After missing last season with a broken right arm, Westerville Central High School junior Luke Finnegan entered this week with his sights set on making a postseason run for the boys track and field team.
The Warhawks are competing in the Division I, district 1 meet at Hilliard Darby. The meet began May 16 with running event preliminaries, continues Thursday, May 18, with field events and concludes Saturday, May 20, with running finals.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional Wednesday, May 24, and May 26 at Pickerington North, with the top four finishers at regional advancing to state June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
"It feels great being back," Finnegan said. "I came to most of the stuff I could attend last season, but I was pretty busy with physical therapy and everything. ... It was tough to watch."
Finnegan turned in a strong effort in the OCC-Buckeye Division meet May 11 and 13 at Olentangy Orange, finishing second in the 100 meters (10.99 seconds) and 200 (21.85) and joining Nathan Schroeder, David Madison and Dymon Gainey on the third-place 1,600 relay (3:27.32).
"This gets us ready for district," Finnegan said. "I'm working with my team and practicing every week, practicing the blocks, repetitively. It gets me better and better every week."
Finnegan, Tyrone Johnson, Ashton Gilkey and Bryson Gilmore were in contention to win the 400 relay, but were disqualified for an illegal baton exchange.
As a freshman, Finnegan was a member of the 13th-place 400 relay at regional.
Central finished fifth (42 points) in the league meet behind Orange (187), Westerville South (117), Olentangy (84) and Olentangy Liberty (69) and ahead of Westerville North (20).
"We definitely learned some stuff and we got a better feel for where we are in some events," coach Jason Loughman said. "There's a couple of those sprint relays that we would like to have back, but it's better to get that stuff out of the way in the OCC before it's time to move on and do-or-die time at district. We have some momentum going into district."
Girls track team
The girls track team finished second (132.33) in the OCC-Buckeye meet behind Orange (155.66) and ahead of Liberty (96), South (59), North (40) and Olentangy (40).
Taylor Stills continued her strong season by establishing an OCC-Buckeye record in winning the long jump (17 feet, 2 3/4 inches). Hilliard Davidson's Brittney Cheese set the previous high mark of 17-1 1/2 in 2007.
Stills also won the high jump (5-2). She holds the program records in the long jump (17-7) and high jump (5-4).
"This shows me what I can do under pressure from already being tired," Stills said. "The long jump was up there, but not my best. I'm feeling pretty good."
Abigail Steele won the shot put (37-2), McKenna Fry, Sydney Kapral, Emma Dyer and Chloe Ey won the 3,200 relay (9:21.41) and Kendall Allen, Princella Ackon, Delaney Reed and Savannah Hall won the 400 relay (49.19).
"This was a great meet," coach Ryan Borland said. "This is a really tough conference. Olentangy Orange is a super good team and our girls were right there until the end. We just ran out of athletes. Being tested like this is a great thing for the postseason because we showed that with competition we rose up to the challenge, and I think we're ready to have a great postseason."
Central also is competing in the district 1 meet.
Boys lacrosse team
The 12th-seeded boys lacrosse team was 6-12 before playing fifth-seeded New Albany on May 17 in the second round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament.
The winner plays at fourth-seeded Davidson or 13th-seeded Hilliard Bradley in a quarterfinal Saturday, May 20, with the winner playing at top-seeded Upper Arlington, eighth-seeded North, ninth-seeded Dublin Scioto tor 18th-seeded Kettering Fairmont in a semifinal Wednesday, May 24.
The regional final is May 27.
Girls lacrosse team
loses tourney opener
The ninth-seeded girls lacrosse team lost at seventh-seeded Perrysburg 13-6 in the first round of the Division I, Region 1 tournament May 15.
The Warhawks finished the season 7-11.
drops tourney opener
The 18th-seeded baseball team lost at 16th-seeded Zanesville 6-0 in the second round of the Division I district tournament May 10.
The Warhawks, who finished 14-14, managed just one hit against Zanesville's Caden Mumaw.
"Baseball is a tricky sport sometimes," coach Jeff Keifer said. "You get a real short window and sometimes you get hot, sometimes you make a run and sometimes it's just not in the cards."
Boys volleyball team
preps for postseason
The boys volleyball team enters the Division I East Region tournament at 6-13.
Central is seeded 14th of 19 teams and plays 11th-seeded Bradley in a play-in match Friday, May 19, at home or Westerville North. The winner plays ninth-seeded Pickerington North in the first round Saturday, May 20, at Olentangy, with that winner playing third-seeded Olentangy or 13th-seeded Upper Arlington in a semifinal Tuesday, May 23, at Westerville South.
The regional final is May 26 at home.
The Warhawks lost to visiting UA 25-20, 25-18, 25-14 on May 11.
loses to North
The 13th-seeded softball team saw its season end with a 5-3 loss to 20th-seeded North in the second round of the Division I district tournament May 10 at home.
Central had defeated the Warriors 11-7 on April 12 and 7-3 on April 24 on its way to winning its fourth consecutive OCC title.
The Warhawks fell behind 5-0 in the fifth inning before rallying. Senior shortstop Megan McMenemy, who will play at Ohio State, hit a two-run home run in a three-run fifth inning.
girls basketball coach
Jim Morgan has stepped down after two seasons as Delaware girls basketball coach to take the same position at Central.
Morgan replaces Jamiya Pride, who coached the Warhawks to a 48-88 record in six seasons, including 1-22 last season.
Athletics director Andy Ey confirmed the hiring of Morgan, who compiled a 15-31 record with Delaware. The Pacers went 10-13 last season after finishing 5-18 in 2015-16.