The Worthington Kilbourne High School boys track and field team continues to build up its program in numbers and expectations.
"Our numbers are up over 70 and while we have room to grow and much of our team is comprised of very few seniors, I am very excited about this season," fourth-year coach Josh Stegman said. "The greatest proportion of our team scoring will come out of the field and from the distance races. We finally have some significant depth on our distance team.
"Our throws group has worked significantly in the offseason, both on throws during indoor and in the weight room. ... The solid foundation set by both the distance crew and throws squad supported by points scored by our younger sprint groups could definitely help to improve our position in the (OCC-Cardinal Division) and as a team at the district meet."
Senior Jack Begley and juniors Tanner Williams, Gabe Knuth and John Cuozzo lead the distance corps and will be aided by freshman Luke Miller.
"Jack is a three-year letterwinner whose focus will primarily be on the 1,600 meters as well as the (3,200 relay)," Stegman said. "He's a great leader and encourages and cheers his teammates, but also will cheer for the opponents."
Begley placed eighth in the 3,200 (9 minutes, 41 seconds) in the Division I regional meet last season.
Juniors Peyton Spann and Michael Richardson are expected to handle the middle-distance events.
The throws will be led by juniors Hayden Shaffer, Josh Carter and Carter Haase and sophomore Terrique Gray. Shaffer and Gray will throw the shot put and discus, while Haase and Carter will specialize in the discus and shot put, respectively.
"Hayden has set (personal records) in the shot put and discus already this season," Stegman said. "Josh is continuing to work hard in the weight room and is becoming more technical with his throws, and Carter has a great work ethic and continues to improve steadily."
Gray also competes in the high jump, while Richardson also is competing pole vault and long jump.
"Terrique has great ability in multiple events," Stegman said. "He is performing well in the high jump with our new high jump coach, Nick Fraley, and has already set his PR. He is our first 6-foot high jumper in many years.
"Michael is ready to have a breakout year in the pole vault and will also score in the long jump."
Senior Elijah Young should provide points in the long jump and pole vault, as well as in the sprints, when he returns to health. Last season, he finished 13th in the long jump (21 feet, 1 3/4 inches) at state.
"Elijah is continuing rehab from an injury suffered during football season but is close to 100 percent," Stegman said. "He will again be a significant contributor in the sprints, sprint relays, and in the field."
Expected to join Young in the sprints are juniors Sam English, Michael Flynn and Sam Garber, sophomore Luke Compton and freshman Brad Wisard. Competing in the hurdles are juniors Davis Bailey and Asa Compton and freshman Nathan Harris.
"We have a younger sprint corps, but I think we can count on scoring regularly in the (3,200 relay), 1,600, and 3,200, as well as all field events. There is definitely a buzz of optimism within our team right now."
The Wolves finished second (71 points) of 13 teams in Big Walnut's Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays on April 6 at Sparta Highland, behind Westerville Central (76).
Begley, Cuozzo, Knuth and Williams combined to win both the 3,200 relay (8:43.24) and 6,400 relay (18:54.78) and Gray was second in the high jump (6-0).
Girls track team adds some depth
The girls track and field team has added some strong athletes.
"We've got three newcomers from the basketball team that should impact us immediately," 11th-year coach Chip Seely said. "Amya Harris is a sophomore who was injured last year. She will help us in sprints and in jumps and the Hudson twins (juniors Alexis and Alyssa) are move-ins who will score in throws and give us some depth there behind (junior) Chidima Anaroado, who is our best athlete."
Anaraodo and junior Sasha Bomser represented the Wolves last season in the Division I regional meet. Anaraodo placed 11th in the discus (104-1) and Bomser finished 12th in the 1,600 (5:32.8).
Junior Natalie Guist has returned in the sprints, where she is joined by Harris, senior Hannah Christian and freshmen Grace Fronczak, Julia Sheets and Maggie Stewart.
"Maggie is a soccer player who has our fastest times in the 100 and 400 and the second-best time in the 200 so far this season," Seely said. "Natalie looked great in the Icebreaker Invitational (March 30 at Watkins Memorial). She was in all four relays and had great splits."
With the return of Bomser, senior Marissa Long and juniors Ella Brown and Chloe Emberton, the Wolves also should score well in the distance events.
