Notebook: Dylan Randall sprints into high gear for Canal Winchester Indians

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Canal Winchester junior Dylan Randall was ranked first in the state in the 100, fifth in the 200 and was a part of the top-ranked 800 relay as the Indians entered the Division I postseason.

A victorious end to the indoor track and field season helped propel Canal Winchester’s Dylan Randall into an even better outdoor season than he expected.

The junior was ranked first in the state in the 100 meters (program-record 10.64 seconds), fifth in the 200 (21.73) and was a part of the top-ranked 800 relay (1:27.21) as the Indians entered the postseason and hoped for a successful run through the Division I district, regional and state meets.

One person not surprised by his success is coach Kurtis Robinson, largely because he watched Randall win a district title in the 100 as a freshman and help the 1,600 and 800 relays to fourth- and seventh-place finishes, respectively, at state.

“He was a phenomenal athlete as a freshman and that extra step (he has taken) is he’s two years older now … and two years stronger. He hasn’t lost a race yet in the 100 and he’s run against some great competition,” Robinson said. “He’s a key ingredient to all three (of his relays, including the 400).”

Randall ran a 6.85 in the 60 at the indoor state meet and set the 100 record during a tri-meet April 20. He runs the second leg on both the 800 and 1,600 relays.

“With my experience, I have a lot more confidence going into everything,” Randall said. “I’ve felt really smooth this season compared to years past. My training has been harder than in previous years and that’s really helping out, especially in the 100 and 200.”

Randall also has grown, from 5-foot-10, 150 pounds as a freshman to 6-0, 175 now.

“I’ve grown into myself a lot more,” he said.

Canal Winchester competes in the district 1 meet May 18, 20 and 22 at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North, and from there the top four finishers in each event return to Darby for the state meet June 4 and 5.

Also, two at-large state berths will be awarded in each event based on times and distances statewide.

“Maturation is just one thing, but team chemistry is another key component,” Robinson said. “The fact that they have guys to run with and push them in practice helps all of them, including Dylan, take those next steps.”

Groveport Madison softball coach Chris Downing credited several facets of his team as the Cruisers prepared for their sixth consecutive Division I district semifinal appearance, especially pitcher Kendyll Cahill and the defense.

The Cruisers had held their opponents scoreless in 39 of 42 innings over a six-game stretch before visiting top-seeded Watkins Memorial for a district semifinal May 17. Seeded 23rd in the district, Groveport was 15-13 before playing the Warriors, coming off a 1-0 home win over 25th-seeded DeSales in the first round May 10 and a 3-2 win at 19th-seeded Olentangy Berlin in a second-round game May 12.

“We can win a game 1-0 with Kendyll against the best teams in the state, and a huge part of that is whereas Kendyll can get us out of jams, our defense has done a great job of that lately. They’ve been excellent,” Downing said. “I passed a few times at the (tournament) draw because I want to determine who we play. I didn’t want someone in our league to jump on us, but we found a great spot as soon as DeSales picked their spot. We got one last home game for the seniors.”

Groveport finished 7-3 in the OCC-Buckeye Division with a 5-3 win at Pickerington Central on May 11.

•The Canal Winchester softball team’s best season since 2010 came to an abrupt end May 12, when the 10th-seeded Indians allowed four runs in the top of the seventh inning and lost 5-4 to 29th-seeded Hilliard Bradley in the second round of the Division I district tournament.

Riley McNeely went 2-for-4 with two RBI and Samantha Zungri struck out seven and walked one in a complete-game loss.

The Indians finished 18-9 for their most wins since going 20-8 in 2010.

Aidan Barnhart (right) and Groveport opened the Division I district tournament May 17 against Big Walnut.

•The Groveport baseball team tried to snap a late-season slump when it finished OCC-Buckeye play May 14 against Central Crossing.

The Cruisers were 4-17 overall and 3-11 in the league before May 14, when they tried to break a six-game losing streak. 

Seeded 36th in the Division I district tournament, Groveport visited 28th-seeded and former OCC-Capital rival Big Walnut in the first round May 17, with the winner visiting 10th-seeded Westerville Central on May 19.

Among the team’s top individual performances in recent weeks was a three-hit game from Tyler McKee in a 5-0 loss at Newark on May 12. Kyle Jennings gave up five runs, struck out five and walked two in the setback.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave