The Worthington Kilbourne High School boys track and field team has high expectations this season as its depth continues to grow for third-year coach Josh Stegman.

"This is the most depth we have had in four seasons," Stegman said. "We have been growing in numbers consistently and nearly 70 boys are participating this season. I'm looking forward to success in most areas of the team and hopefully we can move up from our ninth-place finish at the district meet last season.

"Our success will primarily be related to how well our relay teams do. There's a buzz on the team being created by the possibility of advancing 10 or 12 athletes to the regional meet."

In the Division I state meet last season, junior Elijah Young placed 16th in the pole vault (12 feet, 6 inches). He also is one of the Wolves' top athletes in the high jump, long jump and sprints.

"Eli should be our top-scoring athlete," Stegman said. "His quiet confidence, attention to detail and willingness to put forth the extra effort have been the factors to his success and he is stronger and faster at this point this season than he was at the end of last season.

"He returns with goals of breaking school records in the pole vault (14-0) and long jump (22-5) as well as challenging to win the OCC-Cardinal Division long jump title and defend his district title. He also is our best runner in the 200 meters and will lead off our 800 relay early in the season."

Young was Kilbourne's lone regional qualifier last year. At regional, he placed second in the pole vault (13-4) and sixth in the long jump (20-3 1/2), as the top four finishers in each event advanced to state.

Other key returnees include junior Jack Begley and senior Caleb Martin. In the district 3 meet last year, Begley placed fifth in the 3,200 meters (10 minutes, 14.21 seconds) and Begley and Martin were members of the sixth-place 3,200 relay (8:28.83).

Senior Josh Bowen, junior Johnny Berardi and sophomores John Cuozzo, Gabe Knuth and Tanner Williams will provide support in the distance events, while senior Jason Bowen, juniors Lucas LaFleur and Peyton Spann and sophomore Keegan Smith are expected to lead in the middle distance events.

"Our team strength still lies in the distance events," Stegman said. "We will continuously count on points coming from the 1,600, 3,200 and the (3,200 relay).

"But Jason Bowen, LaFleur and Smith are soccer players that have joined the track team for the first time and could be instant contributors in middle distance. Jason Bowen and (sophomore) Joel Friedman will lead our hurdlers."

Other expected contributors include seniors Jack Wieland and Justin Myers, junior Joey McQuade, sophomores Asa Compton, Sam English and Tyler Turner and freshman Luke Compton in the sprints, Wieland, Turner and senior Charles Costello in the high jump, Costello and sophomore Michael Richardson in the pole vault and senior Ben Morgan, sophomores Josh Carter, Hayden Shaffer and Carter Haase and freshman Terrique Gray in the throws.

The Wolves finished fourth (60 points) in the 12-team Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays on April 7 behind host and champion Big Walnut (94). Young tied for first in the long jump (20-7 1/2) and Begley, Williams, Martin and Knuth finished first in the 6,400 relay (19:28.91) and second in the 3,200 relay (8:56.49).

Gray and McQuade tied for third in the high jump (5-6) and the distance medley relay of Cuozzo, Berardi, Martin and Begley placed third (11:36.31).

Girls track team to round into form

Sophomore Sasha Bomser is expected to lead the girls track and field team as the lone returning Division I regional qualifier.

Other key athletes include seniors Audrey Hunt, Chelsey Kao and Keira Smith, juniors Natalie Guist and Grace Tefend and sophomores Chidima Anaraodo and Abby Deitrick.

"I think we've got several talented girls who should combine to make up for the loss of points (from 2017 graduate and state-placer Ndidiamaka Anaraodo)," 10th-year coach Chip Seely said. "We've got quite a few returnees who I believe will step it up this year. We've got seven seniors and six have been in the program all four years, so they will be good leaders.

"But overall, we're a pretty young team that will round into form by late April, if the weather warms up soon."

Ndidiamaka Anaraodo placed eighth at state in the shot put (40-10) last season after winning regional (40-7 1/2), district 3 (40-1) and OCC-Cardinal (40-2) titles.

At regional, Bomser finished 12th in the 1,600 (5:17.34).

"I think Sasha and Keira are going to put up some great times to lead us in distance events and we're going to rely on Audrey Hunt, Natalie Guist and Grace Tefend in sprints," Seely said. "Audrey is also going to score well in the long jump, too. I've never had a girl go over 16 feet in the long jump in my 47 years of coaching, but she should do that this year."

Tefend and senior Chelsey Kao should provide depth in the long jump, while Kao also is expected to lead in the middle distance events with sophomores Elise Elliott and Victoria Stavish contributing.

