The Olentangy Invitational scheduled for Friday, April 27, at Olentangy High School gives track and field athletes a chance to stand out.

The Olentangy Invitational scheduled for Friday, April 27, at Olentangy High School gives track and field athletes a chance to stand out.

For a more accurate gauge of a team's strengths, Olentangy Liberty junior sprinter Morgan Dye said to look at how the Patriots fared April 20 in the home Freedom Relays. The girls team, relying on its sprinters, scored 90 points to place first ahead of Hilliard Davidson (84), Olentangy Orange (71), Dublin Jerome (58), Westerville Central (50), Olentangy (46) and Marysville (35).

"You will be able to see our open runners better at the Olentangy Invitational, but we might be a little stronger in
an event like this," Dye said. "We work together so much better."

"I enjoy the concept of a relay meet because it puts (the) team first," Liberty girls coach James Dingus said. "When it's an individual event, it's just an athlete against everyone else. When there's that element of a team involved, everyone pushes each other."

Dye, Jalynn Guice and McKenzy Robinson joined Alena Southwick to place first in the 400-meter relay (50.46 seconds) and teamed with Stephanie Paul to win the sprint medley (1:53.41).

Halee Wex, Ebony Nelson and Bobbi Hindes won the shot put relay with a combined total of 95 feet, 1 1/4 inches.

The boys team set several records while placing second (79) behind Davidson (114) and ahead of Westerville Central (71), Jerome (46), Olentangy (44), Orange (42), Marysville (36) and St. Charles (2).

Grant Cartwright set school records in the shot put (57-8) and discus (175-8). Cartwright, Zach Shank and David Trzcinski won the shot put relay (meet-record 147-8 1/4) and Cartwright, Shank and Grant Williams were first in the discus relay (meet-record 443-9).

"I was really excited about our performance," said Cartwright, who last year placed seventh in the discus (161-1) in the Division I state meet. "Across the board we performed really well to break those records."

"You can see the focus he has this year," boys coach Ryan Snivley said of Cartwright. "He knows what it is like to compete at the state meet. Once you get there you're definitely focused to get back."

Braves look to defend title at home event

Last year in the Olentangy Invitational, the Olentangy boys used their depth in the sprinting and field events to score 111 points to finish first ahead of Pickerington North (90), Liberty (80), Groveport (66), Hilliard Bradley (61), Orange (50), Delaware (32) and Jerome (28).

"Last year it was close, but we pulled it out in the end," sprinter Buchi Okafor said. "This season we've been practicing and preparing for that, and hopefully we're going to have a really good meet there."

In the Freedom Relays, Okafor, Anthony Outley, Dan Wruble and Colin McShane placed second in the sprint medley (1:34.31) behind Davidson (1:33.31). Brandon Owens, Nick Gray and Alex Shetler placed second in the discus relay (374-6).

For the girls team, Whitney Bice, Gabi Smith and Cierra Kerrigan were first in the pole vault relay (27-6) and Nicey Bauman, Emily Green, Rachel Hand and Mara Nebraska won the shuttle hurdles (1:07.8).

"I thought we did well," girls coach Marty Hunt said. "We're still making progress, but I still see areas where we're deficient."

Daniels recapturing form in long jump

Katelyn Daniels joined Kim Agyekum and Erin Ebersbach on the Orange girls' winning discus relay (307-4) in the Freedom Relays, but she was most pleased with her performance in the long jump.

Daniels went a personal best 16-6 and teamed with Mary McLain and Stephanie Lewis to place second (45-8).

"The long jump has been kind of a struggle for me," Daniels said. "My form and my steps have been really (off) this season. Today I was able to get my steps down."

The boys team had a pair of runner-up finishes in the distance events. Chris Gearinger, Tony Birri, Sam Gerst and Danny Meyung took second in the lap medley (10:53.2) and Gearinger, Jeddy Awuah, Birri and Meyung were second in the distance medley (7:55.59).

Andy Bosley, Josh Parker and Triston Richardson were second in the high jump (16-4).

"We told the kids if they came out and competed, things would take care of themselves," boys coach Nate Huffman said. "They came out and did that. I am not disappointed whatsoever."