Smiling in spite of her disappointment, junior Dorrian Jaffe of the Upper Arlington High School girls track and field team admitted her mindset wasn't ideal entering the 3,200 meters in the Division I state meet June 8 at Ohio State.
"I was a little intimidated when I was warming up and looked at the crowd," she said. "I was OK before that, but that's when I started to get a little nervous."
Jaffe placed 16th of 16 runners for the second time in as many state appearances. She finished in 11 minutes, 59.97 seconds in her latest appearance after completing the event in 11:46.55 as a freshman in 2011.
"This wasn't my best time at all," said Jaffe, who advanced to state by placing third in 11:16.76 in the regional meet May 31 at Pickerington North. "It was kind of sad compared to last week. I was nervous, but not scared.
"I had my sister telling me that I could do it. My mom and dad were trying to build my confidence, but I got nervous."
Cincinnati St. Ursula's Annie Heffernan won the 3,200 in a Division I state record 10:14.91 and her time, as well as that of runner-up Lauren Wood of Mason (10:21.03), eclipsed the previous Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium record of 10:25.95 set in 2008 by Worthington Kilbourne's Claire Durkin.
Jaffe was the lone state qualifier for UA, which did not have any state qualifiers last season. The Bears did not score as Solon (47) won the team title and 74 teams scored.
Jaffe finished 67th (19:11.17) in the Division I state cross country meet last fall at National Trail Raceway after finishing 39th (19:05.29) as a sophomore and said the two meets couldn't be more different in terms of preparation and rigidity.
"Compared to state cross country, state track is more structured as to where you run with the lanes and where you warm up and all of that," Jaffe said. "You start boxed up in both, but you're all over the place instead of on a track."
Girls lacrosse team revels in state title
The girls lacrosse team's seven seniors went out exactly as they had hoped -- with a state championship.
A 14-8 win over Cincinnati Sycamore in the Division I state final June 1 at Thomas Worthington gave UA its first state champions hip since 2008 and fifth overall. The Bears had been state runners-up each of the past four years.
UA erased an early two-goal deficit against Sycamore, pulled away after leading 7-5 at halftime and largely played conservatively for the final six minutes after Aviators coach Ed Clark pulled goalkeeper Abby Wise.
"It was a little scary at the end playing keepaway, but toward the end of the game we knew we had it won," said senior attacker Samantha Farwick, who scored five goals in the final. "It's never over until the last few minutes, you know?"
UA has advanced to seven consecutive state finals and is 63-14-1 overall and 21-1 in league play since the start of the 2010 season. This season, the Bears finished 16-2 overall and went 5-0 in the OCC-Buckeye Division, ahead of New Albany (4-1), Worthington Kilbourne (3-2), Thomas Worthington (2-3), Dublin Coffman (1-4) and Hilliard Darby (0-5).
UA held off two state finalists for the league title, defeating Kilbourne 15-14 on April 11 and overcoming a four-goal deficit with 12 minutes left to beat New Albany 18-17 on May 1. New Albany defeated Kilbourne 11-10 in the Division II state final June 1.
UA's only two losses came against Marietta (Ga.) Walton (17-13 on April 6 in the Dogwood Classic at Atlanta Westminster) and Medina (7-4 on April 27 in the Cleveland Heights Invitational).
Medina, which won three consecutive Division I state titles from 2010-12, lost to Sycamore 10-3 in a state semifinal May 31, a few hours after UA defeated first-time state participant Massillon Jackson 13-8 in the other semifinal.
The top seed in the South/Central Region tournament, the Bears outscored their first three postseason opponents by a combined score of 63-10. After having a first-round bye, UA beat Gahanna 23-3 in the second round May 15, Cincinnati St. Ursula 20-4 in a regional semifinal May 20 and Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame 23-3 in a regional final May 23.
UA also won state championships in 2002, 2004 and 2005 under coach Wendy Pinta, who coached the Bears from 1992-2007 and returned in 2012.
Senior midfielder Nicole Stines, who won eight face-offs in the second half against Sycamore after Pinta moved her to draw specialist, finished with 44 goals and a team-best 44 assists to lead the team with 88 points. Samantha Farwick had 54 goals and 25 assists and senior attacker Sydney Farwick had a team-high 56 goals and 19 assists.
Samantha and Sydney Farwick both were named first-team all-league, all-district, all-state and All-American. Stines, who has committed to the University of Findlay, also was first-team all-district and all-state.
Five of UA's seniors garnered postseason honors, including the Farwick twins and Stines. The other two were midfielder Macauley Mikes, who was honorable mention all-league, all-district and all-state, and attacker Abbey Stricharczuk (14 goals, 4 assists), who was second-team all-league.
Mikes has committed to play at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania and the Farwick twins have committed to Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
Underclassmen played a large role this season, too, including junior goalie Hannah Panos, a second-year varsity player who played every game this year and stopped 89 of 205 shots (43.4 percent).
"I knew this (a state championship) was something we needed and this was something our seniors really wanted. This was their last chance to get it," Panos said.
"There was a lot of pressure, but we put it away and came out with a win."
Junior midfielder Molly Plasket (31 goals, 10 assists) was second-team all-league, all-district and all-state and junior attacker Olivia Achatz (11 goals, 23 assists) was honorable mention all-league.
Junior attacker Armonde Moore had 21 goals and five assists.
"I wanted to go out a winner," Samantha Farwick said. "We realized there should be no regrets."