The Whitehall-Yearling High School boys and girls track and field teams fell short in their quest to reach the Division I regional meet.
The season ended for both teams in the district 2 meet that concluded May 19 at Hilliard Darby.
"It's a tough district," boys coach Aaron Johnson said. "We finished better than what we did when we started out (in some preliminaries). They finished strong. They ran the best they could, that's all a coach can really ask for. They had a good, positive mindset going into it."
The 800-meter relay of J.T. Wellman, Joachim Bailey, O.C. Wellman and Kaylyn Anderson came within a place of qualifying for regional, finishing fifth in 1 minute, 32.69 seconds.
The top four finishers in each event advanced to regional, which began May 23 and concludes Friday, May 25, at Pickerington North.
Chris Ceasar also made a bid for a regional berth, finishing sixth in the 110 hurdles (16.64).
Anderson was ninth (42.02) and Ceasar finished 10th (42.13) in the 300 hurdles.
Finishing 10th were Anderson, Bailey, O.C. Wellman and Christian Gordon in the 400 relay (44.72), J.T. Wellman in the 400 (52.06), Anderson in the high jump (5 feet, 8 inches) and Keon Freeman in the shot put (45-10 3/4).
Alex Rodriguez, Chris Charles, Carter Paddock and Mikel Wilson were 12th in the 3,200 relay (9:13.22).
Charles had the top preliminary time in the 1,600 (4:50.15) on May 16 but finished 13th in the final (4:56.26) on May 19.
"I was first in the prelims, but (May 19) there were some tough guys," Charles said. "When it comes down to it, it's mind over matter. It's all in your mind and if you push yourself you can do it."
Charles also was 14th in the 3,200 (11:04.92). Bailey was 14th in the 200 (23.39) and 15th in the 100 (11.58), and Wilson was 18th in the long jump (18-11).
Whitehall finished last (7 points) of 16 teams behind champion Gahanna (109).
For the girls, Liana Betts just missed qualifying for regional in the discus, finishing fifth (105-11). She also was ninth in the shot put (31-10).
Ryyair Smith, Deja King, Tyrianna Stewart and Janatie Alvarez were sixth in the 400 relay (51.4).
"Obviously, I would have liked fourth (in the 400 relay), but they ran it the best they could," girls coach Stephanie Wilcox said. "We couldn't have asked for better handoffs. They qualified seventh and they finished sixth, so we moved a spot better than where we would have finished based on our seed time."
Abadite Negasi, Shamya Wilson, Pashience Sellers and Paula Wilson were 11th in the 3,200 relay (11:45.82), Milan Atkins, Deja King, Tyrianna Stewart and Janatie Alvarez were 12th in the 800 relay (1:53.15) and Alvarez, Atkins, Stewart and Kashell King were 13th in the 1,600 relay (4:44.31).
Stewart was 16th in the 300 hurdles (52.57), Negasi was 18th in the 3,200 (14:18.95) and Wilson was 19th in the 800 (2:45.57).
The Rams finished 13th (7) of 16 teams behind champion Gahanna (164).
Baseball coach steps down
Bill Welsh stepped down as baseball coach May 18 after six seasons.
Under Welsh, the Rams went 31-106 overall and 16-62 in the MSL-Ohio Division, including 1-18 overall and 1-9 in the league this season.
"I have enjoyed my time as the baseball coach at Whitehall, and even though the record didn't always reflect it, I think we made solid strides as a program," Welsh said. "There have been a lot of great kids that I have had the opportunity to coach. There are a lot of great kids currently in the program and I wish them the best moving forward."
Seeded 48th of 48 teams in the Division I district tournament, Whitehall lost at 24th-seeded Westerville Central 11-1 in six innings in the first round May 7.
Junior Mitchell Webb (INF/P) led the offense, batting .378 with 17 hits, eight runs, six RBI and three doubles.
Webb also recorded the Rams' only win on the mound and finished with 34 strikeouts in 35 innings. He was named first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
Justin Peck (INF/P/C) and Josh Travis (OF), who were two of four seniors, were honorable mention all-league.
Other players eligible to return are juniors James Reed (1B) and Chris Snider (INF/P), sophomores Garin Barnes (INF/OF/), Bradley Buchert (OF/C), Avery Crouse (C), James Lehew (INF/C), Drevon Pinkney (OF/P) and Cory Snider (INF/P) and freshman Jace Peck (OF/P).
Whitehall finished sixth in the MSL-Ohio behind London (8-2), Columbus Academy (6-4) and Bexley, Grandview and Worthington Christian (all 5-5).
The Rams defeated Worthington Christian 5-1 on April 26.