Notebook: Mason Louis, Sydney Smith lead Bexley Lions in MSL-Ohio track meet

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Hannah Hayden helped the Bexley girls track and field team finish second in the MSL-Ohio meet. The Lions then moved on to the Division I district meet, hoping to earn berths to regional.

Mason Louis and Sydney Smith had breakout performances for the Bexley boys and girls track and field teams in the MSL-Ohio Division meet May 11 and 14 at Whitehall.

Both squads finished second, led by strong efforts from the two talented sophomores.

Louis was the meet’s top scorer, helping the boys team (109 points) finish behind Grandview (176). He won the 100 meters (10.88 seconds), 200 (22.24) and 400 (49.69) and was a member of the first-place 1,600 relay (3:28.03) with Andrew DeLaCruz, Nicholas Eddy and Spencer Stevenson.

Stevenson also won the 800 (1:57.71) and was part of the championship 3,200 relay (8:26.56) with DeLaCruz, Eddy and Solomon McDow. Eddy was third in the 800 (2:00.59).

Samson Adler, Nathan Ma, Matthew Levy and Grant Sheridan were on the third-place 400 relay (46.37).

“We gave the kids a challenge the first day and we told them it was feasible to get second place,” boys coach Shane Roberts said. “Everyone slowly did their role and PR’d and ran well, which is what we’re supposed to do.”

Smith won the discus (115 feet, 6 inches) and shot put (37-0) to lead the girls team, which was second (129.33) to Buckeye Valley (165.33). She is daughter of former Bexley football coach John Smith. 

Maria Steinke won the 1,600 (5:13.82) and was third in the 800 (2:24.96). She also was part of the first-place 3,200 relay (9:49.12) with Ryle Barno, Hannah Hayden and Kaleigh Place and the third-place 1,600 relay (4:14.93) with Barno, Isabel Niermeyer and Place.

Niermeyer was runner-up in the 400 (1:01.43) and third in the 100 (13.23), and the Lions got third-place finishes from Barno in the 400 (1:02.95) and Claire MacDonald in the 3,200 (11:47.83). 

The second-place 400 relay (52.29) featured Alissa Shyshkova, Jenna Plank, Sofia Sheridan and Ava Reiser.

“I’m really pleased with how we performed,” girls coach Jamie Hayes said. “We had some great times and we did a great job in the field events. I think they did really well.”

The girls competed in the Division I, district 1 meet May 18, 20 and 22 at Hilliard Darby. The top four in each event advanced to regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North.

The boys competed in the Division II, district 2 meet May 18, 19 and 22 at Westerville North. The top four in each event advanced to regional May 27 and 29 at Lexington.

The top four in each regional event qualify for state June 4 and 5. The Division I meet is at Darby and Division II is at Pickerington North.

Columbus School for Girls track junior Kayden Edwards was the top point-scorer in the MSL-Ohio meet. The junior scored 22.75 points as the Unicorns finished third (106).

Edwards won the 100 hurdles (16.4) and 300 hurdles (48.97) and was on the third-place 400 relay (52.59) with Sophia Nagy, Jameson Pillifant and Nyah Funderburke. She also was part of the fourth-place 800 relay (1:51.78) with Ciara Latham, Emma Spangler and Funderburke.

“I’m always nervous before I run the 100 hurdles, but that’s good fuel for me,” Edwards said. “I kind of got out slow but I finished strong and PR’d by 0.3 seconds.”

Fabi Corso won the 800 (2:23.88) and was on the runner-up 1,600 relay (4:08.5) with Carly Priest, Funderburke and Pillifant. She joined Priest, Lauren Sloan and Pillifant on the third-place 3,200 relay (10:01.92).

“I didn’t do so well in the (1,600, finishing fourth in 5:19.63), so I really wanted to do my best in the 800,” Corso said. “That really pushed me to do well in the 800.”

Jolien Kusi was runner-up in the discus (99-3) and shot put (31-4 1/2). Funderburke (200, 27.33) and Pillifant (long jump, 14-10 3/4) both placed third.

