Kyle Brookshire of the Olentangy High School boys track and field team was so focused on finishing second in the pole vault in the Division I state meet June 3 at Ohio State that he barely could recount how it happened.
Brookshire thought he cleared 15 feet, 4 inches on his third attempt, but vaulting coach Jay Mathy let him know it was on his second.
Either way, the senior set a personal-best height at state for the second consecutive year, and he went out as close to on top as he could. Brookshire finished second to North Canton Hoover's Matt Peare, who cleared once at 15-8 and missed all three of his attempts at 16-1.
Brookshire missed on his three chances at 15-8.
"I was worried about getting down the runway because my (right) hip was starting to hurt," Brookshire said. "My hip has been hurting me on and off for a year. It makes me feel slower on the runway. (Mathy) said it really doesn't bother my run at all. He says it looks the same, so it's more of a mental thing."
Brookshire, who was eighth at state last year (14-6), does not plan to vault competitively in college. He will attend Miami University.
"We came to this meet to be in the top five," Mathy said. "That is what we wanted. I am not surprised at all how this turned out."
That was only the beginning. Girls vaulters Siobhan Szerencsits and Madeline Barnes both recorded heights of 12-8 and finished fourth and sixth, respectively.
Szerencsits, a junior, cleared 12-8 on her first attempt. Barnes, a senior, did so on her third.
"I felt pretty good about it," said Szerencsits, who will be competing in the New Balance Nationals Outdoor meet later this month in Greensboro, North Carolina. "I wanted to get 13 feet, but I'm happy I was able to get 12-8 because in the last couple meets, I haven't."
Barnes and Szerencsits had friends on the podium, as Orange's Anna Watson finished second (13-1) and Liberty's Sam Silber was eighth (12-0).
Also for the boys team, the 1,600-meter relay of seniors Zach Balthaser and Anthony Sasso and juniors Jeremy Kendle and Joel Michael was seventh (3 minutes, 21.42 seconds) and Sasso, a High Point recruit, was ninth in the 800 (1:54.47).
The boys scored 10 points and tied for 19th behind champion Thomas Worthington (36) as 80 teams scored. The girls scored eight points to tie for 30th behind champion Cincinnati Withrow (58) as 62 teams scored.
In the OCC-Buckeye Division meet that concluded May 13 at Orange, the boys finished third (84) behind the host Pioneers (187) and Westerville South (117) and ahead of Liberty (69), Westerville Central (42) and Westerville North (20). The girls tied North for fifth (40) behind Orange (155.66), Central (132.33), Liberty (96) and South (59).
Brookshire won the pole vault (14-4) in the district 2 meet that concluded May 20 at Hilliard Darby, and Olentangy finished third (63) of 15 teams behind champion Gahanna (151). The girls were seventh (34) of 16 teams behind Gahanna (158.5).
Brookshire also won the regional title (14-2) to lead Olentangy to 24 points and ninth place behind champion Thomas (73) as 37 teams scored in a meet that concluded May 26 at Pickerington North. The girls were 16th (16) behind champion Gahanna (97) as 35 teams scored.
Other expected returnees for the boys include junior Cullen Sainey (distance) and sophomore DeAnte Ables (sprints). The girls team expects to bring back junior Holly Nation (high jump, sprints), sophomore Lex Brookshire (distance) and freshman Meghan Boggess (distance).
Boys lacrosse team
proud of tourney run
Boys lacrosse coach Zach Peterson took pride in his team's run to the Division I, Region 1 final, even though the Braves' season ended with a 13-6 loss to Liberty on May 27 at Thomas.
Second-seeded Olentangy, which finished 15-6 overall, outscored its first three postseason opponents 45-9 and had won nine of 10 games before the loss to the top-seeded Patriots. The Braves led in the first half but gave up the final seven goals of the game.
"There are a lot for the seniors to be proud of. What they did this year was extremely special," Peterson said. "Schematically, I am not sure I would change anything we did (in the second half against Liberty). It was just a matchup of two great teams. We grew throughout the year and I'm proud of what this team was able to achieve."
Olentangy went 5-2 in the OCC-Buckeye to tie New Albany and Orange for second behind Liberty (7-0) and ahead of Central (3-4), North (2-5), Big Walnut (1-6) and South (0-7).
The Braves began the postseason with three home wins, 16-2 over 13th-seeded Wads-worth in the first round May 17, 15-4 over seventh-seeded Whitehouse Anthony Wayne in a quarterfinal May 20 and 14-3 over third-seeded Orange in a semifinal May 24. That avenged a 9-7 loss to the Pioneers on April 13.
Seniors Carter Conrad (defender) and Patrick Grubb (attacker) and junior goalkeeper Charlie Harkin were first-team all-league. Seniors Cam Kennedy (midfielder) and Evan Standerwick (faceoff specialist) and junior attacker Kyle Milliron were second-team all-league, and junior midfielder Blake Profio was honorable mention all-league.
Carter, Grubb, Harkin, Kennedy and Standerwick were first-team all-region. Milliron, senior defender Shane Profio and junior defender Sam Monastra were second-team all-region, and junior attacker Riley Bruening and Blake Profio were honorable mention all-region.
Conrad and Grubb were named second-team all-state. Harkin and Kennedy were on the third team and Standerwick was honorable mention.