Watkins Memorial High School's Morgan Reichert thought she had the next four years of her life mapped out.

Watkins Memorial High School's Morgan Reichert thought she had the next four years of her life mapped out.

The senior was prepared to accept a scholarship offer from the University of Louisville. Then she received a call from Ohio University freshman cross country runner Emily Pifer, a Canal Winchester product.

The rest, as they say, is history. Reichert changed her mind and instead was set to sign a letter of intent Feb. 25 to run cross country and track for the Bobcats.

"It was kind of a last-minute decision, really. I was all ready to commit," Reichert said. "Louisville was my first option, but one of the girls from the OU team got my number and called.

"I remember going to a cross country camp with her when I was a seventh-grader. I saw her at a few meets after that, of course, and we kind of stayed in touch. After we talked, I just decided I wanted to go to a school a little closer to home."

Reichert, who also considered Miami University and Bowling Green, wasn't really on the radar of most Division I college recruiters until her senior season in cross country began to unfold.

She kept making strides and eventually capped her career by finishing 30th at the Division I state meet in November. She set a girls school record in the process by clocking 18 minutes, 51 seconds. Reichert finished fifth among central Ohioans, a group led by Hilliard Davidson's Jessica Hoover (18:07.6, fifth overall).

"I had been contacting schools, but I wasn't hearing anything back," Reichert said. "It just all seemed to come together for me as the season went along."

After taking only about 10 days off following the state meet, Reichert began training for the indoor track season. She set her personal-best in the 3,200 meters (11:41) while running second behind Hoover (11:31) at the district 3 meet last spring to qualify for regional, and Reichert already has turned an 11:49 indoors this winter. She helped the 3,200-relay advance to state last spring when it placed third (9:25.47) at regional.

"I really liked the OU coach (Clay Calkins). He's their head coach in cross country and coaches the distance runners in track," she said. "I had a great visit when I went down there, and they offered the most (scholarship) money. That was a big part of it. I could even end up getting a full ride if I can run a sub-10:40 this spring (in the 3,200).

"Our school record is 10:50, and I'd really like to break that. It's held by the same girl (2004 graduate and Coastal Carolina recruit Aubrey Bergquist) whose record I broke in cross country."

•Watkins Memorial senior Jake Miller, who has signed to play golf at Marshall, scored the tying goal in the final minute as the PRPC Ice Prowlers tried to stay alive in the consolation bracket of the Greater Columbus High School Club Hockey League's Blue Jackets Cup on Feb. 19.

The Ice Prowlers, who were the top seed after winning the league's regular-season title, led Northeast 3-1 entering the third period but found themselves trailing 4-3 as the Storm rallied with three goals. PRPC eventually lost 5-4 after opening the event with a 2-1 loss to Athens a day earlier.

The Ice Prowlers were playing without leading scorer Kyle Hyer and their top defenseman, Licking Heights senior Sean Straker. Both were sidelined with injuries.

"We're not using that as an excuse, though," coach Joe Tonello said. "We didn't play PRPC hockey against Athens, and Northeast put four goals in on us in seven minutes. That should never happen."

PRPC's goal now is to regroup for the state club tournament, which will be held March 11-13 in Wooster and Canton. The Ice Prowlers finished 15-7-2 with 32 points during the regular season as Hilliard (14-7-3, 31 points), Northeast (14-7-3, 31) and Newark (12-11-1, 25) also qualified for state. Hilliard defeated the Storm 6-2 on Feb. 20 to capture its first Blue Jackets Cup championship.

Straker, who has been out with a concussion, is expected to play in the state tournament. Hyer, a sophomore forward from Pickerington North, won't play because of a broken collarbone.

"It'll be nice going to state as a No. 1 seed, but we've already seen that doesn't bring any guarantees," Tonello said. "We have to go play like we want to win it."


Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Watkins Memorial boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming and wrestling teams:


*Feb. 18 - Lost to Hilliard Bradley 85-58 in regular-season finale. Kevin Crawford (24) and Hunter Holton (15) posted season-high point totals to lead the Warriors.

Feb. 25 - Played top-seeded Westerville South in second round of Division I district tournament. The Warriors had a first-round bye. Winner advances to play Independence or Pickerington Central in district semifinal, 10 a.m. March 5 at Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Of note: The Warriors were 2-18 overall before Feb. 25 and finished 1-13 in the OCC-Capital, won by New Albany (13-1).


Feb. 24 - Lost to ninth-seeded Upper Arlington 59-26 in second round of Division I district tournament. The Warriors had a first-round bye.

Of note: The Warriors finished 5-16 overall.


Feb. 19 - Boys: Did not score in Division I district meet at Ohio State won by Upper Arlington (432.5). Competing for the Warriors were the 200 medley relay (2:09.91, 26th), 200 free relay (1:49.27, 28th) and 400 free relay (disqualified); Girls: Did not score at district meet won by Upper Arlington (505). Competing for the Warriors were Hannah Rush in the 200 IM (2:25.73, 24th) and 500 free (5:42.19, 22nd), the 200 medley relay (2:06.79, 22nd), 200 free relay (1:53.27, 20th) and 400 free relay (4:22.10, 24th).


Feb. 19 - Finished ninth (66) in Division I sectional tournament at Marysville won by Hilliard Davidson (239.5).

District qualifiers were Billy Garcia (145, 3-2, fourth) and Dylan Scott (103, 3-1, third).

Also competing were Chris Bankes (130, 0-2), Jack Bennett (215, 0-2), Joey Cameron (152, 2-2), Josh Chism (135, 0-2), Damien George (189, 0-2), Bo Giffin (160, 1-2), Noah Holter (125, 1-2), Nick Lancia (140, 1-3) and Mike Starner (171, 2-3)

Feb. 25-26 - Qualifiers at district meet at Hilliard Darby. The top four in each weight class advanced to state March 3-5 at Ohio State.

*OCC-Capital game