The day before the running finals of the Division I district 2 meet last Saturday at Dublin Coffman, Pickerington High School Central girls track and field coach Robb Hammond did some figuring.

The day before the running finals of the Division I district 2 meet last Saturday at Dublin Coffman, Pickerington High School Central girls track and field coach Robb Hammond did some figuring.

According to his calculations, the Tigers probably would be trailing Reynoldsburg by two points heading into the 1,600-meter relay final.

With that in mind, he told those preparing for competition that they needed to pick up some unexpected points along the way. Central did pick up two points and was tied with Reynoldsburg for first heading into the final event.

During the preliminaries earlier in the week, the Tigers had run about two seconds faster than Reynoldsburg. In the final, however, it was the Raiders who won the event in 3 minutes, 53.37 seconds, with the Tigers placing second (4:01.2).

As a result, Reynoldsburg captured its fifth consecutive district championship, finishing with 115 points. Central was second of 14 teams with 113.

All in all, though, there was not much about the way the Tigers performed that left room for disappointment.

"We all did our best," said Kaitlin Peters, who joined Jasmine Green, Jalisa Jarrett and Jordan Robinson on the 1,600 relay and also ran on the fourth-place 3,200 relay. "We definitely wanted to get first, but it still seems really good that we got second."

The Tigers advanced eight individuals and all four relays to the regional meet, which began last Wednesday and concludes Friday at North.

Jarrett won the 400 title (58.28) and was second in the 200 (26.35). Christina Gagliardo won the pole vault (10 feet, 6 inches) and Kendall Payne placed fourth in the both the discus (99-2) and shot put (32-11 1/2).

"I think we got every point we could get," coach Hammond said. "I was really proud of them. I told them after the meet that they battled right until the end, and if you're going to get beat, get beat by the defending state champions. In all of my years of coaching, this is about as many kids as I've had (qualify for regional)."

The top four finishers in each district event advanced to regional, and the top four finishers in each regional event qualify for the state meet, which is June 4-5 at Ohio State.

The boys team finished 11th (28) in the district 3 meet, behind champion Brookhaven (89).

Grant Hammond ended up second in the pole vault (14-0). The Tigers also advanced Mesha Barjona in the 100 (second, 11.09) and Brennan McCotter in the 1,600 (fourth, 4:35.52).

David Stephens took fifth in the shot put (44-9 1/2).

Hurting Central's hopes of advancing in sprint relays and open sprinting events was the absence of Tyler B. Hammond and Josh Kristoff during preliminaries on May 20. Both were unavailable because they were playing for the Tigers' baseball team in the district tournament.

"I got off to a good start, but I feel like I can get a whole lot better," Barjona said.

•The North boys and girls teams are well-represented at the regional meet.

After winning the OCC-Ohio Division title May 15, the boys team took fourth (72.5) in the district 2 meet, behind Olentangy Liberty (121), Watkins Memorial (113.5) and Lancaster (86.5).

Michael Ballentine and Daniel Garleb kept their hopes of returning to state competition alive by capturing district titles in the high jump (6-4) and 3,200 (9:18.3), respectively. Ballentine finished 11th at state last year. Garleb placed fourth at the state cross country meet last fall.

The Panthers advanced four individuals and two relays to regional but finished fifth in five other events, including the 400 relay (43.97), which had won the OCC-Ohio championship.

The 800 relay of Bryce Cordova, Tony Traylor, Dane Willis and Justin Young broke the school record by finishing fourth in 1:31.37.

"All year, our 200 guys haven't been at full strength, really, and now we're at our peak," said Cordova, who added a fifth-place finish in the 200 (23.45). "We're feeling pretty good right now."

At the district 3 meet, the girls team was third (84) behind Watkins Memorial (120.5) and Hilliard Davidson (113).

The meet represented one of the few times Zena Kolliesuah has been able to compete this season, and she responded by winning the 400 (57.56) and placing second in the 100 (12.68) and 200 (second, 26.53).

Kolliesuah has battled a right kneecap injury and did not compete at the conference meet.

"It's getting better each week," she said. "I felt good running the 400. The transition is going well."

Bria Booker was third in the long jump (16-6 1/4) and ran on the 400 relay that was third (51.32) and the 800 relay that took second (1:46.83).

Jasmine Simmons qualified for regional in the discus (third, 105-8) and shot put (third, 33-1 1/2) to give North three individual qualifiers. The Panthers were fifth in the 1,600 relay (4:16.0) and Kristen Eisenhauer, who ran on the qualifying 3,200 relay, was fifth in the 1,600 (5:35.5).

"We started these relays pretty much at the conference meet, and we've just got to keep improving," Booker said.

At a glance

Below are the regional qualifiers for the Pickerington Central and North boys and girls track and field teams with district event, place and time/distance/height:


Boys - Mesha Barjona: 100 (second, 11.09); Grant Hammond: pole vault (second, 14-0); Brennan McCotter: 1,600 (fourth, 4:35.52); Girls - Ada Burley: shot put (second, 35-0); Christina Gagliardo: pole vault (first, 10-6); Jasmine Greene: 300 hurdles (second, 46.32); Allison Hammond: pole vault (third, 9-0); Jalisa Jarrett: 200 (second, 26.35), 400 (first, 58.28); Phylicia Johnson: long jump (third, 14-8 1/2); Kendall Payne: discus (fourth, 99-2), shot put (fourth, 32-11 1/2); Jordon Robinson: 200 (fourth, 26.68); 400 relay: Grace Calloway, Tionne Goodson, Greene, Allison Hammond, (fourth, 50.04); 800 relay: Goodson, Greene, Jarrett, Robinson (second, 1:42.83); 1,600 relay: Greene, Jarrett, Robinson, Kaitlin Peters (second, 4:01.2); 3,200 relay: Nevada Brancifort, Peters, Megan Sharrett, Santele Smith (fourth, 10:03.33)


Boys - Michael Ballentine: high jump (first, 6-4); Daniel Garleb: 3,200 (first, 9:18.3); Nick Hissrich: 3,200 (second, 9:28.29); Justin Young: long jump (fourth, 20-3); 800 relay: Bryce Cordova, Tony Traylor, Dane Willis, Young (fourth, 1:31.37); 3,200 relay: Greg Black, Garleb, Abuckar Shegow, Rocky Riddle (fourth, 8:07.58); Girls - Bria Booker: long jump (third, 16-6 1/4); Zena Kolliesuah: 100 (second, 12.68), 200 (second, 26.53), 400 (first, 57.56); Jasmine Simmons: discus (third, 105-8), shot put (third, 33-1 1/2); 400 relay: Booker, Kierra Igweibuike, Terrica Leonard, Emily Shevelow (third, 51.32); 800 relay: Booker, Igweibuike, Leonard, Shevelow (second, 1:46.83); 3,200 relay: Kristen Eisenhauer, Fayth Greegor, Meg Moledor, Alexa Strejeck (fourth, 10:11.2)