Big Walnut Roundup: Golden Eagles girls track team wins OCC-Capital title

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek
Estella Truax helped the Big Walnut girls track and field team capture the OCC-Capital Division championship May 15 at Westerville North.

In nearly three decades of coaching, Big Walnut girls track and field coach Joe Evener has seen his share of memorable moments, but his team’s most recent OCC-Capital Division championship apparently tops the list.

“Every single race in every single event was a nail-biter,” Evener said. “I’ve been doing this for a while, and that one was tops in my books for sure. Our girls really put it together.”

The Golden Eagles scored in 15 of the 17 events, had 18 personal-best finishes and five season-best finishes in capturing their fourth consecutive league title by a slim margin.

Big Walnut scored 144.4 points to edge Westerville South (142), which finished ahead of Delaware (87.4), Westerville North (78.5), Canal Winchester (73.5), Worthington Kilbourne (71.2), Dublin Scioto (61) and Franklin Heights (3) in the meet May 13 and 15 at North.

The Golden Eagles 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.

The state meet is June 4 and 5 at Darby.

“We look at the OCC as our last true team meet, and now we’re looking at who can we get out (of district),” Evener said. “Where can we put our best people and put them into position to get to the regional and state? That’s our focus now.”

The 1,600-meter relay of Abbey Danne, Lindsey Luchsinger, Cindy Serna and Raegan Mullins ensured Big Walnut’s league championship, finishing first (4 minutes, 8.99 seconds) ahead of North (4:10.22), Canal Winchester (4:12.99) and South (4:17.65).

South had a two-point lead heading into the event, Evener said.

“I told our relay team that we can only control what we can control – run our best race and try to win,” he said. “If somebody can get between us and South, then we can win this meet. But we can’t control that. We can only control what we can control.”

The 800 relay of Luchsinger, Estella Truax, Danne and Annaleza Leichtnam also finished first (1:48.55).

Big Walnut scored 38 points in the field events. Grace Weber won the discus (110 feet, 10 inches) and Lauren Mahle captured the long jump title (16-1/2).

Ruffing leads boys 

in league meet

Mark Ruffing won the discus (140-11) and shot put (49-11 1/2) in helping the boys track team finish runner-up to Canal Winchester in the OCC-Capital meet.

The Indians led the way with 174 points, followed by Big Walnut (142.5), South (99), Scioto (70), Kilbourne (62.5), North (60), Delaware (49) and Franklin Heights (4).

“Canal Winchester is very good, one of the best in the state,” coach Ryan Borland said. “They have a really talented, deep sprint group and were too much for us. We had a great conference meet. We had 20 personal bests throughout the meet, and I was very proud of how we performed throughout the weekend.”

Alec Carr won the 110 hurdles (14.56) while setting a league record. The old record was 14.6. He also finished second in the 300 hurdles (39.58) behind Michael Donkor (39.44) of South.

The Golden Eagles also won the 1,600 relay, with Jayden McConnell, Ryan Tripp, Owen Wilhelm and John Embaugh finishing in 3:27.44.

The boys competed in the district 2 meet.

Baseball team falls 

in tourney opener

The 28th-seeded baseball team scored in the first inning and held the lead until 36th-seeded Groveport scored four times in the seventh to advance in the Division I district tournament.

The first-round 4-1 loss May 17 was Big Walnut’s fifth consecutive defeat.

Drew Beckner doubled home Brady Hershberger, who started the first inning with a double of his own.

Cameron Drake took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits in three innings of relief.

Big Walnut was 9-10 before closing the season against Westerville North on May 19.

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