The Columbus Academy boys and girls track and field teams long have enjoyed success in the distance events.
The Vikings will look to continue that trend this weekend when the boys and girls 3,200-meter relays compete as part of the program’s large contingent of participants in the Division III state meet.
Both relays qualified for state from the regional May 23 at Fairfield Union. The meet concluded May 25, with the top four finishers in each event advancing to state Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at Ohio State.
The boys 3,200 relay of Angus Soderberg, Christopher Heermann, Nicholas Watson and Nick Robie finished second in 8 minutes, 9.97 seconds.
“We ran a good race, (but) I don’t think we ran a great race,” Watson said. “We’re coming along really well. We still have another week of track left. I’m really excited about it, too. It’s going to be a whole lot of fun.”
Last season, Watson and Robie were part of the 3,200 relay that placed fifth (8:07.45) at state. In 2016, Robie was a member of the third-place 3,200 relay (8:06.35).
“We’ll be less nervous (because of our previous state experience),” Watson said. “We’re doing what we’re training to do.”
Also at regional, Robie won the 1,600 (4:28.45) and joined Soderberg, Watson and Karibi Hart on the first-place 1,600 relay (3:24.82).
David Barren, Sam Massick, Harry Mills and Hart won the 400 relay (43.54), while Hart was second in the 200 (22.08) and fourth in the 100 (11.08) and Watson was fourth in the 800 (1:58.62).
The boys finished second (65 points) behind Worthington Christian (70) as 35 teams scored.
The girls 3,200 relay of Samantha Kass, Maddie Tuckerman, Regan Cornelius and Annalise Grammel rallied to finish third (10:02.0) at regional.
“We’ve had a really good season of training,” Grammel said. “We’ve all been pushing each other and I was very confident with our team. We’ve all been working harder, keeping strong, so I knew we could get close.”
Last season at state, Kass and Grammel were part of the 3,200 relay that finished eighth (9:42.61). In 2016, Tuckerman was part of the eighth-place 3,200 relay (9:51.65).
“Our team has all been to state,” Grammel said. “Regan has been for cross country, so I think that even for our team being so young we’re mature runners, so that will definitely help us at the state meet.”
Hannah Clay, Grammel, Kass and Cornelius capped the regional meet by winning the 1,600 relay (4:03.9), while Grammel was second in the 800 (2:20.72).
Khloe Dubenion won the discus (120 feet, 10 inches), and Briyana Dragin, Clay, Kass and Muriel Goldfarb were second in the 800 relay (1:47.36).
The girls finished third (42) behind champion Mount Gilead (62) as 50 teams scored.
Girls lacrosse team loses regional final
The girls lacrosse team was eliminated from the Division II, Region 7 tournament for the second consecutive season by DeSales, losing to the top-seeded Stallions 16-7 in the final May 25 at Thomas Worthington.
The second-seeded Vikings finished 14-4.
“DeSales came out with a stronger presence and as much as we tried to fight back, they just had a little more gumption,” coach Anne Horton said. “You never know why that happens, but it did. I’m disappointed that we couldn’t do better, but congratulations to DeSales.”
Last season, Academy lost to DeSales 14-4 in the final.
Lexie Leader, Tani Obikunle and Kiersten Thomassey each scored two goals in the latest meeting.
The Vikings advanced to the final with a 17-10 win over third-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in a semifinal May 22 at home.
Sydney Hill, Leader and Obikunle each scored four goals and Ashley Reynolds had six saves.
“It was a great win,” Horton said. “We had solid team play. Hustle and just a fantastic overall effort are reasons we had such a resounding win.”
Baseball team falls in regional final
The baseball team fell short of earning its first Division III state tournament berth since 2003 with a 7-2 loss to Coldwater in a regional final May 25 at Elida Middle School.
The Vikings fell behind 3-0 in the fourth inning and could not recover. They finished 18-14.
“Every time we hit the ball, we hit it right to somebody,” senior Matthew Saling said. “We just couldn’t find a hole. … Everyone was a little disappointed. There were a lot of tears rolling, but coach (Todd Dunkle) told us to keep our heads up. To where we came from to where we are now, it’s a shock to the world that we made it to the regional final. There’s a lot to be proud of.”
In 2003, the Vikings lost to St. Henry 3-2 in the state final.
Academy advanced to the regional final by rallying for a 4-3 win over Archbold on May 24 in Elida.
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Academy scored three times to pull out the win. Davis Friedman sent the Vikings into the final by driving in the tying and winning runs on a bases-loaded, two-out single that was his fourth hit of the game.
“I thought he might surprise me at 0-2 and give me one at least on the plate,” Friedman said. “I was looking for it and I took it backside and I was lucky. It was over the second baseman’s glove. I thought he might catch it, but then I realized it was over his glove and it was celebration. We battled all day.”
Saling earned the win in relief of Noah Glimcher, who pitched the first six-plus innings and allowed three runs on three hits.
Doubles team goes 1-1 at state
The boys tennis doubles team of senior Sam Vogel and junior Suriya Sundaram split a pair of matches in the Division II state tournament May 25 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Vogel and Sundaram opened with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Pepper Pike Orange’s Santiago Bustamante and Ilon Goldberg before losing to Cincinnati Indian Hill’s Maanas Pisati and Mack Ellis 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Pisati and Ellis went on to finish second, losing to Wellington’s Connor Biernat and Griffin Biernat 6-2, 6-3 in the final.