The Whitehall-Yearling High School track and field teams use their regular-season meets to prepare for what they hope will be long postseason runs.

The Whitehall-Yearling High School track and field teams use their regular-season meets to prepare for what they hope will be long postseason runs.

The boys team continued its recent success by winning the 43rd annual Pat McMillin Invitational on April 23 at home, scoring 118 points to finish ahead of Columbus East (102), Eastmoor Academy (100), Linden-McKinley (41), Columbus International (28), Harvest Prep (28), Africentric (13) and Northland (8).

The girls team finished fourth (71) behind Liberty Union (107), Northland (103) and East (76) and ahead of Linden (53), Harvest Prep (15) and International (4).

"We're getting to that time when we have to start nailing down who's going to be in what events," girls coach Stephanie Wilcox said. "We're looking at the league meet and the district meet, so we're getting to that point where we're trying some different things. Our season starts when the league meet starts. These (regular-season meets) are all practices for that."

Whitehall will play host to the MSL-Ohio Division meet May 10 and 13, and the Rams will compete in a Division I district meet beginning May 17 or 18.

Wilcox said the boys team used a balanced effort to win its second invitational in less than two weeks.

The Rams also won the seven-team Licking Heights Invitational on April 13 with 152 points, ahead of second-place Bexley (119.5). In that meet, Hakeem Freeman (128 feet, 4 inches) and Michael Kantor (126-9) finished first and second, respectively, in the discus.

The girls team finished fourth (72) at Licking Heights behind the champion and host Hornets (168), as Alexis Kefauver (102-0) and Whitney DeClouet (89-7) placed first and second, respectively, in the discus.

In the McMillin meet, Wilcox pointed to strong efforts from Brandon Copley, Jawuan Hammock and Michael Kantor as keys in the boys team's victory.

Copley, a senior, is using the track season to help prepare for his freshman football season at Capital University. He said winning the McMillin Invitational was an important step for the boys team.

"I'm a senior and I'm just trying to finish the season (strong)," Copley said. "I'm trying to push the team through and get the workouts done. I'm making sure everyone is doing what they're supposed to be doing."

McMillin was involved in Whitehall track for 36 years while serving as a teacher, coach, vice principal, athletics director, school board member and track official. He died in 1992 and the meet, formerly known as the Whitehall Relays and later the Whitehall Invitational, was renamed in his honor.

"I hope that they feel proud that they hosted a meet at their home school," Wilcox said. "The boys won it and they all performed pretty well."

Softball squad 'still improving'

The softball team is looking to be playing its best heading into the Division II district tournament, which begins May 10.

The Rams were 7-10 overall and 4-3 in the MSL-Ohio before playing London on April 25.

Whitehall lost to Watkins Memorial 8-7 and Reynoldsburg 13-3 in six innings -- a pair of Division I programs -- April 23 at Watkins Memorial.

"It was an up-and-down week," coach Brian Anderson said. "We had some lows, but did a lot of good things. I feel confident we are still improving. (April 23) was another big challenge facing Division I schools who play in two of the best leagues around."

Watkins Memorial competes in the Licking County League and Reynoldsburg plays in the OCC-Ohio.

Brooklyn Rayburn entered the week leading the team in batting average (.431) and runs (22).

Trinity Johnson and Madison Stiffler each was hitting .404, and Stiffler had a team-high 19 RBI and three home runs. Makayla Barber had 18 RBI and two home runs, and Johnson 17 RBI and two home runs.

Rebecca Maxstead had scored 18 runs.

In the circle, Barber was 4-6 and Elena McCann was 3-4.

Baseball team looks to end losing streak

The baseball team entered the week looking to end a five-game losing streak.

The Rams were 1-15 overall and 0-7 in the MSL-Ohio before playing London on April 25.

On April 23, Whitehall lost at Dublin Scioto 11-1 and 16-0, both in five innings.

In the first game, the Rams allowed nine walks and managed just two hits.

"The walks hurt us," coach Bill Welsh said. "We can't give up free bases, which has been a problem for us most of the year."

Welsh said his team looks forward to playing Division I programs like Scioto.

"It's a good challenge for us," he said. "It's good for us to see programs that have been established and bigger programs that see a lot more (competition). We can learn a lot from playing D-I teams."

The Rams dropped a pair of one-run league decisions last week, losing at Columbus Academy 6-5 on April 20 and at home against Madison Plains 2-1 in nine innings April 18.

Against Academy, the Rams took a 5-4 lead with four runs in the top of the sixth inning, but the Vikings scored twice in the bottom of the inning.

Academy entered the week ranked second in the Division III area coaches poll behind Utica.

Boys tennis team preps for league tourney

The boys tennis team was 1-11 overall before playing Madison Christian on April 25 and went 0-5 in the MSL-Ohio.

The Rams will compete in the league tournament Saturday, April 30, at Academy.

Whitehall dropped 4-1 decisions to West Jefferson on April 19 and Hamilton Township on April 20.

Against Hamilton Township, Joshua Turcios and Natnael Dessa won 6-4, 7-5 at first doubles.