An influx of freshmen and sophomores and added depth this season is making Columbus School for Girls track and field coach Jen Bunker worker a little harder, but she gladly has accepted the challenge.
"We're working a lot of girls into spots and giving them opportunities to prove themselves and we're having to evaluate more girls in different positions than the past," Bunker said. "I love that."
The Unicorns won the six-team Russ Owen Bexley Relays on April 12 and will compete in the Kallner Invitational on Saturday, April 20, at Hamilton Township. Many of the younger athletes were slated to compete in the Amanda-Clearcreek Invitational on April 16.
"We're valuing every opportunity, whether it's a relay meet or regular meet, and we have so many girls stepping up," Bunker said. "We saw a lot of good things at Bexley."
The Unicorns scored 96 points in the Russ Owen Bexley Relays to edge runner-up Grandview (94) and third-place Bexley (90).
"We won the (400-meter relay), sprint medley relay, shuttle hurdle relays and long jump (relay) as we expected," said Bunker, who had not received the official results from host Bexley as of April 14. "Asia Nguyen and Peyton Jackson did great in the long jump and Asia had a (personal record) with a 15-foot effort.
"Margeaux Rocco and freshman Tori Johnson were second in the high jump and Elizabeth Johnson and Jolien Kusi were second in the discus and third in the shot put."
Bunker also was impressed with freshmen Lauren Sloan and Carly Priest.
"Lauren ran the 800 in the lap medley relay in (2 minutes, 42 seconds) and Carly ran the 400 in the lap medley relay and then came back and ran two seconds faster in the (1,600 relay)," Bunker said. "That shows a lot of grit, determination and endurance.
"I challenged the (1,600 relay). There were three freshmen, with Molly Pawik joining Lauren and Carly and sophomore Nyah Funderburke, who is basically just getting back to running after a soccer injury last fall and concentrating on swimming all winter. Nyah ran a 64-second split and Molly ran two seconds faster than she did in the previous meet. They're coming together nicely."
Bunker also lauded junior Megan Hardy, who has been shifted from competing in the 400 and 800 last year to the 1,600 this spring.
"She ran a 6:30 split in the (6,400 relay) and it was her first mile," Bunker said.
"She is a second-year runner that we moved to the mile because of her consistency in workouts."
Lacrosse team finds bearings
The lacrosse team entered the week on a three-game winning streak.
The Unicorns won a pair of games in the Hannigan-Galipault Tournament on April 13 at Thomas Worthington, defeating Gates Mills Hawken 12-4 and Chillicothe 13-4, after beating Wellington 12-3 on April 11.
CSG was 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the Central Independent League before playing Bexley on April 16. The Unicorns are 0-2 in the CCL and will close play in that league April 25 at home against Watterson.
Against Wellington, Ellen Monahan had five goals, Maura Donnelly and Katie Wagenbrenner both scored two and Zoe Paragas, Alice Wruck and Mimi Economus each scored one.