The Westerville North High School boys and girls track and field teams had two champions in the OCC-Buckeye Division meet that concluded May 11 at Hilliard Davidson, but that is where the athletes' similarities end.
Junior Jaiden Stokes, who has been sprinting since middle school, won the 100 meters (12.65 seconds) and 400 (59.24). Junior Charles Perkins finished first in the shot put (43 feet, 3 1/2 inches) after coming out for the sport for the first time this spring following basketball season.
Stokes also was third in the 200 (26.51). She believes her performances will buoy her to success in the Division I, district 1 meet, which began May 14, continues Thursday, May 16, and concludes Saturday, May 18, at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each event advance to regional Wednesday, May 22, and May 24 at Pickerington North.
"I really liked my 400 and my 100, and I was hoping to do better in my 200," Stokes said. "I PR'd (in the 200), so I'm happy with third. It keeps me hungry for district."
Stokes ran the 400 in less than one minute for the second time in as many weeks. She was second (59.87) in the Rod Russell Mason Invitational on May 3.
"I think this gives me more confidence," she said. "I have hit 59 twice, so it shows that it's not a fluke."
Perkins has been surprised by his success in the shot put.
"The more throws I have been getting in, the better I get," he said. "I'm better at the shot than the discus and I'm having a lot of fun. It's good to be able to hang out with my friends."
Throws coach Ian Klein said Perkins isn't a social butterfly at practice, but gets down to business to make himself a better thrower.
"Charles doesn't talk a lot at practice, he just goes out and works," Klein said. "He works hard and gets a little better each week. He has improved tons this year.
"His first meet, he threw 38 or 39 feet. He says it doesn't come naturally, but he picks things up pretty quickly. It's a shame we didn't have him as a freshman or sophomore."
Klein said having multisport athletes such as Perkins is a boon to both sports.
"(Throwing) translates from other sports," Klein said. "You get a wrestler and they are good with their hips, and you get basketball players who are good with their footwork. Football players are lifting all of the time in the offseason, and it helps with their conditioning."
The girls finished fifth (45 points) in the league meet behind champion Olentangy Orange (163.5). Stokes also joined Jalyse Cornley, Grace Blanchong and Audrey Smith on the third-place 1,600 relay (4:11.72).
Ryan Cooper was third in the 400 (51.15) for the boys, who were sixth (35) behind champion Orange (139). He also joined Cyrus Neville, McRandy Achia and Philip Alston on the third-place 800 relay (1:30.58).
Alston, Chace Perkins, Maximus Plaxico and Neville were third in the 400 relay (44.16).
Baseball team opens postseason
The 33rd-seeded baseball team lost at 22nd-seeded St. Charles 1-0 on May 13 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.
Brandon Bond and Dilynn Gordish both singled for the two North hits. Ty O'Hearn was the hard-luck losing pitcher, tossing a three-hitter with four strikeouts and two walks.
The Warriors were 7-19 overall and 2-12 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Westerville South on May 14.
Boys lacrosse team falls to South
The 17th-seeded boys lacrosse team finished 3-15 after losing to 16th-seeded South 10-7 on May 13 in a play-in game of the Division I, Region 1 tournament.
Will Olson and Ian Evans both had two goals for the Warriors, and goalkeeper Jack Bichsel had 10 saves.
Girls lacrosse team begins postseason
The 11th-seeded girls lacrosse team was 6-11 before playing ninth-seeded Wadsworth on May 14 in the first round of the Division I, Region 1 tournament.
The winner plays at top-seeded New Albany on Friday, May 17, in a quarterfinal.
That winner moves on to play fifth-seeded Medina, sixth-seeded Strongsville, 10th-seeded Brunswick or 13th-seeded South in a semifinal Monday, May 20, at the home of the better seed. The regional final is May 23 at a neutral site.
Ariana Sanabria scored four goals and Kait Boso and Maddy Morrison both added three as North defeated Hilliard Bradley 17-7 on May 7 to end the regular season. Goalie Madi Martin had six saves.
Boys volleyball team preps for postseason
The boys volleyball team is seeded 16th in the Division I East Region tournament, opening Friday, May 17, at 10th-seeded Davidson in the first round.
The winner plays third-seeded Gahanna on Saturday, May 18, at Mount Vernon. That winner will play fourth-seeded Dublin Jerome or 17th-seeded Upper Arlington in a regional semifinal Tuesday, May 21, at Mount Vernon. The regional final is May 24 at Westerville Central.
The Warriors were 9-10 overall before playing Reynoldsburg on May 14 and Briggs on May 15. They defeated Orange 25-18, 25-11, 6-25, 27-25 on May 7 to finish 1-7 in the OCC-Buckeye.
Softball program makes strides under Anderson
The 16th-seeded softball team lost to 19th-seeded Coffman 7-5 in eight innings May 8 in the second round of the Division I district tournament.
The Warriors, who had a first-round bye, finished 18-9 overall. They were third (5-5) in the OCC-Buckeye behind champion Central (10-0).
"It was a little disappointing the way we lost that game, and it's always so final for the seniors," said coach Brian Anderson, who completed his first season. "It was a great first year and we had a lot of fun. We had 18 wins, which was the most for the program in 10 years. Hopefully, we can build on that and move into next year."
Senior catcher Audrey Hollerich led the Warriors in batting average (.437), home runs (6), RBI (45), doubles (13) and slugging percentage (.793).
Senior pitcher Megan Zody, a Mount Union recruit, was 11-4 with a 3.72 ERA, 60 strikeouts and 33 walks in 99 2/3 innings.
Junior outfielder Chloe Yingling batted .429 with 14 RBI and 32 runs, and junior outfielder Katie Palmer hit .373 with 20 RBI, 30 runs and a team-high seven stolen bases. In the circle, Palmer was 7-4 with a 4.09 ERA, 35 strikeouts and 23 walks in 73 2/3 innings.
Junior Marin Kalista batted .387 with 18 RBI, 18 runs and a team-high .511 on-base percentage, and junior shortstop Ceci Thomas hit .354 with 18 RBI and 25 runs. Junior second baseman Emylee Preston batted .328 with 22 runs, and sophomore outfielder Zsofia Kacsandi hit .299 with 15 RBI and 12 runs.
Season ends for boys tennis team
The boys tennis team competed in a Division I sectional tournament May 9 at Upper Arlington but did not have any athletes advance to district.
The Warriors were led by junior Jeffrey Evans and sophomore Carter Jones, as both went 1-1 in singles. Senior Gaaid Ahmed was 0-1 in singles.
Both doubles teams -- seniors Harry Passerello and Ervan Rodgers and sophomore Logan Conrad and freshman Alex Workman -- lost their opening match.
North finished 1-20 overall and placed sixth (0-5) in the OCC-Buckeye behind champion Olentangy (5-0). The team was led by first-year coach Jim Chellis.