The postseason is altogether different, as the members of the Westerville North High School girls track and field team quickly found out.
The Warriors advanced two relays from district to the Division I regional meet, which began May 24 and concludes Friday, May 26, at Pickerington North. The top four finishers in each event qualify for state June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
In the district 1 meet that concluded May 20 at Hilliard Darby, senior Karli Royer joined sophomore Riley Welsheimer and freshmen Jalyse Cornley and Jaiden Stokes on a pair of third-place finishers -- the 800-meter relay (1 minute, 45.05 seconds) and the 1,600 relay (4:01.2).
The top four in each district event advanced to regional, and Royer said the opposition was a step up from what North had seen only a week earlier in the OCC-Buckeye Division meet.
"When running against (Dublin) Coffman and Reynoldsburg (in the finals of the 1,600 relay), they were going so fast that it didn't feel like we were running as well," Royer said. "We were surprised by how fast Reynoldsburg and Coffman ran as compared to their times in the preliminaries."
North finished first in the 1,600-relay preliminary in 4:01.78, with Reynoldsburg second in 4:04.23 and Coffman seventh in 4:08.7. However, Reynoldsburg won the final in 3:57.21 and Coffman was runner-up in 3:59.11.
"We were supposed to do better than that," Welsheimer said of the 1,600-relay final. "We were supposed to get 3:57, that's what (coach Johnny Jackson) wanted us to get. We got a 4:01 again, which is our (best time).
"(Jackson is) tough, but it makes us better, so it's good. He sets a time for us to get."
Despite being the only senior on the two relays, Royer also is a beginner. It's her first season with the program.
"I'm basically a freshman as well," said Royer, who will play women's soccer at the University of Cincinnati. "Riley ran relays last year, but she has three new teammates (on the relays), so it's new for her as well.
"I really enjoy running the relays because you're running for someone else, not just for yourself. I always seem to run faster in relays (than in open events), and I think it's because I'm running for the team."
The Warriors were 10th (21 points) of 16 teams in district 1 behind champion Coffman (94).
The boys team advanced two competitors from the district 1 meet, where it finished 12th (26) of 15 teams behind champion Olentangy Orange (124).
Jeremiah Burton was third in the shot put (49 feet, 5 inches), and Jack Borden was fourth in the 1,600 (4:32.47).
Baseball team grew
The baseball team lost to eighth-seeded Big Walnut 10-2 on May 16 in a Division I district semifinal at Coffman.
The 23rd-seeded Warriors, playing in their first district semifinal since 2013, finished 15-14 overall.
North defeated 43rd-seeded Westland 10-0 in five innings May 8 in the first round and 12th-seeded Hilliard Davidson 7-5 on May 10 in the second round.
"We grew so much throughout the season," said coach Sean Ring, who completed his eighth season. "Many players were asked to play new positions or multiple positions and stepped up to the challenge. We had injuries along the way and teammates picked up guys in their absence."
North tied Olentangy Liberty for fourth (7-8) in the OCC-Buckeye behind Olentangy (12-3), Orange (10-5) and Westerville Central (8-7) and ahead of Westerville South (1-14).
Macguire George (honorable mention all-district, first-team all-league), Joe Legin (special mention all-league) and Josh Stover (second-team all-league) led a 10-player senior class.
"Our key to success was our culture," Ring said. "We had strong leadership from our experienced senior group who held players accountable to doing their jobs when called upon to help us compete day in and day out."
Key players expected to return are juniors Chad Gordish (P/OF), Josh Houston (INF/OF; honorable mention all-league) and Jack Murgas (INF/P) and sophomore Adam Stefanelli (INF).
Mayotte falls short in
Daniel Mayotte went 1-1 in the Division I district boys tennis tournament May 18 at Davidson.
He defeated Upper Arlington's Will Reynolds 7-5, 6-2 before losing to Hilliard Bradley's Mitchell Thai 6-0, 6-3 in a state-qualifying match.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state.
Boys volleyball team
loses in first round
The boys volleyball team lost at fifth-seeded Liberty 25-16, 20-25, 25-19, 25-23 on May 20 in the first round of the Division I East Region tournament.
The 10th-seeded Warriors finished 9-14.
North opened the postseason May 19 at home by defeating 16th-seeded Northland 25-4, 25-15, 25-17 in a play-in match.
Boys lacrosse team
ousted by Scioto
The boys lacrosse team opened the Division I, Region 3 tournament by losing at home to ninth-seeded Dublin Scioto 14-7 on May 17 in the second round.
Parker Hicks scored twice for the eighth-seeded Warriors, who finished 10-9.
Girls lacrosse team
falls in postseason
The girls lacrosse team lost at fourth-seeded Olentangy 21-6 on May 16 in the first round of the Division I, Region 1 tournament.
The 12th-seeded Warriors finished 4-15.
Big bats lead
The softball team batted .312 and reached its first Division I district semifinal since back-to-back appearances in 2010 and 2011.
The 20th-seeded Warriors finished 15-11 overall, losing to fourth-seeded Gahanna 5-0 on May 15 in a district semifinal at Pickerington North.
The Warriors defeated 32nd-seeded Whetstone 8-2 on May 8 in their postseason opener before winning at 13th-seeded Westerville Central 5-3 on May 10 in the second round.
"In order for our team to be successful, we had to make all routine plays and outhit our opponents," first-year coach Caitie Kilbane said. "Our lineup was productive (Nos.) 1 through 9, which was a huge part of our success."
The Warriors were third (5-5) in the OCC-Buckeye behind Central (10-0) and Olentangy (7-3) and ahead of Liberty (4-6), Orange (3-7) and South (1-9).
North's four seniors -- Michelle Brumfield (1B; .387, 18 RBI, 13 runs), Vicki Brumfield (OF; .338, 15 RBI, 18 runs, 6 doubles), Megan Crager (SS; .295, 14 RBI, 17 runs) and Leah Stamos (designated player; .355, 23 RBI, 19 runs) -- all turned in strong performances.
"The seniors set a standard of how we do things at North," Kilbane said. "Each one of our seniors were four-year varsity players and their growth over the years has been a large part of our success. They have set a solid foundation for our program."
Expected key returnees are juniors Kirsten Georges (2B; .391, 5 RBI, 23 runs), Kasyn Scarantine (C; .333, 13 RBI, 21 runs, 6 doubles), Makenzie Smucker (3B; .360, 7 home runs, 19 RBI, 7 doubles) and Delaney Stephens (OF; .355, 15 RBI, 27 runs, 5 triples) and sophomore Megan Zody (P; 10-8, 3.62 ERA, 108 innings).