Whetstone Roundup: Braves distance runners lead way in City League track and field meet

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Whetstone's Thaine Nederveld won the 800 meters (personal-record 2:01.44) and the 1,600 (4:41.04) in the City League meet, leading the boys team to a tie for second place.

The Whetstone boys and girls track and field teams finished near the top in the City League meet May 11 and 13 at Africentric.

The boys tied Independence for second (91) behind Eastmoor Academy (137), and the girls placed third (73) behind champion Northland (125). 

“Even where we weren’t strong, everyone stepped up,” coach Joe Monda said. “Just to get those fifth- and sixth-place points mattered, especially on the boys trying to get a trophy.

“The girls, I believe they maxed out. We had 12 girls compete that day, and for them to get 73 points, they really did a fantastic job. I was a very proud coach.” 

Distance runners led the way for Whetstone in both the boys and girls competitions. 

For the boys, Thaine Nederveld won the 800 meters in a personal-record 2 minutes, 1.44 seconds. He also placed first in the 1,600 (4:41.04), while Matthew Conroy was second in a personal-best 4:44.83. 

Wyatt Starkie won the 3,200 in a personal-record 10:25.03, followed by Conroy in second place (10:33.44). 

For the girls, Marisa Tayal won the 800 (personal-best 2:37.34), while Anouk Moritz finished first in the 1,600 (personal-record 5:50.87) and 3,200 (12:45.9). 

The Braves also performed well in the 3,200 relay, as Tayal, Moritz, Jane Carney and Ava Feller placed first (11:15.62) in the girls race and Conroy, Starkie, Nederveld and Brack Dillon placed second (8:26.74) for the boys. 

“Our strongest events were the distance events, both boys and girls,” Monda said. “Overall, we got contributions everywhere (on the boys team), and it was just really fun to watch those guys dig down deep and get rewarded with the runner-up trophy. 

“On the girls side we had contributions all over, but even the non-scorers gave their best performances of the year. It’s just great to see your team perform big at the big meets.” 

The Braves then competed in the Division I, district 3 meet, which concluded May 22 at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each event advanced to the regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North. 

Boys tennis team

enjoys solid season

The boys tennis team enjoyed a successful season that featured a City-North Division title. 

The Braves finished 9-3 overall and 4-0 in the league. 

“They really exceeded my expectations,” coach Bucky Walters said. “I had some really young players that played really smart, which doesn’t usually happen when you’re first learning the game. They had good camaraderie.” 

The first-doubles team of sophomore Owen Hostetler and freshman Max Johnson, the second-doubles team of sophomore Riley Creagh and junior Thomas Gott and junior first-singles player Beaux Baldwin earned first-team all-City honors in the league tournament April 26 and 28 at Africentric.

Hostetler and Johnson and Creagh and Gott were the first and second seeds, respectively, in the tournament. They played each other in the final, with Hostetler and Johnson winning in three sets.

Whetstone’s season ended in a Division I sectional, which concluded May 15 at Reynoldsburg. Baldwin won one singles match, and the doubles teams of Creagh and Gott and Hostetler and Johnson also won one match apiece.

Baseball team loses

in second round

The 30th-seeded baseball team lost 11-0 at second-seeded New Albany in the second round of the Division I district tournament May 19. 

“They played pretty good defense for the most part,” coach Tim Broskie said. “We didn’t have a whole lot of (strikeouts) against their starter, but we hit it and they fielded it and we couldn’t get much going.” 

The Braves fell to 17-8 overall before playing Briggs on May 24 in the City championship game. They went 10-0 in the City-North.

Through 25 games, Charlie Burleson was hitting .434 with 23 hits and 23 RBI, and Michael Newell-Dimoff was hitting .407 with 22 hits and 20 RBI. Alex Hurd and Drew Burleson both were hitting .339 with 21 hits and 12 RBI and 19 hits and 26 RBI, respectively. 

Caitlyn McDaniel and the Braves played Briggs in the City League championship game May 24.

Softball team

falls in tourney

The 28th-seeded softball team lost 7-2 to 32nd-seeded and visiting Licking Heights in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 10. 

The Braves were 18-6 overall heading into the City championship game May 24 against Briggs. They won the City-North at 14-0. 

Ellen Edwards was batting .627 with 37 hits, six home runs and 35 RBI through 24 games. Larae Portis was hitting .525 with 32 hits and 19 RBI, and Lydia Pratt was hitting .545 with 30 hits and 32 RBI. 

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve