The Bexley High School girls track and field team had much of its roster intact as it prepared for the Division II regional meet Thursday, May 24, and Saturday, May 26, at Lexington.
While most teams see their roster drastically pared down after the district meet, the Lions will be taking a large contingent to regional by qualifying all four relays and multiple runners in distance events.
The top four finishers in each regional event advance to state June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
"Most of the girls we brought (to district) -- all but two -- advanced to regional, so that's a good feeling," coach Jamie Hayes said. "We get to go on as a team and not just as individuals."
The Lions finished third (102 points) of 12 teams behind co-champions Hartley and Jonathan Alder (both 115) in the district 2 meet that concluded May 19 at Westerville North. The top four in each event advanced to regional.
The 800-meter relay led the way, as Caroline Bunker, Lucy Powers, Margaux Harding and Maggie Bunker won in 1 minute, 48.36 seconds. The same four runners finished second in the 400 relay in 52.03.
Hannah Hayden, Maria Steinke, Molly Fagin and Karleigh Place were on the runner-up 3,200 relay (9:57.8), and Stacy McDonald, Caroline Bunker, Samantha Nack and Libby Brown were third in the 1,600 relay (4:17.46).
"I think we had a great day on the track," Hayes said. "On (May 16 and 17) we didn't score as many points as we thought we would, but things couldn't have gone better for us (in the finals). We have all four relays going to regional and two girls in every distance event."
Fagin won the 1,600 (5:16.27) and 3,200 (11:31.61), while Steinke was third in the 3,200 (11:54.02) and Hayden was fourth in the 1,600 (5:38.96).
Place was second in the 800 (2:27.1) and Caroline Bunker was fourth (2:33.15).
"There is pretty much someone else to train with in every race," Hayes said. "In distance there is someone there to run with you, which is kind of nice. When you get to the regional and state level you can kind of feel alone, so that's a nice feeling."
Brown won the 300 hurdles (48.45), and Powers placed third in the long jump (14 feet, 6 3/4 inches).
"My hurdle form was a lot better, and it was a smoother race," Brown said. "I have been battling shin splints, which is an injury you can't make it better. You have to ice them a lot and take care of them the best you can. I don't really feel it much during my races because they are so short."
The boys finished sixth (44) in the 12-team district 2 meet behind champion DeSales (124.5).
Grant Heilman was third in the 400 (52.03) and was a member of the third-place 3,200 relay (8:11.17) with Grant Halliday, Zander Hirsch and Spencer Stevenson.
Alexander Garside also qualified for regional by placing fourth in the long jump (19-4 1/2).
Tennis season ends in district tourney
The boys tennis team's season came to a close when Christian Roddy and Leo Schottenstein lost in a state-qualifying doubles match on the first day of the Division II district tournament May 17 at Columbus Academy.
The top two finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state.
The juniors lost to Academy's Suriya Sundaram and Sam Vogel 6-2, 6-4 in the second-round match. They defeated Worthington Christian's Benjy Homoelle and Tommy Robinson 6-0, 6-0 in the first round.
"We (won) 6-0, 6-0 in the opener, but didn't play as well as I thought we would have in the state-qualifying match," ninth-year coach Mark Liefeld said. "But (Sundaram and Vogel) were a good team and they got us."
Also at district, junior Aaron Young and sophomore Thibault Knox-Kelly lost to Academy's Drew Haffer and Rhian Seneviratne 6-2, 6-0 in their opener.
Roddy and Schottenstein finished second and Knox-Kelly and Young placed third in a sectional May 10 and 12 at Columbus School for Girls. The top four in singles and doubles advanced to district.
Playing singles at sectional were junior Jordan Koppes (2-1), freshman Will Meyer (2-1) and sophomore Nolan Winston (1-1).
The Lions finished 13-3 overall after losing to Wellington 3-0 on May 14 in the Division II Central/Southeast Region final of the OTCA team tournament. They placed third (4-2) in the MSL-Ohio Division behind Wellington (6-0) and Academy (5-1) and ahead of Worthington Christian (3-3), Grandview (2-4), London (1-5) and Whitehall (0-6).
"We had a good season because we played a really tough schedule," Liefeld said. "We were a little young, but I was pleased with our development."
Lacrosse teams lose postseason openers
The boys and girls lacrosse teams lost their openers in the Division II, Region 7 tournament.
The 13th-seeded girls team finished 3-14, losing at second-seeded Academy 23-5 on May 17 in the first round. Emma Dressel scored three goals, and MacKenzie Cory and Sofia Loeser both had one goal.
After a first-round bye, the 12th-seeded boys team lost at fourth-seeded Granville 17-2 on May 14 to finish 2-13. Tyler Behl and Drew Yaffe both scored and Tyler Owens-Terwilliger had seven saves.
Softball team falls in district semifinal
The softball team lost to top-seeded Lakewood 12-2 in five innings in a Division II district semifinal at Pickerington Central. The game began May 15 but was suspended because of bad weather and completed May 16.
The 11th-seeded Lions finished 8-11. It was the final game for ninth-year coach Rick Wemlinger, who is retiring from coaching.
Aly Cox had two singles and drove in a run for Bexley. Kaia Woodford had a single and an RBI, and Katie Grunewald singled for the Lions' other hit.