Adam Walters was still coaching his athletes on the Olentangy Orange High School boys and girls track and field teams May 13 after they had won OCC-Buckeye Division titles.
The Pioneers were lining up for championship photos on their home turf when Walters chimed in, "Girls hold up three fingers and boys go with two!"
The girls team won its third consecutive league title with 155.67 points, finishing ahead of Westerville Central (132.33), Liberty (96), Westerville South (59) and Olentangy and Westerville North (both 40). The girls won OCC-Capital titles the past two seasons.
The boys totaled 187 points to run away from South (117), Olentangy (84), Liberty (60), Central (42) and North (20). The Pioneers won the OCC-Capital title last year.
Allison Guagenti was close to sweeping the three girls distance races. The sophomore won the 1,600 meters in an all-OCC record of 4 minutes, 58.73 seconds and the 800 (2:16.64) before coming in second in the 3,200 (11:32.96). She also was a member of the runner-up 3,200 relay (9:29.98) with Brynna Johnson, Elizabeth Schneider and Lindsay Ott.
"It's something that I won't be doing in the postseason, but it's good to know that I can do it," Guagenti said of competing in all of the events. "I wanted to get as many points as I could for the team in this meet."
Anna Watson went 13 feet, 3 inches in the pole vault to set an all-OCC record. Brenda Agyekum won the 100 (12:33) and was second in the 200 (25.55).
Megan Cochran won the discus (113-4), and Grace Frye was runner-up in both the 300 hurdles (46.46) and discus (111-6). Tiere Richardson was second in the long jump (16-9 3/4).
Zach Harrison and Hunter Moore led the way for the boys.
Harrison won the 200 in a program-record 21.58 and anchored the first-place 800 relay (1:28.4) that also included Joel Sarpong, T.J. Coates and Kevin Acheampong. Harrison also was on the winning 1,600 relay (3:21.55) with Coates, Tyler King and Christian Wright.
Moore won both the 1,600 (4:21.05) and 3,200 (4:32.69). He also was on the winning 3,200 relay (7:59.49) with Tommy Heiden, King and Andrew Schroff.
Coates won the 400 (49.25), and Nate Roush was first in the pole vault (14-0). Jayden Rodgers won the 110 hurdles (14.41) and high jump (6-4), and King won the 800 (1:56.55).
The Pioneers finished in the top two spots in the long jump, with Jaesch Acheampong winning (22-7 1/4) and Kevin Acheampong second (21-8). Zach Skidmore won the shot put (50-10 3/4), and Tommy Wintering was second in the 3,200 (9:50.34).
The runner-up 400 relay (43.47) featured Brandon Ransom, Sarpong, Kevin Acheampong and Rodgers.
"This is a big confidence boost going into district," Harrison said. "It gives us even higher expectations."
The Pioneers opened the Division I postseason this week at Hilliard Darby. The boys are in district 1, which began May 16 and continues Thursday, May 18, and Saturday, May 20. The girls are in district 2, which began May 16 and 17 and concludes Saturday, May 20.
The top four finishers in each event advance to regional Wednesday, May 24, and May 26 at Pickerington North. The top four in each regional event advance to state June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
Girls lacrosse team
wins postseason opener
The girls lacrosse began the Division I, Region 1 tournament by defeating ninth-seeded Toledo Notre Dame 14-7 on May 15 in the first round.
Hannah Brown and Bella Lindell had two goals apiece for the sixth-seeded Pioneers, who are 6-12 overall.
The winner advanced to a regional quarterfinal Friday, May 19, at third-seeded Liberty or 12th-seeded Delaware. Orange did not play Delaware this season, but lost to the Patriots 15-7 on April 19 in OCC-Buckeye action.
That winner moves on to a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 23, at second-seeded Medina, seventh-seeded Olentangy, eighth-seeded Westerville North or 13th-seeded Whitehouse Anthony Wayne. The Pioneers did not play Anthony Wayne or Medina this season, but lost to Olentangy 20-13 on April 13 and defeated North 17-3 on May 10 in league play.
The regional final is May 27.
Against North, Brooke Delara scored four goals and Lauren Clary, Breea Cristofoli and Kailee O'Brien all had two. Corynn Schneider had five saves and Grace McAninch added three.
Boys lacrosse team
begins regional play
The third-seeded boys lacrosse team was 11-5 before opening the Division I, Region, 1 tournament May 17 against 12th-seeded Brunswick in the first round.
The winner plays host to sixth-seeded Perrysburg or ninth-seeded Westlake on Saturday, May 20, in a regional quarterfinal. The Pioneers did not play either team this season.
The regional semifinal is Wednesday, May 24, at second-seeded Olentangy, seventh-seeded Anthony Wayne, ninth-seeded Strongsville or 13th-seeded Wadsworth. Orange did not play Anthony Wayne, Strongsville or Wadsworth this season, but defeated the Braves 9-7 on April 13 in OCC-Buckeye play.
The regional final is May 27.
The Pioneers closed the regular season with a 9-5 loss to St. Charles on May 9. Mason Handa scored three goals and Mitch Clifford had 14 saves.
Baseball team plays
in district semifinal
The baseball team played in its fifth Division I district semifinal in six seasons when it defeated fifth-seeded Canal Winchester 5-3 on May 15 at Ohio Dominican.
Tyler Brown had 15 strikeouts and three walks in a four-hit performance. Zach Stiteler had a two-run game-winning single in the fifth.
The 11th-seeded Pioneers were 19-8 overall before playing fourth-seeded Thomas Worthington in a district final May 17.
The district champion plays Darby or Pickerington Central in a regional semifinal May 25 at Dublin Coffman.
Matt Poole tossed a two-hitter with nine strikeouts and three walks as the host Pioneers defeated 31st-seeded Central Crossing 5-1 on May 10 in the second round.
Orange finished 10-5 in the OCC-Buckeye after defeating Westerville North 6-0 on May 11. Jason Schutte threw a five-hitter.
Alex Heiden and David Phelps won the doubles championship in a Division I boys tennis sectional May 13 at Pickerington Central, advancing to district.
Heiden and Phelps will compete Thursday, May 18, at Hilliard Davidson.
The district tournament concludes Saturday, May 20, at UA, and the top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to state May 26 and 27 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Heiden and Phelps went 4-0 at sectional, defeating Dublin Jerome's Michal Lin and Daniel Utkin 6-0, 6-4 in a semifinal and Jerome's Nate Meadors and Pranav Murali 6-1, 6-1 in the final.
David Cavote and Tejas Venkatachalam finished 2-1 at sectional, losing to Central's Leyton Mathias and Jeremy O'Coner 6-4, 6-1 in a district-qualifying match.
Kyle Brace and Neel Mansukhani both went 1-1 in singles, and Zach Shaver was 0-1.