Alec Frymier took his first steps on the big stage for the Hilliard Bradley High School boys track and field team, and it's something he will remember during offseason training.
The junior was the lone participant for the Jaguars in the Division I state meet June 2 and 3 at Ohio State, and reached the podium by finishing seventh in the 110-meter hurdles in a program-record 14.28 seconds.
Frymier is the second athlete in program history to reach the state podium by finishing in the top eight. He joins Sam Darling, who placed seventh in the 100 in 2011.
"It was my best race of the year and my last race of the year," Frymier said. "At the end of every season, I look back to my best race of the year and try to break it down to see what I did well and what I could have done better. That gives me something to work toward for next season."
Frymier entered the final with the eighth-best time after running 14.38 in a preliminary race.
"Alec was ready," said coach Ben Gadfield, who completed his fifth season. "He does a good job of visualizing and is always analyzing what he can do better. I don't have to worry about Alec. He's always prepared."
Frymier scored two points at state as the Jaguars tied nine teams for 67th behind champion Thomas Worthington (36) as 80 teams scored.
He finished fourth in the 110 hurdles (14.46) in the regional meet May 24 and 26 at Pickerington North, as the top four finishers advanced to state.
Frymier also was a member of the sixth-place 800 relay (program-record 1:28.48) with senior Tyler Lewright and juniors Said Saleh and Kory Taylor and the ninth-place 400 relay (43.53) with Saleh, Taylor and junior Daevon Anderson.
Also at regional, Anderson placed sixth in the 100 hurdles (personal-record 14.78) and competed in the long jump but fouled on all three attempts, the 1,600 relay of Saleh, senior Ethan Pearson, senior Cullen Bober and Lewright finished 11th (3:28.98), Lewright was 12th in the 400 (51.14), the 3,200 relay of Pearson, junior Rob McCabe, Bober and senior Franklin Fiqueroa was 13th (8:16.95) and Pearson was 14th in the 800 (2:01.51).
The Jaguars tied Worthington Kilbourne for 17th (11) at regional behind champion Thomas (73) as 37 teams scored.
Bradley finished third (85) in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet May 11 and 13 at Dublin Coffman, behind Thomas (192) and Darby (155) and ahead of Dublin Jerome (75.5), Delaware (51), Dublin Scioto (44.5) and Kilbourne (22).
"All of our sprinters are pretty much back, except for Tyler Lewright, who had a big postseason for us," Gadfield said. "We need to develop some distance kids, but we have kids who are willing to work and that starts this summer."
The girls team, which was led by eighth-year coach Thom Nees, did not have any state or regional qualifiers.
The Jaguars' season ended in the 17-team district 2 meet that concluded May 20 at Darby, where they finished 10th (20.5) behind champion Gahanna (158.5).
Placing fifth to fall one spot shy of qualifying for regional were senior Haley Johnson in the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches), senior Shelby Schroeder in the discus (110-7) and junior Regan Corea in the 1,600 (5:21.01).
Bradley finished fifth (51) in the league meet, behind Darby (189), Thomas (143), Scioto (91) and Delaware (72) and ahead of Kilbourne (44) and Jerome (41).
Softball team had
Softball coach Kevin Moody watched as his team continued to grow and work together to win the program's first district championship.
The Jaguars finished 24-5 overall and won the OCC-Cardinal title by going 12-0 to finish ahead of Scioto (8-4), Darby and Delaware (both 7-5), Jerome (6-6), Kilbourne (2-10) and Thomas (0-12).
Bradley lost to Gahanna 6-2 in a Division I regional final May 27 at Ohio State after defeating Mount Vernon 10-9 in a regional semifinal May 24 at OSU.
Seeded eighth in the 45-team district tournament, the Jaguars had a first-round bye and beat 21st-seeded Upper Arlington 8-1 in the second round May 10 and 11th-seeded Watkins Memorial 2-0 in a district semifinal May 15 behind a perfect game by junior pitcher Lexie Hilling before edging top-seeded Pickerington Central 7-6 in a district final May 20.
"It's the best that we ever had kids come together, and the thing about it is that they all contributed," Moody said. "We had a lot of kids step up for us.
"(On April 28 at Keystone LaGrange,) we lost our shortstop (junior) Lauren Renner, who was also our best hitter at the time. We moved (sophomore) Jaiden Bryant in from center (field) and the girls moved seamlessly into it despite being so late in the season."
Renner (first-team all-district and all-league) batted .471 with 19 RBI, 32 runs scored, 10 doubles and six stolen bases in 20 games.
The Jaguars, who had a .360 team batting average, is losing three seniors in outfielder Aimee Duckworth (second-team all-league), first baseman/designated player Jen Nashalsky and catcher Jordan Pallay (second-team all-league).
Duckworth, who has committed to play at Ohio Wesleyan, batted .396 with three home runs, 16 RBI, 22 runs, and 10 doubles. Pallay, a Marietta commit, hit .398 with four homers, 23 RBI and 11 runs, and Nashalsky, a Defiance commit, batted .387 with one home run, 29 RBI, 13 runs and 11 doubles.
"All three of our seniors were fantastic kids and were great leaders for us," Moody said.
Leading the expected returnees is Hilling (second-team all-state, first-team all-district, league Player of the Year), a right-hander was 21-5 in the circle with a 2.11 ERA, 152 strikeouts and 40 walks in 166 innings and batted .398 with five home runs, 37 RBI and 20 runs.
Bryant led the team in home runs (11), RBI (39), runs (41), triples (5) and stolen bases (15) and batted .388.
Junior first baseman Heather Holly (special mention all-league) hit .429 with 19 RBI, 34 runs and 11 doubles. Junior outfielder Hannah Lewis was honorable mention all-league.
Other starters were junior Savannah McCoppin (3B) and sophomore Annika Murray (OF).
"The kids are already talking about what they need to do for next year," Moody said. "They're not slowing down. They're playing every weekend and challenging each other to get better."
Three spring sports
to have new coaches
Bradley is looking for coaches to lead three spring programs.
Athletics director Eric Ryan said baseball coach Matt Gilkerson will not return next season and confirmed coaching changes for the boys and girls lacrosse teams.
"We just wanted to head in a different direction and we really appreciate all that Matt has done for our baseball program," Ryan said.
Gilkerson was the only coach the baseball team has had in its eight seasons. This season, the Jaguars finished 16-13 overall and 7-5 in the OCC-Cardinal and reached their first Division I district semifinal.
The girls lacrosse team was led by another of the school's original coaches in Becky Mottlow, who led the program for eight seasons. This spring, the Jaguars finished 4-15 overall and 2-4 in the OCC-Cardinal.
"Coach Mottlow decided it was time to take a break," Ryan said.
Under first-year coach Hank Lewandowski, the boys lacrosse team went 3-15 overall and 1-5 in the OCC-Cardinal to place sixth behind Jerome (6-0), Delaware (5-1), Kilbourne (4-2), Thomas (3-3) and Scioto (2-4) and ahead of Darby (0-6).
The 13th-seeded Jaguars lost to fourth-seeded Davidson 16-8 in its Division I, Region 3 tournament opener May 17.
Of the 35 players in the boys lacrosse program, 26 were freshmen and sophomores.
Bradley had four seniors in defender Cade Morrow (honorable mention all-league), midfielders Adrian Mijangos and Matt Mummert and goalkeeper Jack Rogers.
Expected returnees include junior Ben Ziccardi (attacker) and sophomores Cannon Blauser (defender) and Jack Richards (midfielder).