Boys Track & Field: Westerville South Wildcats to feature balanced, deep roster

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Senior Shamar Brittman should be a key performer for South in three areas: sprints, relays and hurdles. Coach Jimmy Gaul said the Wildcats feature a balanced and deep roster after losing last season to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

After last season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Westerville South boys track and field coach Jimmy Gaul is glad to be back to doing what he loves.

“We’re seeing who we have and getting back in the swing of things,” said Gaul, who is in his 12th season. “We’re getting back in the groove of what a track meet is like and learning all the little things about timing and when to warm up.” 

Gaul points to a balanced and deep roster as the key to his team’s success this spring. 

In the sprints and relays, South should be led by seniors Shamar Brittman, Jaiden Guice and Tate Marcelain. Brittman also is a hurdler, and Guice and Marcelain also will compete in the long jump. 

Junior Reign Winston is competing in the high jump, while junior Ashton Diller and sophomore Godfred Nyafre are key pole-vaulters. 

Distance runners include senior Caedin Bouton, junior Chase Jackson and sophomores Gabe Combs and Andrew McCracken. 

Senior Jack Kielmeyer is competing in the discus and high jump, and senior Cole Holbrook will be in the discus and shot put. 

“We have some good numbers out with the throwers, so we’re excited to see how they develop throughout the course of the season,” Gaul said. 

The Wildcats are competing in the OCC-Capital Division with Big Walnut, Canal Winchester, Delaware, Dublin Scioto, Franklin Heights, Westerville North and Worthington Kilbourne. 

“I definitely like it better than where we’ve been,” said Gaul, whose team previously competed in the OCC-Buckeye. “It’s been a tough road the last couple of years with the three Olentangys (and) the three Westervilles. By sheer numbers, it always seemed like us and (North) were fighting an uphill fight competing against some of the bigger schools in the conference. This will give us a little more of level playing field, (but) it doesn’t make the competition any easier.” 

INSIDE THE WILDCATS 

Coach: Jimmy Gaul, 12th season 

Next meet: April 16 at New Albany Invitational 

Key athletes: Caedin Bouton, Shamar Brittman, Gabe Combs, Jaiden Guice, Chase Jackson, Jack Kielmeyer, Tate Marcelain and Andrew McCracken 

Loughman likes

Warhawks’ potential

Central coach Jason Loughman believes his team has potential, but realizes there could be some early growing pains. 

“It’s kind of strange because about half the kids on our team have never run in a high school meet before because we didn’t get to run last season,” said Loughman, who is in his 17th season. “We’re just learning about these freshmen and sophomores, what they can do and where their strengths are. We’re still trying to figure some things out. We have a decent core of returning runners.” 

The Warhawks recently added an elite runner as junior Justin Braun has transferred from Thomas Worthington. Braun, who won the 400 meters (46.76 seconds) in the Division I state meet as a freshman, started school at Central on April 8. 

Senior Tasos Cook, who helped the boys basketball team advance to the Division I state final, is competing in the sprints and high jump. 

Senior M.J. Davis, another basketball player, also is a sprinter and jumper. 

Junior Cameron Newton is another key sprinter, and key distance runners are seniors Haden Fulkerson and Evan Radecki and juniors Dominic Iquina and Chip Smith. 

Sophomore Marcus Gordon Jr. is a top hurdler, and sophomore Buba Bangura is a long jumper and sprinter. 

Central is competing in the OCC-Ohio with Gahanna, Grove City, New Albany, Pickerington North and Westland. 

“Pick North and Gahanna are both loaded,” Loughman said. “They’re not only in our conference, but they’re probably two of the better boys teams in our region with a lot of potential state qualifiers on each of those rosters. It will be extremely challenging to beat them this year.” 

INSIDE THE WARHAWKS 

Coach: Jason Loughman, 17th season 

Next meet: April 16 at New Albany Invitational 

Key athletes: Buba Bangura, Justin Braun, Tasos Cook, M.J. Davis, Haden Fulkerson, Dominic Iquina and Chip Smith 

—Frank DiRenna

Warriors coach wants

to improve relays

North has a talented group of sprinters, and 15th-year coach Johnny Jackson believes his team could have some standout relays before the postseason begins.

Top sprinters include senior Ahmed Madani, juniors Bryce Abston, Jackson Hammel, Alex Hendon, Koltyn Scarantine and Edwin White and sophomore Stan Jackson.

“We really need to work on relays and getting the boys stronger,” Jackson said. “We need to get them back into track shape.”

The Warriors also have a strong group of distance and middle-distance runners led by senior Isaiah Hutcherson, sophomore Andrew Bracken and freshman Ben Gabelman. Madani also runs middle distance, and junior Owen DeTemple is a jack of all trades, competing in everything from hurdles to relays.

Freshmen Eyon Robinson and Zach Rogers will try high jumping, with Hendon and Scarantine competing in the long jump.

Seniors Evan Boyd and Evan Keller will lead the throwers.

“We have around 60 boys and many of them are multisport athletes,” Jackson said. “(Wrestling) coach (David) Grant and (football) coach (Bryan) Johnson really help me out a lot with that. We’re also getting more basketball players from coach (Shan) Trusley.

“We’re trying to make strong young adults that are mentally and physically prepared for not just running track but for life in general. We want to help them in whatever they do.”

INSIDE THE WARRIORS

Coach: Johnny Jackson, 15th season 

Next meet: April 16 at Granville Invitational

Key athletes: Evan Boyd, Owen DeTemple, Ben Gabelman, Isaiah Hutcherson, Stan Jackson, Ahmed Madani, Koltyn Scarantine and Edwin White

—Scott Hennen

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