Ethan Tucky of the Delaware Hayes High School boys track and field team is looking to make a return trip to the Division I state meet later this spring and is hoping to be accompanied by some of his teammates.

Ethan Tucky of the Delaware Hayes High School boys track and field team is looking to make a return trip to the Division I state meet later this spring and is hoping to be accompanied by some of his teammates.

The junior finished 13th in the 100 meters (10.9 seconds) last season at Ohio State. He nearly qualified for state in the 200 as well, as he placed fifth in a program-record 21.92 in the regional meet at Pickerington North, where the top four finishers in each event advanced.

Also at regional, Tucky anchored the 12th-place 800 relay (1:31.6) and 15th-place 400 relay (45.82). However, the only other returnee from either relay is sophomore Deven Ward, who was part of the 400 relay.

Tucky also was the OCC-Capital Division champion in the 100 (11.19) last season.

"We expect Ethan Tucky and Deven Ward, along with Jacob Protheroe, to lead us in sprints again," fourth-year coach Greg White said. "I would consider sprints to be the strength of the team right now. Ward also should lead us in jumps."

Protheroe, a junior, also competed in hurdles last season. Other returning letterwinners include senior Sid Campbell (distance/hurdles), juniors Josh Hyatt (sprints), Lamin Kandeh (throws), Joey King (distance) and Austin Woods (jumps/sprints) and sophomore Justin Hernan (distance/middle distance).

Senior Nathaniel Koehler is expected to add depth in distance events.

Delaware has 55 athletes on the roster.

"We have a lot of young kids who are working hard and eager to be successful," White said. "We're going to need to maximize the potential of these young athletes."

Numbers up forgirls track team

The girls track and field team has increased the number of athletes in its program, but just 10 of the 40 athletes are returning letterwinners.

The Pacers have just four seniors and six juniors but have 20 freshmen.

"Our numbers will definitely be a strength," 10th-year coach Andy Graham said. "We have a lot of young girls we'll be working with and developing. I think we'll be strong in relays, both sprint and distance. We will need to improve in our throws, but we are very excited about our numbers and young depth."

Leading the returnees are seniors Tiarra Avant (sprints), Sammi Piroska (distance) and Alyssa Wheeler (middle distance).

Avant will be relied on heavily to replace 2014 graduate Emily Richards, who was a Division I state qualifier and the team's top scorer last season. The Pacers' first state qualifier since 2009, Richards finished 11th in the 400 (59.39) after advancing to state with a third-place finish at regional in a program-record 56.86.

Richards also competed at regional in the 100, placing sixth (12.56), and teamed with Avant, junior Macie Wright and sophomore Brooke Glesenkamp to finish 10th in the 800 relay (1:47.02).

Wright will be among the Pacers' sprint leaders, as will sophomores Ashley Smiley and Sammi Smudz. Glesen-kamp is expected to lead the team in jumps.

Sophomore Kristen Puthoff is expected to be among the Pacers' top distance runners, and sophomore Alicia Rittenour will compete in distance and middle distance. Sophomore Summer Connell will be among the Pacers' leaders in throws, and freshman Madeline Hayes is expected to be the team's top pole vaulter.

Last season in the district 3 meet at Hilliard Darby, the 400 relay of junior Rylee Wright, Avant, Macie Wright and Richards fell two places shy of qualifying for regional by placing sixth in a program-record 50.51.

Rylee Wright is expected to miss the entire season with an injury sustained during basketball season.

Girls lacrosse teamimproves its speed

With nearly half of its starting lineup consisting of freshmen, the girls lacrosse team is young despite returning eight letterwinners.

Last season, the Pacers finished 5-9 overall and went 1-3 in the OCC-Capital to finish fourth behind champion Olentangy (4-0).

Most of Delaware's experience is on defense and in the midfield. Senior defenders Madison Laskowski and Willow Mollenkopf and junior defender Celeste Smith have returned to play in front of senior goalkeeper Callie Nicholson. Back in the midfield are senior Rachel Nicodemus, junior Lyndsey Bosio-kovic and sophomore Ali Nicodemus.

The lone returnee on the attack is junior Maddie Ertz.

"We are faster on (both) defense and attack this year and the girls have shown increased teamwork," second-year coach Dennis Palmquist said. "We have a strong freshman class. Although most people may think playing freshmen isn't a great thing, with a young program like us, the freshman class has the most experience in the sport right now. They have an average of six years of experience now."

Laskowski, who plans to play at Urbana University, was injured March 28 in a 10-9 overtime win over Chillicothe and is expected to be out of the lineup for a few more weeks.

Delaware is 1-1-1 heading into its OCC-Capital opener Tuesday, April 14, at home against Olentangy. The Pacers tied Westerville South at 8 in their season opener March 24 and lost to Hilliard Darby 8-7 in overtime on April 4.

Delaware's contest against Granville on March 26 and its scheduled league opener against Big Walnut on April 2 both were postponed.

"We're 1-1-1 right now and all three games have been overtime games," Palmquist said. "We trailed Darby 7-3 and fought back and tied it up with 44 seconds left before losing in overtime. I like the fight these girls have shown."

Freshman Cynthia Saxby and sophomore Maeve Gattenbee have joined Mollenkopf and Smith as starters on defense with Laskowski out.

Starting on attack with Ertz have been freshmen Sydney Henderson, Lydia Maley and Olivia Shroyer. Freshman Katelyn McKee has started in the midfield with Bosiokovic and Rachel Nicodemus.

Schedules GIRLS LACROSSE

March 24 -- at Westerville South

March 26 -- at Granville

March 28 -- at Chillicothe

*April 2 -- at Big Walnut

April 4 -- at Hilliard Darby

*April 14 -- vs. Olentangy

*April 23 -- vs. New Albany

April 27 -- at Westerville Central

*April 30 -- vs. Olentangy Orange

May 1 -- at Marysville

May 2 -- at Dayton Chaminade Julienne

May 5 -- at Gahanna

May 7 -- at Wellington

May 9 -- vs. Chillicothe

TRACK & FIELD

April 7 -- at Marion Harding

April 11 -- Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays at Big Walnut

April 14 -- at Marysville with Fairbanks and North Union

April 17 -- Chieftain Relays at Bellefontaine

April 21 -- at Westerville Central with Big Walnut

April 24 -- Wildcat Invitational at Westerville South

April 29 -- at Olentangy Orange

May 1 -- at Olentangy

May 8 -- Delaware County Elite 8 at Olentangy Orange

May 14, 16 -- OCC-Capital meet at Big Walnut

*League contest