Luis Bolanos-Cruz used to be intimidated when he stepped into the throwing circle for the Central Crossing High School boys track and field team, but that is a thing of the past.
The sophomore no longer pays attention to the competition when he throws for the Comets, but remains focused on the task at hand with utmost confidence.
Bolanos-Cruz won both the shot put (program-record 52 feet, 2 inches) and discus (147-7) in the OCC-Central Division meet May 11 and 13 at Dublin Coffman.
"I'm a lot smaller than a lot of the guys I go up against and that used to bother me," said Bolanos-Cruz, who is 5-foot-10 and 225 pounds. "Now I have the confidence when I compete and feel like I can do anything."
Bolanos-Cruz scored 20 of the Comets' 44 points in the league meet, as they finished fifth behind Coffman (160), Hilliard Davidson (133), Marysville (80) and Upper Arlington (69) and ahead of Westland (35).
Last season, Bolanos-Cruz's best efforts were 37-5 in the shot put and 125-0 in the discus. His technique and confidence have made a big difference.
"Luis has put in a lot of extra work to get better," assistant coach Sarah Hall said. "He also went from gliding in the shot put to learning the spin (approach). He really has been fine-tuning that."
Bolanos-Cruz and his teammates are competing in the Division I, district 2 meet, which began May 16 and 17 and concludes Saturday, May 20, at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional Wednesday, May 24, and May 26 at Pickerington North.
At regional, the top four in each event qualify for state June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
Nick Fulton also gave the Comets a boost in the league meet, tying for third in the pole vault (12-0).
"It's a benchmark for me," he said. "I'm trying to figure out what I can do with this pole and see if I need more for district."
The Comets had two placers in the 800 meters in the league, with C.J. Patrick finishing fourth (2 minutes, 2.14 seconds) and his brother, Greg Patrick, taking sixth (2:03.42). Selorm Adehe placed fourth in the 110 hurdles (16.63).
The 3,200 relay of the Patricks, Dylan Price and Michael Fry was fourth (8:34.69), and Amare Edwards was fifth in the 100 (11.34).
The girls team finished fifth (28) behind Davidson (156), Coffman (146.5), Marysville (100.5) and UA (80) and ahead of Westland (10).
Abiola Oseni was second in the 100 (12.75) and third in the 200 (26.58), and Julia Swallows was runner-up in the pole vault (11-0) and fourth in the long jump (15-2).
"I'm coming back from shin splints, so I'm still not there yet," Swallows said. "(Competing in the league meet) will help me get my step back and prepare me for district."
Placing sixth were Kiya Conner in the shot put (30-10 1/4) and Abriana Mann in the long jump (14-11 1/4).
Softball team falls
in district semifinal
The second-seeded softball team finished 18-3, losing to ninth-seeded Lancaster 2-0 in 12 innings May 15 in a Division I district semifinal at Pickerington Central.
Emily Gant took the loss despite having 22 strikeouts and walking only one in a three-hit performance.
Central Crossing also lost to Lancaster 4-0 on April 21.
The Comets, who had reached a district semifinal in six previous seasons -- 2004, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016 -- came up short of winning their fourth district title.
Central Crossing defeated Olentangy Liberty 12-1 in five innings in a district final last season.
In their prior two district finals, the Comets defeated Olentangy Orange 4-1 in eight innings in 2012 and Dresden Tri-Valley 2-1 in 2011.
They lost in regional finals in 2011 and 2012. They fell to eventual state runner-up Gahanna 4-3 in 2011 and to eventual state champion North Canton Hoover 12-0 in 2012.
Last season, the Comets lost to Teays Valley 6-1 in eight innings in a regional semifinal.
Central Crossing had a first-round bye before defeating 29th-seeded Briggs 19-0 in five innings in the second round May 10. Emily Gant and Baylie Baker combined on a one-hitter.
Boys tennis team ends
season at sectional
The boys tennis team participated in a Division I sectional tournament May 11 at Davidson, but did not have a singles player or doubles team advance to the second day of competition May 13.
Senior singles player Maxim Meleshchuk led the Comets by going 1-1. He defeated Northland's Brandon Waugh 1-6, 6-0, 6-1 in a play-in match before losing to Marysville's Alexander Seiltz 6-2, 6-3 in the first round.
Junior Ethan Wright and sophomore Owen Yoakum went 0-1 in singles. The doubles teams of juniors Tyler Moore and Peter Semchishin and junior Andrew Gunning and freshman Stephen Semchishin both finished 0-1.
Central Crossing finished 4-9 overall and placed fifth (0-4) in the OCC-Central behind UA (4-0), Coffman (3-1), Davidson (2-2) and Marysville (1-3).
Baseball team shut
down by Pioneers
The baseball team finished 11-15, losing at 11th-seeded Olentangy Orange 5-1 on May 10 in the second round of the Division I district tournament.
The 31st-seeded Comets were held to two hits, singles by Ben Bohne and Matt Reed. J.J. Carr took the loss, going six innings with three walks and no strikeouts.
The Comets manufactured a run in the sixth. Austin Woods drew a two-out walk then stole second and third. On the steal of third, the ball was misplayed and Woods scored.