Gia Napoleon had quite a day for the Thomas Worthington High School girls track and field team May 13 in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet at Dublin Coffman.
The sophomore won the 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 55.97 seconds, setting the school record, the meet record and the overall OCC record, regardless of division. The previous overall mark was 5:00.2, set by Kilbourne's Claire Durkin in 2008.Videos •Thomas Worthington girls track athlete Sarah Charley competes in the long jump in the OCC-Cardinal meet May 13. •Girls track athlete Lauren Hitt competes in the shot put in the May 13 OCC-Cardinal meet. •Boys track athlete Cade Richeson competes in the discus in the OCC-Cardinal meet May 13.
"She set out to establish the school record and ran an amazing race that broke all of those records," girls coach Andy Cox said. "The remarkable part of all of that was that her final lap was faster than her first lap, so it was a negative split, which was incredible. She pushed herself to the max."
But that was just the beginning for Napoleon. Later that day, she won the 800 (2:18.96) and ran the first leg of the winning 1,600 relay that set the meet record (3:59). The relay also included Breanne Beatty, Sarah Charley and Jazzlynn Gaiters.
Two days earlier in the league meet, Napoleon anchored the winning 3,200 relay, which ran a school-record 9:26.48. She was joined on the relay by Christina Nash, Hannah Moulton and Cassidy Shaver.
"Gia had 38 minutes between the end of the (1,600) and the start of the 800 and she came back and did enough to win that race," Cox said. "She has the fastest (Division I) time in the state in the 800, so she didn't go out there seeking a record there.
"But she also is on the (1,600 relay) at the end of the day, and they came out and set an OCC-Cardinal record, so that was special, too. Gia had a record day and record meet, and Jazzlynn Gaiters set the OCC-Cardinal mark in the 400 (56.94) and also was on the (1,600 relay)."
Also winning titles were Charley in the long jump (season-best 17 feet, 4 inches) and Moulton in the 3,200 (11:35.85).
The Cardinals totaled 143 points to place second, behind Hilliard Darby (189) and ahead of Dublin Scioto (91), Delaware (72), Hilliard Bradley (51), Kilbourne (44) and Dublin Jerome (41).
Finishing second for Thomas were Beatty in both the 100 hurdles (15.45) and 300 hurdles (46.52) and Nash in the 1,600 (5:19.11). Placing third were Shaver in the 800 (2:22.38), Kiara Coleman in the long jump (17-1/2), Alix Steele in the pole vault (9-6) and the 400 relay of Charley, Kyra Griffith, Stephanie Osafo and Coleman (50.59).
Led by Cade Richeson, Arjun Jha, Kainnan Ramsey and Khalil Jones, the boys team won the OCC-Cardinal title, scoring 192 points to finish ahead of Darby (155), Bradley (85), Jerome (75.5), Delaware (51), Scioto (44.5) and Kilbourne (22).
Richeson won the discus (167-5) and shot put (53-7 1/4), Jha won the 1,600 (meet-record 4:16.6) and 3,200 (9:32.08), Ramsey won the 100 (10.78) and 200 (22.09) and Jones won the long jump (22-9 3/4), finished second in the 110 hurdles (15.14) and placed third in the 300 hurdles (39.66).
Other winners were Andrew Black in the 110 hurdles (15.01), Andrew Morgan in the 800 (1:57.56) and the 3,200 relay of Ty Banks, Joshua Allen, Morgan and Jha (7:51.72).
Finishing second were Banks in the 1,600 (4:21.37), Allen in the 800 (1:59.39), Andrew Payne in the 3,200 (9:37.15), Antoine Cole in the pole vault (12-0) and the 800 relay of Jones, Zander Wigney, Ramsey and Antwan Howell (1:31.48).
"Cade is an incredibly talented kid who has worked extremely hard to be one of the top throwers in the state," boys coach Bill Darling said. "Kainnan went 10.65 in the 100 prelims to break our school record of 10.7, set by Justin Williams in 1997. Arjun is so talented that he could be the best in just about any 800, (1,600 or 3,200) field out there, and Khalil is a great athlete who can score consistently in his three individual events.
"We had a great league meet, but now it's time to turn the page and see what we can do in the district. We're peaking at the right time."
Thomas is competing in the Division I district meet this week.
The boys are in district 4 at Westerville South. The meet began with field events May 16, continues with running preliminaries Thursday, May 18, and concludes with running finals Saturday, May 20.
The girls are in district 2 at Hilliard Darby. The meet began with field events May 16, continued with running preliminaries May 17 and concludes with running finals Saturday, May 20.
The top four finishers in each district event advance to the regional meet Wednesday, May 24, and May 26 at Pickerington North. At regional, the top four finishers in each event advance to state June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
Britz takes second
at tennis sectional
Sophomore Kai Britz of the boys tennis team will begin his first foray into the Division I district tournament Thursday, May 18, at Hilliard Davidson.
He is seeking to finish among the top four to qualify for the state tournament May 26 and 27 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason. To do so, he must advance to the semifinal round Saturday, May 20, at Upper Arlington.
Britz will play Scioto's Joseph Hill in the first round at district.
Britz advanced to district in singles by finishing second in a sectional May 11 and 13 at Reynoldsburg. He was seeded second and lost 6-0, 6-0 to top-seeded Robert Cash of New Albany in the final.
