The Upper Arlington High School rowing program is no stranger to participating in the Scholastic Rowing Association of America Nationals, given that the Golden Bears have qualified 32 boats to the event since 2015.
Still, girls coach Lauren Peck is thrilled that her team qualified five boats and is sending four to this year's SRAA Nationals, set for Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25, at Dillon Lake outside Zanesville.
"The team has performed well considering the amount of change they have experience over the past four years," said Peck, the team's fourth head coach in that span. "But their tenacity for the sport and their teammates has brought them many successes. They have been so eager to learn and it has aided in their overall speed. With the sheer amount of qualifying crews, this weekend will be a fight, but a challenge the entire team is willing to face."
The girls team's varsity 8, second varsity 8, lightweight 4 and freshman 8 boats all qualified because of their performances at the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship that concluded May 11 at Dillon Lake.
The second varsity 8 (5 minutes, 54.28 seconds) of Sarah Boehm, Grace Chang, Penelope Clark, Lindsay Hjelle, Melanie Kane, Frances Kirk, Sophie Leanza, Lillian Wolfe and coxswain Gaia Phillips and the lightweight 4 (6:18.03) of Monica Browning, Ainsley Dean, Chandler Morin, Yoo Seo Lee and coxswain June Postalakis both earned runner-up finishes.
The freshman 8 (6:10.07) of Olivia Adkinson, Mary Boehm, Kyra Dapore, Catherine Dolbow, Ellie Ford, Annie Johanni, Alaina Smith, Maia Starrwalker and coxswain Maddie Webb and the varsity 8 (5:37.88) with Alana DeVilbiss, Olivia Hench, Lindsey Holman, Callie Hundley, Avery Kelley, Mikayla Messinger, Elena Moehring, Maggie Nida and coxswain Joey Boschert both finished third.
A fifth boat, the girls' varsity 4, also qualified by virtue of a third-place finish (6:19.84) but will not compete this weekend because athletes may participate in only one race.
The boys team will have one boat at this weekend's meet, as the junior 8 of Matt Giammar, Will Holsinger, Peter Johanni, Matt Sieber, Peter Spofforth, Aidan Vanek, Alain Welliver, Thomas Wolfe and coxswain Sam Wyzlic finished second (4:59.13) on May 11.
"Blake Skidmore, Peter Johanni and Matt Giammar have really taken the younger rowers under their proverbial wings and shown them what it takes to race hard and race fast," boys coach Greg Harvie said. "I really try not to put expectations (for this weekend) in my mind, or the kids' minds. They tend to worry about how fast other boats are coming into a race, but I preach that they (our rowers) can only affect their boat and what they're doing. To me, and slowly to them, a race is simply another (event) that they've done countless times. They have no say over how others are going to compete. They can only row well and make their own boat go as fast as possible."
Track athletes head to regional meet
Isaac Perry of the boys track and field and Adrienne Wachtman of the girls team each qualified for this week's Division I regional meet.
In the 17-team district 1 meet that concluded May 18 at Hilliard Darby, Wachtman won the discus (119 feet, 1 inch) and finished second in the shot put (38-6) to lead UA to 54 points and fourth place behind the host and champion Panthers (106).
Placing fourth were Caroline Beery in the pole vault (10-8), Heidi Heuerman in the 3,200 meters (10:54.16) and the 800 relay of Cassidy Baran, Adiah Bonham, Elizabeth Schueler and Abbie Sells (1:45.57).
The top four finishers in each event advanced to regional May 22 and Friday, May 24, at Pickerington North.
In district 2, Perry placed third in both the 110 hurdles (14.8) and 300 hurdles (39.96) to lead the boys team to 32 points and a ninth-place tie with New Albany behind co-champions Canal Winchester and Pickerington North (84) as 16 teams scored. Sean McRae was third in the shot put (51-9 3/4).
At regional, the top four finishers in each event advance to the state meet May 31 and June 1 at Ohio State.
Girls lacrosse team rolls to victories
The top-seeded girls lacrosse team is 17-2-2 entering the Division I, Region 3 final Thursday, May 23, against second-seeded Dublin Jerome, having won its first three postseason games by a combined score of 53-10.
UA opened the postseason by defeating 11th-seeded Miamisburg 19-0 on May 14 as Rian Adkins scored five goals, Sophie Ballou scored three and Camryn Callaghan, Clara Gallapoo and Ellena Schildmeyer each scored two. The Bears then beat 10th-seeded Darby 17-4 in a regional quarterfinal May 17 at Tremont as Schildmeyer scored five goals, Riley Kuehn scored four and Ballou scored three.
Ballou had six goals in a 17-6 win over third-seeded Thomas Worthington on May 29 at Tremont.
