According to coach Shane Roberts, there shouldn't be any doubt about who will lead the Bexley High School boys track and field team next spring.
Junior Ian Kellogg was the Lions' lone representative in the Division II state meet June 7 and 8 at Ohio State.
In his first state appearance, he finished 15th in the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 44.59 seconds) as Versailles' Sam Prakel won in 4:14.
There wasn't the drama of the regional meet, where Kellogg (4:31.6) edged Germantown Valley View's Kyle Bussard (4:31.67) for the fourth and final state-qualifying berth in the 1,600, but the performance should inspire his teammates.
"It's a blessing," Roberts said. "He's the one cog that'll be back next year that's been to state.
"Hopefully he'll be a calming force for kids trying to get there next year. We try to have leadership by example and getting there as an individual is really difficult."
Bexley wasn't among the 73 teams that scored in the state meet, which Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary won with 49 points.
Kellogg's effort at regional, which was held May 30 and June 1 at Welcome Stadium in Dayton, gave the Lions a tie for 27th (5) behind co-champions Versailles and Dayton Dunbar (66) as 47 teams scored.
Also at regional, junior Nathaniel Agnoli, sophomore Jim De La Cruz, senior Ryan Prendergast and Kellogg were ninth in the 3,200 relay (8:26.42), Kellogg was 14th in the 800 (2:12.44) and Agnoli, sophomore Benjamin Krajnak, Prendergast and senior Josh Hoffman were 10th in the 1,600 relay (3:33.55).
Hoffman and Prendergast were two of the team's four seniors.
In the district 2 meet May 21, 22 and 25 at Westerville South, the Lions were eighth (43) of 13 teams behind champion Caledonia River Valley (128). They finished seventh (37) in the MSL-Ohio Division meet May 14 and 17 at Heath, behind Granville (166), Columbus Academy (117), Licking Valley (92), Heath (78), Whitehall (74) and Lakewood (68) and ahead of Newark Catholic (31).
The only senior for the girls team was sprinter Emily Myers.
The girls tied for 28th (6) at regional behind champion Eastmoor Academy (82) as 38 teams scored. Sophomore Spencer Halliday was sixth in the 1,600 (5:29.14), sophomore Mary Tugend was seventh in the 100 hurdles (17.44), junior Lissy Schmidt was eighth in the 300 hurdles (53.54), junior Meghan Hayden was 15th in the 3,200 (13:00.12) and Halliday, freshman Meg Rhoads, Hayden and junior Marissa Kelly were 12th in the 3,200 relay (10:36.46).
The girls finished fourth (58) in district 2 behind champion Eastmoor (144) and fourth (86) in the league meet behind Granville (172.5), Columbus Academy (119) and Heath (111.5) and ahead of Licking Valley (65), Whitehall (39), Newark Catholic (37) and Lakewood (24).
Schmidt won the 300 hurdles in a league-record 46.4.
"I was happy with how the season ended," coach Jamie Hayes said. "Being fourth in the league and in the district was good for the girls. The ones who moved on to regionals competed well.
"I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but I think that there are some big things headed our way in the future for the girls who were competing in the postseason."
Boys tennis team turns in strong season
Boys tennis coach G.J. Seckel said he was pleased with the season, which concluded when five players competed in but failed to advance to state from the Division II district tournament May 24 and 25 at Columbus Academy.
Senior Nathan Katz and the doubles team of junior Ethan Goodstein and senior Tyler Seckel lost in the first round at district, while the doubles team of senior Will Gingery and junior Max Knox-Kelly went 1-1.
"We finished ranked seventh in the state and that's respectable for us," coach Seckel said. "The only other (Division II) school we lost to (other than Academy) was (Hunting Valley) University School, and that was a Saturday when we had a few kids taking tests.
"I'd consider it a pretty successful season because we had a lot of new guys to varsity and they responded well."
The Lions finished 9-7 overall and went 5-1 in MSL-Cardinal/Ohio regular-season play to finish second behind Academy (6-0), which won the league tournament May 4 on its home courts to total 51 points, followed by Bexley (39), Granville (23), Grandview (17), Fisher Catholic (15), West Jefferson (8) and Whitehall (5).
Katz and Knox-Kelly were first-team all-league.
In addition to Knox-Kelly and Goodstein, the top returnees should be junior Logan Wilhelm and freshman Shia Saar.
"We have a good nucleus coming back and it's kind of fun to have a bunch of new guys who'll be playing varsity next year," Seckel said. "It keeps everybody on their toes and there's some interest level there."
Girls lacrosse players recognized
Sarah Dawley (first team) and Carlin Coffey (honorable mention) of the girls lacrosse squad received OSLA Division II Central Region recognition this season.
Dawley, Libby Davis and Ellie Williams were first-team all-Central Independent League, while Coffey and Sam Bolon were on the second team and Emma Crane was honorable mention.