Britz defeated Groveport's Chris Royster 6-0, 6-0 in the first round, Chillicothe's Michael Herlihy 6-1, 6-1 in the second round, Delaware's Ben Teitelbaum 6-0, 6-0 in a quarterfinal and New Albany's Chris Mathes 6-3, 6-2 in a semifinal. Mathes was the third seed.
Also competing at sectional in singles were Steve Jackman, who lost to Delaware's Daniel Brennan 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 in a play-in match, and JunSung Park, who fell to Reynoldsburg's Boban Mihajov 6-3, 6-3 in the first round.
In doubles, Luke Bobay and Myung Ho Chung won 6-0, 6-0 over Whitehall's Kane Wenell and Kaleb Regassa in the first round before losing 6-0, 6-0 to Olentangy Liberty's Hoang Do and Adithya Nair in the second, and Aaron Zeller and Deep Gupta fell to Delaware's Kyle Klumpp and Sam Bonofiglio 6-4, 6-1 in the first round.
Baseball team reaches
The baseball team improved to 19-4 by beating 16th-seeded Zanesville 3-0 in a Division I district semifinal May 15 at Gahanna, as Caleb Struewing allowed just four hits in his complete game.
The Cardinals played 11th-seeded Olentangy Orange in a district final May 17, with the winner advancing to a regional semifinal May 25 at Coffman.
The fourth-seeded Cardinals reached the district semifinal by edging 29th-seeded Pickerington North 1-0 at home in the second round May 10 after having a first-round bye.
Spencer Kiehl pitched into the seventh inning against North before being replaced by Trent Castle, who earned the save. The Cardinals allowed just one hit and scored the game's only run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Against Zanesville, the Cardinals scored twice in the second as Castle doubled, Andy Caddas had an RBI single and Kiehl followed with an RBI double. Kiehl doubled again in the sixth and pinch-runner Will Pischel scored on a fielder's choice.
Girls lacrosse team
wins league title
The girls lacrosse team defeated host Jerome 20-17 on May 11 to capture the OCC-Cardinal championship with a 6-0 record.
The Celtics finished 5-1 in league play.
Thomas then closed the regular season with a 14-9 loss to Massillon Jackson on May 13. Jackson was ranked second in the state in Division I.
The loss snapped a 10-game winning streak for Thomas, which was 14-3 before playing host to 14th-seeded Marysville in the first round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament May 16.
The Cardinals are seeded second of 15 teams in the region.
The first-round winner will play host to seventh-seeded Darby or eighth-seeded Gah-anna in a regional quarterfinal Friday, May 19. The winner plays host to third-seeded Jerome, sixth-seeded Pickerington Central, ninth-seeded Beavercreek or 12th-seeded Kettering Fairmont in a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 23.
The regional final is May 27.
Postseason begins for
boys lacrosse team
The boys lacrosse team entered the Division I, Region 3 tournament with a 3-15 record and on a five-game losing streak.
The Cardinals, seeded 11th of 19 teams, opened the postseason with a second-round game at sixth-seeded St. Charles on May 17. The winner plays at third-seeded Jerome or 14th-seeded Darby in a regional quarterfinal Saturday, May 20.
That winner will play at second-seeded Coffman, seventh-seeded Pickerington North, 10th-seeded Pickerington Central or 16th-seeded Beavercreek in a regional semifinal Wednesday, May 24. The regional final is May 27.
The Cardinals lost to visiting Cincinnati Moeller 15-3 on May 12 and to visiting Wexford (Pennsylvania) North Allegheny 12-6 on May 13.
Boys volleyball team
earns third win
The boys volleyball team went 1-2 in a quad match May 13 at Licking Heights, earning its third victory of the season.
The Cardinals lost to Middletown 25-14, 25-12 and Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph 25-14, 25-21 before beating the host Hornets 25-14, 25-12. Thomas was 3-20 before competing in the OCC Challenge on May 17 at Darby.
The Cardinals are seeded 17th of 18 teams in the Division I East Region tournament and will play fourth-seeded Hilliard Davidson in the first round Friday, May 19, at Westerville South. The winner will play second-seeded South or 18th-seeded Reynoldsburg in a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 23, at South.
The softball team struggled with inexperience all season, finishing 0-18 overall after losing to 22nd-seeded Liberty 20-0 on May 8 in the first round of Division I district tournament.
Thomas was seeded 43rd of 45 teams.
Entering the season, the Cardinals had only two players with a significant varsity experience for first-year coach Craig Andersen - senior Lauryn Hickman (3B/1B) and junior Kylie Wadkowski (SS). In addition, they didn't have any pitchers with varsity experience.
The Cardinals went 0-12 in the OCC-Cardinal to place seventh, behind Bradley (12-0), Scioto (9-3), Darby and Delaware (both 7-5), Jerome (5-7) and Kilbourne (2-10).
Hickman and Nicole Bienvenue (OF) were the only seniors on the roster.
Expected to return are Wadkowski, junior Marie Ashline (OF), sophomores Trinatee Kaczmarczyk (P/OF), Maddy Sever (C), Carmen Staton (3B/2B), McKenzie Seymour (OF) and Taylor Viebranz (P/2B) and freshmen Marika Johnson (utility), Jordan Miller (1B/OF) and Jillian Riegert (P/2B).