Hailey Pickelheimer of the Olentangy Liberty High School girls track and field team sees some of herself in teammate Kelsey Mockler.

Hailey Pickelheimer of the Olentangy Liberty High School girls track and field team sees some of herself in teammate Kelsey Mockler.

Not only do the two compete side-by-side in hurdles events, but like Pickelheimer did two years ago, Mockler is making an impact on varsity as a freshman.

"At the beginning of the year, she was always in front of me," Pickelheimer said. "We were always encouraging each other. Both of us have good races and bad races. We keep each other motivated.

"She reminds me of myself, and I think that is why I like to help her so much. I see all the potential she has. I think she'll be a lot better even by the end of the season."

Hurdles events hardly are the only area of depth for the Patriots, and that was on display in the OCC-Central Division meet that concluded May 16 at Hilliard Davidson.

Pickelheimer was second in the 300-meter hurdles (46.97 seconds) and Mockler was third (47.9), and that was one of several events in which Liberty had at least two of the top five finishers in scoring 153 points to capture its first league championship since 2007, when the Patriots were in the OCC-Capital.

Abigail Summers was second in the 200 (26.0), .84 ahead of teammate Sydney Engelhart in fourth. In the 3,200, Claire Wiles was second (10:58.69) and Emma Bower was third (10:59.52).

In the discus, Elizabeth Croop was third (99 feet, 8 inches) and Angela Kile was fifth (97-4). In the 1,600, Wiles was second (5:04.81), Bower was fourth (5:07.41) and Claire Linn was fifth (5:18.94).

Sam Silber won the pole vault (11-0) as the Patriots finished ahead of Dublin Coffman (136), Davidson (109), Thomas Worthington (103), Upper Arlington (58), Central Crossing (42), Westland (30) and Marysville (26).

Liberty had finished third three consecutive years, including the past two to Davidson since moving to the OCC-Central from the OCC-Cardinal before the 2012-13 school year.

"It's a friendly competition every day (in practice)," Mockler said of the Patriots' widespread depth.

Summers also was second in the 100 (12.6). Linn was second in the high jump (5-10) and Trinity Wiles was third in the 800 (2:22.28).

Jacob Merrels led the boys team with a win in the 100 (11.16) and second-place finish in the 200 (23.07) behind teammate Trevor Collins (22.72). Both were on the winning 400 relay (23.3), and Merrels was on the runner-up 800 relay (1:30.16) as Liberty scored 127 points and placed third behind Davidson (143) and Coffman (132.5) and ahead of Marysville (96.5), Thomas (66.5), UA (42.5), Westland (37) and Central Crossing (15).

Sean Carney won the discus (146-10), and teammate Chris Adams was fifth (128-7).

Recording second-place finishes were the 1,600 relay (3:29.3) and Canaan Cook in the pole vault (14-0). Ryan Jones was third in the pole vault (13-6).

Mitchell Towne was fourth in the 800 (2:00.28) and 1,600 (4:21.36), and was on the 1,600 relay and third-place 3,200 relay (8:08.99).

The boys team began competition in the Division I, district 2 meet May 19 at Hilliard Darby. The girls are in district 3.

In the district 2 meet, field events took place May 19, followed by the preliminaries for the running events May 20 and the running finals Saturday, May 23.

The district 3 meet began May 20 with field events. Preliminaries for running events will be Thursday, May 21, and running finals are Saturday, May 23.

The top four finishers in each district event advance to the regional Wednesday, May 27, and May 29 at Pickerington North. From there, the top four finishers in each event qualify for the state meet June 5 and 6 at Ohio State.

Orange girls win first league title

Orange coach Adam Walters had high hopes for both of his teams in the OCC-Capital meet that concluded May 16 at Big Walnut, but hopes started to become reality when he saw the girls team was leading by 30 points a little more than halfway through the meet.

"Then, I figured there was a chance. We hung on," Walters said. "Our hurdles and our throws scored a lot of points, and we came back and won it. That was huge going into the later events. We had it locked up before the (1,600 relay), and that is one of our strengths."

The Pioneers piled up points with four first-place finishes, five runner-up performances and seven third-place efforts, scoring 159 to win the first league title in the program's seven seasons. Orange finished ahead of New Albany (136), Olentangy (110), Big Walnut (74), Mount Vernon (72), Worthington Kilbourne (63), Delaware (39) and Franklin Heights (5).

Hannah Dieker won the 100 hurdles (15.72) and was third in the 300 hurdles (49.63) behind runner-up Katie Priest (49.18), who also was third in the 100 hurdles (16.41). Anna Dove won the 800 (2:25.24) and was second in the 1,600 (5:24.72), and Thelma Agyekum was second in the 100 hurdles (12.44) and third in the 200 (26.58).

In the shot put, Ally Cummings was second (34-8), Megan Cochran was fourth (33-6) and Makaela Wilson was fifth (33-5 1/2).

For the boys, Hunter Moore won the 3,200 in a league-record 9:30.36 to lead the Pioneers to fourth place (84) behind Big Walnut (154.5), New Albany (107.5) and Olentangy (88) and ahead of Delaware (75), Franklin Heights (60), Mount Vernon (53) and Kilbourne (39).

Brandon Morrow was second in the 1,600 (4:25.37), one spot ahead of Moore (4:29.11), and both were on the runner-up 3,200 relay (8:18.13).

J.P. Leskovich was second in the 400 (50.08). The 400 relay (44.22) and 1,600 relay (3:35.49) both were third, as was Jake Lawrence in the pole vault (11-6).

Both Orange teams are competing in the district 3 meet.

Balanced contributions lift Olentangy

Olentangy's girls got three wins in the OCC-Capital meet, as well as a runner-up finish and three third-place finishes.

Melina Endsley won the 1,600 (5:19.15), was on the third-place 3,200 relay (10:16.05) and was fourth in the 800 (2:30.42). Emily Ginter won the high jump (5-3) and was on the third-place 800 relay (1:48.56), and Abigail Toops won the long jump (16-9 1/4).

Siobhan Szerencsits was second in the pole vault (10-6), and Holly Nation was third in the 400 (1:01) and fourth in the high jump (4-10).

Anthony Sasso continued a recent surge for the boys team, winning the 800 (1:57.11) and helping the 3,200 relay to fourth place (8:21.31). On May 8 in the Delaware County Elite 8 meet at Orange, Sasso broke a 46-year-old meet record when he won the 800 in 1:57.15.

Brandon Bice earned the Braves' other league win, taking the pole vault (13-0) ahead of runner-up and teammate Kyle Brookshire (12-0).

Jarren Williams was third in the 100 (11.42), the 3,200 relay was fourth (8:21.31), Nick Lawless was fourth in the shot put (46-1/2) and Jake O'Donnell was fourth in the 200 (23.21).

Both Olentangy teams are in district 2.