After a disappointing performance in the discus, junior Trent Bott of the Westland High School boys track and field team quickly refocused and turned in a personal-best effort in the shot put to earn his first regional berth.
Bott finished third in the shot put (48 feet, 11 1/4 inches) in the Division I, district 2 meet May 16 at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each event advanced to the regional Wednesday, May 24, and Friday, May 26, at Pickerington North.
At regional, the top four finishers in each event advance to state June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
"I was really happy that he was able to forget discus," coach Tim Eckard said. "To be a good thrower, you have to have a short memory. It showed some mental toughness on his side to have a disappointing day in discus and then turn around and throw a big (personal record) to get into the regional meet. I was very pleased with that."
Action at district for the boys continued with running preliminaries May 17 and concluded with running finals May 20.
The girls team competed in the district 3 meet May 17, 18 and 20 at Darby.
Bott's previous best in the shot put was 47-8 1/2, which he achieved while winning the event in the Best of the South-West meet April 13 at Franklin Heights.
Bott opened district by fouling on his first two attempts in the discus before a subpar effort of 113-8 to finish 16th. His personal best is 142-6, achieved April 25 in a five-team meet at Central Crossing.
"I think I got really confident with my warmup throws (in discus) because they were pretty far," Bott said. "I got overconfident and on my first try I fouled and I put more pressure on myself, and I fouled on the second throw and put more pressure on myself and just choked at the end."
Eckard said Bott will have to break his personal record in the shot put to advance to state.
"I'm looking at probably somewhere in the low 50s to get to state," Eckard said. "It's going to take a big PR, but he certainly has the athletic ability to do it. All the stars have to align right for him to pop off another big one."
Senior Curtiss Shore turned in a strong effort in the final meet of his prep career, as he had a season-best 129-4 to finish seventh in the discus.
"I wanted this all season," he said. "I set the goal and I did it."
Mamadu Nabe was ninth in the long jump (20-2 1/2).
Eckard was disappointed with his teams' performances in the OCC-Central Division meet May 11 and 13 at Dublin Coffman, as both the boys and girls finished sixth.
The boys (35 points) finished behind Coffman (160), Hilliard Davidson (133), Marysville (80), Upper Arlington (69) and Central Crossing (44). Bott was second in the shot put (47-8) and third in the discus (125-10), and Nabe was third in the long jump (20-1/2).
The girls (10) finished behind Davidson (156), Coffman (146.5), Marysville (100.5), UA (80) and Central Crossing (28). Vanessa Evans was fourth in the high jump (4-8).
"I'm not happy with the league meet," Eckard said. "We needed some kids to step up and the pressure got to some of our kids, unfortunately. I was very disappointed. I figured we'd be middle of the pack for the boys and we just had some of our slowest times."
Baseball team has
The baseball team had high expectations but finished 6-22 overall and 0-15 in the OCC-Central under third-year coach Neil Bittel.
The 43rd-seeded Cougars lost at 23rd-seeded Westerville North 10-0 in five innings in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 8.
"This season was not as successful as we would have hoped," Bittel said. "Our goal was to win one playoff game and we were not prepared to do that. Our expectation going into this year was double-digit wins and a playoff win. We fell far below that expectation. We are not where I expected us to be at this point."
Sophomore Zach Mon (SS/P/C), who missed part of the season with a shoulder injury, was named first-team all-league after leading the Cougars in batting average (.433), RBI (18) and runs (15).
Junior Nick Worthington (P/1B) was second-team all-league after batting .265 with 11 runs and 10 RBI. He had two of his team's six wins on the mound.
Senior Garrett Lawson (P/1B) was honorable mention all-league after batting .370 with 15 runs.
Freshman Kyle Bowles (SS/P) batted .312, and senior Roland Segarra (OF/P) batted .305.
Other players eligible to return are juniors Nate Clark (C), Alexis De la Cruz (3B/P), Tyler Gibson (1B) and Isaiah Mayes (OF), sophomore Braden Schoppert (INF) and freshmen Geno Sekura (2B/P) and Nevada Swackhammer (OF).
Westland finished sixth in the OCC-Central behind Davidson (11-4), Marysville (10-5), Coffman (9-5), UA (9-5) and Central Crossing (5-10).
The Cougars' most competitive league contest came against Central Crossing, a 7-4 loss in their final game of the season May 9.