The regional champion plays Cincinnati Sycamore or Mason in a state semifinal Wednesday, May 29, at a neutral site.
The state final is June 1 at Ohio Wesleyan.
UA defeated Jerome 11-10 on May 7 and tied Sycamore at 15 on May 3.
Baseball team reaches district final
Sammy Sass' double down the left-field line in the 11th inning May 20 scored Tommy Dilz with the game's only run as the seventh-seeded baseball team edged 30th-seeded Pickerington Central 1-0 in a Division I district semifinal at Hamilton Township.
UA was held to two hits, the other being a Dilz single. Pitchers Charlie Fleming, who went eight innings, and Ethan Hammerberg combined to allow five hits and strike out 12.
The Bears were 18-9 before playing fourth-seeded Olentangy Liberty in a district final May 22.
UA was coming off a 12-7 win over 29th-seeded Westerville South in a second-round game May 15 at Tremont Elementary. Andrew Whetsell had two hits and Fleming added three RBI at the plate as well as three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings on the mound.
That win followed a 14-2 rout of Westerville Central in regular-season play May 11.
The district champion advances to a regional semifinal May 30 at Dublin Coffman.
Boys lacrosse team advances in tourney
The top-seeded boys lacrosse team played sixth-seeded St. Charles in a Division I, Region 3 semifinal May 21 at Wellington, needing two wins to return to the state tournament after finishing as a regional runner-up last season.
UA began the postseason with a 17-0 win over 14th-seeded Kettering Fairmont in the first round May 14, and beat 10th-seeded Miamisburg 18-2 in a regional quarterfinal May 17. Jack Mason led the Bears with three goals in each game and A.J. Achatz and Nathan Junk each scored two in both games.
The UA-St. Charles winner will play second-seeded Worthington Kilbourne or fourth-seeded Centerville in the regional final Friday, May 24, at a neutral site. The regional champion faces Cincinnati Moeller, Cincinnati St. Xavier, Mason or Sycamore in a state semifinal Wednesday, May 29, at a neutral site.
The state final is June 1 at Ohio Wesleyan.
The Bears defeated Kilbourne 10-8 on March 26 and lost to St. Xavier 7-6 on May 10.
Softball team falls in district final
After pulling off an upset to reach its first Division I district final since 2010, the 13th-seeded softball team fell to top-seeded Westerville Central 12-0 in five innings on May 18 at Pickerington Central.
Sophomore Sophie Leohner (P/2B) had two of UA's four hits as the Bears finished 17-11 overall. They were coming off an 11-7 win over fourth-seeded Groveport in a district semifinal May 13 at Pickerington Central.
Westerville Central blew the game open with a seven-run third inning, including a grand slam by Kylie Collins.
"(Central) played well. This is not indicative of the season we had. We got it put to us," coach Terry Streng said. "We had a couple chances and couldn't put a run on the board. If we could have gotten a couple of runs in those early innings ... we had the bases loaded, it might have been a little bit different. They're a good team. I'm not taking anything away from them. They hit the ball, they field the ball and (Emily Ruck) is a tremendous pitcher."
UA finished with its most wins since going 21-5 in 2010. The Bears went 7-3 in the OCC-Central, tying Coffman for second place behind Marysville (9-1).
UA is losing nine seniors. Key players eligible to return include junior Megan Harold (C) and sophomore Maxine McCraw (P).
"Making a district final in itself is an accomplishment," Streng said.
"These seniors are tremendous kids, all of them. It's going to be unbelievably hard to replace them. That won't happen in just one year."
Tennis season ends at district
For the first time since 1958, the boys tennis team will not be represented in the Division I state tournament.
Both of UA's doubles teams fell one win short of advancing at the district tournament May 16 at Reynoldsburg. Senior Paige Kompa and junior Will Reynolds went 1-1, losing to defending state champions Devin Boyer and Nathan Jose of New Albany 6-2, 6-2 in a qualifying match, while juniors Emerson Dean and Nathan Yu also went 1-1, losing to Liberty's Marcelo Aguilar and Vishnu Bodavula 7-6 (7-0), 1-6, 6-3 in a qualifying match.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25, at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
That ended the season for UA, which went 11-8 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Central to win its 37th consecutive league championship.
Kompa is a Dayton recruit. Classmate Jack Rardon will play at Wittenberg.
Boys volleyball team ousted by Bruins
The 17th-seeded boys volleyball team opened the Division I East Region tournament May 18 with a 25-10, 25-18, 25-12 loss to fourth-seeded Jerome at Mount Vernon to finish 3-18.
The Bears lost their regular-season finale 25-19, 25-18, 17-25, 25-19 at Briggs on May 16.