Wade Randle is ready to heat up as the postseason approaches.
The senior thrower for the Bexley High School boys track and field team keeps improving as the weather gets warmer. He believes that may help him earn his first trip to the Division II state meet.
Last spring, Randle set the program record in the shot put with an effort of 51 feet, 11 inches in the regional meet at Lexington. That was good for fifth place, but only the top four advanced to state.
"I feel like I move better through the ring when it's warmer, not when it's like this," Randle said during the Russ Owen/Bexley Relays on April 21, when temperatures were in the mid-50s. "I think I'm on par for where I should be. The goal is to be peaking when I go to district, regional and hopefully state."
Wooster Triway's Curtis Burgan was fourth at regional last year with an effort of 52-10 1/2. Less than one foot was the difference between state and going home. That served as a constant reminder to Randle during the offseason.
"The slightest thing could have made the difference," he said. "I definitely think that I can do better than that.
"It comes down to fundamentals. The big thing is engaging your hips. If you rotate your hips while your body goes around, you'll have a better throw."
Randle threw the shot put 45-0 to win the event in the Russ Owen/Bexley Relays. He was second in the discus (112-0) behind teammate Jon Clark (114-0) to help the Lions win the seven-team meet with 103 points, ahead of runner-up Watterson (82).
The girls were second (102), edged out by Watterson (105).
"You tell Wade what he did wrong, he accepts it and uses it to get better," throws coach Carleton McGrady said. "He has a drive to get better. He's a football guy and comes from a team that made the playoffs four straight years. He knows how to handle the pressure and comes out ready to perform."
Randle, a two-way lineman in football, likes the shot put better than the discus because of the brute force that it takes to be successful.
"The discus relies on form over power, but the shot is a mixture of power and form," Randle said. "I think I'm better suited for the shot."
Randle will graduate with 12 varsity letters between track, football and swimming. However, he also enjoys the more serene teamwork of being a member of the school's choir program.
"I like singing so much," said Randle, who plans to attend Ohio University to study engineering but won't play a sport. "It's an interest you can have your entire life. It's great to excel in vocal performance. The choir is such a tight-knit group, and it's like a second family to me."
Baseball team remains
in league title race
The baseball team finished the first round of MSL-Ohio Division play with one loss.
The Lions were 13-4 overall and 5-1 in the league before playing Whitehall on April 24. West Jefferson and Columbus Academy also were 5-1 in the league.
Entering the week, Bexley had won four consecutive league games since losing to West Jefferson 7-4 on April 7. The Lions defeated London 11-5 on April 12, Grandview 13-7 on April 17, Worthington Christian 7-3 on April 18 and Academy 7-5 on April 19.
The second meeting with West Jefferson was April 26.
Tommy Bruning hit a three-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to rally the Lions past Academy. He also picked up the win in relief of Hank Snowden.
Tennis team preps
for league tourney
The boys tennis team will compete in the MSL-Ohio tournament Saturday, April 29, at Academy.
The Lions were 6-3 overall and 4-0 in the league before playing Academy on April 25. They closed their MSL-Ohio dual schedule against West Jefferson on April 26.
Bexley won all of its courts in its first four league matches. It earned 5-0 wins over Worthington Christian on April 13, London on April 18, Grandview on April 20 and Whitehall on April 22.
Through four league matches, Christian Roddy was 4-0 in singles and Jordan Koppes and Mark Nudelman both were 3-0.
Josh Meyer and Leo Schottenstein were 3-0 in doubles.