Track & Field: Thomas Worthington Cardinals land on state podium in four events

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Thomas senior Carina Napoleon sprints ahead of Cincinnati Princeton's Keniya Dexter in the 800 meters in the Division I state meet. Napoleon finished fourth (2 minutes, 12.42 seconds) on June 5 at Hilliard Darby.

Several Thomas Worthington track and field athletes made up for a lost 2020 season by reaching the podium in the Division I state meet. 

Three boys relays, two boys athletes and two girls athletes competed at state, which was held June 4 and 5 at Hilliard Darby. Among them, seniors Carina Napoleon and Luka Srsic and the boys team’s 800-meter relay and 1,600 relay finished in the top eight to land on the podium. 

After missing time in cross country last fall because of an injury, Napoleon finished fourth in the 800 (2 minutes, 12.42 seconds) behind champion Lindsay Stull (2:10.35) of Hilliard Davidson.

“I think looking back on it, I did everything I could in the race,” Napoleon said. “I have had a year of many troubles and to be able to still compete with some really fast girls, I was happy with that. 

“My goal was definitely to win, so in that way I did not accomplish that goal. But that was a season (best time) I believe, so that was exciting.” 

Srsic placed fourth in the pole vault (15 feet, 10 inches) as Cincinnati Turpin’s Paul Signorelli (16-10) won the title.

Thomas senior Luka Srsic finished fourth in the pole vault in the Division I state track and field meet at Hilliard Darby. He cleared 15 feet, 10 inches.

After qualifying for state with at-large berths, seniors Macario Etienne and Jimmie Turner III and juniors Daniel Assoku and Shohaan Singh finished seventh in the 1,600 relay (3:21.47) and Turner, Assoku, Singh and sophomore Eli Hitzhusen were seventh in the 800 relay (1:29.23). The overall boys team champion, Pickerington North, won the relays in 3:15.56 and 1:25.96, respectively. 

Junior Leila Boussedra placed 10th in the 3,200 (11:18.82), a finish that will motivate her for next season. 

“Although I didn’t place as well as I hoped during states and didn’t run my best time, I’m still happy I was able to have the experience,” she said. “This year has been a big learning curve for me. The 3,200 is a distance race, and because I don’t run cross country and last track season was canceled, I just haven’t had consistent racing opportunities like most of the other runners I competed against. 

“However, I am really looking forward to next year. I feel as if I have more in me, and I’m ready to work hard to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself. I’m thinking of this year as a baseline for next year.” 

The 3,200 relay of seniors Victor Nash, Wesley Horton, Noah Silliman and Etienne placed 11th (8:06.57).

Silliman also ran in the 3,200 but did not finish the race.

“I was really happy with how the (3,200 relay) did this season,” Silliman said. “Honestly, heading into the postseason I thought we would struggle to make it out of district. The last three weeks for the team were pretty surreal and we ended up at the state meet. 

“I think we all wanted to sneak onto the podium, and we didn’t have quite the day we needed for that, but I’m really happy with the season overall.” 

The boys tied for 27th (9) behind champion North (43) as 84 teams scored and the girls tied for 42nd (5) behind champion Mentor (70) as 75 teams scored.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

TRACK & FIELD 

•OCC-Cardinal standings: Boys – Thomas (128), Hilliard Darby (111), Olentangy Berlin (87), Dublin Jerome (80), Marysville (63), Olentangy (84); Girls – Olentangy (123), Darby and Jerome (117), Marysville (76), Thomas (63), Berlin (27)

•Seniors lost: Boys – Victor Nash, Noah Silliman, Luka Srsic, Jimmie Turner III and Kerwin Williams Jr.; Girls – Anna Bielanski, Morgan Edwards, Reilly Herold, Hannah Innes, Kinsley Koch, Carina Napoleon, Jazmine Rodgers, Kelsey Seymour and Jada Stephens  

•Key returnees: Boys –  Daniel Assoku, Cam Beatty, Eli Hitzhusen, Xander Llewellyn, Shohaan Singh and Ben Smith; Girls – Leila Boussedra, Habiba Bundu, Riley Chase, Karlie Fidler, Chaneya Garner and Hadley Kulina

•Postseason: Boys – Second (108) at district behind Canal Winchester (114), eighth (31) at regional behind champion Hilliard Darby (68), tied for 27th (9) at state behind champion Pickerington North (43); Girls – Ninth (33.5) at district behind champion Pickerington Central (85), 17th (17) at regional behind champion Gahanna (84), tied for 42nd (5) at state behind champion Mentor (70)