Big Walnut Roundup: Golden Eagles track teams advance three to state meet

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek

Alec Carr’s breakout season took him all the way to the Division I state meet.

The junior’s finishes in the 110-meter hurdles (14.68 seconds, fourth) and 300 hurdles (39.85, fifth) helped the Big Walnut boys track and field team place 11th (22 points) behind champion Hilliard Darby (68) in the regional meet that concluded May 28 at Pickerington North.

Those finishes also advanced Carr to the state meet June 4 and 5 at Darby.

“He ran a really good 110 race, which has been his better event,” coach Ryan Borland said. “Our region is stacked with some of the best in the state, and Alec has competed very well with those athletes and earned a state berth.”

The top four finishers in each regional event advanced to state. Carr also earned one of two at-large state berths in the 300 hurdles based on times statewide.

Senior Mark Ruffing also qualified for his first state meet, finishing second (145 feet, 5 inches) behind Cameron McNeil of Darby (151-0) in the discus.

“I was really proud of how he battled through adversity, and he kept his composure, throwing a big throw on his second throw in the finals that took him from ninth to second,” Borland said.

Ruffing placed sixth in the shot put (47-11 3/4).

Alexus Roberts was the only Big Walnut girls competitor to advance to state, earning an at-large berth in the 100 hurdles after finishing sixth (15.29).

“She is an impressive young runner, and one of only two freshmen to qualify to the state meet in the 100 hurdles,” girls track coach Joe Evener said on the school’s athletics website. “That tells you what kind of athlete she is, and the incredible work she and coach Red Edwards have put into this season.”

The girls team tied for 30th (3) behind champion Gahanna (84).

Braden Keck was part of a large but inexperienced senior class for the Big Walnut boys lacrosse team, which finished 7-10 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Capital Division.

Boys lacrosse team’s

inexperience showed

The boys lacrosse team entered the season with 14 seniors who hadn’t been tested following the cancellation of last season because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Golden Eagles finished 7-10 overall and tied Westerville North and Westerville South for third (2-3) in the OCC-Capital Division behind champion Worthington Kilbourne (5-0).

In the Division II, Region 7 tournament, 11th-seeded Big Walnut dropped its opening contest to sixth-seeded Granville 16-6 on May 17.

“We were a team that had a lot of older guys, but they didn’t have a lot of experience and that showed as we got later in the season,” first-year coach Zeid Rawahneh said. “We were able to get a lot of young guys experience this season, as three of our top six midfielders were sophomores, so that should bode well for us as we head toward next year.”

Those sophomore midfielders include Zac Griffith, Caleb Sanford and Logan Telesz.

Also expected back is junior attacker Ashton Baker, who finished with 35 goals and 16 assists.

Senior attacker Luke Chiles (32 goals, 17 assists), junior attacker Braden Andreini (29 goals, 19 assists) and senior midfielder Gordon Rond (14 goals, 11 assists) also were among the team’s leading scorers.

Senior first baseman Audrey Justice hit .377 and was honorable mention all-league for the Golden Eagles softball team, which finished 7-16 overall and 5-9 in the OCC-Capital.

Brown leads

softball team

With just one returning starter, the softball team’s inexperience showed on the field as it finished 7-16 overall and fifth (5-9) in the OCC-Capital behind champion Delaware (13-0) under first-year coach Jerry Hatcher.

The 34th-seeded Golden Eagles lost to 24th-seeded Dublin Coffman 13-3 in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 10. They closed the season with four consecutive losses.

Senior shortstop Arielle Brown, the only returning starter from 2019, was second-team all-league and led the offense, batting .494 with 12 doubles, three home runs and 20 RBI.

Senior first baseman Audrey Justice (.377, 11 RBI) was honorable mention all-league.

Junior outfielder Jordan Walters (.343, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 10 RBI), freshman second baseman Quinn Kuhlman (.343, 5 doubles, 2 RBI), senior catcher Abigail Clawson (.333, 7 RBI) and junior outfielder Janel Hayes (.326, 3 doubles, 4 RBI) also were among the team’s top hitters.

Senior pitcher Abigail Weiss went 5-11. She allowed 198 hits and finished with a 5.50 ERA, 48 strikeouts and 47 walks in 112 innings.

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BOYS LACROSSE

Record: 7-10 overall

OCC-Capital standings: Worthington Kilbourne (5-0), Delaware (4-1), Big Walnut, Westerville North and Westerville South (all 2-3), Scioto (0-5)

Seniors lost: Luke Chiles, Braden Keck, Gordon Rond, Sam Smith, Gage Sutton and Cole Wecker

Key returnees: Braden Andreini, Ashton Baker, Zac Griffith, Caleb Sanford, Logan Telesz and Carson Withrow

Postseason: Lost to Granville 16-6 in second round of the Division II, Region 7 tournament

SOFTBALL

Record: 7-16 overall

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

Seniors lost: Arielle Brown, Abigail Clawson, Cassidy Joseph, Audrey Justice, Allyson Truax and Abigail Weiss

Key returnees: Janel Hayes, Quinn Kuhlman and Jordan Walters

Postseason: Lost to Dublin Coffman 13-3 in first round of Division I district tournament