Westerville Central Athletics: Sandvik, Mentlow to run girls cross country, track squads
New coaches are set to take over the Westerville Central girls cross country and track and field programs.
Pending school board approval, former Westerville North runner Heather Sandvik will lead the girls cross country team and David Mentlow will guide the girls track team.
They will succeed Ryan Borland, who left to take over the boys track program at Big Walnut. Borland coached the cross country team for 13 seasons and the track team for 12.
Sandvik, 23, is a 2015 graduate of North, where she competed in cross country and track. She was a Division I state qualifier in cross country all four years and advanced to state in the 1,600 meters, 3,200 and 3,200 relay in track in her sophomore season.
“It was really more of the opportunity,” Sandvik said of taking over at Central. “If it hadn’t had opened up, I probably would at some point helped (North) coach (Johnny) Jackson or volunteer to work with him in some way, but I’ve always wanted to have autonomy over my own program. It was really hard to turn this down. I’ll still get to see coach Jackson.”
Sandvik holds the North program record in cross country (18 minutes, 7 seconds), along with records in track in the 1,600 (5:02) and 3,200 (11:09).
She’s a 2019 graduate of Otterbein, where she was a three-time Division III All-American in the distance medley relay and also competed in cross country. She ran on the program-record distance medley relay (11:42).
For the past two years, Sandvik has served as a graduate assistant at Division III North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, in cross country and track.
“I don’t necessarily think because I was a good runner in high school and college that it will make me a good coach, but it’s more the experiences that I’ve had from all these different programs at North then Otterbein and now North Central,” she said. “It’s the experiences that are going to benefit me and my athletes more than anything.”
Sandvik also will serve as an assistant in track under Mentlow, who has been a contributor to Central athletics since 2011, first serving as an assistant in track before also joining the football program as an assistant in 2014.
This will be Mentlow’s first head-coaching position.
“I’m really excited about it,” he said. “I feel prepared for it. The good thing is I’ve had a chance to see (football) coach (Brent) Morrison transition into being a head coach, so I’ve learned a lot from that.
“I’ve been with Borland the whole time and I learned a lot in terms of just handling the program, working with the students and the importance of that. It’s about the kids. That’s why I wanted to get into it. Ryan did a real good job with that. He ran the program the right way, the way I like to see it.”
Mentlow, 40, is a 1999 graduate of Kent Roosevelt, where he competed in football as a defensive back and in track as a sprinter and long jumper. He then attended the University of Toledo, where he played cornerback before graduating in 2004.
Mentlow was the defensive coordinator at Northland from 2004-13 before joining the Central football program.