Last season, Adam Alderman never got an opportunity to help the 800-meter relay for the Granville High School boys track and field team earn a return to the Division II state meet.

Last season, Adam Alderman never got an opportunity to help the 800-meter relay for the Granville High School boys track and field team earn a return to the Division II state meet.

"We messed up the first two exchanges (at the regional) and didn't finish, so I never got to run it," said Alderman, who at the time was set to take the anchor leg. "After making it to state when I a sophomore (12th, 1 minute, 31.37 seconds), that was real disappointing. It left a bitter taste in our mouths so we're ready to redeem ourselves."

Despite the graduation of Ben Davis and John Brockman, the 800 relay ran a 1:31.1 at the Dick Houston Relays on April 9 at Licking Valley. In the area honor roll last week, that was third behind Big Walnut (1:29.8) and Pickerington Central (1:30.9). Senior Cory Becher also is in his third season running on that relay. Two of the newcomers are juniors Clay Watkins and Austen Harrison.

"We've got a pretty good time already but there's still a lot of work to do," said Alderman, an all-state receiver in football who will attend Ohio University in the fall as a preferred walk-on.

"Two of our guys didn't even run track last year so there's no question we can getter. And another one of our best guys, Tyler Link, hasn't run with us yet because he's been gone so much for football recruiting."

Coach Bob Hollen has been trying lineups. Others who have participated include Vince Cooper, Brandon Wilson and Josh McKenzie. The effort at Licking Valley was hand-timed, Hollen said, and it converts to 1:31.34 in fully-automated time. The program record is 1:31.25, set in the final at the regional in 2007.

"Adam's always asking me, 'When are we going to get our A team together?' He always wants to run with the best, and right now we're still trying to figure out what our best lineup is," Hollen said. "We can use as many as eight different kids on it without much of a fall off. The nice thing is we're getting a lot of kids involved and that gives them all a chance to work on the exchanges and everything. We have to have six ready to go anyway, and using all these kids ensures we'll have the experience to make a strong run (during the postseason)."

Alderman was sixth in the honor roll in the 100 (11.1), and he's growing increasingly fond of the 200. His best time in that event was a 22.75. The hand-timed program record is 22.5, which Hollen said converts to an automated time of 22.74.

"He's right there, and it's kind of upsetting to him that he hasn't gotten (the school record) yet," Hollen said. "He likes the 400 now, too, because it's making him better in the 200. Well, he doesn't necessarily like it, but he's been asking to run it."

Another bonus in running the 400 is that it might help Alderman land a permanent spot on the 1,600 relay, which won MSL-Ohio Division (3:25.59) and district (3:25.76) titles last season as it advanced to the state meet. Becher and Harrison return from that relay but Brockman and anchor Michael Brown, who also graduated, have to be replaced.

"Last year you couldn't get me to do (the 400). Part of that was probably because I was coming off a (shoulder) injury so I was about 20 pounds heavier," Alderman said. "I'm leaner now and I've been training for it since the indoor season. There's an open spot on the 4 x 400, and I want to get to the state meet doing anything I can."

•ELSEWHERE -- Newark Catholic teammates Luke Webster (166 feet, 9 inches) and Clay Harris (166-8) were first and second in the discus in the honor roll, and Harris was fifth in the shot put (52-11).

For Watkins Memorial, Cody Chaney was tied for sixth in the high jump (6-2), Rob Baisden was tied for fourth in the 200 (22.5) and Brandon Harrison was third in the 110 hurdles (15.0). The Warriors (third, 8:15.5) and Granville (second, 8:14.4) also were represented in the 3,200 relay, Licking Heights' Colt Denig was fourth in the 300 hurdles (39.9) and Licking Valley's Nathan Vaughn was seventh in the 1,600 (4:35.1).