Watterson girls track athlete Sam Mikula wins the CCL title in the 1,600 meters. •Watch an interview with Watterson girls track athlete Michelle Lehmann.
Watterson opened the Division I, district 2 meet May 16 with field events and competed in the running preliminaries May 17. The running finals are at noon Saturday, May 20, at Hilliard Darby.
"I'm real excited for districts," Lehmann said. "Everyone's been doing really well and running (personal-best times). This is a good year for us.
"(I'm) hopefully moving on (to regional) in an open event. I haven't done that yet, so I really hope to do well and hopefully make it to state."
The top four in each district event advance to the regional Wednesday, May 24, and May 26 at Pickerington North.
Lehmann scored 38 points in the league meet, winning the 100-meter hurdles (16.19 seconds), 100 (12.28) and 200 (25.4) and taking second in the long jump (15 feet, 5 inches).
It also was a big meet for Sam Mikula, who captured titles in the 800 (2:23.27) and 1,600 (5:17.8) and ran on the first-place 3,200 relay along with Kelsi Connors, Megan Eberts and Sam Francis (9:53.56).
Watterson's other league champions were Anna Stinnett in the 3,200 (12:00.32) and Logan Paeglis in the high jump (5-0). Placing second were Lainey Billing in the discus (99-11), Amelia Ohlin in the high jump (4-8) and Francis in the 800 (2:25.92).
Finishing third were Eberts in the 400 (59.82), Emily Latshaw in the 3,200 (12:14.89), Maggie Malone in the shot put (31-4) and the 800 relay of J'Niah Johnston-Reynolds, Erin Lombardi, Madison Tortora and Eberts (1:48.36).
"Over the past year, we've made a lot of big improvements," Mikula said. "We're really excited because the future looks bright."
Softball team reaches
After having a first-round bye in the Division I district tournament, the 16th-seeded softball team defeated 15th-seeded and host Dublin Scioto 4-2 in a second-round game May 10.
The victory advanced Watterson to a district semifinal May 15 at top-seeded Pickerington Central.
Tracey Cultice, who is getting married in August and is stepping down as coach at the end of the season, was pleased with her team's performance against the Irish.
"It was an overall team win, with solid defense, pitching and timely hitting," Cultice said.
The semifinal winner plays eighth-seeded Hilliard Bradley or 11th-seeded Watkins Memorial in a district final Friday, May 19, or Saturday, May 20, at Central.
The district champion plays Teays Valley, Delaware, Darby or Mount Vernon in a regional semifinal Wednesday, May 24, at Ohio State. The regional final is May 27 at Ohio State.
Watterson was 14-9 after losing to Worthington Christian 6-3 in a regular-season game May 13.
Against Scioto, Erin Vonderwell drove in Katrina Wierzbicki with a first-inning double for a 1-0 lead. The Eagles made it 3-0 in the fifth when Kristin Bricker scored on a throwing error and Bekah Forshey scored on a single by Wierzbicki.
After the Irish cut their deficit to 3-2 with two runs in the sixth, Watterson added an insurance run in the seventh when Forshey doubled and scored on a double by Wierzbicki.
Vonderwell struck out six over the first five innings and Nicole Funge pitched the final two innings for the save.
Baseball team makes
The sixth-seeded baseball team played in a Division II district semifinal against 10th-seeded Sparta Highland on May 15 at Olentangy.
The winner played top-seeded Jonathan Alder or fifth-seeded Bexley in a district final May 17, with the district champion moving on to a regional semifinal against Lexington, Kenton, Bellevue or Clyde on May 25 at Carter Park in Bowling Green. The regional final is May 26 at Carter Park.
After having a first-round bye, Watterson beat 12th-seeded Hamilton Township 11-1 in five innings in the second round May 11 at home.
"That wasn't what I was expecting," coach Scott Manahan said. "Hamilton Township has two really good pitchers and I thought it might be a trap game, but we scored six in the first inning and four in the fifth, so we were pretty much in control."
Senior pitcher Matt Dockman went all five innings against Hamilton Township, giving up three hits and striking out seven. He was scheduled to start on the mound against Highland as well.
