The Hilliard Darby High School track and field teams both returned home with an OCC-Cardinal Division title.
The girls team scored 183 points in the league meet held May 9 and 11 at Davidson to earn its fourth consecutive championship, finishing well ahead of runner-up Thomas Worthington (136) as well as Dublin Jerome (90.83), Dublin Scioto (88), Bradley (48), Worthington Kilbourne (39.33), Olentangy Berlin (38) and Delaware (34.83).
"We try to treat every championship like it was our first one," coach Don Seymour said. "The rosters change every season and for some of these girls, it's their first or second championship. For our seniors, this is a tremendous accomplishment. When they came into the program four years ago, we had never won a league championship in our program history. Now they're leaving without ever losing one."
The Panthers won seven events, with junior Emma Kowalski and freshman Sydney Thomas winning two apiece. Kowalski finished first in the discus (140 feet, 5 inches) and shot put (38-0), while Thomas won the 100 meters (12.53 seconds) and 400 (58.7) and was runner-up in the 200 (25.98).
"I think Sydney is the first in our program to ever attempt the 100-200-400 triple," Seymour said. "Plus, she also was on the (1,600 relay) that finished third (4:09.33). Emma did her thing and set a league record in the discus and senior Stacia Rispress won the high jump (5-2) for the third season in a row, finished third in the 100 (12.84) and was on the (400 relay) that finished second (50.22)."
Daniella Santos won the 3,200 (11:28.22) and placed third in the 1,600 (5:02.42) and the 800 relay of Zayna Hampton, Syd Wyngarden, Gabrielle Hammonds and Maliyah Ellis won in 1:47.75.
Also placing second were Ellis in the long jump (16-9) and the 3,200 relay of Santos, Mia Wyngarden, Syd Wyngarden and Erin Cowen (9:59.59).
Naomi Walters, Sydney Porter and Hammonds joined Rispress on the 400 relay and Hampton, Syd Wyngarden and Julie Vulic joined Thomas on the 1,600 relay.
Also placing third were Walters in the 200 (26.12), Hampton in the 400 (59.92), Syd Wyngarden in the 800 (2:23.9) and Hammond in the 100 hurdles (15.48).
The boys team totaled 141 points to finish ahead of Jerome (105), Thomas (95.5), Bradley (88), Kilbourne (75.5), Scioto (71), Berlin (42) and Delaware (38). It was the Panthers' first league title since 2016.
"We have a lot of guys with big-meet experience and it paid off," coach Matthew Fox said. "I thought the boys really competed for points across the board and it's a great way to go into the postseason meets."
Sean Carney finished first in both the 1,600 (4:31.5) and 3,200 (9:36.84), Michael McCornathan won the shot put (51-1) and Chris Burkhart won the discus (169-9) and placed third in the shot put (45-5 1/2).
"Chris had four throws over 166 feet, so his baseline right now is in the upper 160s and he's going to elevate his game in the district, regional and state (meets)," Fox said. "That's when he'll push for the big ones."
Also winning were the 400 relay of Eric Williams, Lucas Fratianne, Todd Pilkington and Sevone Stewart (43.94), the 800 relay of Kris Day, Fratianne, Williams and Pilkington (1:30.91) and the 3,200 relay of Malachi McGill, Eric Lowery, Matthew Imwalle and Carney (8:09.8).
McGill placed second in the 800 (1:57.79) and Fratianne was third in the 100 (11.34) and fourth in the 200 (22.57).
"Sean Carney came off a good cross country season, but something has really clicked in for him," Fox said. "He has mentally elevated himself to a different level and he's on a mission. He controlled both (the 1,600 and 3,200) strategically, just sitting back and waiting until the final lap.
"Lucas had a long, but good league meet. Between the (400 and 800 relays) and the open 100 and 200, he ran six races in three days and still was able to set his (personal record) in the 200 in his last one."
Both teams are competing in the Division I district meet this week at home.
The boys are in district 2, which began May 14, continued May 15 and concludes Saturday, May 18, while the girls are in district 1, which began May 14, continues Thursday, May 16, and concludes May 18.
The top four finishers in each event advance to regional Wednesday, May 22, and May 24 at Pickerington North. At regional, the top four finishers in each event advance to state May 31 and June 1 at Ohio State.
Baseball team extends league title streak
The baseball team clinched its fifth consecutive OCC-Cardinal championship by beating Bradley 5-0 on May 8.
The Panthers finished 11-3 in the OCC-Cardinal after losing to the Jaguars 3-0 in the league finale May 10. Scioto was the league runner-up at 10-4.
"We had a bit of a hiccup a few weeks back when we lost three games in a row, including two in the league, but that's baseball," coach Mike Weer said. "We have pitched very well the entire season and those (consecutive) losses were 4-2 (to Scioto on April 22), 4-3 (to Jerome on April 24) and 2-1 in nine innings (to St. Charles on April 27).
