Amare' Edwards was looking at the backs of five opposing runners when the senior for the Central Crossing High School boys track and field team received the baton in the 800-meter relay.
The Comets were last entering the third leg of the race in the OCC-Central Division meet May 12 at Dublin Coffman, but Edwards passed three competitors before handing off to senior Jerry Erwin for the anchor leg. Erwin passed two more runners to cross the finish line in 1 minute, 42.32 seconds to win a league title by 0.11 ahead of Coffman.
Sophomore Anthony Lowe ran the first leg and junior Manny Codjoe ran the second for the Comets, who finished fifth (53 points) behind Hilliard Davidson (159), Upper Arlington (117), Coffman (105) and Marysville (72) and ahead of Westland (15).
"We were in sixth place when I got the baton, and we were third when I handed off to Jerry," Edwards said. "He started passing people and it was unbelievable that it actually happened. It was unreal, but there still is more to come."
Coach Reggie Cannon knew the quartet had the potential to win the title, but wasn't sure if that would be possible because both Codjoe and Edwards were nursing hamstring injuries.
"It was the first week back for Amare' and Manny, so I wasn't sure how things would go," Cannon said. "If everybody was healthy and able to go, I knew we had the talent to win it."
Lowe said it was good to finally have all of the relay pieces together.
"We were talking about this moment all year and it was great to see it all come together," Lowe said. "We were clicking. It was great to finally be able to work with them. Now we have more confidence. We know what we can do and we need to push harder."
The Comets also had a pair of first-place finishes by junior Luis Bolanos-Cruz, who set program records while winning the discus (161 feet, 8 inches) and shot put (54-1/4).
"There were some good kids here that pushed me to do better than last week," Bolanos-Cruz said. "I expect that to continue in the coming weeks."
Senior C.J. Patrick was third in the 800 (1:58.91) and was on the third-place 1,600 relay (3:39.67) with senior Greg Patrick, junior Sel Adehe and Codjoe. The Patricks and juniors Michael Fry and Avery Wright comprised the fourth-place 3,200 relay (8:39.6).
Adehe was fourth in the 110 hurdles (16.34).
Freshman Amelia Geisler, senior Bailee Davis, freshman Martine Gay and sophomore Aleah Ward were on the fourth-place 800 relay (1:59.07) to lead the girls team, which finished sixth (4) behind Davidson (201), UA (124), Coffman (108), Marysville (78) and Westland (6).
The Comets competed May 15 and 16 in the Division I, district 2 meet, which concludes Saturday, May 19, at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each event advance to district Wednesday, May 23, and May 25 Pickerington North.
At regional, the top four in each event advance to state June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
"This is just a steppingstone to get to state, and we just have to keep on pushing until we get there," Edwards said.
Softball team falls to Reynoldsburg
The softball team lost to 18th-seeded Reynoldsburg 3-0 in a Division I district semifinal May 14 at Pickerington Central.
The second-seeded Comets finished 19-4.
The Raiders improved to 15-9 and have clinched their first winning record since 2003. It was their first appearance in a district semifinal since 1999.
After a first-round bye, the Comets opened the postseason May 9 at home with a 5-0 win over 37th-seeded Westerville South as Emily Gant and Megan Tittle combined on a no-hitter.
Gant struck out 14 in six innings and hit a solo home run. Cheyenne Scott also had a homer.
Baseball team falls to Orange
The baseball team lost at 23rd-seeded Olentangy Orange 9-0 on May 9 in the second round of the Division I district tournament.
The 35th-seeded Comets surrendered four runs in both the fourth and sixth innings. They finished 9-13.
J.J. Carr singled twice to account for half of Central Crossing's hits. Nash Baker and Austin Woods both singled.
The Comets allowed six walks, hit two batters and had two errors. Only three of Orange's runs were earned.
"We had a couple errors that cost us some runs and it was a little disappointing," said coach Bob Todd, whose team had a five-game winning streak snapped. "That was the main difference between this game and the Thomas Worthington game (a 2-0 win May 7 in the first round).
"In that game we threw strikes, kept hitters off balance and (the Cardinals) had to earn everything that they got. I don't necessarily believe (the Pioneers) earned everything they got."
Tennis team ends season at sectional
The boys tennis team had its season end May 10 in a Division I sectional tournament at UA.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district.
In doubles, sophomore Stephen Semchishin and freshman Johnny Romanov went 1-1, and seniors Tyler Moore and Peter Semchishin were 0-1.
In singles, senior Ethan Wright was 1-1 while senior Jason Pauquette and junior Owen Yoakum both went 0-1.
Led by ninth-year coach Dusty Rhodes, the Comets finished 3-8 overall and were fifth (0-4) in the OCC-Central behind UA (4-0), Coffman (3-1), Davidson (2-2) and Marysville (1-3).