One of the more enjoyable things for me every year when I'm covering the state track and field meet is finding out where the area's best athletes will compete collegiately in just a few short weeks.
Ohio has a rich tradition in track, and the talent that was pumped from the Columbus area from the 2013 graduating class only enhanced that.
Four of the state's biggest stars this year, Pickerington North's Desmond Palmer, Olentangy Orange's Katelyn Daniels, Westerville North's Jacob Dumford and Eastmoor Academy's Aaliyah Barnes, all will compete for major Division I programs. Several others from the area also will be competing at the Division I or II level next year.
Although this is not comprehensive (in other words, this is not everybody), I thought I'd put together a list of where some of the area's athletes will be competing:
Desmond Palmer, Pickerington North -- After winning the 110 and 300 hurdles and running on two state-title relays, he will compete for Pittsburgh.
Katelyn Daniels, Orange -- She won state in the shot put and discus and will throw for Michigan State.
Aaliyah Barnes, Eastmoor -- After winning the 100, placing in the top three in two other individual events and running on a first-place relay, she will compete for Ohio State.
Jacob Dumford, Westerville North -- He won the 1,600, ran on the first-place 3,200 relay and will compete for Notre Dame.
Dominik Seitzer, Reynoldsburg -- He rallied to earn a state runner-up finish in the 800 and will compete for Ohio State.
Charlie Moushey, Westerville Central -- Moushey was second at state in the pole vault and will go to Kentucky.
Richard Dahome, Westerville South -- Was 15th in the 110 hurdles while battling a back injury. He will go to Kent State.
Joe Mankovecky, Watterson -- Mankovecky won his second consecutive high jump state title and will compete for Cornell.
Riak Reese, Gahanna -- He won the 100 and 200 championships and will run for Kent State.
Daniella Johnson, Gahanna -- She ran on the state runner-up 400 relay and will compete for Akron.
Lauren Hoover, Hilliard Davidson -- Hoover won the 800 at state, ran on the fifth-place 3,200 relay and will attend Miami U.
Mallory McCormick, Hartley -- She competed on a relay at the state meet and will compete for Ohio Wesleyan.
Reyna Montgomery, Gahanna -- She ran on relays at state as a freshman and senior and will compete in track and basketball for Ohio Dominican.
Diamond Gause, Reynoldsburg -- After winning the 100 and 200, she's perhaps the best athlete who still has yet to make her college decision. Her sister, Destinee, is a freshman who competes for the University of Florida.