The DeSales High School boys track and field team is looking to benefit from last season when its top point scorers were young and gaining experience.

The DeSales High School boys track and field team is looking to benefit from last season when its top point scorers were young and gaining experience.

With nearly all of their top athletes back, the Stallions are looking to get someone to the Division II state tournament after a one-year hiatus.

"I'm confident that we're really going to be better than we were last year," said coach Rick Baker, whose teams opened March 29 at Whetstone. "That experience that we had in the district and the regional meet and running through all the varsity meets last year should help us."

The Stallions return two regional qualifiers in senior Brandon Shepherd and junior Aaron Melsop. Shepherd was 14th in the 100 meters (11.63 seconds). Melsop was one of three high jumpers who failed to clear opening height at regional.

The Stallions did not score at regional as Peninsula Woodridge won with 65 points. A week before regional, DeSales scored 49 points to place seventh in the district 1 meet at Groveport behind champion Eastmoor Academy (140).

Shepherd and senior Channing McNeal and junior Tariq DeGraffinreed return to an 800 relay that was sixth at district (1:35.8). Shepherd, McNeal, DeGraffinreed and sophomore Austin Garrett return to a 400 relay that was fifth at district (44.7).

The 1,600 relay, which was sixth at district (3:38), returns senior Dan Kelley and sophomore Tyler West. Senior Riley West was fifth at district in the 300 hurdles (42.41).

The Stallions have added junior Warren Ball, who competed in track as a freshman but not last year as he recovered from a football injury. Ball is expected to be among the top sprinters on the team.

Also returning are seniors Scott Caw, Ryan McGlade and Spencer Schmidt, junior Mark Omlor and sophomores Breyon Bowman, Eric McKinney and LaShaun Sanders. Newcomers Luke Howard, a junior, and Ian Lawson, a freshman, are expected to bolster the distance group after strong cross country seasons.

DeSales will be without a key runner in senior Kevin Marth, who was fifth at district in the 400 (53.61) and was part of the 1,600 relay last year. Marth is unable to compete this spring because of an injury sustained during football season.

The Stallions scored 73.5 points in the CCL meet last year to tie Watterson for fourth, behind St. Charles (132), Hartley (98) and Ready (93) and ahead of Worthington Christian (23).

•The girls track team is looking for point scorers after losing four of its five Division I regional qualifiers from a year ago to graduation.

"We lost a lot in our (middle distance) and distance with the seniors we lost," coach Greg Zacharias said. "We got a pretty talented freshman group coming in in the sprints."

The lone returnee who competed at regional last year is junior Amy Schockling, who was a member of the 3,200 relay that finished 11th (9:56.23). The Stallions did not score at regional as Reynoldsburg won with 63 points.

At the district 4 meet, the Stallions scored 30 points to finish ninth behind champion New Albany (120). Schockling and junior Sophia Nnadi were the only underclassmen to place at district, as Schockling was on the 3,200 relay that placed third (9:54.71) and Nnadi was eighth in the discus (108 feet, 1 inch).

The Stallions scored 90 points in the CCL meet to place third behind Hartley (160) and Ready (108) and ahead of Watterson (73), Columbus School for Girls (50) and Worthington Christian (13).

Other returnees are seniors Gabierelle Douglas and Kim Parent, juniors Erica Davis and Megan McCabe and sophomores Kara Hoying, Sabrina Olmsted and Leah Selmek.

Freshmen Kristin Faulkner, Erin Kuisti, Kaysha Love and Ashli Pope also are expected to be key contributors.