Bexley High School track and field and cross country standout Ian Kellogg started running competitively in the seventh grade.
The first race of his first track meet, the 200-meter hurdles, gave the now 6-foot-5, 175-pound senior a good idea that he would be better suited for distance events.
"No, I didn't do well, I did terrible. I think because of my height, they actually put me at hurdles," Kellogg said. "I hated it. I was not very good at it. I couldn't sprint at all.
"When I first started that, I was thinking: 'There is no way I'm going to stick with this.' "
Fortunately for Kellogg, that forgettable start did not derail his track career. It just re-routed it.
"So then, eventually, they put me at the 800 and I was cool with the 800," said Kellogg, a Michigan State signee. "I just started to realize the longer I can run, the longer the distance, the more people I'm beating and the better I'm competing."
Last fall, Kellogg became the first Bexley boys cross country runner to advance to state since 2009 and placed 81st of 149 competitors in Division II in 17 minutes, 28.9 seconds.
As his final prep track season headed down the stretch, he was looking to qualify for the Division II state meet in the 1,600 for the second consecutive season and possibly in the 800. His top time in the 1,600 this season is 4:24.85, and his top time in the 800 is 2:02.8.
"Last year, honestly, my goal was to make it to the state meet and I was happy with that. I was happy with getting there," said Kellogg, who dived across the finish line at last year's regional to earn the fourth and final state-qualifying berth.
Kellogg finished that race in 4:31.6, edging Kyle Bussard of Germantown Valley View (4:31.67).
At state, however, Kellogg finished 15th (4:44.59). While that was not the finish he was looking for, it has served as a driving force for him this season.
"I had my worst race of the season at the state meet by 15 seconds. It was that bad," Kellogg said. "At the time it was devastating, but I think that was the best thing for my training because there hasn't been a day where I haven't thought about that race since then.
"That has basically been the motivation behind all of my training this past year."
Kellogg and the boys team participated in the Division II, district 1 meet May 20, 21 and 24 at Heath. The top four finishers in each event advanced to the regional meet Thursday, May 29, and Saturday, May 31, at Lexington, and the 3,200 relay of Peter Hayden, Jim DeLaCruz, Kellogg and Jackson Feinknopf moved on by finishing second (8:26.09).
"My goal is the top three at state. In my mind, it's top three or bust this year," Kellogg said. "I won't lie; I'd like to win it. This year is going to be tough, but every race I line up and try to win. That's how I view it."
The girls team also competed in the district meet at Heath, for which running finals were held May 24. Youssef Abouhashish qualified for regional by finishing fourth in the boys discus (125 feet, 2 inches) on May 20, and Mary Tugend moved on by placing third in the girls long jump (15-3) on May 21.
At regional, the top four finishers in each event advance to the state meet June 6 and 7 at Ohio State.
In addition to Kellogg, boys coach Shane Roberts was looking for big performances from Andre Stewart (300 hurdles), the 400 relay (Corbin Thompson, Benjamin Krajnak, Stewart and Chad Meyer), the 800 relay (Stewart, Nathaniel Agnoli, Rasheed Morgan and Meyer) and the 1,600 relay (Morgan, Daniel Bond, Krajnak and Agnoli).
"I hope every senior on our team gets to experience the state meet," Roberts said. "But these three relays, Andre and Ian, we're training for them to get to (state)."
Kellogg, who plans to run the steeplechase in college like his father, John, did at William & Mary, has enjoyed his final high school season.
"I think it has been a very successful year," he said. "I've had the most consistent training and I have been injury free."
Softball team falls in district semifinal
The softball team's season ended in a Division III district semifinal, as it lost to North Union 6-2 on May 19 at Pickerington Central.
The third-seeded Lions, who finished 20-6 and reached a district semifinal for the first time since 2006, took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Katy Watson drove in a run with a groundout before Abbey Lowenstein's squeeze bunt scored Abby Barno.
In the third, Ohio State recruit Emily Clark homered off Watson, clearing the 200-foot sign in center field with one out. With two outs and runners on second and third, Beth Crofut hit a low line drive to left that eluded a diving Lauren Woodford, scoring two runs to give the fourth-seeded Wildcats a 3-2 lead.
"Lauren will catch that nine out of 10 times," coach Rick Wemlinger said. "That was the big play of the game."
The Lions managed just four hits against Mason Jamison, who walked four and struck out one.
While Bexley didn't advance a runner past second base after the first, North Union's Logan Marino hit a two-run homer in the sixth and Clark led off the seventh with her second homer. Watson gave up six runs on six hits, walked six and struck out three.
"The kids got to 20 wins and that was our big goal," said Wemlinger, who coached his final game after announcing his resignation before the season. "I'm so proud of what they did."
Doubles teams compete at district tennis
The doubles teams of Max Knox-Kelly and Shia Saar and Ethan Goodstein and Logan Wilhelm competed in the Division II district boys tennis tournament May 23 and 24 at Columbus Academy.
The top four doubles teams at district advanced to the state tournament Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31, at Ohio State.
Boys lacrosse team loses play-in game
The boys lacrosse team saw its season end with a 17-5 loss at Granville in a Division II Central/Northwest Region tournament play-in game May 21.
The Lions, who also fell to the Blue Aces 16-8 on April 16, finished 3-12.