Olivia Turner earned titles in the 800 and 1,600 meters during the City League meet May 7 and 9 at Africentric, leading the Centennial High School girls track and field team to a fourth-place finish.
The Stars totaled 68.5 points to finish behind Northland (101), Whetstone (85) and Beechcroft (81) and ahead of Eastmoor Academy (64), East (45), Africentric (43), Walnut Ridge (36), Briggs (28), South (25), Mifflin (20), Independence (11), Linden-McKinley (5) and Marion-Franklin (3.5).
"Liv and Ruby (Greenwood) had great meets and really helped us to finish better as a team than we expected," coach Brittni White said. "Liv had only run the 1,600 once this season going into the meet. With our lack of depth, there were some events like the 3,200 and the high jump where we didn't even enter. We're also pretty young, so we're very excited and thrilled to finish fourth."
Turner won the 800 in 2 minutes, 26.68 seconds and the 1,600 in 5:41.01. She ran leadoff in the second-place 1,600 relay (4:14.82) ahead of Paris French, Lucy Bednar-Warren and Greenwood.
Greenwood won the 400 (58.6), was third in the 200 (25.68) and finished fourth in the 100 (12.67).
"Ruby ran well in the 400, as well as the 100 and 200, but the event of the day was the 1,600 relay," White said. "Liv got us started well, but we fell behind some and by the time Ruby got the baton for the anchor leg, we were in fourth place. We hadn't been that far back all season.
"But she passed Beechcroft right away, then passed Northland and was behind only Whetstone with about 200 (meters) left. She closed on them and (the crowd) was going nuts. They finished shoulder to shoulder and lots of people thought Ruby won. She was spent and got carried away from the track. It was just amazing."
The race also determined the second- and third-place team finishes, as Whetstone and Beechcroft were tied going into the final event.
Also for the Stars, Sky Harris finished fourth in the 100 hurdles (17.83) and fifth in the long jump (14 feet, 11 3/4 inches). Shamara Bridges tied for fourth in the shot put (31-1/2) and Dayja Franklin was sixth (30-5), while Franklin was seventh in the discus (75-3) and Bridges was eighth (73-3).
"Sky has been working very hard and placing fourth (in the 100 hurdles) got us extra points and gave her a confidence boost," White said. "Our throwers also got some points for us, although neither was happy with their discus. But they were happy with the shot put."
For the boys, Kelvin Gilliam won the discus (129-6) and was fifth in the shot put (41-3 1/2) as the Stars finished sixth (41) behind Eastmoor (160), Northland (118), Walnut Ridges (65), Mifflin (55) and Whetstone (53) and ahead of East (38), Africentric (36), Marion-Franklin (25), Linden (12), Briggs (5), Beechcroft (4), South (2), Independence (1) and West (1).
Coreion Watts was third in the 400 (50.53) and seventh in the 200 (23.38). He also anchored the fifth-place 800 relay (1:34.09) behind Kamryn Simpson, Luchene Davis and Jordan Walker.
"Coreion had a (personal record) in the 400 and had a good day overall," coach Darrin Green said. "Jordan had been injured for a week and a half going into the meet and didn't feel great after the (800 relay), so we held him out of some other events. They are two of three seniors who competed.
"The other is Zach Bendolph, who had a (personal record) and finished seventh in the 110 hurdles (in 17.31). So we're excited about that. But overall, we have a lot of sophomores and freshmen, so we're happy with our finish for where we're at on the roster."
Kaleb Turner was sixth in the 1,600 (5:02.46) and seventh in the 3,200 (11:55.45). Also placing sixth were Falusho Obayemi in the 300 hurdles (44.23) and the 400 relay (45.13) of Davis, Simpson, Obayemi and Chemlahyah Yisrael. Jeff Kimball was eighth in the 3,200 (11:57.25).
Both teams are competing this week in Division I district meets. The boys are in district 3, in which field events were May 16 with running preliminaries Thursday, May 17, and running finals Saturday, May 19.
The girls are in district 2, where they competed in field events May 15 and running preliminaries the following day. Running finals are Saturday, May 19.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional Wednesday, May 23, and May 25 at Pickerington North.
Softball team seeks to extend season
The softball team entered the week still in pursuit of its fifth consecutive City-North Division title and another trip to the City championship game.