"We were a bit nicked up and we just weren't finding holes on offense. We were hitting OK, just not getting hits. We rarely strike out. From top to bottom in our order, we usually put the ball in play. We just weren't getting the luck and that's the way the game can be at times."
The Panthers won eight of their final nine regular-season games, including 3-0 over Granville and 12-5 against Hartley on May 11, and were 18-7 overall before opening the Division I district tournament against 19th-seeded Olentangy or 45th-seeded Walnut Ridge in a second-round game May 15.
The winner likely will play ninth-seeded Jerome or 18th-seeded Watkins Memorial in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 21, at a neutral site. The district final is May 23.
"Our team ERA is 2.00 and we've made 30 errors in 25 games," said Weer, whose team is seeded sixth. "When you pitch well and throw strikes and play good defense, that should keep you in every game."
Through 25 games, Andrew Patrick was 4-0 with a 2.04 ERA in 24 innings, Connor Maruniak was 5-2 with a 1.44 ERA in 34 innings and Seth Schmidt was 4-2 with a 2.59 ERA in 46 innings. Relievers Nick Skelskey (0-1, 3 saves, 0.62 ERA in 11 1/3 innings) and Scott Bugg (1-0, 1 save, 1.58 ERA in 13 1/3 innings) also have been strong.
Softball team tops Wildcats in tourney
The 20th-seeded softball team held on to defeat 23rd-seeded Davidson 10-9 in the second round of the Division I district tournament May 8.
The Panthers were 13-13 before playing top-seeded Westerville Central in a district semifinal May 15. The winner faces 13th-seeded Upper Arlington in a district final Friday, May 17, or Saturday, May 18, at Pickerington Central.
The district champion advances to a regional semifinal Wednesday, May 22, at Ohio State. The regional final is May 25.
Darby got a three-run triple from Tegan Cortelletti as part of a five-run second inning and led Davidson 6-2 before the Wildcats scored five runs in the top of the fifth to take the lead. Darby responded with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, highlighted by a bases-loaded triple by Lily Garnett-Brown.
Davidson scored twice in the top of the seventh but the game ended with the potential tying run on second base.
Boys lacrosse team wins Hilliard Cup
The boys lacrosse team defeated Davidson 11-7 on May 7 to capture the Hilliard Cup.
The ninth-seeded Panthers, who defeated Bradley 9-5 on April 30, were 7-9 before playing at fourth-seeded Centerville in the first round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament May 14.
The winner plays seventh-seeded Davidson or 13th-seeded Pickerington North in a regional quarterfinal Friday, May 17, at the home of the better seed. That winner likely will face second-seeded Kilbourne or eighth-seeded Pickerington Central in a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 21, at the home of the better seed. The regional final is May 24.
Against Davidson, Nick Wile scored five goals, Dominic Iosue and Nick Liening both scored two and goalkeeper Nathan Sprott made 12 saves.
Girls lacrosse team opens postseason
The 10th-seeded girls lacrosse team was 9-6-1 before playing at ninth-seeded Centerville in the first round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament May 14.
The winner plays top-seeded Upper Arlington or 11th-seeded Miamisburg in a regional quarterfinal Friday, May 17, at the home of the better seed. That winner likely will play at third-seeded Thomas Worthington in a regional semifinal Monday, May 20. The district final is May 23.
Boys volleyball team receives top seed
The boys volleyball team earned the top seed in the Division I East Region tournament and will play host to 19th-seeded Reynoldsburg in a quarterfinal Saturday, May 18, with the winner playing 11th-seeded Pickerington Central, 14th-seeded Thomas Worthington or 15th-seeded New Albany in a semifinal Tuesday, May 21, at Darby.
The regional final is May 24 at Westerville Central.
Darby was 21-2 overall before facing Gahanna in the OCC Challenge on May 14 at home and defeated Bradley 27-25, 25-16, 25-14 on May 7 to finish 14-0 in the OCC-Cardinal.
Season ends for boys tennis team
The boys tennis team ended its season at a Division I sectional May 9 and 11 at UA.
Both doubles teams went 2-1 and finished one win shy of advancing to the district tournament Thursday, May 16, and Saturday, May 18, at Reynoldsburg.
Senior Ebun Obisesan and junior Ishan Somani lost their quarterfinal match 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 to fourth-seeded Anton Bakunin and Siddarth Rajagopal of Dublin Coffman, and seniors Caleb Hughes and Raj Jani lost their quarterfinal match 6-2, 6-2 to third-seeded Cobie Frank and Sanjay Janardhan of Coffman.
In first-round singles matches, junior Noah Adams lost to Pickerington North's Ben Starrett 6-1, 6-1, junior Henry Kast fell to UA's Hunter Triplett 6-0, 6-0 and sophomore Krish Kondaveeti lost to Marysville's Joel Sheeley 6-2, 6-2.
The Panthers finished 6-10 overall and 2-5 in the OCC-Cardinal.
Also expected to return is junior Ayo Obisesan.