Notebook: Hilliard Davidson Wildcats boys go to great lengths in 6,400 relay

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
The Davidson boys 6,400-meter relay of R.J. Sagrilla, Nick Puhl, Nate Gilbert and Connor Ackley recorded the best time in the nation (17 minutes, 33.63 seconds) in the Freedom Relays on April 23 at Olentangy Liberty.

Hilliard Davidson boys track and field distance coach Pat Schlecht believes competing in the 6,400-meter relay helps his runners prepare for the longest races of the postseason: the 3,200 and the 3,200 relay. 

The Wildcats’ 6,400 relay of R.J. Sagrilla, Nick Puhl, Nate Gilbert and Connor Ackley ran the top nationwide time in the event for the season — 17 minutes, 33.63 seconds — in the Freedom Relays on April 23 at Olentangy Liberty. 

“This came together at Liberty when these guys all ran (solid) pace times and they produced a really fast time,” Schlecht said. “We’re going to focus on the state meet and their individual events, but it was a nice opportunity to run that (6,400) relay. 

“We love that race. A lot of people say it’s too long and they’re bored with it, but that’s the way we base our indoor season around getting to nationals in the (6,400).” 

Sagrilla led off the relay, followed by Puhl, Gilbert and Ackley as the anchor. 

“Going into it, we had our eyes set on that national U.S. No. 1 time,” Puhl said. “Our workouts were intentionally planned ... and going into it we had our eyes on that goal.” 

Schlecht said the time should be challenged in the coming weeks with several big meets scheduled in California. 

After the OCC-Central Division meet May 13 and 15 at Westerville North, the 10th-seeded Wildcats will compete in the Division I, district 2 meet May 18, 19 and 22 at Darby. 

Sagrilla, Gilbert, Ackley and Brady Whiteside will run the 3,200 relay during the postseason, while Puhl will focus on the 3,200, according to Schlecht. 

The third-seeded girls team will compete in the district 2 meet at Darby. 

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

•Joshua George and David Lamb won individual events for the Bradley boys track team in the 71st Marion Night Invitational on April 30 at Harding.

Lamb won the 400 (50.22) and was second in the 200 (22.71), and George was first in the 3,200 (9:50.34) as the Jaguars finished fifth (55) of 14 teams behind champion Ashland (89).

Placing third were Gabe Paynter in the 1,600 (4:42.59) and Chance Roberts in the discus (129 feet, 8 inches).

The girls team placed 10th (32) behind champion Mansfield Madison (98) as Ashley Long finished second in the 400 (1:01.65) and third in the 200 (27.01). 

She also joined Gracelyn Peebles, Alice McAnespie and Ella Richardson on a pair of third-place relays — the 800 relay (1:50.06) and the 1,600 relay (4:16.62).

Bradley competes in the OCC-Central meet May 13 and 15 at Westerville North before heading to the Division I district meet at Darby. The girls are in district 1 on May 18, 20 and 22 and the boys are in district 2 on May 18, 19 and 22. 

—Scott Hennen

Through 21 games, Darby senior Jordyn Anderson was batting .492 with five home runs, 23 RBI, 16 runs, 10 doubles, one triple, a .548 on-base percentage and a .921 slugging percentage.

•Jordyn Anderson has been having a monster season for the Darby softball team.

Through 21 games, the senior was batting .492 with five home runs, 23 RBI, 16 runs, 10 doubles, one triple, a .548 on-base percentage and a .921 slugging percentage.

In the circle, Anderson was 13-5 with a 2.30 ERA with 159 strikeouts in 112 innings, helping the Panthers to records of 15-8 overall and 6-3 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Olentangy on May 7.

Kyrin Enneking had a .406 batting average with 16 RBI, 17 runs and seven doubles, and Bella Molinaro was batting .338 with nine RBI and 14 runs. Erin Littin was hitting .333 with two homers, 21 RBI and 14 runs, and Kaitlyn Patrick had a .319 batting average with seven RBI, 21 runs and seven doubles.

Megan Henery was batting .300 with one homer 16 RBI, 11 runs and six triples, and Sydney Kloth was hitting .280 with 10 RBI, 15 runs and three triples.

The Panthers were seeded 11th in the Division I district tournament and played 41st-seeded Dublin Jerome in the first round May 10. The winner played a second-round game May 12 against 21st-seeded Pickerington North.

The district semifinal is May 17, with eighth-seeded Westerville Central as a possible opponent, and the district final is May 19. 

—Scott Hennen

•The Davidson baseball team is hoping for a long postseason run. 

The Wildcats were 9-12 overall and 3-7 in the OCC-Central before playing Bradley on May 7.

“We’re getting there,” coach Justin Swallie said. “As we knew going into it, our schedule in our league was going to be pretty challenging. We’re competing with the higher-level teams. We’ve had close games with (Olentangy) Orange and Liberty. We’re beating some other teams to go along with it. We’re still progressing as the year goes on.” 

The Division I district tournament begins May 17. 

“This is the exciting time because we look forward to the tournament,” Swallie said. “One of our goals that we set out at the beginning of the year is to win the league and then to make a tournament run. That’s always our goal. As we wrap up league play, it’s a second season. You get a second chance when you go to the tournament.” 

Through 20 games, Kevin Roberts was hitting .375, followed by Cam Colman (.379), Austin Lippolis (.366), Brady Boltinghouse (.358) and Nicolas Vertikoff (.346). 

Colman and Lippolis each had a team-high 16 RBI. 

—Frank DiRenna 

•The Darby baseball team has its sights set on an OCC-Cardinal title. 

The Panthers were 15-7 overall and 9-2 in the league before playing Olentangy Berlin on May 7. 

Darby is seeking its sixth consecutive league championship and eighth overall. It closes league play May 14 at Jerome.

Through 20 games, Casey Maruniak was hitting .422, followed by Max Mullen (.412) and Cam Gilkerson (.382). 

Maruniak had a team-high 21 RBI, seven doubles and five triples. 

Mullen was 5-1 and had a 0.54 ERA with 30 strikeouts and 14 walks in 38 2/3 innings. 

Andrew Patrick was 4-1 and had a 2.65 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 12 walks in 34 1/3 innings. 

—Frank DiRenna

•The Bradley girls lacrosse team had a two-game winning streak snapped with an 18-4 loss to Dublin Coffman on May 5 to drop to 2-10 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Central.

The Jaguars — who defeated Lima Senior 14-4 on April 30 and Westerville North 13-2 on May 3 — had a slow start after an early stoppage because of COVID-19.

“I think they handled it the best that they could,” coach Faith Meads said. “A lot of girls hit the wall (to practice) on their own time and came back ready to go. I think we’ve been figuring out how we work together after not having a season last year and getting in a groove. 

“Then we had a slow start to this season as well. I think coming off our (Lima Senior) win really fired them up and gave them the confidence (against North).”

Reyann Askar, Alyssa Burnside, Rylee Mason and Alex Nilsen all had two goals against North, while Sydney Lithiluxa, Alison Rasor, Abby Sayre, Tatum Severe and Kaitlyn Stickler added one goal apiece. Goalie Natalie Green made five saves.

—Scott Hennen

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