Luis Bolanos-Cruz's standout season came to an end with a disappointing finish, but it likely is only the beginning for the sophomore thrower for the Central Crossing High School boys track and field team.
Bolanos-Cruz competed in the Division I state meet June 3 at Ohio State in the shot put. His 16th-place effort of 50 feet, 10 inches wasn't the performance he wanted, but it could not eclipse the strides he made this season or erase the satisfaction of competing on the state's biggest stage.
"I wanted to come in and get a feeling for what this is all about," he said. "Next year, I want to score (at state) and get on the podium (as one of the top eight finishers).
"I came into the season with three goals: To make it to state, to throw the shot 50 feet and to set the program record. I got all three, so I have to look to next season. Next year I want to get 60 feet in the shot and 160 in the discus."
Bolanos-Cruz set the program record of 52-2 in the shot put while finishing first in the OCC-Central Division meet May 11 and 13 at Dublin Coffman. He also won the discus in a personal-best 147-7 in the league meet.
Last season, his best efforts were 37-5 in the shot put and 125-0 in the discus, and he did not make it out of district. This season, he won the discus (140-7) and was second in the shot put (49-3 1/4) in the district 2 meet that concluded May 20 at Hilliard Darby.
Then at regional, which concluded May 26 at Pickerington North, Bolanos-Cruz was fourth in the shot put (51-11 1/2) and sixth in the discus (142-4). The top four finishers in each event advanced to state.
"Luis is very goal-oriented and is very coachable," throws coach Sarah Hall said. "There's no doubt he's going to improve. We'll keep having open pits and working to get better."
The Comets did not score at state. Thomas Worthington (36 points) won the title as 80 teams scored.
Bolanos-Cruz was the only regional and state qualifier for the boys team.
In the league meet, Central Crossing finished fifth (44) behind Coffman (160), Hilliard Davidson (133), Marysville (80) and Upper Arlington (69) and ahead of Westland (35).
Senior Nick Fulton tied for third in the pole vault (12-0), and junior brothers C.J. Patrick and Greg Patrick both placed in the 800 meters. C.J. was fourth (2 minutes, 2.14 seconds) and Greg was sixth (2:03.42).
The 3,200 relay of the Patricks, junior Dylan Price and sophomore Michael Fry was fourth (8:34.69), and sophomore Selorm Adehe placed fourth in the 110 hurdles (16.63). Junior Amare Edwards was fifth in the 100 (11.34).
The girls team's season ended at regional when senior Julia Swallows finished sixth in the pole vault (11-4). She was fifth (11-4) at regional last season after qualifying for state as a sophomore by winning regional (11-3).
Swallows, who will compete at Otterbein, was the lone competitor at regional for the girls, who finished fifth (28) in the league meet behind Davidson (156), Coffman (146.5), Marysville (100.5) and UA (80) and ahead of Westland (10).
Senior Abiola Oseni was second in the 100 (12.75) and third in the 200 (26.58), and Swallows was runner-up in the pole vault (11-0) and fourth in the long jump (15-2).
Freshman Kiya Conner was sixth in the shot put (30-10 1/4) and sophomore Abriana Mann placed sixth in the long jump (14-11 1/4).
"I believe we're better than we were at the end of last year," coach Reggie Cannon said. "We were a little young and we have a little fine-tuning that we need to fix. We'll be better next year and I think 2018 could be a turning point for us."
Shifley hired to lead
Meredith Shifley once again is a coach at Central Crossing after leading the Grandview girls volleyball program last season.
The 2009 graduate of Galion High School and 2013 graduate of Ohio Dominican teaches math at Central Crossing and was an assistant in volleyball and girls basketball before coaching the Bobcats for one season. Last fall, Grandview finished 13-10 overall and 7-5 in the MSL-Ohio.
Shifley replaces Jordyn Rees, who led Central Crossing for one season. The Comets finished 3-18 overall and 2-8 in the OCC-Central.