Eight members of the Hilliard Darby High School boys track and field team are competing this week in the Division I regional meet, which began May 23 and concludes Friday, May 25, at Pickerington North.
The Panthers are competing in six events, hoping to finish in the top four to advance to the state meet June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
"I was pleased in the effort the team showed," coach Matthew Fox said. "Central Ohio is very good and we were in a district that had five of the 12 seeded teams. All of our times improved and we had some surprises make finals. Plus, we've got a good host of athletes moving on to regionals. So all-in-all, it was a good showing."
Dylan Litreal won the discus (161 feet, 2 inches) in the district 2 meet that concluded May 19 at Darby. It was the only first-place finish for the Panthers, who scored 62 points to place fourth of 16 teams, behind champion Gahanna (109).
Michael Cornathan placed second in the shot put (50-1/4), as the top four finishers in each district event advanced to regional.
Placing third were Chris Burkhart in the discus (157-2), Clint Barnett in the 200 meters (22.62 seconds), Malachi McGill in the 800 (1:55.1) and the 3,200 relay of McGill, Josh Baldridge, Jason Fleishman and Sean Carney (8:01.55).
Barnett placed fourth in the 100 (11.23).
"Clint qualified in the 100 and 200 and was on (the 400 relay) that took fifth," Fox said. "Dylan had really good meet and I thought the (3,200 relay) looked great, improving over 10 seconds from the time they ran in (the OCC-Cardinal Division) meet (held May 10 and 12 at Dublin Coffman). If they improve again at regional, they'll have a really good shot at making state."
The 400 relay of Barnett, Seveon Stewart, Jaeln Benjamin and Lucas Fratianne finished in 43.43 and was edged by Olentangy (43.39) for the final regional berth.
Also placing fifth was Carney in the 3,200 (10:13.59).
Eight athletes from the girls team qualified for regional, where they are competing in eight events.
Emma Kowalski and Naomi Walters led the Panthers in the district 1 meet that concluded May 19 at Darby, as Kowalski won the discus (136-8) and placed second in the shot put (37-6 1/4) and Walters won the long jump (17-6 1/4) and placed third in the 200 (26.04).
Maliyah Ellis was second in the long jump (17-2 1/2) for the Panthers, who finished fourth (87.5) of 16 teams, behind champion Pickerington Central (112).
The 400 relay of Walters, Bethany Alecusan, Zayna Hampton and Stacia Rispress placed third (50.28), Kaysi Morris tied for third in the pole vault (9-0), Rispress placed fourth in the high jump (5-0) and Daniella Santos was fourth in the 1,600 (5:23.65).
Santos just missed advancing in the 3,200, as she placed fifth (11:45.38). Also placing fifth were Ellis in the 100 hurdles (16.43) and the 1,600 relay of Abby Cannon, Aaliyah Brletic, Hampton and Alecusan (4:10.47).
"We were strong in the field events," coach Don Seymour said. "We qualified someone to regional in all of our field events, including two in the long jump. It was tough on the track because our district was very strong there.
"I was happy with the way we performed, but disappointed to finish fifth in three events to just miss out. But sometimes that happens."
Boys volleyball team snaps losing streak
The top-seeded boys volleyball team defeated fourth-seeded Mount Vernon 25-16, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19 in a Division I East Region quarterfinal May 19 to snap a four-match losing streak and improve to 17-7 before playing host to 10th-seeded Pickerington North in regional semifinal May 22.
The semifinal winner plays third-seeded Davidson or fifth-seeded Dublin Jerome in a regional final Friday, May 25, at Westerville Central. The regional champion advances to the state tournament June 2 and 3 at Capital University.
Boys lacrosse team falls to Wildcats
The boys lacrosse team defeated sixth-seeded Westerville Central 10-7 in the first round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament May 15, but lost at fifth-seeded Davidson 7-5 in a regional quarterfinal May 18 to finish 8-8 overall.
It was a marked improvement for Darby, which finished 2-16 last season.
Against the Wildcats, Hunter Wagner scored two goals and goalkeeper Jon Kane had six saves for the seventh-seeded Panthers. Brayden Hill, Nick Wile and Blake Robertson also scored.
Darby went 2-4 in the OCC-Cardinal to place fifth, behind Worthington Kilbourne (6-0), Jerome (5-1), Delaware (4-2) and Thomas Worthington (3-3) and ahead of Bradley (1-5) and Dublin Scioto (0-6).
The Panthers are losing six seniors in Kane, Jack Conley (defender), Vince Jerrome (midfielder), Jackson Kane (midfielder), Brar Museitf (midfielder) and Neel Patel (defender).
Among the expected key returnees are juniors Dominic Iosue (midfielder), Robertson (attacker), Justen Shaw (defen-der), Matthew Spangler (defen-der) and Wile (midfielder) and sophomores Hill (midfielder), Nick Liening (midfielder) and Wagner (attacker).
Season ends for girls lacrosse team
The girls lacrosse team finished 10-8 overall after losing to sixth-seeded Scioto 18-11 in its Division I, Region 3 tournament opener May 15.
Lexie Van Cleef and Haylee Handrahan both scored three goals, Kelsey Binion scored two and goalie Melissa Edwards had nine saves for 10th-seeded Darby.
The Panthers finished 2-4 in the OCC-Cardinal to place fifth, behind Jerome (6-0), Thomas (5-1), Kilbourne (4-2) and Scioto (3-3) and ahead of Bradley (1-5) and Delaware (0-6).
Darby is losing 13 seniors, including Edwards, Van Cleef (attacker), Marisol Allison (midfielder), Liz Avila (midfielder), Caitlin Gookin (midfielder), Anna Goschke (defen-der), Zoe Hartman (attacker), Colleen Hissom (attacker), Cassie Jenkins (attacker), Halli Reinhard (midfielder) and Taryn Rogers (defender).
The expected returnees include sophomores Nicole Peterman (defender), Carli Rigel (midfielder) and Gabby Stern (attacker) and freshmen Cate Gearhiser (defender), Kendyl Mahoney (defender), Binion (midfielder) and Handrahan (attacker).