Casey Douthitt, Adam Fallon, Connor Hoyng, Nick Janning and Adam Stotler all had two hits against the Rangers.
Watterson beat Newark Catholic 13-1 in its regular-season finale May 13 to improve to 16-7 overall.
It marked the 600th career victory for Manahan.
Boys track team
takes third in CCL
The boys track and field team is competing in the Division I, district 3 meet this week at Darby.
The meet began with field events May 17, continues Thursday, May 18, with the running preliminaries and concludes Saturday, May 20, with the running finals.
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.
Watterson finished third (89) in the CCL meet, behind St. Charles (173) and DeSales (153) and ahead of Hartley (56) and Ready (17).
Winning titles were Nick Haley in the 800 (1:56.6) and the 3,200 relay of Haley, Ross Kuhn, Nick Kuraly and Shane Merklin (8:09.62).
"We all just don't want to let each other down," Kuhn said of the relay. "It brings us together as a team."
Earning runner-up finishes were Kuraly in the 3,200 (10:04.35), Kuhn in the 1,600 (4:35.24) and the 1,600 relay of Haley, Kuhn, Merklin and Tony Rogner (3:28.2). Finishing third were Rogner in the 200 (23.49) and 400 (51.32), the 400 relay of Daniel Bower, Nick DePalma, David Grden and Holden Jones (46.89) and the 800 relay of Connor Busch, DePalma, Grden and Rogner (1:35.94).
Girls lacrosse team
The girls lacrosse team beat Olentangy Orange 17-7 on May 12 to close the regular season on a six-game winning streak and improve to 14-4 overall.
The Eagles defeated Wellington 22-4 win May 11 to finish 4-3 in the Central Independent League. Anne Reed had seven goals, Torie Sullivan scored four and Ellen Geyer scored three.
Fourth-seeded Watterson opened the Division I, Region 3 tournament May 15 at home against 11th-seeded Hilliard Bradley. The winner plays host to fifth-seeded Dublin Coffman or 10th-seeded Pickerington North in a regional quarterfinal Friday, May 19, with that winner playing at top-seeded Upper Arlington, 14th-seeded Scioto or 15th-seeded Hilliard Davidson in a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 23.
The regional final is May 27.
Boys lacrosse team
streaks into tourney
The boys lacrosse team beat St. Charles 12-8 on May 11 to close the regular season on a 14-game winning streak.
The Eagles finished 2-0 in the CCL, having also beaten DeSales (11-9 on May 3), and were 14-1 overall before opening the Division II, Region 7 tournament May 16 at home against 17th-seeded Jonathan Alder as the top seed.
The winner plays host to eighth-seeded Buckeye Valley or ninth-seeded Bexley in a regional quarterfinal Friday, May 19, with that winner playing host to fourth-seeded Kettering Alter, fifth-seeded Granville, 12th-seeded Bellbrook or 13th-seeded Licking Valley in a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 23.
The regional final is May 27.
Against St. Charles, A.J. Rigsby, Will Brown and Riley Taylor each scored three goals.
Tennis team to bring
back strong group
Four of the seven competitors for the boys tennis team in a Division I sectional May 8 at Hilliard Davidson are eligible to return.
Sophomore Chris Finissi, who played first singles most of the season and reached the second round of the sectional before losing to Gahanna's Daniel Shtein, is among those who should be back.
Also advancing to the second round before losing was the doubles team of seniors Todd Harklerode and Josh Weithman.
The other sectional participants were senior Thomas Abrams, who won his feed-in match and lost in the first round in singles, sophomore Jacob DeVendra, who lost in the first round in singles, and the doubles team of sophomores Danny Kraft and Jesse Pulsinelli, who lost in the second round after having a first-round bye.
"We've got four returning players, so we've got some good players to fill spots for next year," coach Ryan Schweiterman said. "We had a lot of sophomore kids that have certainly improved."
Watterson finished 6-6 overall and went 3-1 in the CCL to place second, behind St. Charles (4-0) and ahead of DeSales (2-2), Hartley (1-3) and Ready (0-4).
"We finished pretty much on par with where I thought we'd finish," Schweiterman said. "The key is that a lot of them need to play in summer tournaments and have got to get matches in. That's our focus for the offseason."