The Unicorns competed in the Division II district meet May 18, 19 and 22 at Westerville North. The top four in each event advanced to regional May 27 and 29 at Lexington.

•Strong pitching helped lead the St. Charles baseball team to its first Division I district semifinal since 2018.

The 33rd-seeded Cardinals were 15-12 before playing top-seeded Olentangy Orange in a district semifinal May 25, with the winner playing in a district final May 27 against 11th-seeded Olentangy Berlin or 17th-seeded Pickerington North.

The regional semifinals are June 3 at Dublin Coffman.

Ethan Seewald threw a four-hitter with eight strikeouts and four walks as the Cardinals defeated 27th-seeded and host Licking Heights 2-0 on May 17. Two days later, Charlie Griffith struck out 11, walked one walk and surrendered two earned runs in a 12-4, second-round win at 19th-seeded Central Crossing.

“We’re getting some pitching and we found some offense,” coach Ray Benjamin said. “Ethan was Ethan (against Licking Heights). He threw a great game, and we were able to muster up enough to get the win.

“Charlie is only a freshman and he kept getting better each inning. From the fourth inning on, he was really locked in.”

Ryan Benjamin and Dom Doukakis both had RBI singles against Licking Heights. St. Charles then had 15 hits against Central Crossing, led by Archer Stankowski with a double, two singles, six RBI, two runs and one stolen base.

Ryan Benjamin had a double, two singles, an RBI and two runs, and Michael Benjamin singled twice and scored three times. Doukakis had two singles and three RBI, and Erik Witherspoon had a single and scored three runs.

•Reece Yakubov won a singles championship for the St. Charles tennis team in a Division I sectional May 13 and 15 at Hilliard Bradley.

The senior competed in the district tournament May 20 and 22 at Reynoldsburg with hopes of defending his championship from 2019. There were no spring sports in 2020 because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state May 28 and 29 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

As a sophomore, Yakubov went 1-1 in singles at state. As a freshman, he teamed with 2018 graduate Jack Dabek to finish second at state in doubles.

Also competing at district for the Cardinals was the doubles team of Keller Bueneman and Andy Somodi. The senior duo finished fourth at sectional.

•The Bexley softball team battled injuries and weathered the issues from the pandemic to finish 8-16 overall and tie Worthington Christian for second (7-3) in the MSL-Ohio behind Buckeye Valley (10-0).

“We got better as the season went along,” said second-year coach Jess Sciacca, whose 16th-seeded team lost 5-2 to 12th-seeded Hamilton Township on May 11 in the first round of the Division II district tournament. “With COVID canceling last season, our sophomores lost their freshman year and that meant you basically came in with two classes of freshmen. You always struggle with freshmen because it’s such a big jump to high school ball.

“By the end of the year, we started to improve and win some games. We started slow and we weren’t healthy a lot of the season.”

Injuries started to hurt the Lions in the fall when senior catcher Aly Cox suffered a knee injury in soccer. She was co-league Player of the Year in 2019 and returned for nine games, batting .529 (9-for-17) and earning honorable mention all-league.

Senior shortstop Liv Wilson suffered an arm injury and played only eight games, batting .333 (12-for-36). Freshman Izzy Carleton (OF/SS/2B) batted .378 and was second-team all-league despite missing time with an arm injury.

Making first-team all-league were senior pitcher Claire Melville (.360 batting average) and sophomore first baseman Quinn McDermott (.486, 7 home runs). Sophomore shortstop/pitcher Ellie Goldson was second team all-league, and freshman outfielder Alina Lacki was honorable mention all-league.

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BEXLEY SOFTBALL

Record: 8-16 overall

MSL-Ohio standings: Buckeye Valley (10-0), Bexley and Worthington Christian (both 7-3), Grandview (3-6), Whitehall (1-7), Wellington (0-9)

Seniors lost: Aly Cox, Makenzie Holt, Claire Melville, Eleanor Reich, Kate Sullivan and Liv Wilson

Key returnees: Izzy Carleton, Ellie Goldson, Alina Lacki and Quinn McDermott

Postseason: Lost to Hamilton Township 5-2 in first round of Division II district tournament