The Watterson High School girls track and field team has been focusing on quality over quantity as it prepares for the postseason.
Having two of their top runners, senior Jane Porter and sophomore Erin Connors, getting healthier over the course of the season after battling injuries should help the Eagles in the Division I district meet, which begins Tuesday, May 14, and concludes May 18 at Hilliard Darby.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional meet May 22 and 24 at Pickerington North.
"Last year, we kind of loaded (our athletes) up in a lot of events," coach Adam Kessler said. "I've been switching things around trying not to have them do as many events to keep the pressure down."
Watterson competed in the CCL meet May 6 and 8 at Columbus School for Girls.
Connors was listed in last week's area honor roll in the 300-meter hurdles (48.65 seconds), a time which should have her in line to reach regional.
Porter has participated in competitive Irish dancing for about 10 years and has had a few injuries related to that activity, according to Kessler, but is expected to run the 400 at district as well as on the 800 and 1,600 relays.
Porter, who has "real strong legs," according to Kessler, is joined on the 1,600 relay by Connors and sophomores Anna Kessler and Cailin O'Reilly.
Last season, the same foursome finished ninth at regional in 4:03.85, so they're expecting a time drop to still be coming after being seventh in last week's area honor roll with a time of 4:08.07.
"We're having a great season and I love this team," Porter said. "I love everyone I'm with. We've competed hard and we're lined up well.
"I would say when I (do Irish) dance, it's for about a minute and a half long, and when I run a 400, it's for about a minute, so my training for Irish dance year-round helps me pace myself in the 400."
Anna Kessler also runs on the 800 relay and figures to be an individual regional qualifier in some combination of the 100, 200 and 400 after making the area honor roll in each of those events. She was eighth in the area last week in the 100 (12.45).
In Upper Arlington's Crosten Invitational on May 3 at Thomas Worthington, Watterson finished fourth (69 points) of 12 teams, behind champion Lancaster (97), as the 1,600 relay (4:06.99) and the 3,200 relay of juniors Sarah Heink and Bridget Dougherty, sophomore Brooklyn Brush and freshman Claire Sugar (9:55.14) both finished first.
The Eagles were eighth in the last week's area honor roll in the 3,200 relay (9:59.58).
Boys track team preps for postseason
The boys track and field team will compete in the Division II district meet that begins Tuesday, May 14, and concludes May 18 at Westerville North.
The top four finishers in each event advance to regional May 23 and 25 at Lexington.
The Eagles, who competed in the CCL meet May 6 and 8 at CSG, scored 10 points in Upper Arlington's Larkin Invitational on May 3 at Thomas to finish last of 12 teams, behind champion Pickerington Central (124).
Sophomore Will Garey placed fourth in the 1,600 (4:31.34) and eighth in the 800 (2:03.74).
According to coach Kessler, seniors Callen Dailey (sprints) and Grant Holsinger (shot put) and sophomores Carson Blank (hurdles) and Patrick Jesse (discus) are others who have competed well.
"(The team is) still young," coach Kessler said. "It's about keeping their spirits up."
CCL title goes down to wire in baseball
The baseball team remained in a battle with DeSales and Hartley for the CCL title as this week began.
The Eagles were 13-6 overall and 3-2 in the league before facing St. Charles on May 6, Ready on May 7 and Hartley on May 8. Hartley was 5-1 in the CCL before playing DeSales on May 6 and DeSales was 5-1 in the league before May 6 and also had a game to make up against St. Charles.
Watterson beat St. Charles 1-0 on April 24 before losing its next four games, including falling to DeSales 5-1 on April 29 and Hartley 5-3 on April 30.
Against Hartley, Watterson scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning but had its rally attempt fall short as it managed just five hits.
The Eagles had just three hits against DeSales and only two in a 4-1 loss to Upper Arlington on May 4 at Bill Davis Stadium. Drake McAninch struck out four but gave up six hits and five walks over five innings against the Golden Bears.
Watterson plays Thursday, May 9, at West Jefferson, Friday, May 10, at Worthington Christian and Saturday, May 11, at Centennial.
The Eagles are seeded third in the Division II district tournament and will open May 16 at home against 19th-seeded Linden-McKinley in the second round.
Softball team opens tourney action
The 15th-seeded softball team was 13-8 before playing host to 41st-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 6.
The winner played at 14th-seeded Dublin Jerome on May 8 in a second-round contest, with that winner playing fifth-seeded Marysville, 36th-seeded Northland or 37th-seeded Westland in a district semifinal Monday, May 13, at a site to be announced.
The district final will be played May 17 or 18 at Pickerington Central.
Boys tennis team set for sectional
The boys tennis team is set to compete in a Division II sectional Thursday, May 9, and Saturday, May 11, at CSG.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the district tournament May 16 at Columbus Academy and May 18 at Reynoldsburg.
Senior Chris Finissi is the second seed in singles and opens sectional against Marion-Franklin's Maliki Cole or DeSales' Miguel Sanchez-Vasquez.
Also in singles, sophomore Nick Geelan opens against Centennial's Jack Jones and sophomore Johnny DiOrio opens against DeSales' Michael James.
Senior Dylan Tucker and sophomore Adam Pavliga will comprise one doubles team and senior Jacob DeVendra and sophomore Cole Petrilla will comprise the other.
The Eagles were 5-6 overall before facing Hilliard Davidson on May 6 and 2-1 in the CCL before playing Hartley on May 7.
Watterson lost to St. Charles 3-2 in a league match May 1 as DeVendra and Petrilla won at first doubles and Pavliga and Tucker won at second doubles.
Postseason nears for lacrosse teams
The regular season is winding down for the boys and girls lacrosse teams.
The boys team will try to capture the CCL championship when it plays Thursday, May 9, at St. Charles. The Eagles beat DeSales 11-10 in overtime April 25 in their other league contest.
Watterson was 12-2 overall before facing Pickerington Central on May 6.
Dominic Dean scored seven goals as the Eagles beat Westerville Central 15-5 on May 4.
The Eagles are the top seed for the Division II, Region 7 tournament and play host to 10th-seeded Granville or 16th-seeded Wellington in the first round Monday, May 13. The winner advances to a regional quarterfinal May 16..
The girls team lost to Hartley 19-15 on May 2 to fall to 3-3 in the Central Independent League and finish 1-2 in the CCL. The Eagles were 9-4 overall before playing Dayton Carroll on May 7 and close CIL action Thursday, May 9, against Columbus Academy at Otterbein.
Zoe Coleman scored seven goals against Hartley.
The Eagles are seeded fourth in the Division II, Region 7 tournament and play host to 14th-seeded Dayton Oakwood in the first round Wednesday, May 15. The winner advances to a regional quarterfinal May 18.
Below is the coming schedule for the Watterson boys volleyball team:
May 9 -- Home vs. Westerville North
May 11 -- At Cincinnati LaSalle with Louisville (Ky.) Trinity
May 14 -- Home vs. Northland