All senior Omavi Hamilton has to do whenever he needs motivation is look at his phone.
The three-time defending City League champion in the 1,600 meters for the Eastmoor Academy boys track and field team, Hamilton craves the opportunity to compete at the state meet.
During the 2016 regional, Hamilton got tripped while running his leg of the 3,200 relay.
He decided to make a photo of himself falling down during that race as the home screen on his phone. It's a reminder of what he hopes to accomplish during his final prep season.
Hamilton helped the Eastmoor boys cross country team reach the Division II state meet for the first time in 2016.
"I've got to get to state this year," said Hamilton, who has committed to Central State to compete in track and cross country. "We made history when we made it to cross country state for the first time in school history as a team. It definitely made us hungrier for track season."
Senior Chris Chandler also is determined to finish strong in his final track season after getting tripped in the 3,200 relay that finished seventh (8 minutes, 6.64 seconds) at regional last season.
In the state cross country meet last fall, Chandler placed 10th (16:10.1) and Hamilton was 83rd (17:09.2) as both competed as individuals.
"I'm still thinking about (last year's regional)," Chandler said. "We've got to try hard to get out."
The Warriors competed in the City League meet May 7 and 9 at Africentric. They next compete in the Division I, district 3 meet, which begins Wednesday, May 16, continues May 17 and concludes May 19 at Hilliard Darby.
Eastmoor's 3,200 relay was fifth (8:09.44) in last week's area honor roll behind Division I programs Hilliard Davidson (8:00.1), Lancaster (8:00.73) and Olentangy Orange (8:03.56) as well as Heath (8:05.23), a Division II team.
The times run by Eastmoor and Heath were recorded April 14 in the Hank Smith Invitational at Heath, with Chandler and Hamilton being joined by senior Sean Hathorn and junior Bushra Bonkiye.
Eastmoor also was sixth in last week's area honor roll in the 1,600 relay (3:25.62) and 11th in the 800 relay (1:32.38).
As a sophomore, Hamilton ran on Eastmoor's 1,600 relay during a semifinal at state but did not compete in the final.
"We've been running pretty decently so far," he said. "We've just got to get out of the regionals, that's our main goal. We're Division I this year so we've got a lot more competition. Division I was really competitive last year."
Deaf player fits in for Northland
The five City boys volleyball programs are approaching the end of their respective seasons, with the postseason set to begin during the third week of May and the City tournament scheduled for May 21 at Briggs.
While Briggs and Eastmoor are in their second seasons and Beechcroft is in its inaugural season, Northland sophomore Heiser Diaz has been among the league's new players this spring.
Diaz is deaf and has an interpreter at each match to relay information to him.
"We have interpreters at all of our matches and they sign for him and will call the ball for him," coach Tiffany Rettig said. "He does a hand motion and it lets my (other players) know if he'll go for the ball. He's watching the ball a lot, so I'm constantly trying to find ways to make it more accessible to him because he does have a good serve."
Northland was 6-11 overall and 4-3 in the City before playing Eastmoor on May 8.
Briggs was 11-7 overall and 7-0 in the City after beating Beechcroft 25-8, 25-21, 25-13 on May 4. It also played Licking Heights on May 8 and Eastmoor on May 10.
Eastmoor has struggled with participation numbers so it isn't expected to compete in the City tournament.
Diaz has enjoyed being a part of the Vikings. It's his first time competing in a team sport.
"I like it so far," he said through Emily Kuhn, one of the school's six interpreters. "I just thought it would be interesting to join. It's been fun. It's really been a brand new experience."
The regional tournament drawing is Monday, May 14, and Briggs has been ranked among the area's top five programs in Division II most of the season. Beechcroft, Eastmoor, Northland and Whetstone also are in Division II.
Eastmoor again strong in softball
After winning its first City championship since 2005 last spring, the Eastmoor softball team should get a chance at a second consecutive title.
Before facing South on May 7 and West on May 9, the Warriors were 13-4 overall and 11-0 in the City-South Division. They also have a game to make up against Independence.
The City championship game is scheduled for Wednesday, May 16, at the home of the City-North champion.
The Warriors were seeded eighth for the Division II district tournament and played 16th-seeded Beechcroft on May 8 in a first-round game, with the winner to play at sixth-seeded Bloom-Carroll on Thursday, May 10. Should Eastmoor win its first two tournament games, it would face third-seeded Granville or 22nd-seeded International in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 15.
The Warriors beat Briggs 19-8 on April 13 and 9-8 on April 30 for the Bruins' only league losses.
Through 17 games, Mallory Barnes was batting .739 with 29 runs scored and 21 RBI, and Paige Barnes was hitting .571 with 28 runs and 23 RBI. Simone Brown (.526), Kenadee Dixon (.522), Lauryn White (.500) and Averi Brown (.500) also were hitting .500 or better, and White led the team in home runs (6) and RBI (30).
Averi Brown was 8-2 with 81 strikeouts over her first 55 1/3 innings, and Paige Barnes was 5-1 with 48 strikeouts through her first 29 1/3 innings.