Coach Anthony Beggrow knew many of his athletes on the Olentangy Berlin High School boys track and field team from being an assistant at Olentangy.
He also led the Bears' cross country program last fall, giving him an even better familiarity with some of the competitors.
"We have 130 total athletes out and 70 on the boys team, so it's good to have coached some of the kids before," Beggrow said. "I have a good coaching staff and we have a lot of kids that have bought into the program, and we already have seen a lot of improvement."
The Bears opened by defeating host Delaware 80-79 on April 2 as Centerburg was third (16).
They also tied host Big Walnut for third (57.95) in the 13-team Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays on April 6 at Sparta Highland behind Westerville Central (75.99) and Worthington Kilbourne (70.97). Junior Ian Poehler (13 feet) and sophomore Luke Walden (12-6) finished as the top two in the pole vault.
Berlin also has been led by the distance corps, which had three second-place finishes at Highland. The 6,400-meter relay of sophomore Jack Dunlop, juniors Pietro Pozzi and Jacob Reitz and sophomore Corey Rinehart finished in 20 minutes, 4.07 seconds, and the 3,200 relay of Pozzi, Reitz, junior Grant Schrieber and freshman Wyatt Bednar finished in 9:00.44.
Juniors Ethan Harsh, Marcus Elliott and Alexander Nicol and Rinehart were on the runner-up distance medley relay (8:20.61).
"I think we're off to a great start," said Harsh, who competed at Olentangy last spring. "We're still trying to sort everything out and get people in different events.
"It's a lot different coming from (Olentangy) because there are a lot of spaces that need to be filled for events. We're able to run in more events and you have more one-on-one attention from the coaches, which is really cool."
Sophomore Liam McGreevey leads a young group of sprinters, and he also competes in the long jump and on relays. Harsh also competes in the hurdles, and Rinehart and Dunlop lead the distance runners.
Juniors Gabe Chrysler and Noah Dursik and sophomore Jeremy Troyer are the top throwers. Junior Clayton Atkinson leads the high-jumpers.
"The whole team has really bought in," Beggrow said. "It's nice to have this many kids and have everyone want to succeed and get the job done."
Girls track team relishes opportunity
The girls track team was edged by Delaware 76-73 in its opener with Centerburg scoring 22 points.
Junior Sierra Cardi likes becoming a leader with the Bears after competing for two seasons at Olentangy.
"I think things have been going really, really well, and we have a lot of fun and a great team dynamic," said Cardi, who is a sprinter and runs relays. "It's so much fun because we can create our own traditions. It's like making your own history. Having a leadership role is great and I really enjoy working with my teammates."
Cardi was a member of the runner-up 400 relay (52.2) with junior Cara Susey, sophomore Skylar Stevenson and junior Meghan Hill in the Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays.
The Bears finished fourth (53.96) behind champion Big Walnut (89.44) as they also performed well in distance relays. Juniors Rebecca Koppelman, Megan Schlabig, Olivia Neidhardt and Meghan Boggess were on the second-place 6,400 relay (23:28.81), and junior Olivia Cool, freshman Ella Ziegler and sophomores Aneesh Ahmed and Katheryn Balthaser were on the runner-up distance medley relay (14:03.58).
Freshman Anne Freeman won the shot put (32-2 1/2).
"Anne Freeman is a top thrower in the shot and discus for us despite being a freshman," Beggrow said. "She has been throwing the shot put 35 feet in practice."
Cardi (100, 200, relays), Hill (100, relays, jumps), junior Madeleine Reinard (relays) and Susey (hurdles, relays) are the top sprinters. Junior Claire Adams is on distance relays, and Stevenson also competes in the jumps.
"These kids have been absolutely amazing for us," Beggrow said. "They are all about staying with the process, and they do things without questioning it."
Boys tennis squad features young roster
Coach James Savinell has a young roster for the boys tennis team's inaugural season.
The Bears have one junior with the remainder of the 10-player roster comprised of freshmen and sophomores.
"The spirit, energy and perseverance are great," said Savinell, who is leading a varsity program for the first time after stints as an assistant at DeSales, Marysville and Olentangy. "They really have good chemistry.
"Seven of our 10 players have played tennis before. I'm excited to see how they improve as they gain experience."
Sophomore Akhil Damarla will play first singles and junior Vishnu Dasaka will play second singles. Damarla played doubles for Olentangy last spring, and Dasaka was a member of the Braves' j.v. squad.
Freshman Kathir Maarikar-thykeyan is at third singles with sophomore Brody Edgson and freshman Ansh Arora at first doubles and sophomore Jack Webb and freshman Adithya Balachandar at second doubles.
Rounding out the roster are sophomore Tyler Hagerman and freshmen Blake Cruz and Collin Mulvaney.
"We have a young team and that has helped with the team chemistry," Savinell said. "There is a lot of excitement for the players to go out for the team and starting a new program. That has been one of the best parts of the season: making tradition and building the groundwork for the program."
The Bears won their opener 5-0 over Westerville North on April 3 before losing their OCC-Cardinal Division opener to Hilliard Bradley 5-0 on April 4. They lost to Marysville 4-1 on April 8 and returned to league action April 9 against Dublin Jerome.
Below are the coming schedules for the Berlin baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, softball, boys tennis, track & field and boys volleyball teams:
*April 12 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley
April 13 -- Home vs. Licking Heights (DH)
*April 15 -- At Bradley
*April 17 -- At Dublin Jerome
*April 11 -- At Dublin Scioto
April 13 -- At Westerville Central
*April 15 -- At Hilliard Darby
*April 11 -- Home vs. Scioto
*April 13 -- At Thomas Worthington
*April 16 -- Home vs. Darby
*April 11 -- At Worthington Kilbourne
*April 15 -- Home vs. Delaware
*April 17 -- Home vs. Scioto. The Bears lost to the Irish 15-7 on April 1.
*April 11 -- At Thomas
April 13 -- At Marion Pleasant
*April 16 -- Home vs. Darby
April 17 -- Home vs. Buckeye Valley
TRACK & FIELD
April 13 -- Groveport Cruiser Invitational
April 17 -- Home vs. Olentangy
*April 11 -- At Kilbourne
April 15 -- At Whetstone
*April 16 -- Home vs. Delaware