Kenny McDonald is not hesitant to discuss his goals.
"I just want the record right now," McDonald, a junior on the New Albany High School boys track and field team, said of the Eagles' long jump mark he neared almost immediately this season, his first as a track athlete in three years.
McDonald entered the week less than nine inches from that mark. He leapt a personal-best 21 feet, 7 1/4 inches during the Milt Will Relays on April 28 at Canal Winchester, 8 3/4 inches from the record of 22-4 set by Travon Bodrick in 2011.
McDonald hopes to hit that mark either during the postseason or in the OCC-Capital Division meet, which begins Wednesday, May 10, at Dublin Coffman. But McDonald also said he is not necessarily thinking about the postseason, instead focusing on a potential berth in the Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in late July in Lawrence, Kansas.
"I just want to get qualified for nationals, and I think I'll need 23 feet or so to do that," he said.
McDonald originally experimented with the long jump during the winter of his sophomore year, but because of a left leg injury decided to remain with the boys basketball program, in which he has played guard the past three seasons, while fine-tuning his jumping on the side.
According to assistant coach Mark Childs, McDonald -- who also is a high jumper and sprinter -- brimmed with confidence even when he was a beginner. McDonald began this season by leaping 20 feet in the Wildcat Premier on April 1 at Hilliard Davidson.
"Before his first jump, he said, 'I'm going to break the school record,' " Childs said. "He is getting better and better each week. Once he puts it all together, he will get that record.
"He was very gifted and very talented, but it was a matter of him putting in the hard work. I wasn't very surprised (April 1) because he just looked faster. He looked stronger and he had a full season of workouts under his belt."
Fellow jumper Gabe Glenn, who is in his third year on the track team, has traded mentor and student roles with McDonald.
"His success doesn't surprise me at all considering the athlete he is," Glenn said. "He has such a great drive and motivation to keep himself going. I've helped him a little bit in high jump. I've helped him with how to get better form and where to pick his legs up after he goes over the bar, but in long jump he basically shows me everything he knows."
After the Westerville Central Invitational on Friday, May 5, the Eagles will turn their attention to the OCC-Capital meet. Field events and running preliminaries will be Wednesday, May 10, and finals for the running events will be May 13.
The girls team was fifth (84 points) in the league meet last year behind champion Olentangy Orange (189), and the boys were sixth (62.5) behind champion Orange (150). The Pioneers now are in the OCC-Buckeye.
New Albany's only returning league champion is Max Frye, who is seeking his third consecutive 300-meter hurdles title.
McDonald faces a potential rematch against Canal Winchester's Lonzell Feagin in the long jump in the league meet. Feagin leapt 23-2 3/4 in the Milt Will Relays to win the individual title, ahead of McDonald in second.
baseball team's week
Alex Arenschield of the baseball team admitted he didn't have overpowering stuff as he pitched against Newark on April 26.
Arenschield overmatched the host Wildcats instead, tossing his first career no-hitter as the Eagles won 13-0 in five innings and remained in contention for the OCC-Capital championship entering this week.
Arenschield recorded only one strikeout, that coming in the fourth inning, and instead induced several groundouts and a few popouts. He walked one batter.
"(Catcher) Brandon (DeHass) called a great game and mixed up locations a lot to keep their guys from hitting the ball too hard," Arenschield said. "The only strikeout I had, a guy swung and missed on a curveball. I knew I had a no-hitter, but I didn't want to talk about it or anything. I was DH'd for so I could just concentrate on my pitching between innings."
The Eagles scored five runs in the second, three in the fourth and four in the fifth to invoke the mercy rule.
Despite a 6-1 loss to Big Walnut on April 28, New Albany still had a chance to win the league before playing Groveport on May 1. The Eagles were 15-7 overall and 9-3 in the league before May 1, behind first-place Canal Winchester (9-1) and ahead of Big Walnut (8-4).
The Eagles were scheduled to visit Canal Winchester on May 3 and finish OCC-Capital play Friday, May 5, at Franklin Heights.
"We're excited that we're right in the race," Arenschield said. "But we still have a lot of business to take care of."
New Albany was voted the 10th seed for the 46-team Division I district tournament. The Eagles took a first-round bye and will play host to 20th-seeded Dublin Coffman or 45th-seeded Walnut Ridge in a second-round game Wednesday, May 10.
The winner will advance to a district semifinal May 15. New Albany did not play the Scots or Shamrocks during the regular season.
Tennis team advances
in OTCA tourney
The boys tennis team entered the week with another undefeated league championship in hand, and one victory closer to a return to the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I state tournament.
New Albany was 11-2 overall before playing Orange on May 2 and finished 5-0 in the OCC-Capital.
The Eagles won all of their league matches by 5-0 scores.
New Albany, which is 71-0 in OCC-Capital matches since joining the league before the 2006-07 school year, won its 13th consecutive league championship.
The Eagles advanced in the OTCA district tournament with a 5-0 win over Hilliard Darby on April 25.
New Albany, which is seeking its second consecutive district title, will play Coffman, Gahanna, Lancaster or St. Charles in a district semifinal on a date to be determined.