Brittany Gamby probably wouldn't have guessed the means to the end, but the 2009 Pickerington High School North graduate recently left the University of North Carolina at Wilmington confident she milked the most out of her college experience.
In its heyday, the girls basketball tournament that became known as the Lady Panther Holiday Classic attracted nationally-ranked teams -- a group that sometimes included its host -- and such crowds that games were shown on closed-circuit television in the school commons for fans who couldn't get seats.
This season marked the third in a row that the Pickerington High School North boys track and field team earned at least a share of second place in the Division I state meet, but the best still could be to come.
Coming off a season in which it earned a share of its first Division I regional championship since Robb Hammond took over as coach in 2008, the Pickerington High School Central girls track and field team topped what it accomplished a year ago.
Not everything went according to plan for the Pickerington High School North boys track and field team last weekend, but that didn't keep it from leaving Ohio State with a third consecutive Division I state runner-up finish.
During the Division I state meet June 6 and 7 at Ohio State, the Pickerington High School Central girls track and field team provided the final piece of evidence that no other program in the state could top its sprint corps this season.
The Pickerington High School Central girls track and field team won three events, including the final race of the meet, the 1,600-meter relay, to clinch its first outright regional title since Robb Hammond took over as coach in 2008.
No crazy wind affected play during a Division I regional semifinal May 29 at Dublin Coffman, and the Pickerington High School North baseball team and its opponent, Olentangy Liberty, had their top pitchers on the mound.
Fresh off winning four events in the Division I regional meet May 28 and 30 on his team's home track, Pickerington High School North junior Nick Gray made it clear he's ready for the final step in a season that has seen the Panthers win numerous championships.
The Pickerington High School North baseball team is a Division I district champion for the first time since 2009, but coach Tim Thomas said that's where the similarities end between this team and that one, which won 30 games and finished as state runner-up.
The Pickerington High School Central girls track and field team didn't let the disappointment of a second consecutive OCC-Ohio Division runner-up finish linger at the Division I, district 1 meet that concluded May 24 at Hilliard Darby.
Pickerington High School North boys tennis coach Brian Hoff has no doubt his team is the third-best in the area, but the final week of the season showed that the Panthers have more work to do to narrow the gap between themselves and the top two programs.
Hayden Ballog's two-run double in the seventh inning put the Pickerington High School North baseball team ahead for good in a 7-4 upset of sixth-seeded Marysville in a Division I district semifinal May 19 at Grove City.
Pickerington High School North boys volleyball coach Marci Truex hopes that however long the Panthers stay alive in the postseason, they'd play every game as they did the first in their Division I East Region tournament opener May 10.