Deven Ward came up just short of qualifying for the Division I boys state track and field meet, which was held June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
The Delaware Hayes High School senior finished the 100 meters in 10.93 seconds to place fifth in the regional meet held May 24 and 26 at Pickerington North, as the top four finishers in each event advanced to state and the top eight scored. Ward also reached the finals in the 200, but was disqualified for a lane violation after finishing fifth.
"It was a tough day for Deven, but he handled it admirably," coach Sean Patrick said. "We've gone back and watched the film (of the 200) and I didn't see it, but I wasn't in a great position to see that area of the track where it happened. They didn't even raise the yellow flag and they called me to the finish line and told me. It took some points away from us, but he still finished fifth.
"It was one of those things where he was so close (to state), and yet so far away. We had a rough go at it, because we competed in three events and were disqualified in two. Our (400 relay) was disqualified after a bad exchange."
The 400 relay consisted of juniors Phillipe Mutwali, Connor Derstine and Blain McCormick as well as Ward, who was the anchor.
Ward's finish in the 100 provided four points for the Pacers, who finished 28th behind champion Thomas Worthington (73) as 37 teams scored.
In the district 3 meet that concluded May 20 at Hilliard Darby, Ward won the 200 (22.11) and was second in the 100 (11.25) and the 400 relay was third (43.07), as the top four in each event qualified for regional.
The Pacers finished sixth (35) of 14 teams, behind champion Pickerington Central (154.5).
Also scoring at district were senior Justin Hernan in the 1,600 (fifth, 4:27.29) and 3,200 (eighth, 10:21.18), senior Wayne Brookover in the shot put (seventh, 46-3), the 800 relay of Mutwali, senior Aaron Adair, McCormick and freshman Laquans Banks (seventh, 1:34.78), Banks in the long jump (eighth, 19 feet, 9 3/4 inches) and the 1,600 relay of Adair, freshman Aaron Koehler, junior Jason Mathus and sophomore Raul Olvera (eighth, 3:46.54).
In the OCC-Cardinal Division meet May 11 and 13 at Dublin Coffman, the Pacers finished fifth (51) behind Thomas Worthington (192), Darby (155), Hilliard Bradley (85) and Dublin Jerome (75.5) and ahead of Dublin Scioto (44.5) and Worthington Kilbourne (22).
Ward set the team record in the 200 (21.83) and tied the team record in the 100 (49.9). The 400 relay also set the team record (43.07).
"We're going to sorely miss Deven, as well as Justin Hernan, Derrick O'Conner, Wayne Brookover and all of our seniors," Patrick said. "We had some very good leaders. But I think we're close and we've got some hungry guys coming back, like three of them on the (400 relay), for sure.
"I think that we'll also have some kids who are already in the (hallways) that will come out for the team next year. There's interest there and it would be a pleasure to see that happen."
Among others expected to return are juniors Ashtyn Rollins and Todd Toney, sophomore Brian Schutte and freshman Brian Frisch.
Season ends for
girls track team
Senior Ashley Smiley scored the lone point for the girls track and field team in the Division I regional meet by placing eighth in the long jump (16-10 1/4).
Freshman Sydney McMillin was 10th in the 200 (25.94) and freshman Ari Avant was 11th in the 300 hurdles (47.33). Smiley, junior Torie Young, McMillin and senior Brooke Glesenkamp combined to place 11th in both the 800 relay (1:45.54) and 400 relay (50.16).
Placing 12th were Glesenkamp in the high jump (4-10) and junior Madeline Hayes in the pole vault (10-4). Junior Chase Patton was 13th in the pole vault (10-4).
"The girls did well, just not well enough to move on," coach Andy Graham said. "Our times weren't our best, but they were pretty good. We had far more regional qualifiers than we've had in some time now, so Delaware is getting better."
The Pacers tied for 34th at regional behind champion Gahanna (97) as 35 teams scored.
In the district 3 meet, Hayes and Patton tied for third in the pole vault (9-6). Also placing third were Avant in the 300 hurdles (program-record 46.08), McMillin in the 200 (program-record 25.7), the 400 relay (49.66) and the 800 relay (1:44.51).
Taking fourth were Smiley in the long jump (16-9 1/4) and Glesenkamp in the high jump (5-0), as Delaware scored 51 points to finish fifth of 16 teams, behind champion Pickerington Central (161).
In the league meet, the Pacers placed fourth (72) behind Darby (189), Thomas (143) and Scioto (91) and ahead of Bradley (51), Kilbourne (44) and Jerome (41). Winning titles were Hayes in the pole vault (10-6), McMillin in the 200 (25.74) and the 800 relay (1:44.4).
Hayes set the program record in the pole vault during the regular season by clearing 11-0.
"It will be tough to replace the leadership of Ashley Smiley and Brooke Glesenkamp, as well as our distance runners, Alicia Rittenour and Kristin Puthoff, who were injured for much of the season," Graham said. "But I'm really excited about what we have coming back and the direction and depth of the team.
"We have seven freshmen who lettered coming back with some top-notch upperclassmen. I think we can continue to score in almost every event."
Others expected to return are juniors Leah Davis, Anna Wells and Ashley Woller, sophomores Emily Gray, Maisy Johnson, McKenzie Knodell and Judy Rodgers and freshmen Savanna Deibert, Chloe Diehl, Adrianah Melvin, Katie Smith and Mary Beth Zimmerman.
Boys lacrosse team
losing 11 seniors
The boys lacrosse team finished 12-8 overall after losing to top-seeded Olentangy Liberty 14-6 in a Division I, Region 1 semifinal May 24.
The fifth-seeded Pacers defeated 10th-seeded Toledo St. John's 16-2 on May 17 and fourth-seeded Medina 9-3 in a regional quarterfinal May 19 to reach the semifinal.
Delaware went 5-1 in the OCC-Cardinal to place second, behind Jerome (6-0) and ahead of Kilbourne (4-2), Thomas (3-3), Scioto (2-4), Bradley (1-5) and Darby (0-6).
The Pacers are losing 11 seniors, including Ethan Miller (midfielder), Remy Curtin (long-stick midfielder) and Drew Wagner (defender), all of whom were named second-team all-league.
Other key seniors are Noah Alexander (defender), Corey David (midfielder), Ethan David (midfielder) and Tyler Groth (goalkeeper).
Sophomore Andrew Lyon (attacker) was honorable mention all-league.
Among other expected returnees are juniors Casey Eiland (attacker), Levi Jones (midfielder), Keltin Melvin (defender), Dalton Powers (defender) and Alex Schumacher (midfielder) and sophomores Sam Lagando (attacker) and Connor Prenger (midfielder).