Mallory Harr had a lot to do May 20, not the least of which was graduating from Pickerington High School North.

But as her coach put it, the senior sprinter for the girls track and field team has displayed an ability to "compartmentalize" and focus on the task at hand.

Harr excelled in the Division I, district 1 meet that concluded May 20 at Hilliard Darby, winning the 100-meter hurdles in a school-record 14.78 seconds and finishing second in the 300 hurdles in another record time of 43.95.

The second of those races, the 300 hurdles, took place less than three hours before Harr's graduation.

She admitted her goal entering the season was to own both hurdles records, but said her times have exceeded her expectations.

"I wasn't expecting a 43 (on May 20) at all. It is very exciting," Harr said. "I just trained all year round, through the summer and in indoor. Lifting weights made me a lot stronger. I am much more explosive now."

Harr's performances, as well as those by Jannie Kamara and Jessie Kinder, powered North to 58 points and a seventh-place finish in the 17-team meet, behind champion Dublin Coffman (94).

Kamara won the discus (125 feet, 9 inches) and was second in the shot put (37-4 1/2), and Kinder was third in the pole vault (10-8).

The top four finishers in each event advanced to regional, which began May 24 and concludes Friday, May 26, at North.

Coach Jim Langenderfer picked Harr as a potential standout early this season.

"She's been focused. Despite everything seniors have to deal with the week of graduation, this is extremely important," Langenderfer said. "She was light on her feet. She has improved all four years. She is very intense. She races her fastest against the best competition."

The boys team finished third (62) of 15 teams in district 1, behind champion Olentangy Orange (124).

Ashwin Briggs finished first in the 1,600 (4:23.98) and third in the 800 (1:57.6) and was on the fourth-place 3,200 relay (8:17.02) with Ethan Cale, Keaton McNair and Harper Moore. Ben Pierce won the pole vault (14-0) and was fourth in the 300 hurdles (40.84).

"I just wanted to place for regional, but that (4:23.98) is my second-best time (4:21 is his personal-best), so I am happy with that," said Briggs, adding that he has dropped about 12 seconds in the 1,600 in the past year. "I've improved a lot since last year and exceeded my expectations. I've hit everything I've wanted to hit so far."

Tyrik Carter placed third in the 110 hurdles (15.24) and was on the fourth-place 400 relay (43.73) with Enrique Cabotage, Jalaun Covington and Kavaughn Robinson.

At regional, the top four finishers in each event qualify for the state meet June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.

"Our team is young and strong right now," Briggs said. "We'll see how it all goes."

Boys volleyball team
wins tourney opener

The boys volleyball team was one win away from its second consecutive Division I East Region final appearance when it took on third-seeded Olentangy in a regional semifinal May 23.

Ninth-seeded North entered the match at 10-13, coming off a 25-21, 21-25, 26-24, 25-18 win over Hilliard Bradley in a first-round match May 20 at Olentangy.

The semifinal winner plays second-seeded Westerville South or fourth-seeded Hilliard Davidson in a regional final Friday, May 26, at Westerville Central. The regional champion advances to a state quarterfinal June 3.

North lost to Davidson twice in OCC-Capital Division play during the regular season, falling 25-14, 25-14, 25-8 on April 13 and 25-21, 25-19, 25-18 on May 2.

Boys lacrosse team
falls to Shamrocks

The boys lacrosse team could not sustain the momentum of a win over Central to begin the Division I, Region 3 tournament, as it lost 17-4 at second-seeded Coffman in a quarterfinal May 20.

Bryce Keaton, Keaton Trout, Landon Trout and Jacob Wollenberg each scored for the seventh-seeded Panthers, who finished 8-11. Hayden Drennan made 16 saves.

Landon Trout had five goals in North's 12-5 win over 10th-seeded Central in a second-round game May 17 at home. It was the Panthers' second win over the Tigers in five days, as they beat Central 13-2 to end the regular season May 12.

Boys tennis season
ends at district

Christian Keen of the boys tennis team trailed Olentangy's Stu Brdicka early in a Division I district tournament first-round match and never recovered, losing 6-0, 6-1 on May 18 at Davidson to end the Panthers' season.

Keen, the Panthers' only district qualifier, had to wait out a weather delay that lasted more than two hours to play the final game of the match.

"Christian is a fighter out there. He plays with a lot of heart and he plays hard on every point," interim coach Evan Carr said. "He fought his way through to district. He played some of the best tennis of his career."

Keen placed fourth in a sectional that concluded May 13 at Central, where the top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district.

North expects to return most of its lineup, as Keen and Peter Vanderhoff were the team's only seniors. Among the players eligible to return are juniors Grant Schroeder, Sam Marrison, Evan Ross and Vamsi Vanguri and sophomores Balakrishna Brahmandam and David Wang.

The Panthers finished 11-7 overall and 4-1 in the OCC-Ohio, placing second behind Gahanna (5-0) and ahead of Central (3-2), Grove City (2-3), Reynoldsburg (1-4) and Lancaster (0-5).

Carr coached the final few weeks of the regular season while coach Brian Hoff took a medical leave of absence. According to Carr, Hoff will return for the girls team's season this fall.

"It's been a honor and a lot of fun," Carr said.

"I had some big shoes to fill. (Hoff) has definitely been missed."

Underclassmen helped
girls lacrosse team

Several of the girls lacrosse team's top contributors for first-year coach Christine Miller are eligible to return after North went 4-13 overall and 1-5 in the OCC-Central.

Underclassmen who started or saw considerable playing time include juniors Giovanna Chiudioni (attacker), Shannon Dornfeld (midfielder), Sydnee Saksa (attacker) and Abbey Wilson (attacker) and sophomores Megan Debolt (attacker/goalie), Lexie Johnson (attacker) and Abbey Wilmer (defender).

Seeded 11th in the 15-team Division I, Region 3 tournament, the Panthers lost 18-6 at fifth-seeded Coffman in a first-round game May 15.

North finished sixth in the league behind Upper Arlington (6-0), Central (5-1), Coffman (4-2), Gahanna (3-3) and Davidson (2-4) and ahead of Marysville (0-6).

Senior goalie Jessica Pinkerton is a Wittenberg University recruit.

The Panthers put together consecutive wins late in the season, defeating Fairmont (West Virginia) 13-12 on May 6 and Westerville South 21-1 on May 9. Their other wins were against Dublin Scioto (9-7 on April 4) and Marysville (14-6 on April 25).

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave