Julia Blum was all too aware as she competed in the OCC-Cardinal Division track and field meet last weekend that she had entered the final month of her career.

Julia Blum was all too aware as she competed in the OCC-Cardinal Division track and field meet last weekend that she had entered the final month of her career.

That's the biggest reason Blum, a senior on the Canal Winchester High School girls team, wants to have a productive postseason in any number of events. Blum admits the long jump is her favorite, but she also hoped to contribute in the 100, 200 or 400 meters as well as at least one relay.

"This is my last year ever doing this, so it means a lot to me," said Blum, who plans to attend Mount Carmel College of Nursing starting in the fall. "I have always jumped, and I've always done the 100. I haven't done the 200 in a while. I was sort of forced to be in that because the team needed me. I didn't have the season I wanted last year because I was injured, and a big part of me wants to make up for that."

Blum, who competed her entire junior season with a stress fracture in her back that was not diagnosed until soccer season last fall, is less than an inch off the school long jump record of 17 feet, 1 inch. Her personal best is 17-1/4, and in the league meet held May 12 and 14 at Hilliard Davidson, she placed fifth in that event (16-4) and eighth in the 100 (13.31 seconds).

Blum also helped the 400 relay place seventh (52.93) as the Indians finished fourth (74.5 points) behind Hilliard Darby (157.5), Westerville Central (137.5) and Westerville South (98) and ahead of Dublin Jerome (73), Hilliard Bradley (61), Dublin Scioto (42.5) and Westerville North (18).

"I jumped with (the stress fracture) all season, so I didn't recover until the fall during soccer when I realized I had it. I had to take four months off, which was really hard," said Blum, who was 16th in the long jump among Division I competitors in last week's area honor roll. "I have always jumped well. I enjoy the form and you have to be fast. I saw (that I am in the honor roll) and it's really cool. I like it. I want to get the school record so I can leave something with the program."

Sophomore Cheyanne Bradford, who competes in many of the same events as Blum, does not think that will be a problem.

"(Blum) is what I hope to be," Bradford said. "I look up to her a lot, and so do a lot of the other girls on the team. She's a hard worker and a great teammate."

Erica Babusci won the high jump (5-2) and placed second in the 300 hurdles (47.75), and Arianna Coleman won the long jump (17-6) and finished fourth in the 200 (27.22) to lead the Indians in the league meet.

Megan Tamasovich placed third in the high jump (5-1).

Lonzell Feagin won the 100 (10.84), 200 (22.13), 400 (49.24) and long jump (22-2) in the OCC-Cardinal meet to lead the boys team, which scored 99 points to tie Bradley for third place behind Darby (117) and South (108.5). Rounding out the standings were Jerome (84.5), Central (69.5), Scioto (53.5) and North (31).

Danny Jones won the discus (157-9) and placed third in the shot put (47-5 1/2), and Clayton Howard was runner-up in the pole vault (11-6).

The boys and girls teams began competition in the Division I, district 1 meet at Darby on May 17 with preliminaries for the running events. Field events will take place Thursday, May 19, and finals for the running events are Saturday, May 21.

The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional meet Wednesday, May 25, and May 27 at Pickerington North. At regional, the top four finishers in each event advance to the state meet June 3 and 4 at Ohio State.

Baseball team advances in tourney

The baseball team benefited from a few dramatic moments to earn its first Division I district semifinal berth and its 20th victory of the season.

Alex Reed's swinging bunt in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Colin Sotlar with the winning run May 11 as 10th-seeded Canal Winchester edged 13th-seeded Teays Valley 2-1 in a second-round home game.

Sotlar led off the seventh with a single after the Vikings tied the game in the top of the inning.

The win also avenged a 4-1 loss to Teays Valley in the second round last year.

The Indians were 20-8 before playing sixth-seeded Thomas Worthington in a district semifinal May 16 at Upper Arlington.

The semifinal winner played fourth-seeded Gahanna or 17th-seeded Scioto in a district final May 18 at Don Edwards Park in Newark. The district champion plays Big Walnut, Olentangy Liberty, Pickerington Central or Worthington Kilbourne in a regional semifinal May 26 at Dublin Coffman.

Canal Winchester did not play any of those teams during the regular season.

The Indians were seeking their first district championship since 2009. They had not been to a district semifinal since 2011, when they were in Division II.

Softball team has 'disappointing' season

The softball team's 7-5 loss to visiting Thomas Worthington in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 9 ended what coach Randy Hinton called "a disappointing year."

Canal Winchester, which finished 6-18 overall and 5-9 in the OCC-Cardinal, was seeded 31st of 45 teams in the district tournament. Thomas was seeded 33rd.

"I feel we should have been at least a .500 team," Hinton said, citing four one-run losses and four two-run setbacks as games that could have reversed the Indians' fortunes.

"We were down in the extra-base hits this year, although we did have teams pitch carefully to (senior catcher) Bailee Faulkner. Bailee was hit by 10 pitches and walked seven times, which took her out of her role to drive in runs. There were a total of 11 games I feel we should have or could have won, games lost by three runs or less. A lot of those games, we had the lead until late in the game.

"I feel the players learned a lot about the mental side of the game and how little it takes to take you out of your game. Hopefully, the returning players will use this to help them next year."

Junior shortstop Mackenzie Hamilton led the Indians in batting average (.466) and hits (41). Senior second baseman Callie Caswell batted .392 with 29 hits, ahead of Faulkner (.370, 27 hits, 3 home runs), senior outfielder Chaya Duncan (.308, 20 hits, 2 home runs) and junior first baseman Emily Bryant (.300, 21 hits, 3 home runs).

Faulkner is an Urbana University recruit.

The Indians tied Westerville South for fifth in the OCC-Cardinal, behind Westerville Central (13-1), Bradley (12-2), Westerville North (11-3) and Darby (6-8) and ahead of Jerome (3-11) and Scioto (1-13).

Other expected returnees include juniors Corri Etter (OF) and Lauren Zaluski (OF) and sophomore Alexis Dean (SS/P/OF).

Boys tennis team looking to future

With only one senior on his roster, boys tennis coach Jason Moisey regarded this season as a building block for the next few years.

Canal Winchester went 1-15 overall and 1-6 in the OCC-Cardinal and did not advance any players beyond a Division I sectional tournament held May 12 and 13 at Upper Arlington.

At sectional, senior Isaiah Chattos and junior Alex Ugrinov went 0-1 in singles. Junior Ryan Warner and sophomore Zeke Blanchard went 0-1 in doubles, as did freshmen Connor Clark and Jacob Noel.

The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to the district tournament Thursday, May 19, at Davidson and Saturday, May 21, at UA.

The Indians did not field a full lineup in any matches this season.

"It's been rough in this beginning season but ... they have made good strides," Moisey said. "Connor (made) good adjustments to his game and is learning how to shape strokes with being a little more aggressive rather than being too passive. Zeke and Alex made good strides, too. Their form is improving and their understanding of the game is sharpening.

"It's been a blast seeing these guys play with such good spirit."

Canal Winchester's only win came against Westerville South, 3-2 on April 5.

The Indians finished seventh in the OCC-Cardinal, behind Jerome (7-0), Scioto (6-1), Darby (5-2), Bradley (4-3), Westerville North (3-4) and Westerville Central (2-5) and ahead of South (0-7).