The New Albany High School boys track and field team's 3,200-meter relay clocked 7 minutes, 54.83 seconds during the Division I regional meet held May 23 and 25 at Pickerington North.

The New Albany High School boys track and field team's 3,200-meter relay clocked 7 minutes, 54.83 seconds during the Division I regional meet held May 23 and 25 at Pickerington North.

That time would have been good enough to place fifth at state in 2011. This year, it was good only for seventh in a regional dominated by central Ohio athletes.

"That's how competitive it was," boys coach Chad Olinger said. "We posted a lot of times that were state caliber, but this year some of them just weren't quite fast enough."

The Eagles left their mark nonetheless.

Freshman Karrington Pettiford-Winters won the girls 400 (53.95) in the state meet, which was held June 1 and 2 at Ohio State. Junior Alex Frye placed third in the boys high jump (6 feet, 6 inches) and senior Adam Bodrick also stood on the podium after placing fourth in the 400 (48.92).

"Our girls shocked a lot of people," girls coach Otis Winston said. "If you look at where Reynoldsburg was about five or six years ago, that's where we are right now. We're really starting to come on and be a factor.

"(Taneisha) Cordell was our first Division I state champion (winning the 800 in 2011) and now we have another one already. (Retiring Reynoldsburg coach) Denny Hammond built a program down there, built a tradition. It's not that we're necessarily trying to duplicate what he did, but people here are starting to realize what's possible, too.

"I've been asked why we went into the same district as Reynoldsburg. I tell them I did it because I wanted my kids to see that greatness. We're trying to foster a culture of track and field here just like they did in Reynoldsburg."

The girls team totaled 96.5 points in the district 3 meet, which concluded May 19 at Hilliard Darby, to place third behind Reynoldsburg (116.5) and Dublin Scioto (112). The Eagles earned eight regional berths, which included district championships from Pettiford-Winters in the 400 (54.4) and sophomore Ama Karanteng in the long jump (15-11). Also advancing were Pettiford-Winters in the 200, junior Mirra Galbreath in the 1,600 and sophomore Dena White in the high jump.

The 400 relay (freshman Christina Shoemaker, sophomores Alex Dunn and Kelci Pettiford-Winters and junior Cynthia Cox), the 800 relay (Shoemaker, Cox, Dunn and Karrington Pettiford-Winters) and the 1,600 relay (freshman Debi Bhanja, Dunn, Cox and Karrington Pettiford-Winters) also qualified to the regional as the Eagles tied Scioto for fifth (31) behind champion Reynoldsburg (77). Karrington Pettiford-Winters set a meet record in the 400 (53.89).

At state, Reynoldsburg (56) captured its fourth consecutive title as New Albany tied Uniontown Green and Walnut Ridge for 19th (10) as 72 teams scored. Karanteng also qualified in the long jump (15th, 15-1/2), as did the 1,600 relay (14th, 4:01.59).

"Karrington took (her state title) in stride because she's used to success," Winston said. "I always tell the girls, 'Act like you've been there before.' I don't want them to overreact and I don't want them to under react. As coaches, we're just trying to put people in a position where they can be successful. The thing is, Karrington's best event is probably the 800."

The freshman set a meet record in the 400 (55.56) during the OCC-Capital Division meet May 10 and 12 at Hilliard Davidson and also anchored the winning 1,600 relay that set a meet record (4:02.3). She won the 200 (25.26) and anchored the winning 800 relay (1:44.35) as well as the Eagles finished first (161.5) ahead of three-time defending-champion Watkins Memorial (109), Hilliard Bradley (85.25), Big Walnut (84), Olentangy Orange (76.75), Franklin Heights (61), Delaware (44) and Mount Vernon (40.5). White finished first in the high jump (5-0).

The boys team unseated four-time defending-champion Watkins Memorial to complete the sweep. The Eagles won 10 events and were first (186) in the league meet ahead of Bradley (117.5), Watkins Memorial (117), Orange (69), Mount Vernon (54), Big Walnut (53.5), Franklin Heights (43) and Delaware (22).

The 3,200 relay of seniors Kraig Manion and Sebastian Matt, junior C.J. Stringer and freshman Zack Buck prevailed in 8:04.92, and Bodrick anchored the 800 relay also comprised of senior Daniel Emery and juniors Darren Lee and Alan Watson as it set a meet record (1:28.38). The 1,600 relay also finished first (3:24.7). Bodrick also won the 200 (22.53) and 400 (49.11) and Lee was first in the 100 (11.37). The other titles came from Manion in the 800 (1:57.41) and Frye in the 110 hurdles (15.26), 300 hurdles (39.55) and high jump (6-6).

In the district 2 meet, New Albany earned 12 regional berths to finish first (100.5) ahead of runner-up Lancaster (90) as Frye won titles in the 110 hurdles (15.06), 300 hurdles (39.27) and high jump (6-7). Also qualifying to regional were Bodrick (400), Emery (100), Lee (200), Manion (800), Buck (1,600), Matt (3,200) and senior Chad Guy (high jump) in addition to the 800 and 3,200 relays.

The Eagles finished eighth (31) behind champion Pickerington North (60) at regional, where Frye won the high jump (6-7). At state, they tied Tipp City Tippecanoe for 17th (11) behind champion Lakewood St. Edward (48) as 70 teams scored.

The girls team loses four seniors in Kaci Gundin, Olivia Gundin, Stephanie Zhong and Lakshmi Dasari. Other returnees include sophomores Catherine Ralston and Eliza Matt, both of whom compete in the distance events.

The boys team is expected to return juniors Jake Gigliotti (hurdles) and Austin Bach (distance) and sophomore Daniel Plescia (throws). There's also a deep group of promising sprinters that includes juniors Emmanuel Owusu-Ant and Ty Howard and sophomores O.B. Oppong and Leslie Anokye.

"I think we'll be well-rounded," Olinger said. "We could be equally strong if not better."