Notebook: Isabella Burholt, Kalista Milne pitch in for Groveport Madison Cruisers girls track team

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Kollin Trace and Canal Winchester finished 18-10 with a 6-1 loss to Pickerington North on May 19 in the second round of the Division I district tournament. The Indians won 10 of their final 13 regular-season games.

Isabella Burholt and Kalista Milne have a bond that goes beyond the events in which they compete for the Groveport Madison girls track and field team.

“We do this thing where we put our hands on each other’s shoulders before we jump and say out loud what we will fix and what we will work on. It’s a mindset thing,” Burholt said. “We feed off each other’s energy.”

Burholt and Milne both are high jumpers, but they did not limit themselves to certain events this season. A senior and two-time indoor state qualifier in the triple jump, Burholt also is a long jumper and picked up the 400 meters this spring.

Milne, a junior, holds the program record in the pole vault, runs the 400, stepped into the 1,600 relay once this season and also throws the discus.

“I don’t want to let my team down,” Milne said. “(Coaches) know I can do a lot of events, so they just said, ‘If you’re down to do them, run them and let’s see how your times go.’ I like every event. I’m down to run whatever or jump whatever.”

Burholt was runner-up in the long jump (16 feet, 3 1/2 inches) in the OCC-Buckeye Division meet that concluded May 15 at Lancaster. She and Milne tied for third in the high jump (4-10).

Milne has cleared 8-0 in the pole vault, an event she took up as a freshman.

Milne added discus this year and has thrown as far as 76-0.

“It’s fun and I was getting better every time, so I figured I’d keep doing it as long as I liked it,” Milne said. “With my height and my smaller build, it surprised people but when I started throwing, they saw I was doing better so they encouraged me.”

Burholt plans to attend Florida and major in biomedical engineering, with the eventual goal of becoming a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon. She cleared 5-0 in the high jump earlier this month and hoped to reach 17-0 in the long jump during the postseason, which began last week with the Division I, district 2 meet at Hilliard Darby.

The top four finishers in each event advanced to regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North.

At regional, the top four finishers in each event qualify for state June 4 and 5 at Hilliard Darby. Also, two at-large berths will be awarded in each event based on times and distances statewide.

•The Canal Winchester baseball team entered the Division I district tournament on a high note, having won 10 of its final 13 regular-season games, but lost to visiting and 17th-seeded Pickerington North 6-1 in a second-round game May 19.

Matthew Davis, Jake Francis, Joey Helms and Connor Well each had one single in the loss, in which North pulled away with three runs in the sixth inning.

The Indians finished 18-10 overall and 11-3 in the OCC-Capital, second to Westerville South (12-2). Canal Winchester was in contention for the title until the final day of league play May 14, when the Indians defeated Big Walnut 6-5 in eight innings.

“With how inexperienced we are, we’re still a pretty good team,” Jake Francis, the team’s only senior who played every inning of the regular season in center field, said after the win over Big Walnut. “Our younger guys have stepped in and gotten big hits in big spots.”

•Despite 15 strikeouts from junior pitcher Kendyll Cahill, the 23rd-seeded Groveport softball team lost 3-0 at top-seeded Watkins Memorial in a Division I district semifinal May 17.

The Warriors, who outhit the Cruisers 6-4, scored in the first inning and added two runs in the fifth as Groveport finished 15-14 overall.

Cahill finished the season with 331 strikeouts, 21 walks and a 2.61 ERA in 182 1/3 innings. She also led the team in batting average (.549), home runs (6) and RBI (24). 

Freshman Addison Cothern (C) batted .367 with a home run. Sophomore Tai Resendes (INF) batted .357 with three homers.

The Cruisers went 7-3 in the OCC-Buckeye to tie Pickerington Central for second behind Lancaster (9-1).

•The Canal Winchester softball team graduates several of its top players after going 18-9 overall and 9-5 in the OCC-Capital. It was the highest number of victories since the Indians won 20 games in 2010. 

