The decision to take on a busier load this school year has paid off for Reynoldsburg High School junior Ashton Dulin.
After becoming a key player for the football team last fall and making the boys basketball team in the winter, Dulin came out for the boys track and field team for the first time this spring.
Considering the success he's been having in the 300-meter hurdles, the Raiders have benefited as well.
Although this is Dulin's first year competing in track at the prep level, he previously competed in the 400 hurdles for the New World Track Club at the AAU level when he was younger.
He already has shown that he could be a contender to make the Division I state meet in the 300 hurdles.
"During summer track it's the 400 hurdles, so this is actually a step down from that," Dulin said. "The 400 hurdles is a much harder race. The 300 hurdles is more of a hard sprint, but in the end it takes its toll."
After winning the 300 hurdles in 40.57 seconds on April 5 in the Wildcat Premier at Hilliard Davidson, Dulin ran 39.76 to take first April 12 in the Stingel Invitational at Pickerington North.
He settled for a runner-up finish in 40.0 on April 19 in the Dublin Coffman Classic behind Davidson's Damarcus Nelson (39.97), who Dulin edged by .03 in the Wildcat Premier.
The Raiders finished seventh (39) in the 12-team Gahanna Relays on April 23 behind champion Pickerington Central (93). They then were eighth (25) in the 11-team Fulton Relays on April 25 behind champion and host Lancaster (104).
Dulin's time in the Stingel would have been good for fifth in the Division I regional meet a year ago. The top four advanced to state.
"I think he's the real deal," coach Richard Ladowitz said. "He's run track before, but it's his first time running track on a high school team. Honestly, he's probably the best athlete I've seen in a long time at Reynoldsburg. He can do pretty much any event. He could do the decathlon, but the 300 hurdles is clearly his best event."
Dulin also has found some success in the 110 hurdles. He was runner-up in the event in 16.11 in the Stingel and took third in 15.39 in the Coffman Classic.
He also has competed in the 200 and on the 1,600 relay.
In the Gahanna Relays, Dulin joined senior Shandon Mitchell and freshmen Jalen Duncan and Travis Marx on the sprint relay that won in 1:38.0.
Also at Gahanna, Dulin competed in the long jump for the first time. He cleared 20 feet, 3 3/4 inches and teamed with Marx (20-0) to help the Raiders take second in the relay event.
"With me playing football and basketball already, some of my peers asked me if I was going to run this year," Dulin said. "They said I should come out for track because I had a good chance to make it to state. In the 300 hurdles I'm progressing and in the 110 hurdles I just got my (personal-best April 19). I've been practicing hard and am hoping to run 37 (seconds in the 300 hurdles). I have to shave about two to three seconds off my best time by making sure my starts are good."
In the Coffman Classic, Dulin joined Corey Beal, Mark Gooden and Spencer Kershaw on the 1,600 relay that placed 10th (3:36.69).
Beal, who won the shot put (53-2) at Coffman, has been another standout for a team that has several athletes contributing for the first time this spring.
"I feel like we're starting to learn each other as practice has gone on," Dulin said. "Everybody encourages each other and we have great teamwork."