Standing in front of her Bexley High School girls track and field team, Jamie Hayes couldn't keep her composure for long.
The seventh-year coach was full of pride after the Lions won their second MSL-Ohio Division championship in three seasons.
Bexley scored 128 points in the league meet held May 8 and 11 at London, outdistancing Columbus Academy (121), Grandview (116), Worthington Christian (68), London (61) and Whitehall (22).
"I couldn't be more proud of these girls," Hayes said. "We only won three (events) -- the (1,600 meters, the 3,200) and the discus. Think of all the third- and fourth-place finishes, even the sixth-place finishes. All of them counted, and it was a true team effort.
"It wasn't just the superstars on the team doing it for us, but everyone did their part. We're a team and that was the focus tonight. We wanted to win as a team."
Hayes switched her lineup around in order to maximize points, moving senior distance standout Molly Fagin from the 3,200 to the 800. That allowed freshmen Maria Steinke (11 minutes, 45.72 seconds) and Ally Grieshop (12:38.1) to finish first and second, respectively, in the 3,200 to clinch the championship for the Lions.
"I was excited when I saw the time because it was a (personal record) by four seconds," said Steinke, who also was a member of the league champion girls cross country team last fall. "Coach told us that Ally and I could get first and second and we went out trying to get that."
Freddie Collins won the discus (118 feet, 8 inches) and was third in the shot put (30-1) to earn Field Athlete of the Meet. Nya Harris was second in the shot put (32-1/2).
Fagin won the 1,600 (5:17.04) and was second in the 800 (2:22.38). She also joined Steinke, Hannah Hayden and Karleigh Place on the runner-up 3,200 relay (10:01.26).
Libby Brown was second in the 300 hurdles (49.86), Saleh Foster was third in the 100 hurdles (17.88) and 300 hurdles (50.71) and Place finished third in the 800 (2:26.69).
Ryann Donahey, Joni Dunker, Margaux Harding and Lucy Powers comprised the third-place 400 relay (52.55).
"It feels great because it was a team effort, and I'm proud of how everyone did for us," Brown said. "As a senior, I see how good the underclassmen are doing and how good they can be.
"I have watched three grades graduate before me and three more come up and it's really exciting. This is a huge confidence boost going into district."
The boys and girls teams began the postseason May 15 and 16 in the Division II, district 2 meet, which concludes Saturday, May 19, at Westerville North. The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional May 24 and 26 at Lexington.
"I really like our chances of winning a district championship," Hayes said. "This adds some excitement. It's great for our girls and our team, and we still have some attainable goals in the next few weeks."
Alexander Garside won the long jump (19-6 1/2) in the league meet to lead the boys team, which finished sixth (48) behind Worthington Christian (130), London (121), Academy (101), Whitehall (63) and Grandview (57).
Grant Heilman was third in the 400 (53.49), and Zander Hirsch placed third in the 800 (1:58.91). Heilman, Hirsch, Grant Halliday and Spencer Stevenson were on the third-place 3,200 relay (8:11.99).
Softball team reaches district semifinal
The softball team won its first two postseason games to advance to a Division II district semifinal May 15 against top-seeded Lakewood.
The 11th-seeded Lions were 8-10 after defeating 14th-seeded London 9-6 on May 10 at home in the second round.
"When we play well and don't make mistakes, we can win games," said coach Rick Wemlinger, whose team had won five of seven games before playing Lakewood. "We have been getting better and better and it has shown."
In the first round, Bexley beat 15th-seeded Licking Valley 4-3 on May 8 at home. Senior shortstop Katie Grunewald doubled and singled.
"We threw the ball well and we played well in the field," she said. "In practice we have been working on situations like where we go with the ball when it is hit to us. That has helped us a lot."
The district final is Friday, May 18, or Saturday, May 19, at Pickerington Central against third-seeded Granville or sixth-seeded Bloom-Carroll. The winner advances to a regional semifinal Wednesday, May 23, at Central against Dover, Gnadenhutten Indian Valley, St. Clairsville or Warsaw River View.
The regional final is May 26 at Central.
The Lions lost to Newark Catholic 3-2 on May 12 in a regular-season game. Aly Cox had a double and two singles, and Savannah Schwallie had a double.
Postseason begins for lacrosse teams
The postseason has arrived for the boys and girls lacrosse teams.
The 13th-seeded girls team is 3-13 and opens the Division II, Region 7 tournament at second-seeded Academy on Thursday, May 17. The Lions lost to Academy 17-3 on April 4.
The winner plays host to seventh-seeded Watterson or 10th-seeded Big Walnut on Saturday, May 19, in the second round. Bexley lost to Watterson 17-7 on April 10 and Big Walnut 10-5 on April 20.
The second-round winner advances to a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 22, at home with possible opponents including third-seeded Worthington Kilbourne and sixth-seeded Hartley. The Lions lost to Hartley 16-7 on May 1.
The regional final is May 25.
The 12th-seeded boys team was 2-12 before playing at fourth-seeded Granville on May 14 in the second round of the Division II, Region 7 tournament. The winner plays at fifth-seeded Kettering Alter or 17th-Dayton Chaminade Julienne on Thursday, May 17, in a quarterfinal.
That winner advances to a regional semifinal Monday, May 21, on the road with possible opponents including top-seeded DeSales and 10th-seeded Academy. The Lions lost to Academy 16-10 on May 11.
The regional final is May 24.
Doubles teams qualify for district in tennis
Both doubles teams advanced for the boys tennis team to the Division II district tournament Thursday, May 17, at Academy and Saturday, May 19, at Upper Arlington.
The top two finishers in singles and doubles advance to state May 25 and 26 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Christian Roddy and Leo Schottenstein finished second in doubles and Thibault Knox-Kelly and Aaron Young placed third in a sectional tournament May 10 and 12 at Columbus School for Girls. The top four in singles and doubles advanced to district.
Roddy and Schottenstein defeated Wellington's Kolapo Dairo and Ryan Young 6-3, 6-3 in one semifinal with Knox-Kelly and Aaron Young losing to Wellington's Connor Biernat and Griffin Biernat 6-0, 6-1 in the other. Roddy and Schottenstein lost to the Biernats 6-3, 6-3 in the final, and Knox-Kelly and Aaron Young defeated Dairo and Ryan Young 6-3, 6-1 in the third-place match.
In singles, Jordan Koppes and Will Meyer both went 2-1 and Nolan Winston went 1-1.
On May 7, the Lions lost to Wellington 4-1 in the Central/Southeast Region final of the Division II OTCA team tournament.
Baseball team falls in second round of tourney
The 13th-seeded baseball team finished 10-13, losing at third-seeded Jonathan Alder 10-0 in five innings May 10 in the second round of the Division II district tournament.
Freshman Cade Phillips picked up his first varsity victory as the host Lions defeated 16th-seeded Eastmoor Academy 15-2 in five innings May 8 in the first round.