A familiar face has returned to lead the Westerville Central High School boys track and field team.

A familiar face has returned to lead the Westerville Central High School boys track and field team.

Jason Loughman, who headed the program in its first seven seasons beginning in 2004, has returned as coach after serving as an assistant coach last year. He replaces Justin Rush, who coached the team for one season before accepting a teaching and coaching position at Marion Pleasant.

"I was still a part of the program last year," said Loughman, whose team opens Saturday, March 31, in the Newark Invitational. "Justin was kind of running the show. The kids are used to me. This is fun. I'm thankful to get an opportunity to serve as the head coach again this year."

The Warhawks should be led by senior sprinters Channing Doermann and Devon Reed.

Last season in the Division I state meet at Ohio State, Doermann finished 12th in the 200 meters (22.05 seconds), Reed finished 11th in the 100 (11.15) and Doermann, Reed and 2011 graduates Dominique Cook and Dillon Seckman placed seventh in the 800 relay (1:28.74).

The Warhawks scored two points at state to tie Hilliard Bradley and Medina Highland for 69th behind champion Cincinnati LaSalle (36) as 78 teams scored.

"We want to win the (400 relay at state) again," said Doermann, who teamed with Reed, 2009 graduate Gibril Kamara and 2011 graduate John Howard to win the 2009 state title in the 400 relay (41.83). "We won our freshmen year. I feel like we could have won our sophomore and juniors years. I don't think any team could have touched us in the (400 relay). We just slipped up because of some injuries, bad handoffs, not focused. But this year if we stay focused, hit the weight room hard, just do everything that we should, we should win the (400 relay) again this year no problem."

In the regional meet last year at Pickerington North, Doermann won the 200 (22.0), the 800 relay placed second (1:28.95) and Reed placed fourth in the 100 (11.22). Central tied Canal Winchester and Lancaster for ninth (27) behind co-champions Thomas Worthington (37) and Westerville North (37) as 39 teams scored.

Also competing at regional was junior Charlie Moushey, who placed sixth in the pole vault (14 feet, 6 inches) after winning the event (14-3) in the district 1 meet at Hilliard Bradley.

Moushey tied Canal Winchester's Corey Bell and Pickerington Central's Grant Hammond for fourth at regional but lost a jump-off, as Hammond earned the state berth and Bell finished fifth.

Reed, who also competes in the high jump, won the 100 (11.33) at district, as the Warhawks finished sixth (53) in the 16-team meet behind champion Thomas (87).

Doermann won the 200 (22.58) in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet last year as Central captured the league title with 126.5 points. Olentangy (104.5) was second, followed by Olentangy Liberty (102), Westerville North (90), Marysville (72.65), Westerville South (66.25), Dublin Scioto (49.5) and Dublin Jerome (44).

Others looking to contribute include seniors Kyle Zander (sprints/hurdles/high jump), David Hatchett (sprints), Josh Edens (distance), Brian Fowler (throws), Atticus Jordan (middle distance), Tyler McCann (throws) and Brandon Shirey (distance).

"We think we're well-rounded enough that we can score from a lot of different places," Loughman said. "Potentially, we think we're a district-champion, district-runner-up type team and just see how many kids that we can get to the regional and state level. We have pretty high expectations individually and as a team."

Girls coach likes team's leadership

The girls team also opens Saturday, March 31, in the Newark Invitational.

"We're off to a good start," fourth-year coach Ryan Borland said. "There's a lot of enthusiasm and the kids are working hard. I'm pretty excited about the senior leadership."

Among the returnees for Central are three regional qualifiers in seniors Jordan Hoffman and Taylor Reneau and sophomore Ali Fehlhaber.

Hoffman finished ninth at regional last year in the 300 hurdles (47.33) after winning the event (46.31) in the district 1 meet and Fehlhaber finished 12th at regional in the 400 (1:02.12). Also at regional, Hoffman and Reneau were members of the 400 relay that was disqualified in the final because of an illegal handoff.

Another key returnee is senior Tarela Osuobeni, who will compete in the high jump and sprints.

"I'm very excited for this season," Osuobeni said. "I would like to go to states in high jump. As a team, if we win the OCC and at least place top three in district, I'd be really excited."

Other key returnees are seniors Daijane Littlejohn (high jump/long jump/400) and MaRhya Wolff (long jump).

"We're really young outside of a few key seniors, so our main goal is just to progress throughout the season and get better and see what we have in May," Borland said. "I definitely like the attitude of this team. It's been a fun group so far. We're looking forward to seeing what we can do on the track."

Last season, the Warhawks finished sixth (65.33) in the OCC-Cardinal meet behind Scioto (150), Olentangy (116), North (78), South (75.33) and Liberty (73) and ahead of Jerome (56) and Marysville (48.33).

Central finished eighth (40) at district behind champion Dublin Coffman (152) and did not score at regional.