The Westerville Central High School girls and boys track and field teams had good showings in the Division I district 1 meet that concluded last Saturday at Dublin Coffman.

The Westerville Central High School girls and boys track and field teams had good showings in the Division I district 1 meet that concluded last Saturday at Dublin Coffman.

The girls team scored 72 points to finish fourth behind champion Pickerington Central (128.5) and sent nine to regional to compete in eight events. The boys team was eighth (31) behind champion Gahanna (142.5) and sent four to regional to compete in three events.

"We were real pleased with the kids and excited for the kids who qualified to regional," coach Jason Loughman said. "There are a few races we'd like to have back, but overall we were really proud of all the kids."

Last Wednesday, the Warhawks competed in the running and field event preliminaries in the regional at Hilliard Davidson. The finals will take place Friday. The top four in every event will advance to the state meet June 6-7 at Ohio state.

The girls team was led at district by Porsha Gandy, who was second in the 100 meters (12.33 seconds) and 200 (25.4) and led off the winning 400 relay (49.66). She was joined on the 400 relay by Shy Allen, Cherie Thacker and Rachel MacLeod.

The 1,600 relay of Dominique Hoskins, Nana Owusu-Kwarteng, Allen and MacLeod was first (3:58.94) and Rhayne Smitherman was third (15.67) in the 100 hurdles.

"Rhayne in the hurdles, that was a nice surprise for us. She had a real good race," Loughman said.

The Warhawks also were strong in the field events. Annie-Rae Dura was second (38 feet, 7 inches) in the shot put and third in the discus (112-7) and Amara Whaley was fourth in the pole vault (9-6) in the first day of the meet.

"Amara has done nothing but improve all year," Loughman said. "She's becoming one of the better girls in the area in the pole vault.

"Annie-Rae, she hadn't thrown her best the last couple of seasons and this year she's been real dedicated. She's putting it all together now when it counts."

Not competing for the Warhawks was Maxine Ohakim, who last season in the Divison II state meet was third in the shot put and seventh in the discus for DeSales. She quit the team this season before the OCC-Central Division meet.

"She decided she didn't want to do track anymore and that was an upsetting time for the team and the coaches," Loughman said.

"She told us that she lost her drive and was looking ahead to college and playing basketball. We were bummed out and it was disheartening. That's one of the bad things with track. Some of the seniors are multi-sport athletes and sometimes track gets put on the back burner. It can be frustrating."

Leading the boys team was Tyler Stevenson, who was third in both the 100 (11.12) and 200 (22.21). He also was on the second-place 400 relay (43.41) with Gibril Kamara, Onesiaum Glass and Alex Swanson.

"Our main goal was to qualify him to regionals," Loughman said. "We knew he had some good sprinters in his races, but we also knew that he was in the mix and had a chance to move on."

After not running last year, the coaches were unsure where to start Stevenson this season. They eventually decided on the hurdles events and the high jump but later discovered in practice that he was good in the 100 and 200.

"We weren't sure what his focus would be," Loughman said. "As the season went on, we put him in the 100 and 200 and it turned out he was one of the fastest guys on the team in both (events) and he's just become faster and faster."

In the regional last season, the boys team was 11th (20) and the girls team was eighth (28).

At a glance

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

BOYS --ĘTyler Stevenson: 100 (third, 11.12), 200 (third, 22.21); 400 relay: Stevenson, Onesiaum Glass, Gibril Kamara, Alex Swanson (second, 43.31)

GIRLS --ĘPorsha Gandy: 100 (second,

12.33), 200 (second, 25.4); Rhayne Smitherman: 100 hurdles (third, 15.67); Annie-Rae Dura: shot put (second, 38-7), discus (third, 112-7); Amara Whaley: pole vault (fourth, 9-6); 400 relay: Gandy, Shy Allen, Cherie Thacker, Rachel MacLeod (first, 49.66); 1,600 relay: Dominique Hoskins, Nana Owusu-Kwarteng, Allen, MacLeod (3:58.94)