The Stars were 13-7 overall and 12-1 in the City-North before playing East on May 14. If the Stars won, they would share the title with Whetstone (13-1) and the teams would have been forced into a playoff game May 16 to determine which would play in the City final Monday, May 21, against City-South champion Eastmoor. That game will be played at the home of the City-North winner.
Last season, Centennial beat Whetstone 7-6 in a playoff game to advance to the City final, where it lost to Eastmoor 13-5.
The 13th-seeded Stars defeated 17th-seeded Linden 21-1 in five innings in a first-round Division II district tournament game May 7 at home, but were eliminated May 9 when they lost 13-0 in five innings at second-seeded Jonathan Alder in the second round.
Centennial scored 11 times in the first against Linden and added six runs in the third. Gwen Moran threw a two-hitter.
Against Jonathan Alder, the Pioneers scored 11 times in the first. The Stars managed just one hit.
Baseball team ousted by Lancers
The baseball team was looking to finish above .500 when it played East in a City-North makeup game May 14.
The Stars were 12-12 overall after beating 18th-seeded Caledonia River Valley 7-5 in the first round of the Division II district tournament May 8 at home and losing at third-seeded Lakewood 14-0 in five innings in the second round May 10.
Centennial was 9-2 in the league before the season finale.
Against River Valley, Peyton Hathaway pitched the final four innings to earn the win in relief of Cameron Vasquez. The 15th-seeded Stars broke a 4-all tie with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Against Lakewood, Nigel Harris led off the game with a single, stole second and reached third on a groundout by Shaan Morales, but was unable to score.
Starting pitcher Myles Martinez left the game with an injury with one out in the bottom of the second and the bases loaded. Three of the first four batters reached on errors, as the Stars totaled eight miscues in the game.
The Lancers scored 11 times in the inning on a two-run single, five bases-loaded walks, a squeeze bunt, a fielder's choice, a sacrifice fly and four errors.
"Shaan came in for Myles and because it was an injury, he had all the time he needed to warm up, but he just went with seven pitches like it was between innings," coach Pat Nance said. "I wish he would've taken about 20 or 25 like he was warming up in the bullpen pregame. We didn't help our pitchers out defensively, that's for sure."
Season concludes for boys tennis team
None of the members of the boys tennis team advanced to district from a Division II sectional tournament held May 10 and 12 at Columbus School for Girls.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles qualified for district.
Competing in singles, freshman Max Wissman reached a district-qualifying match before losing to top-seeded Trevor Ball of Wellington 6-0, 6-0. Wissman defeated Patrick McDonald of Marion Pleasant 6-1, 6-2 in the first round and Evan Kitchen of River Valley 7-6, 6-2 in the second.
"Making it to the third round as a freshman was amazing," coach Barb Stevenson said. "I'm really proud of him. He's a kid who plays all year around and will just keep improving."
Junior Spencer Newkirk defeated London's Jerod Coy 6-2, 6-1 in the first round and lost 6-2, 6-1 to third-seeded Chris Finissi of Big Walnut in the second.
Junior Jack Jones lost to Bexley's Will Meyer 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round.
In doubles, seniors Dhrough Patel and Kitano Watkins had a first-round bye and lost 6-0, 6-3 to Watterson's Adam Pavliga and Jacob Devendra in the second. Seniors Preston Newkirk and Tyrell Davis defeated River Valley's Sonny Grooms and Josh Mulvaine 6-2, 6-2 in the first round before losing 6-0, 6-0 to top-seeded Connor Biernat and Griffin Biernat of Wellington.
The Stars finished 6-4 overall and 3-1 in the City-North, second behind Whetstone (4-0).
"Jack Jones was second in the City coaches tournament to make second-team all-City," Stevenson said. "It was a great year for us. This was the first time where everyone on the team was seeded and everyone made it to the finals (in the coaches tournament)."
Girls lacrosse team opens postseason
The girls lacrosse team lost to CSG 19-1 on May 9 and was 2-16 before playing at top-seeded DeSales in the first round of the Division II, Region 7 tournament May 16.
The winner plays eighth-seeded Dayton Oakwood or ninth-seeded Dayton Chaminade Julienne in the second round Saturday, May 19, and that winner plays fourth-seeded Granville, fifth-seeded CSG, 12th-seeded Wellington or 14th-seeded Chillicothe in a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 22.
Centennial was seeded last in the 16-team field.