With three seniors on its 1,600-meter relay a year ago, the Eastmoor Academy boys track and field team advanced to state in the event for the second time in three seasons.

With three seniors on its 1,600-meter relay a year ago, the Eastmoor Academy boys track and field team advanced to state in the event for the second time in three seasons.

The return of senior George Daniels from the relay, as well as a few others who are strong in middle-distance events, has the Warriors believing they should be able to increase their run of City League championships and state appearances.

Daniels, who helped the 1,600 relay place fourth (3 minutes, 21.02 seconds) in the Division II state meet last season and also competed at state as a sophomore in the 800 relay, is the Warriors' most experienced runner. He has committed to play football for Ashland.

Eastmoor won its fourth consecutive City title a year ago.

"It's an interesting group," coach Jason Lewis said. "We've got a strong senior class, but I've also got a good class of sophomores and freshmen. We have one goal, and that's to run 3:15 in the (1,600 relay) at state. If they train hard enough, they can do it."

Senior Jalon Lewis, who is coach Lewis' son, seniors Elijah Barber and Laron Senior, junior Terry Johnson and sophomore Malik Crockett also can run on the 1,600 relay.

"They're all going to have to compete for who's the big dog," coach Lewis said.

Senior Xavier Holston-Sims is competing in sprints and in the long jump and high jump. Senior Ricardo Melhado and junior Davy Wheeler also should contribute in sprints.

Sophomore Bernard Banaga returns after winning the City title in the discus (129 feet, 8 inches).

Freshman Omavi Hamilton was the City runner-up in cross country last fall and is leading the distance corps.

Eastmoor scored 162 points to easily win the City title last season, with Independence (88) finishing second.

Cameron Jackson, a 2014 graduate who took third at state in the 110 hurdles (14.53), led a senior class for the Warriors that also included Will Anderson, Shamar Hutchinson and Todd Roddy from the 1,600 relay.

Although Independence has just one senior in Sidney Perry (shot put, discus), its top runner from a year ago, junior Ronnie Kuipers, is back. Kuipers won the City title in the 100 (11.39) and ran on the 400 and 800 relays that advanced to the Division I regional.

Other key runners for the 76ers include juniors Kevon Jones (sprints), Jimell Lumpkin (middle distance) and Kaavon Parker (sprints).

"We're really super young," coach Maurice Douglas said. "Ronnie Kuipers is back after winning the 100 last year in the City, so we're expecting him to be pretty good."

Warriors, Nubiansgirls also optimistic

During the postseason a year ago, little went the way the Eastmoor girls track team was hoping.

After Eastmoor scored 93 points to edge Centennial (85), Whetstone (80), Northland (75) and Africentric (74) for the City title, an injury ended Cheyanne Carter's season in the Division I district meet.

Carter, a senior who is considering Ohio State, Indiana, LSU and UCLA, is back and looking to build on an already decorated career.

As a sophomore when Eastmoor won the Division II state team title, Carter won the 100 hurdles, was second in the 200 and seventh in the long jump. She also ran on the 800 relay that won titles in 2012 and 2013.

Senior Gianni Ross, who ran on the 800 relay in 2012 and 2013, and senior Imani Stepney, who ran on the 400 relay that was fifth at state in 2013, are other veteran sprinters.

Junior Deja Hale won the City title in the 800 (2:30.46) last season, while senior Anee Braswell won the league title in the shot put (36-7 1/2).

Others looking to contribute in sprinting events are senior Deidra Keels, sophomore Madison Johnson and freshmen Shanayia McCrary and Jennaia Williams.

Eastmoor has a new coach in Mark Anthony. He had been an assistant with the Eastmoor boys before taking over after Rich Bolden retired in the offseason.

"We've got a pretty good mix," Anthony said. "It's a veteran team, but it's a young team, too. There's been a lot of continuity with the girls who are seniors now."

Africentric has a trio of strong returning runners in seniors Emoni Hudson and Rhenana Taylor and junior Dajah Howard.

In the Division III state meet last season, Hudson was fifth in the 100 (12.53). She also joined Taylor and Howard on the 800 relay that was 13th (1:49.33) and joined Taylor on the 400 relay that reached the final but did not finish.

While Hudson and Taylor are running in sprinting events again this spring, Howard is focusing on the 400 and 800.

"The team may not be as strong overall as last year's team, but we should do well in the sprinting events," coach Clayton Wrighter said. "I believe we have the potential of doing well in the City and making a good run in the (postseason).

Douglas' wife, Laura Douglas, is in her second season as Independence's girls coach. Among the top runners for the 76ers are senior Diana Diselmar and junior Lexus Taylor.

CCS lacrosse tobuild youth program

After having a team for the past five seasons, including the past two under Robert Corby, the CCS boys lacrosse club program isn't fielding a team this spring.

Norm Deena took over the program in the offseason, but after several of last year's key players were seniors, only four players showed interest in playing this spring.

Deena coached the Watterson boys team to a 26-22 record from 2009-11 and then led the Pickerington North girls to an 18-14-1 mark that included OCC-Central Division titles in 2012 and 2013.

"They had some guys move to other communities and we lost a few to graduation," Deena said. "My goal is to grow the sport in central Columbus. All of the other teams have feeder programs, which CCS doesn't have, so I'll be focusing on developing the youth component. I've been working with (Columbus Recreation and Parks). It may be a couple years down the road before we have a (high school team)."

Last season, CCS lost to Bellbrook 26-6 in a club division regional final to finish 10-6 after winning just three games in 2013. The program had six players from Columbus City Schools as well as players from Grove City, Hartley, Watterson, Reynoldsburg and Olentangy Orange.