Other expected contributors include Chidima Anaraodo, senior Ashley Laudermilch and sophomores Brooklyn Richardson and Sammy Cotrill in the throws, Deitrick and senior Melissa Giordano in the pole vault, freshman Lee Sellers in the hurdles, freshman Aerial Davis in the high jump and sprints and junior Hannah Christian and freshmen Rakih Beckley and Amya Harris in the sprints.

In the Golden Eagle Relays, Hunt won the long jump (15-8 1/2) and Chidima Anaraodo won the shot put (32-7 1/2). Finishing second were the 6,400 relay of Bomser, Smith, senior Sydney Shannon and freshman Chloe Emberton (25:01.26) and the distance medley relay of Bomser, Elliott, Stavish and Smith (10:14.98).

Richardson placed third in the shot put (32-0) as the Wolves finished fifth (54) behind champion Westerville Central (104).

Boys tennis team has veteran look

With its entire postseason lineup returning from last season and an influx of competitors challenging to take their spots, the boys tennis team has high hopes this spring.

"I believe we can be a top-10 team in central Ohio, possibly winning an OCC-(Cardinal) championship," 19th-year coach Steve Metzmaier said. "We have a lot more experience and depth this year."

Last season, the Wolves finished 3-10 overall and went 2-4 in the league to tie Hilliard Bradley and Thomas for fourth place behind champion Dublin Jerome (6-0).

Returning after competing in a Division I sectional at Reynoldsburg last season are senior Jack Leftridge, juniors Jacob Lindaman, Gordan Liu, Joe Scherer and William Wiet and sophomores Zach Palmer and Shivesh Sankar.

Sankar reached a district-qualifying match in singles and Lindaman and Wiet reached a district-qualifying match in doubles, but none of the Wolves finished among the top four to advance to district.

Also in singles, Liu went 1-1 and Leftridge lost his opening match. Palmer and Scherer lost in the first round in doubles.

"Gordan likes to hit the ball," Metzmaier said. "He can dominate when he's on. Shavesh is more of a grinder. His opponents will have to work hard to beat him."

The Wolves were 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Dublin Scioto on April 10.

Kilbourne opened March 23 by beating Olentangy Liberty 3-2. It then defeated Bradley 3-2 on April 5 before losing to Jerome 5-0 on April 6.

Liu opened at first singles, with Sankar at second singles, Leftridge at third singles, Wiet and Lindaman at first doubles and Scherer and Palmer at second doubles.

Others on the team include senior Anas Tantash, juniors Sam Barr and Ishan Gore and sophomore Ved Sanpath.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

BOYS TENNIS

March 23 -- at Olentangy Liberty

*April 3 -- at Hilliard Darby

*April 5 -- at Hilliard Bradley

*April 6 -- vs. Dublin Jerome

*April 10 -- vs. Dublin Scioto

*April 12 -- vs. Delaware

April 18 -- at Pickerington North

*April 19 -- vs. Thomas

April 20 -- vs. Cincinnati Seven Hills

April 25 -- vs. Dublin Coffman

April 28 -- Worthington Cup at Thomas

May 1 -- vs. Gahanna

May 2 -- at Hilliard Davidson

May 3 -- Whetstone at Park of Roses

May 7 -- vs. Pickerington Central

May 8 -- vs. Watkins Memorial

May 9 -- at Olentangy Liberty

TRACK & FIELD

March 24 -- Icebreaker Invitational at Watkins Memorial

March 27 -- at Upper Arlington

April 4 -- at Marysville

April 7 -- Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays at Big Walnut

April 10 -- vs. Central Crossing

April 14 -- Dublin Classic at Dublin Coffman

April 17 -- at Big Walnut

April 20 -- Fulton Relays at Lancaster

April 24 -- at Dublin Coffman

April 28 -- Gary Smith Invitational at Thomas

May 1 -- vs. Thomas

May 5 -- Teays Valley Invitational

May 10, 12 -- OCC-Cardinal meet at Dublin Coffman

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Kilbourne baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, softball and boys volleyball teams:

BASEBALL

April 12 -- At St. Charles

*April 14 -- At Hilliard Bradley

*April 16 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto

*April 18 -- At Scioto

BOYS LACROSSE

*April 12 -- At Bradley

April 14 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington

*April 17 -- At Delaware

GIRLS LACROSSE

*April 12 -- At Bradley

April 14 -- Home vs. Cincinnati Mariemont

*April 17 -- Home vs. Delaware

SOFTBALL

April 12 -- Home vs. Whitehall

April 14 -- Home vs. Grove City

*April 16 -- Home vs. Thomas

*April 18 -- At Dublin Jerome

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

April 16 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg

*April 17 -- Home vs. Thomas

April 18 -- Home vs. DeSales

*League contest