Whitehall-Yearling Roundup: Rams boys track team delivers solid MSL-Ohio performance

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Whitehall-Yearling's Kevin Jackson finished second in the long jump and 200 meters in the MSL-Ohio meet. He also ran on the winning 400 and 800 relays. The boys team finished third behind Grandview and Bexley.

The Whitehall-Yearling boys track and field team prepared for the Division I postseason by turning in strong efforts in the MSL-Ohio Division meet May 11 and 14 at home. 

The Rams finished third (105) behind Grandview (176) and Bexley (109). 

“I thought the meet went well,” coach Kyle Jefferson said. “Our boys did pretty well. From start to finish, the events that we ran, we did pretty well.” 

Freshman Andre Jackson led Whitehall, joining Taron Biles-Walker, Kevin Jackson and Jeremiah Harrison on the winning 400-meter relay (43.78 seconds) and finishing second in the 400 (51.28) and high jump (5 feet, 8 inches). 

“We’ve put Andre where we need somebody for that meet,” Jefferson said. “He’s been willing to run different events and he’s been running them pretty well.” 

Biles-Walker, Kevin Jackson, Harrison and Keith Hodge won the 800 relay (1:29.7), and Hodge, Teddy Brown, Anthony Hampton and Daba Hordofe were second in the 1,600 relay (3:32.51). 

Kevin Jackson was second in the 200 (22.84) and long jump (19-6 1/4), Biles-Walker finished second in the 100 (11.14) and Harrison was third in the 100 (11.29). 

Andre Jackson, Hordofe, Nate Legg and Hampton were third in the 3,200 relay (8:45.11).

“I was happy, but I thought I could have done better in the 400,” Andre Jackson said. “Whenever I do something, I feel like I could do better than what I did. I do whatever I can to help the team get points.” 

The girls team finished eighth (14) in the league meet behind champion Buckeye Valley (165.33). 

“Our girls did not compete as much as they could,” Jefferson said. “I thought they competed pretty well in the 400 and 800 relays.” 

Ry’Yair Smith, Kayla Bagley, Chaiya Harris and Kaseena Reese finished fifth in the 400 relay (53.31) and sixth in the 800 relay (1:52.63). 

Bagley was sixth in the long jump (13-10), Smith was seventh in the 100 hurdles (18.19) and Hailee Franklin was seventh in the discus (74-2). 

The boys and girls teams wrapped up competition at district May 22 at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each event advanced to regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North. 

At regional, the top four finishers in each event advance to state June 4 and 5 at Darby. 

Junior Sam McQuate is expected to be the top returnee for the Rams. “He was a leader on the court, off the court and in the classroom. He really motivated a lot of the guys,” coach Anthony Paletta said.

Boys tennis team 

wraps up season 

The boys tennis team closed its season by competing in a Division I sectional May 13 at Hilliard Bradley. 

Seniors Mikey Hernandez and Carlos Mejia went 1-1 in doubles to lead the Rams. 

Senior Raymond Zhen and juniors Sam McQuate and Modoulamin Mbaye went 0-1 in singles, and senior Nick Miner and junior Brenden O’Brien went 0-1 in doubles. 

The Rams finished 1-15 overall and 0-6 in the MSL-Ohio. They beat Beechcroft 3-2 on April 15.

“It was a good season,” coach Anthony Paletta said. “We had new guys for the most part. There were some really great successes. The program is growing.” 

Others eligible to return are sophomore Seid Nurahmed and freshmen Amanuel Chalachew, Malachi Martinez, Sam Mbaye and Ibrahim Ore. 

“I’m sad to see Raymond Zhen graduate, but the good thing is our team captain, Sam McQuate, is coming back,” Paletta said. “He was a leader on the court, off the court and in the classroom. He really motivated a lot of the guys.” 

McQuate was named the team’s MVP.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

BOYS TENNIS 

Record: 1-15 overall 

MSL-Ohio standings: Bexley, Columbus Academy and Wellington (5-1), Grandview (3-3), Buckeye Valley (2-4), Worthington Christian (1-5), Whitehall (0-6) 

Seniors lost: Mikey Hernandez, Carlos Mejia, Nick Miner and Raymond Zhen 

Key returnees: Modoulamin Mbaye and Sam McQuate