Senior Samantha Peters (3B/P) had a team-leading .554 batting average and also led in hits (51) and home runs (6). Seniors Dani Skinner (OF) batted .497 with 46 hits and five home runs, ahead of classmate Samantha Zungri (.438, 42 hits) and sophomore outfielder Riley McNeely (.364, 28 hits, 5 home runs).

Sophomore Delainey Six (SS) batted .346 with 28 hits, and the team finished with an average of .390.

In the circle, Zungri had a 2.56 ERA, 116 strikeouts and 33 walks in 133 2/3 innings.

Other key players eligible to return include junior outfielder Julia Nein (.324, 23 hits) and sophomore utility player Emma Kamerer (.377, 20 hits).

•The seasons ended for the Canal Winchester and Groveport boys tennis teams in Division I sectional tournaments May 13.

Senior Jake Chapman picked up the Indians’ only win in a sectional at Reynoldsburg, going 1-1. Senior Jeremy Irby and junior Greyson Dunbar lost their only singles matches, and the doubles teams of seniors Jack Jenkins and Luke Twiss and juniors Kai Filio and Jameson Hippler also went 0-1.

At Hilliard Bradley, the Cruisers’ doubles team of senior Casey Humphrey and junior Jason Robertson and singles player Cooper Jones, a sophomore, went 1-1. 

Junior Andrew Gacnik and sophomore Massar Yade went 0-1 in singles, and the doubles team of senior Zach Copeland and junior Cameron Uptegraft lost in the first round.

Canal Winchester went 4-9 while Groveport finished 0-14, losing five matches by 3-2 scores.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

CANAL WINCHESTER SOFTBALL

Record: 18-9 overall

OCC-Capital standings: Delaware (13-0), Westerville North and Westerville South (10-4), Canal Winchester (9-5), Big Walnut (5-9), Dublin Scioto (4-8), Worthington Kilbourne (3-11), Franklin Heights (0-13)

Seniors lost: Brooklyn Best, Olivia Kolikohn, Alayna Moore, Samantha Peters, Dani Skinner and Samantha Zungri

Key returnees: Emma Kamerer, Riley McNeely, Julia Nein and Delainey Six

Postseason: Lost to Hilliard Bradley 5-4 in second round of Division I district tournament

CANAL WINCHESTER BOYS TENNIS

Record: 4-9 overall

OCC-Capital standings: Dublin Scioto (7-0), North and Kilbourne (5-2), Big Walnut (4-3), Delaware and South (3-4), Canal Winchester (1-6), Franklin Heights (0-7)

Seniors lost: Jake Chapman, Jeremy Irby, Jack Jenkins and Luke Twiss

Key returnees: Greyson Dunbar, Kai Filio and Jameson Hippler

GROVEPORT MADISON SOFTBALL

Record: 15-14 overall

OCC-Buckeye standings: Lancaster (9-1), Groveport and Pickerington Central (7-3), Newark (4-5), Reynoldsburg (1-7), Central Crossing (0-9)

Seniors lost: Kati Gibbs, Akasha Henry, Mikala Mullins, Karli Nirider, Sarah Riley, Grace Seipel and Olyvia Stith

Key returnees: Addison Cothern, Kendyll Cahill, Tai Resendes

Postseason: Def. DeSales 1-0; def. Olentangy Berlin 3-2; lost to Watkins Memorial 3-0 in Division I district semifinal

GROVEPORT MADISON BOYS TENNIS

Record: 0-14 overall

OCC-Buckeye standings: Central (5-0), Reynoldsburg (4-1), Lancaster (3-2), Newark (2-3), Central Crossing (1-4), Groveport (0-5)

Seniors lost: Zach Copeland and Casey Humphrey

Key returnees: Andrew Gacnik, Cooper Jones, Jason Robertson, Cameron Uptegraft and Massar Yade