Worthington Christian Roundup: Warriors girls track team’s 800 relay reaches state podium

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Worthington Christian's Audrey Mousa competes in the 200 meters during the Division III state meet. She reached the awards podium with Grace Hall, Briana Plummer and Maria Klausman on the eighth-place 800 relay.

During the opening day of the Division III state girls track and field meet June 4 at Westerville North, Grace Hall competed in two events while two older sisters were in the stands cheering. 

The Worthington Christian junior wound up 15th in the 100 meters (12.86 seconds) but also helped the 800 relay, which also included juniors Audrey Mousa and Briana Plummer and sophomore Maria Klausman, qualify for the final. 

On June 5, Hall helped the 800 relay finish eighth in 1 minute, 46.32 seconds, surpassing the previous best time of 1:46.67 they’d run during the preliminary. 

Hall’s older sisters, 2018 graduate Emily Hall and 2020 graduate Ashley Hall, also earned spots on the awards podium in relays when they were competitors for the Warriors.

“It’s just been kind of finding the right combination of people to run it,” Grace Hall said. “Since we didn’t have track last year, it’s been a lot of new people and not knowing the freshmen or the sophomores. But we have a lot of young talent on our team, so that’s been really cool. 

“It’s been fun kind of leading people and getting them excited about stuff and hyping them up. Both of my sisters were (at state), so it was fun to kind of carry on the tradition.” 

Also at state for the Warriors, Mousa was 14th in the 200 (26.67) and the 1,600 relay of junior Sydney Diedrich, sophomores Ellie Cain and Klausman and freshman Jamie Custer finished 15th (4:16.08). 

“Our goal was to (run our best time in the 1,600 relay) and we (did),” Cain said. “It helps that we go to a small private school so we all know each other and we’re all friends.” 

While Grace Hall was a regional qualifier in the 100 and ran on the 400 relay at state in 2019, Diedrich and Mousa also had previous regional experience. 

“I knew the (800 relay) was going to be a really strong relay all year and, to be honest, (the state meet) was the first day they really had to race because we’ve been kind of out ahead of the competition,” coach Mark Mousa said. “We dropped a second from the regional championship time.” 

The biggest loss to graduation will be Alyssa Beard, who joined Hall, junior Blessing King and sophomore Jane Bechtel on the 400 relay that advanced to regional. 

Other regional qualifiers were Custer (400), Diedrich (800), junior Morgan Lawrence (discus) and sophomore Zoe Ward (3,200). 

Others eligible to return include junior Lilly Bauman (discus, shot put) and freshmen Emily Barron (shot put) and Annie White (distance) 

“The girls have just been jelling all season,” coach Mousa said. “They love running together. They love running relays together. They have fun and, honestly, I joke that some of our job as coaches is to stay out of their way and tell them when they need to improve something, but they’ve been so coachable all year.” 

Most of boys track 

team to return 

The boys track team had its season end in the district 2 meet May 22 at Granville, where junior Michael Nyamohanga finished fifth in the 400 (53.63) to miss advancing to the regional by one spot. 

The 400 relay of senior Aaron Manzer, junior Tyler White, sophomore Josh Carrel and freshman Jaxson Hollister was sixth (45.96). 

Manzer plans to compete for Otterbein, according to coach Mousa. 

“The boys did great,” coach Mousa said. “We were in an extremely hard district. They put all 28 teams into one district and only four boys could qualify (for the regional in each event) and we knew our boys would be young, but what I loved about our boys is that they got better and better as the season went on and they’re just going to get stronger.

“We have our strongest runners all coming back with the exception of Aaron Manzer, who hadn’t competed the last two years but loves running and was a great leader.” 

White also competed in the long jump at district. 

Others eligible to return include juniors Synjin Sharp (distance) and Sam Spires (middle distance), sophomores Blake Kessler (discus), Robert Sutliff (sprints) and Aiden Whaley (sprints) and freshmen Jonah Lewis (middle distance), Joe Spires (distance) and Camden St. John (hurdles, high jump). 

“The boys are young, but I really like how they’re working and we’ll have some really good relays and some great leadership that will be seniors,” coach Mousa said. “The junior class for the boys and girls are strong leaders.” 

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

@UlreyThisWeek 

TRACK & FIELD 

MSL-Ohio standings: Boys — Grandview (176), Bexley (109), Whitehall (105), Columbus Academy (65), Buckeye Valley (56), Worthington Christian (51), Wellington (6); Girls — Buckeye Valley (165.33), Bexley (129.33), Columbus School for Girls (106), Grandview (74), Academy (68), Worthington Christian (56), Wellington (26.33), Whitehall (14) 

Seniors lost: Boys — Aaron Manzer and Noah St. John; Girls — Alyssa Beard and Madeline Gilham 

Key returnees: Boys — Josh Carrel, Jaxson Hollister, Jonah Lewis, Michael Nyamohanga, Synjin Sharp, Sam Spires and Tyler White; Girls — Ellie Cain, Jamie Custer, Sydney Diedrich, Grace Hall, Maria Klausman, Audrey Mousa and Briana Plummer 

Postseason: Boys — 15th (12) at district behind champion Grandview (118.5); Girls — Second (88) at district behind champion Fairbanks (117), seventh (33) at regional behind champion Mount Gilead (82), tied for 58th (1) at state behind champion West Liberty-Salem (52)