Three of the four athletes who represented the Groveport Madison High School girls track and field team in the Division I regional meet were seniors.
Kendra Soler, Cleo Steward and Imani Johnson were joined by sophomore Toni Woods on the 400-meter relay that finished sixth in 48.78 seconds at regional, which was held May 24 and 26 at Pickerington North.
The top four finishers in each event advanced to state June 2 and 3 at Ohio State. Reynoldsburg (48.16) earned the final state berth in the 400 relay and Olentangy Orange (48.71) was fifth.
"Although we did not make it to state (in the 400 relay), those girls set the school record twice at regionals with a 48.8 in the semis and the 48.78 in the finals," girls coach Aaron Fenzel said. "It was a great way to finish the year.
"We had a handful of very good seniors this year that will be missed. Imani competed at regionals for all four years. We're going to need others to step up next year, but I expect that will happen. We had some young girls do some real good things."
The 400 relay reached regional by placing third (49.8) in the district 1 meet that concluded May 20 at Hilliard Darby, as the top four finishers in each event advanced.
Also at district, Johnson, Woods, freshman Madi Young and Steward finished fifth in the 800 relay (1:46.2) and fifth in the 1,600 relay (4:06.2).
Woods was the only Cruiser to score in an individual event at district, placing eighth in the long jump (16 feet, 6 1/4 inches) after winning the event (school-record 17-3 1/2) in the OCC-Capital Division meet held May 10 and 13 at Dublin Coffman.
The Cruisers totaled 12 points to place 12th of 17 teams at district, behind champion Coffman (94).
Also winning league titles were the 400 relay of Woods, Soler, freshman Makalia Boston and senior Reonna Harriston-Mitchell (51.14) and Johnson in the 400 (59.81). Placing second was the 3,200 relay of Young, freshman Melanie Torres and sophomores Victoria Williams and Ajenae Glover (school-record 10:15.44).
The Cruisers placed third (94) in the league meet behind Big Walnut (158) and Canal Winchester (117) and ahead of Newark (59), New Albany (54) and Franklin Heights (41).
Other expected returnees include junior Hannah Campbell, sophomores Sophia Barros, Alexis Green, Alashia Lancaster and Aysa Mosier and freshman Cherub Clarke.
The boys team ended its season in the district 1 meet, as it did not have any regional qualifiers.
The Cruisers scored 12 points at district to finish 13th of 15 teams, behind champion Olentangy Orange (124).
Sophomore Marvin Brooks was fifth in the 400 (51.17) and joined seniors Eric Grant and Mustafa Ali-Harbi and junior Joshua Max-Dixon on the fifth-place 800 relay (1:32.19) and senior Kudzovi Nuakey, Max-Dixon and Ali-Harbi on the sixth-place 1,600 relay (3:28.37).
Senior DeJuan McClure placed eighth in the discus (128-10).
The Cruisers finished fifth (47) in the OCC-Capital meet, behind Canal Winchester (152), Newark (116), Big Walnut (96) and New Albany (82) and ahead of Franklin Heights (30), as the 800 relay won the league title (1:31.35).
"Mark Wilson and Corey Newman were hurt late in the regular season and that made it very hard to qualify to regionals in (the 400 and 800 relays) without those two seniors," boys coach Jason Brooks said. "We were able to win the (800 relay) without them in the conference meet."
Other expected returnees include sophomore Peyton Baker and freshman Isaiah Pittman.
"Freshman Isaiah Pittman had an excellent year in the long jump and 300 hurdles," coach Brooks said. "The surprise runner of the year was Josh Max-Dixon, who broke our school record in the open 400 (50.71) and was the replacement at anchor for Mark Wilson (in the 800 and 1,600 relays) at OCCs and district.
"I am extremely excited about the future of our team. Our seventh- and eighth-grade team had a great season. ... I cannot wait for those runners to get up to the high school and start training with us for our indoor season next year."
Rock earns more
Senior catcher Jessie Rock of the softball team earned first-team all-state and all-district honors in Division I after being named OCC-Capital Player of the Year.
The Cruisers finished 23-6 overall, losing to ninth-seeded Lancaster 5-4 in a district final May 20 at Pickerington Central as the sixth seed, and won the OCC-Capital championship by going 10-0 in the league.
Junior pitcher Sara Gockenbach was named second-team all-district and junior outfielder Carsyn Saunders was honorable mention all-district.
Gockenbach and Saunders joined Rock on first-team all-league. Making second-team all-league were juniors Jodi Kern (1B) and Shyla Shirkey (2B), sophomore Lanie White (SS) and freshman Macie Sporleder (3B). Sophomore Lexi Wright (OF) and freshman Ally Maddy (OF) were honorable mention all-league.
Chris Downing was named league Coach of the Year.
Five baseball players
earn all-OCC honors
Senior Zach Ullom (3B) and junior Luis Pantoja (2B) both were named first-team all-OCC-Capital for the baseball team, which finished 7-16 overall and 6-9 in the league.
Senior Les Fearing (OF) made second team, freshman Austin Snyder (SS) was special mention and sophomore Logan Mayes (P/OF) was honorable mention.