Whetstone Roundup: Braves track and field teams tune up for City League meet

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Whetstone's Matthew Conroy was second in the 1,600 in a meet April 27 at Central Crossing. He and the Braves are preparing for the City League meet May 11 and 13 at Africentric.

The Whetstone boys track and field team hopes to get Brack Dillon back in time for the City League meet May 11 and 13 at Africentric.

Dillon, a former Division I regional qualifier in the 400 meters, remained out as of April 28. The  senior had been out with an injury since the Braves’ first meet of the season. 

Coach Joe Monda said Dillon, a key sprinter, was expected to return before for the league meet  and would be a factor for Whetstone if he could get back up to speed. 

“He’s one of our stronger runners,” Monda said. “Not having him since the first meet has been tough.

“We’re just trying to get healthy, and hopefully we can put our best team out there for the City (meet).” 

Monda said others on the boys roster have performed well in past weeks as the Braves continue tuning up for the league meet and the postseason. They also will compete in the East Invitational on May 7.

Thaine Nederveld has “impressed” in the 1,600 and 3,200, Monda said. That includes a first-place finish in the 1,600 (4 minutes, 41.81 seconds) on April 27 as the Braves finished third (101) behind champion and host Central Crossing (125) and St. Charles (109). 

Matthew Conroy was second in the 1,600 (4:49.38), while Damian Earley finished fifth (5:27.25). 

Nederveld also finished fourth in the 1,600 (4:29.82) in the Wildcat Invitational on April 23 at Westerville South as Whetstone placed 11th (14) behind champion South (117). 

“The distance team has really been the strength of our team so far this year, and they’re going to help us in the (City meet) because of that,” Monda said. “The relays, we’re getting there, but we’re not where we need to be at this point. I haven’t really put all the teams together yet.”

Abdourahman Sallah also has performed well in recent weeks, Monda said. Sallah finished second in the high jump (5 feet, 4 inches) at Central Crossing and first in the 110 hurdles (20.08) and 300 hurdles (45.83) – both personal records. 

Haley Harkins has been competing in sprints and relays for the Whetstone girls track team.

For the girls team, Monda said the distance runners are showing potential ahead of the City meet.

“Distance has been really strong and they’re coming along,” he said. 

Sophomore Anouk Moritz finished second in the 1,600 (6:10.34) at Central Crossing and sixth in the 3,200 (12:34.89) in the Wildcat Invitational – both personal records. 

The Braves finished second (111) behind Central Crossing (139) and 12th (11) in the Wildcat Invitational behind champion Watterson (118). 

“(Moritz) has been really strong in those two events,” Monda said. “From what I’ve seen, I think she’s in a good position and could do pretty well at (the City meet).” 

Moritz also placed second in the 800 (2:53.22) at Central Crossing for another personal record. 

Monda said he also has been impressed with the work of Mataya Stokes, who placed first in the 100 (13.8) and 400 (1:05.69) at Central Crossing. The latter was a season best. 

Haley Harkins and Summer Dush also will be counted on in the City meet, Monda said. 

Harkins competes mainly in sprints and relays while Dush competes mainly in the long jump and sprints. Dush placed first in the long jump (13-7 1/2) at Central Crossing.

“We’re going to need those girls to all perform three to four events because of how small our team is, but I think they’re capable of doing it and I’m excited to see where we end up,” Monda said. “The girls team, we’ve got 12 members pretty much competing all the time. Every one of them is vital because we have such a small team.” 

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve