The numbers increased for the Worthington Kilbourne High School girls track and field team this season, making coach Chip Seely optimistic about the future.
"Our numbers were up nearly 50 percent from last year, which always helps when you get injuries," said Seely, who completed his sixth season leading the program. "Things are looking up."
The Wolves were represented in the Division I state meet June 7 and 8 at Ohio State by senior Taylor Hill, a University of Cincinnati signee who finished 10th in the 400 meters in 57.78 seconds. She had placed seventh (57.24) last season.
Kilbourne did not score at state, as Solon won the team title with 47 points and 74 teams scored.
Hill qualified for state by placing second in the 400 (57.47) in the regional meet May 29 and 31 at Pickerington North.
Also competing at regional were senior Paige Martinski and sophomore Allison Guist in the pole vault. Martinski cleared 10 feet, 4 inches to finish seventh, but Guist failed to clear the opening height.
The top four finishers in each regional event advanced to state.
The Wolves finished 22nd (10) at regional behind co-champions Gahanna (55) and Pickerington Central (55) as 39 teams scored and scored 33 points in the 17-team district 1 meet that concluded May 25 at Hilliard Darby to tie Olentangy Orange for 10th (33) behind champion Hilliard Davidson (90).
Hill won the district title in the 400 (58.27).
In the OCC-Cardinal Division meet May 16 and 18 at Hilliard Bradley, Kilbourne scored 53 points to tie Dublin Jerome for seventh, behind Westerville South (123), Westerville North (121), Dublin Scioto (88.5), Westerville Central (87), Bradley (78) and Darby (59.5).
The Wolves lose six seniors, including Hill, Martinski and Allison Hooley (sprints/hurdles).
"Taylor Hill and Allison Hooley had great careers for us and Paige Martinski really came a long way in the pole vault," Seely said.
Among those expected to return are Guist, juniors Maggie Barrie, Lily Fang, Kaitlyn Napoli, Meagan Thompson and Leanne Wegley, sophomores Tessa Bolon and Kayla Rice and freshman Breanne Huffman.
"We have good kids coming back and some good eighth-graders coming up," Seely said. "We are encouraged by that."
Bridges expected to return for boys team
The boys team did not have any Division I state qualifiers this season and its only regional qualifier was Chandler Bridges in the long jump.
The junior finished ninth (20-11 1/2) at regional after finishing first (21-9 1/2) in the 15-team district 1 meet.
Kilbourne did not score at regional, as Pickerington North (99) won the team title and 39 teams scored, and finished 11th (23) at district behind the champion Panthers (159.5).
"Chandler scored as many points this season as next our three guys (combined)," said coach Todd Deisher, who completed his 10th season leading the program. "He did a good job of setting the tone for the team."
Kilbourne finished eighth (37) in the OCC-Cardinal meet, behind Westerville Central (138), Westerville North (118.5), Westerville South (101.5), Darby (87), Jerome (75), Bradley (56) and Scioto (45).
The Wolves lose nine seniors.
"The seniors would come out and take care of business," Deisher said. "I hope the underclassmen took note and will use that to be successful in the coming years."
Among those expected back are Bridges, juniors Alex Meehan and Keaton Reinhart, sophomores Tanner Atha and Bobby Austria and freshmen Ryan Baxter and Tanner Taylor.
"Having Chandler back and Alex Meehan back in throws will be good," Deisher said. "Alex was battling a shoulder injury from wrestling, and hopefully he can be healthy next year.
"There will be some opportunities for our younger kids to step up and show what they can do. I'm excited to see who will be able to do that."