Thomas Worthington High School boys coach Bill Darling resisted the urge to comb websites for the updated team scores during the Division I regional track and field meet May 26 at Pickerington North.
“That would not be good for my heart,” Darling said, jokingly. “Winning meets like this isn't really a goal coming in. It's just to get kids to the state meet. I'd feel a little greedy paying much attention to the scores. But then … ”
He spoke while his grinning athletes posed for pictures with the championship trophy. The Cardinals scored 73 points to edge Pickerington Central (67) and Olentangy Orange (62).
On the girls side, Gahanna had 97 points to win its third consecutive regional title. Runner-up Pickerington Central (71) finished well back.
Thomas and Gahanna won in similar fashion, by scoring heavily across the board.
The Cardinals' only wins came from Arjun Jha in the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 10.33 seconds) and the Jha-anchored 3,200 relay (7:50.3).
"We got a lot of regional points that won't necessarily convert into state points, but it serves to emphasize the team aspect of a regional meet," Darling said. "We haven't won one of these in six years, and it's no secret how many great teams and athletes there are in this region."
The only wins for the Gahanna girls came in the 1,600 relay (3:49.08) and 3,200 relay (9:12.45). But the Lions have enough firepower across the board to contend for a state title next weekend.
"I'm always adding the points because winning regional titles is a goal for us," Gahanna coach Roger Whittaker said. "We really thought it would be tight with Pickerington Central. But we just kept doing what we do. Relays are the focal point of our team."
Ideal conditions and a talented group of athletes resulted in eight meet records falling.
Canal Winchester senior Lonzell Feagin, a Pittsburgh recruit, won the long jump (21 feet, 10 1/4 inches), 100 (10.67) and 400 (47.37) and finished second in the 200 (21.75).
"Thirty-eight points, that's kind of hard to process right now," Feagin said. "I came in here very confident and, obviously, wanted to win all of my events, but doing it is a whole other thing."
Dublin Coffman junior Abby Steiner stole the show among the girls. She set meet records in winning the 100 (11.71) and 200 (23.78) while anchoring the first-place 800 relay (1:40.15) and second-place 1,600 relay. The Kentucky commit is the defending state champion in both dashes.
"It's nice to get those records,” Steiner said, grinning. “Everything is all set up, hopefully, to end up the season on a high note next week."
Boys meet records were established by Pickerington Central's Matt Scrape in the 3,200 (9:02.07), Gahanna in the 400 relay (41.51) and Pickerington Central in the 1,600 relay (3:15.74). Max Frye of New Albany won the 110 hurdles (14.13) and 300 hurdles (38.2).
Other girls meet record-setters were Natalie Price of Granville in the 400 (52.93), Gia Napoleon of Thomas Worthington in the 800 (2:08.23) and Anna Watson of Olentangy Orange in the pole vault (12-8).
Hilliard Davidson senior India Johnson, the defending state champion the 3,200, won her specialty (10:46.23) and the 1,600 (4:52.64). Hope Purcell of Lancaster won the high jump (5-6) and long jump (18-4 3/4).