In her second season competing for the Centennial High School girls track and field team, senior Ruby Greenwood has added new events and continues to excel.
She's also made a positive impression on second-year coach Brittni White, but not just for her performances during meets. Greenwood's positive attitude and determination have helped make her a star among the Stars.
"I wish I had her for another two years," White said. "She has so much talent and so much heart. She's willing to try anything and she just has a ball competing."
Greenwood, a Division I regional qualifier in the 200 meters last season, is competing in the long jump and the 400 for the first time this spring and the results have been good. She finished second in the long jump (14 feet, 10 inches) in the Braves Invitational on April 25 at Whetstone, and also was runner-up in the 200 (26.07 seconds).
"I think I'm doing OK in the long jump, but I sometimes have trouble hitting the board on my run-up and foul," she said. "But I'm still working on things. I thought it would be easy by looking at it, but it's really hard. It's a lot about technique and I'm an over-thinker, which makes it worse.
"If I make a mistake in technique when running, I can make up for that with my speed. You can't do that in the long jump, so I tend to overthink it."
In an effort to calm her nerves and get in the right frame of mind before the long jump, Greenwood has developed a silent ritual.
"I picture my dad on the other side of the pit watching and I just want to leap toward him," said Greenwood, fighting back tears for her father, Ash Greenwood, who died of cancer in 2009. "I just want to leap over the pit and hug him. I know he would be proud of me."
Greenwood attended A-Plus Arts Academy as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Centennial.
"When I went out for the track team last year, I thought I'd be the slowest on the team because we had a lot of really good seniors," she said. "(White) had me in the 100 and I begged to run the 200 and by the end of the year, I got a chance (in the 200). This year, I started running the 400 and the (1,600 relay) and had the chance to long jump. I was training for the long jump last year, but I got injured and never got back to it."
Greenwood was in the area honor roll last week in the 100 (12.97) and 400 (1:00.36) and should move into the honor roll in the 200 this week with her time in the Braves Invitational.
"Ruby went 15-11 (in the long jump) in her first meet this year, so it's just a matter of becoming more consistent and thinking less," White said. "She is just so coachable and so easygoing. I can't tell her 'no.' If she wants to try it, she's earned the right to try it. But it will be difficult when it comes to making the lineup for the City (League) and the district (meets). She can run the 100, 200, 400 and is on the (1,600) relay along with long jump."
The Stars finished eighth (41) of 14 teams behind champion Watterson (96) in the Braves Invitational. Paris French, Fatema Fnu, Sky Harris and Greenwood placed second in the sprint medley relay (1:56), and Olivia Turner, Lucy Bednar-Warren, French and Greenwood were third in the 1,600 relay (12:03.45).
Shamara Bridges was third in the shot put (28-1).
The boys tied Watterson (42) for sixth of 15 teams behind champion Eastmoor Academy (105). Kelvin Gilliam was third in the discus (118-10), and the sprint medley relay of Chemlahyah Yisrael, Jordan Walker, Kamryn Simpson and Coreion Watts also was third (1:38.28).
Watts was in the area honor roll last week in the 400 (51.66).
The Stars will compete in the City meet Monday, May 7, and Wednesday, May 9, at Africentric.
Girls lacrosse team wins first City game
The girls lacrosse team won its first game of the season April 25, beating Whetstone 15-0.
The game was the first between City League teams. Whetstone is a first-year team and Centennial is in its third season.
The Stars, who finished 0-13 last season, were 1-13 before playing Columbus School for Girls on May 1.
"I am excited that our young girls were committed for the past three seasons to finally achieve a well-deserved win," said coach Marquise Lovejoy, whose team is scheduled to finish the regular season Thursday, May 3, at Delaware. "Our other (two) wins were decided by forfeits, not based on talent and work ethic. Now that they have been able to successfully apply their skills, it is my hope that this will translate into more wins and that lacrosse can and will continue to grow in City (League) schools."
Katherine Selbe and Tonesty Burt both scored four goals against Whetstone, and Arabella Hoffman added three. Also scoring were Rhian Jones, Trinity Brown, Bella Moore and Malika Payne, and Kaisa Ilmari made five saves in goal.
Softball team keeps City title hopes alive
The softball team entered this week with a chance to win or share the City-North Division title after defeating Linden-McKinley 10-0 on April 25 and Northland 12-0 on April 27, both in five innings.
The Stars were 9-5 overall and 9-1 in the league before playing Beechcroft on April 30. They also played Mifflin on May 2 and will play at league-leading Whetstone on Thursday, May 3. The Braves entered the week 10-0 in the league.
The Stars, who lost to the Braves 9-4 on April 18, also have a makeup to play against East.
Gwen Moran threw a no-hitter against Linden, and the Stars scored all 10 runs in the first. Moran allowed one hit against Northland, and Centennial scored seven runs in the first.
Centennial is seeded 13th for the Division II district tournament and will play host to 17th-seeded Linden on Tuesday, May 8. The winner will play at second-seeded Jonathan Alder in the second round May 10. The Stars swept Linden this season, also winning 14-2 on April 9.
Baseball team seeks to move over .500
The baseball team will play host to Whetstone on Thursday, May 3. The Braves won the first meeting 11-4 on April 18 and entered this week 9-0 in the City-North.
The Stars were 8-9 overall and 6-2 in the league before playing Beechcroft on April 30.
Centennial lost its appeal to complete an April 19 game against Mifflin in which the Stars trailed 6-3 but had two runners on base and nobody out in the bottom of the seventh. The game was called because of darkness, although Mifflin arrived late because of a transportation problem. The score reverted back to six complete innings, so the Stars lost 4-3.
Those teams met for the second time May 2.
The Stars also play at Watterson on Saturday, May 5, and have a makeup game against East to reschedule.
Centennial defeated Linden 15-1 on April 25 and Northland 10-2 on April 27. On April 28, the Stars split a doubleheader, losing to Westland 10-9 before beating West 13-1.
Myles Martinez pitched a three-hitter against Northland, and Cameron Vasquez pitched a two-hitter against West.
The Stars are seeded 15th for the Division II district tournament and will play host to 18th-seeded Caledonia River Valley on Tuesday, May 8, with the winner playing at third-seeded Lakewood in the second round May 10.