Track and field is a numbers game in more than just times, distances and places.
That becomes apparent whenever Westerville North High School coach Johnny Jackson sends his Warriors against OCC-Buckeye Division rivals that not only have more experience, but 100-plus athletes to choose from to fill events.
"We struggled this year, but we have some talent," said Jackson, who completed his 14th season leading the girls and his 12th leading the boys. "One of the things we need is to have more athletes come out from other sports. The teams we go against have these good, strong athletes and the other two (Westerville) schools are getting them. We need to work toward adding those athletes from our school."
The boys team had only two athletes and the girls had a pair of relays compete in the regional meet May 24 and 26 at Pickerington North. The Warriors did not have any state qualifiers, and neither team scored at regional.
For the boys, senior Jack Borden finished 12th in the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 49.25 seconds) and sophomore Jeremiah Burton placed ninth in the shot put (48 feet, 5 1/2 inches).
For the girls, senior Karli Royer, freshman Jaiden Stokes, sophomore Riley Welsheimer and freshman Jalyse Cornley competed on the 10th-place 800 relay (1:44.89) and 10th-place 1,600 relay (4:06.1).
Welsheimer said Jackson makes the most of practice time to ensure his athletes show continued improvement.
"We do several things in practice like a workout that coach (Jackson) calls a cone workout," Welsheimer said. "We do that all the time to get our times in the 400, and it works."
Royer, Welsheimer, Stokes and Cornley won the 1,600 relay (4:01.91) in the OCC-Buckeye meet May 11 and 13 at Olentangy Orange. The Warriors tied Olentangy for fifth (40 points) behind Orange (155.67), Central (132.33), Olentangy Liberty (96) and South (59).
Junior Leah Freeman joined Stokes, Welsheimer and Cornley on the runner-up 800 relay (1:45.72).
Senior Anthony Wong led the boys in the league meet by placing third in the long jump (21-4 1/4). He joined sophomore Parish Boahen, junior Carter Hudnell and sophomore Ryan Cooper on the fourth-place 800 relay (1:35.03), and was on the fourth-place 400 relay (45.14) with Boahen, junior Dorian Reynolds and sophomore Cyrus Neville.
The Warriors finished sixth (20) behind Orange (187), South (117), Olentangy (84), Liberty (60) and Central (42).
"We didn't have a lot of people advance (from district to regional), but we had a bunch of winners," Jackson said. "We had young kids who were getting (personal records) and when you PR you still win because you're continuing to get better.
"We have a good staff who works hard to make sure the kids get better. Now we just need more athletes to come out and join us."
Girls lacrosse team
was in learning mode
A youthful girls lacrosse team suffered growing pains while finishing 4-15 overall.
The Warriors were sixth (2-5) in the OCC-Buckeye behind New Albany (7-0), Liberty (6-1), Olentangy (5-2), Orange (4-3) and Central (3-4) and ahead of Big Walnut (1-6) and South (0-7).
North was seeded 12th in the Division I, Region 1 tournament and lost at fourth-seeded Olentangy 21-6 on May 16 in the first round.
The Warriors had just five seniors on their 21-player roster in Abbey Chafin (midfielder), Megan Harris (attacker), Rhanda MacNamee (defender), Noel Saffold (defender) and Alyssa Villilo (attacker).
Juniors Sydney Chafin (defender), Emily Garee (attacker) and Tatiana Siesnick (attacker) are key players expected back for a team that had 11 freshmen and sophomores on its roster. Sophomores Kait Boso (midfielder), Gracie Heighway (midfielder) and Kate Smith (defender) and freshmen Paige Miller (midfielder) and Maddie Morrison (goalkeeper) also are expected to return.
Boys lacrosse team
expects honorees back
The boys lacrosse team expects to return a pair of players who earned postseason honors.
The Warriors went 10-9 overall and finished sixth (2-5) in the OCC-Buckeye behind Liberty (7-0), New Albany (5-2), Olentangy (5-2), Orange (5-2) and Central (3-4) and ahead of Big Walnut (1-6) and South (0-7).
Junior defender Zach Whaley was second-team all-region and all-league, and junior goalie Richard Du was honorable mention all-region and all-league.
Other key performers expected back are junior attacker Luke Fuller, junior midfielder Kendrick Rodgers and sophomore midfielder Will Olson.
The eighth-seeded Warriors lost their Division I, Region 3 tournament opener to ninth-seeded Dublin Scioto 14-7 in the second round May 17 at home.
Attacker Tommy Bichsel (first-team all-region and all-league) and defender Keeton Rafferty (honorable mention all-region) led a seven-player senior class.