Max Frye of the New Albany High School boys track and field team might never look at his birthday the same way again.
At the very least, it might be tough for the Eagles senior to top how he spent his 18th birthday.
Frye ended his prep career with two Division I state championships June 3 at Ohio State, winning the 110-meter hurdles in 13.94 seconds and the 300 hurdles in 37.37.
"I am super excited. It's all I've been working for the entire season so it was great to get the job done," said Frye, a Dartmouth College recruit. "In the 110s, I knew I had to come out as fast as I can so I really needed to focus on having a good start and being able to go quickly over the hurdles, which I ended up doing pretty well.
"In those 300s, you have to run every single meter like it's your last meter, so it's a tough race and I really focused on getting my strong lead leg over the hurdle, which I ended up doing and it worked out well for that, too."
Both times are school records.
Frye also qualified in the high jump but withdrew to focus on the hurdles.
He accounted for all of New Albany's 20 points, which tied the Eagles with Cleveland St. Ignatius for ninth place behind champion Thomas Worthington (36) as 80 teams scored.
"I'm not the fastest guy, but I'm better at the hurdles technique so that helps me in longer races," Frye said. "I did a lot of repetition this year."
Junior Michael Fenster provided the Eagles three more championships, as he won the seated 100 (18.63), 400 (1:06.51) and 800 (2:15.02). Seated races do not count toward teams' point totals.
Fenster, who also won the seated 800 as a sophomore, and Frye combined to increase the program's total of state titles to eight.
"Given the circumstances with the heat, I am pretty happy with my times," Fenster said. "I liked my 800 time, but I don't get that very often. It's just awesome. I have been training hard the last three years. My goal was to try and get all three (championships) and it's great to see that come true."
Junior Kenny McDonald was 14th in the long jump (21 feet, 6 3/4 inches) in his first state meet.
"I'm already hungry for next year. I want to go practice right now. I won't let this knock me down," McDonald said. "My steps felt too long so I fouled twice. I just wasn't comfortable. I didn't change anything on my (21-6 3/4). I just didn't foul."
Frye swept the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and high jump championships in the OCC-Capital Division meet that concluded May 13 at Dublin Coffman, leading the Eagles to 82 points and fourth place behind Canal Winchester (152), Newark (116) and Big Walnut (96) and ahead of Groveport (47) and Franklin Heights (30).
Frye set a school record in the 300 hurdles (37.82) when he won the district 1 championship May 20 at Hilliard Darby. McDonald also set a school record of 22-6 in the long jump the same day, as New Albany scored 82 points to finished fifth of 15 teams behind champion Olentangy Orange (124). The girls' season ended with a 15th-place finish (4) out of 16 teams behind champion Coffman (94).
In the regional meet that concluded May 26 at Pickerington North, Frye won the 110 hurdles (14.13) and 300 hurdles (38.2) and was second in the high jump (6-3) as New Albany finished seventh (34) behind champion Thomas (73) as 37 teams scored. McDonald was third in the long jump (21-2 1/2).
Other contributors eligible to return include junior Gabe Glenn (middle distance, sprints) and sophomore Michiah Burton (sprints) of the boys team, and juniors Jalyn Austin (sprints), Simmi Diwanji (distance), Loren Klein (distance) and Alyssa Painter (distance) of the girls team.
Girls lacrosse team
loses in state semi
The girls lacrosse team's season ended in disappointing fashion May 31 as it lost to Massillon Jackson 9-2 in a Division I state semifinal at Wooster, but coach Dave Ferguson focused on the big picture.
"The thing is, we're very, very young. We have eight to nine sophomores that play and start and that's part of what happens," Ferguson said. "We're very proud of this team. We've got a great nucleus of talent, they're very committed to working and I guarantee we'll be battling back next year.
"If you would have thought that most people looking at our youth, a lot of people wouldn't have thought we'd have gotten as deep (in the postseason) as we did. I think people know we're a good, competitive team. I think the team is committed. The defense was really special and that's only going to get better."
Senior attacker Molly Berend and sophomore midfielder Zoe Kellerman scored for New Albany, which finished 18-4 overall. The Eagles never led, as Jackson took a 4-0 lead in the first half.
New Albany went 7-0 in the OCC-Buckeye to win the league title ahead of Olentangy Liberty (6-1), Olentangy (5-2), Orange (4-3), Westerville Central (3-4), Westerville North (2-5), Big Walnut (1-6) and Westerville South (0-7).
Seeded first in the 15-team Region 1 tournament, the Eagles defeated 11th-seeded Wadsworth 18-1 in a regional quarterfinal May 19 and seventh-seeded Perrysburg 16-4 in a semifinal May 23 before beating second-seeded Liberty 15-9 in the regional final May 27 at Olentangy.
Senior attacker Gracie Pine scored a team-high 58 goals and was first-team all-league, all-region and all-state, as was sophomore attacker Emily Rezabek (42 goals, 27 assists).
Berend had 47 goals and Kellerman added 29. Sophomore defender Erin Carson forced a team-best 26 turnovers.
Berend and Carson were first-team all-league and all-region, and Carson was second-team all-state.
Junior goalkeeper Catherine Ryan, sophomore defenders Valentina DiLorenzo and Addyson Koterba, Kellerman and sophomore midfielder Chloe Platte were second-team all-region, Platte was named second-team all-league and sophomore midfielder Alyssa Kneedler was honorable mention all-league.
Boys tennis team
caps landmark season
Most of the boys tennis team's players smiled and a few shed tears after the Eagles finished second in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I state tournament May 28 at Reynoldsburg.
New Albany lost 3-0 to Hunting Valley University School, marking its best finish in the OTCA one day after sophomore Robert Cash and the doubles team of senior Graeme Green and sophomore Nathan Jose finished fourth in the individual state tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
The Eagles, who finished 15-3 overall, defeated Toledo St. John's 3-1 in a state semifinal.
"It wasn't that we left anything on the court," coach Marc Thomas said. "We played our hearts out and played a really great team in the final. Sometimes you just have to learn from these experiences."
University School swept the doubles courts, as seniors Alex Cash and Chris Mathes lost to Danny Godes and Tyler Krantz 6-0, 6-3 and sophomore Ben Yan and freshman Alek Jacoby fell to Charlie Joranka and Chas Norman 6-3, 6-1. At third singles, Green lost to Drew Krantz 6-3, 6-0.
Robert Cash went 2-2 in the individual state tournament and had to default his third-place match against Hilliard Bradley's Mitchell Thai because of injury. Green and Jose also were 2-2 at state, falling to Drew Krantz and Tyler Krantz 6-4, 6-3 in the third-place match.
Green was a four-time state qualifier. Alex Cash, a Carnegie Mellon recruit, made state three times as a member of the girls team.
New Albany went 5-0 in the OCC-Capital to win its 12th consecutive league championship, finishing ahead of Big Walnut (4-1), Groveport (3-2), Newark (2-3), Canal Winchester (1-4) and Franklin Heights (0-5).
In a sectional that concluded May 13 at Reynoldsburg, Robert Cash won the singles championship, Jacoby was third and Mathes was fourth to advance to district. Green and Jose defeated Cash and Yan in the doubles final.
At district, which concluded May 20 at Upper Arlington, Cash won the singles title and Green and Jose were second in doubles.
"These seniors have brought this program to the level it's at now," Thomas said. "Hopefully next year, we're going to come back strong. We have a lot of great players coming back and we're going to be in a great position next year as well."