In its first true test at the Division I level, the New Albany High School girls track and field team left little doubt that it could contend.

In its first true test at the Division I level, the New Albany High School girls track and field team left little doubt that it could contend.

The Eagles were third in the district 3 meet, which concluded last Saturday at Dublin Coffman, scoring 94.5 points to finish behind only Reynoldsburg (135) and Pickerington North (120.33). The Eagles also advanced 11 athletes to the regional at Hilliard Davidson, which began last Wednesday and will conclude Friday.

"I'm proud of them," first-year coach Otis Winston said.

"This was important to us. We went from being the Division II district champs to being third-place in Division I in our first year, with Reynoldsburg and Pickerington North. I'm very impressed."

The top four in each event at district advanced to the regional, and the top four there will advance to state June 6-7 at Ohio State.

Last season, the Eagles weren't able to advance any individuals beyond the regional. This year, Winston expects things to be different.

"I believe this is the hardest district," he said. "Last year, we went to a district where we won and got to regional and nobody got out. This year we got challenged and the girls really stepped up."

The Eagles again were led by their sprinters and jumpers, particularly Rosie White and Hannah Robertson, both of whom advanced to the regional in four events. White and Robertson ran with Jordyn Albritton and Haley Robertson on the second-place 400-meter relay (49.46 seconds) and the third-place 800 relay (program-record 1:42.97).

Hannah Robertson also won the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches) and was fourth in the 200 (26.31). White won the long jump (personal-best 18 feet, 8 1/2 inches) and finished third in the 200 (25.73).

The 3,200 relay of Krystal Worrell, Leilani Worrell, Olivia Horvath and Maria Lackey was second (9:46.63) and the 1,600 relay of Taylor Cameron, Krystal Worrell, Kelly Brittan and Mycah Mason was fourth (4:04.98).

Brittan also finished second in the 300 hurdles (program-record 46.6).

"I think I can push through and do better," Brittan said.

"Hopefully with another second (off the 300 hurdles time), I should do pretty well at regional and states. With harder competition, I always run faster."

In the 100 hurdles, Jordan Mazzi had to win a run-off with Debbie Miller of Whetstone to take the fourth qualifying spot. Both ran a 16.25 in the finals

Lackey set the program record in the 800 (2:23.1) but finished fifth.

•The boys team finished 14th at the Division I, district 2 meet but could not advance any athletes to the regional meet.

The Eagles totaled 16 points and finishedahead of three teams as Hilliard Darby (109.5) won the title. This was the first year for the boys team in Division I.

Probably the Eagles' best shot at a regional qualifier, the 400 relay, was derailed when junior Bo Miller was injured during preliminaries.

Sophomore Jordan Williams stepped into the relay, which already was without senior Gerald Nixon, but the Eagles managed only a seventh-place finish (44.55).

"Sort of the story of our season," coach Brian Finn said.

By the end of the season, the Eagles were missing four athletes expected to make significant contributions. Miller suffered a heel injury, Nixon never was able to recover from a nagging knee injury, junior hurdler Collin Show missed the second half of the year with a foot problem and junior jumper Christian McFarland was injured nearly all season.

The Eagles' had a couple of fifth-place finishes, including Miller in the long jump (20-10 3/4). Miller trailed fourth-place Harley Filyaw of Mount Vernon by just an inch.

Sophomore Zach Galbreath was a nice surprise in the pole vault, taking fifth (12-0).

Finn also was pleased with the 3,200 relay of Nathan Stewart, Gisli Bachmann, Zach Smith and Juvon Williams, which was sixth (8:42.43).

"That was a pleasant surprise because our 3,200 relay hasn't scored in a few years," Finn said. "They were kind of banged up and they gutted it out."

The biggest losses for the Eagles will be in the throws and sprints. The top four throwers, Ryan Roads, Will Aurand, Cody Aronhalt and Nathan Pickett, are seniors.

Seniors Nick Campbell and Ethan Cullinan have been among the top sprinters for the last four years, along with Nixon. Campbell and Nixon ran on the 800 relay that reached the state meet in2006.

Bachmann, Stewart and Josh Doran, the team's top distance runners, also are seniors.

Among the top expected returnees are Miller, who converted from a middle-distance runner to a sprinter and jumper this season, freshman sprinter Ross Watkins, sophomore hurdler Michael Burton, Juvon Williams, Jordan Williams, Smith, Galbreath and Show.

At a glance

Below are regional qualifiers for the New Albany girls track and field teams with district event, place and time/distance/height:

Kelly Brittan: 300 hurdles (second, 46.6); Jordan Mazzi: 100 hurdles (fourth, 16.25); Hannah Robertson: 200 (fourth, 26.31), high jump (first, 5-2); Rosie White: 200 (third, 25.73), long jump (first, 18-8 1/2); 1,600 relay: Taylor Cameron, Krystal Worrell, Brittan, Mycah Mason (fourth, 4:04.98); 3,200 relay: Krystal Worrell, Leilani Worrell, Olivia Horvath, Maria Lackey (second, 9:46.63); 400 relay: Haley Robertson, Jordyn Albritton, Hannah Robertson, White (second, 49.46); 800 relay: Haley Robertson, Albritton, Hannah Robertson, White (third, 1:42.97)

At a glance


•Finishes: Fifth in OCC-Capital, 14th in district

•Seniors lost: Cory Aronhalt, Will Aurand, Gisli Bachmann, Andrew Billiter, Paul Choi, Ethan Cullinan, Josh Doran, Robert Erlichman, Gerald Nixon, Nathan Pickett, Ryan Roads, David Singer and Nathan Stewart

•Key returnees: Michael Burton, Zach Galbreath, Bo Miller, Collin Show, Zach Smith, Ross Watkins, Jordan Williams and Juvon Williams