"Chloe and Ella will concentrate in the (3,200) and Sasha and Marissa will lead the way in the 800 and 1,600," Seely said. "(Juniors) Victoria Stavish and Elise Elliott will be in middle distance with (freshman) Sylvia Long. Sasha had a good first meet, but she has her foot in a boot right now. We expect her back in a little bit."
Junior Lee Sellers and sophomore Blair Andrews are the team's top hurdlers.
Seely expects sophomores Rakiah Beckley and Aerial Davis to lead the way in the high jump along with Harris. Competing in the long jump are Stavish, Harris and Fronczak.
Junior Abby Deitrick returns in the pole vault and will be joined by Sellers and sophomore Lauren Richner.
"The girls are excited about the season and their new uniforms and they're working hard," Seely said. "I think we're going to have a good season."
The Wolves finished eighth (45.5) of 13 teams in the Red Edwards Golden Eagle Relays, behind champion Big Walnut (89.5).
Alyssa Hudson placed second in the discus (94-7), Harris was third in the high jump (4-8), Richner was third in the pole vault (8-6) and the 6,400 relay of Marissa Long, Sylvia Long, Emberton and Brown placed fourth (25:40.18).
Boys tennis team has experience
The boys tennis team has seven returnees from last season and has added a talented freshman to its lineup.
The returnees are seniors Jacob Lindaman, Gordan Liu, Joe Scherer and Will Wiet and juniors Zach Palmer, Ved Sampath and Shavesh Sankar.
The Wolves opened the season with freshman Owen Alderman at first singles, Liu at second singles, Sankar at third singles and Lindaman and Wiet at first doubles, with Scherer, Palmer and Sampath splitting time at second doubles.
"With the returnees' experience combined with (Alderman), I feel we will have our strongest team that we have had in several years," 20th-year coach Steve Metzmaier said. "We've started out pretty strong. Our only loss was to a tough Dublin Jerome team (5-0 in the OCC-Cardinal opener April 2). I'm excited to see what we can do as a team and what the boys can do in the (Division I postseason)."
The Wolves beat Whetstone 5-0 on April 8 and were 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Hilliard Bradley on April 9.
Kilbourne opened March 26 with a 3-2 win over Olentangy Liberty and defeated Pickerington North 3-2 on March 28, Buckeye Valley 5-0 on April 3 and Hilliard Darby 5-0 in a league match April 4.
Strode resigns as girls basketball coach
Jim Strode has stepped down after six seasons as girls basketball coach.
"I am excited to start a new chapter in my life, but it's very difficult to give up coaching," Strode said. "I have accepted a sports administration position in the college of business at Ohio University and I will be the chair there and also an associate professor. I was going to try to live in Columbus and commute to be able to continue coaching, but after deliberating, I decided that wouldn't be fair to Ohio University or to Kilbourne."
Strode compiled a 69-70 record at Kilbourne, including a 10-13 mark this past season. He guided the team to double-digit wins four times. Prior to his arrival, the Wolves had posted double-digit wins just three times.
In 2014-15, Kilbourne set the program record for victories by finishing 16-7.
"I've been coaching for 19 consecutive seasons and it's something I truly love," said Strode, who spent 15 seasons as a head coach, including five at Centennial and four at Bexley. "It is bittersweet, but I am so thankful and appreciative of the Kilbourne personnel and community and the girls bought in from day one. I think I'm leaving the program better than when I got here. We started two exceptional freshmen and a sophomore this season and I think that's going to pique the interest of a lot of good coaching candidates."
Below are the coming schedules for the Kilbourne baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, softball, boys tennis, track & field and boys volleyball teams:
*April 12 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby
*April 15 -- At Hilliard Darby
*April 17 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley
*April 11 -- At Hilliard Bradley
April 14 -- Home vs. Indianapolis Cathedral
*April 15 -- Home vs. Delaware
*April 11 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley
April 12 -- Louisville (Ky.) Eastern in Hannigan-Galipault Tournament at Thomas
April 13 -- Hudson in Hannigan-Galipault Tournament
*April 16 -- At Delaware
*April 11 -- Home vs. Olentangy Berlin
April 13 -- At Centennial (DH)
*April 15 -- At Thomas
*April 17 -- Home vs. Dublin Jerome
*April 11 -- At Dublin Scioto
*April 16 -- At Delaware
April 17 -- Home vs. Olentangy Orange
TRACK & FIELD
April 13 -- Joe Lenge Dublin Classic at Dublin Coffman
April 16 -- Home vs. Big Walnut
*April 16 -- At Thomas