Abe Myers of the Big Walnut High School boys track and field team often saved his best for last when competing in the discus this season. That ability helped the junior reach the Division I state meet for the third consecutive year.
"I was behind a couple of times this season, and I could usually get (a throw) out there by the end and find a way (to win)," Myers said.
In his final competition of the season, his best came first.
Myers' throw of 168 feet, 7 inches on his first attempt gave him a fifth-place finish in the state meet June 3 at Ohio State behind the champion, Canton GlenOak's Andrew White (182-2).
Myers' second-best throw (162-1) came on his third of six attempts. Had he matched his personal best of 178-7, he would have placed second.
"I didn't have my best day, obviously, but I thought I'd have one throw in me to push it out there," said Myers, who placed eighth at state last year and in 2015. "It was a hot day, and I just ended up running out of energy."
Myers, who won regional, district and league titles in the discus this season, scored five points at state for the Golden Eagles, who tied eight teams for 43rd behind champion Thomas Worthington (36) as 80 teams scored.
Junior Brandon Mosher, a first-time state qualifier who hadn't lost in the shot put this season prior to the state meet, placed eighth (56-6) in the event behind champion Nick Lane of Bowling Green (59-6).
Sophomore Kaley Rammelsberg was the only state qualifier for the girls team. The team's top scorer for the second consecutive season, she finished 12th in the high jump (5-2) in her first state appearance, behind champion Emilia Lesniak of Strongsville (5-8).
Strong performances in the field events helped the boys team finish 12th (20) at regional May 24 and 26 at Pickerington North behind champion Thomas (73) as 37 teams scored and eighth (39) in the 15-team district 4 meet that concluded May 20 at Westerville South behind champion Thomas (136).
At regional, Myers won the discus in 163-3 and Mosher won the shot put in a personal-best 57-3 1/2 and finished 15th in the discus (118-3).
The girls team tied Worthington Kilbourne for 19th (10) at regional behind champion Gahanna (97) as 35 teams scored and finished eighth (37) in the 17-team district 1 meet that concluded May 20 at Hilliard Darby behind champion Dublin Coffman (94).
At regional, Rammelsberg placed third in the high jump (5-4), senior Anna Vrancken placed fifth in the discus (118-4) and the 3,200-meter relay of juniors Kaitlin Meade and Emma Padgett, sophomore Adelee Gartner and freshman Colbi Borland finished 13th (10 minutes, 3.49 seconds).
In the OCC-Capital Division meet May 10 and 13 at Coffman, the girls team won its first league championship since 2004, scoring 158 points to finish ahead of Canal Winchester (117), Groveport (94), Newark (59), New Albany (54) and Franklin Heights (41).
It was their fifth league title in 23 seasons under coach Joe Evener.
The boys team took third (96) in the league meet, behind Canal Winchester (152) and Newark (116) and ahead of New Albany (82), Groveport (47) and Franklin Heights (30).
In addition to Myers and Mosher, other expected returnees for the boys team include juniors Brandt Ebright (throws) and Tim Rumas (sprints) and sophomores Dante Chhuom (sprints), Caleb Ramey (long jump) and Mitchell Truax (pole vault).
Rammelsberg, Meade, Padgett, Gartner and Borland lead the expected returnees for the girls team.
At district, Meade set the school record in the 800 (2:20.19) and Borland set the school record in the 3,200 (11:50.2).
"Kaitlin is a fierce competitor, and one of the most incredible athletes I have coached," Evener said. "Emma is in her first year, and she has brought so much raw talent to the team. Colbi has quite a career ahead of her. As a freshman, she is well on her way to being one of the most successful runners we have seen."
for baseball team
Not only did the baseball team have to adjust to life without six 2016 graduates who were part of the winningest four-year span in program history this season, but it also welcomed a new coach in Jack Schone.
That didn't stop the Golden Eagles from continuing their recent success.
For the third consecutive season, Big Walnut won a district championship, upsetting top-seeded Grove City 6-1 in a Division I district final May 18 at Upper Arlington as the eighth seed before losing to Gahanna 11-0 in six innings in a regional semifinal May 26 at Coffman.
The Golden Eagles, who finished 23-6 overall, opened the postseason with a 7-1 win over 39th-seeded Newark in a second-round game May 10 and beat 23rd-seeded Westerville North 10-2 in a district semifinal May 16.
In the OCC-Capital, Big Walnut went 11-4 to tie New Albany for second behind Canal Winchester (13-2) and ahead of Groveport (6-9), Newark (3-12) and Franklin Heights (1-14).
The 2016 graduates went 75-44 and won a regional championship and two district titles. The Golden Eagles lost to Gahanna 10-5 in a regional semifinal last season after reaching a Division II state semifinal in 2015.
"The kids stuck with each other all year, competed hard and made one another a better person and a better player," Schone said. "Our seniors will be deeply missed. Great human beings, students and teammates. As a staff, we could not have had a more solid roster of kids."
Big Walnut is losing seven seniors in Nick Dimitroff (INF/OF), Will Holland (INF), Nicholas Humphreys (INF/OF), Parker Imertreijs (C/P) Owen Ramsey (INF/OF), Kobe Swackhammer (OF) and Henry von Hollen (P).
Von Hollen, a Wright State commit, was named first-team all-league and second-team all-district, and Imertreijs was second-team all-league and second-team all-district.
Leading the expected returnees is sophomore pitcher Austin Becker, a Vanderbilt commit who was named first-team all-district.
Others expected to return include juniors Jack Foster (INF/DH), Connor Gerren (CF, second-team all-league), Colton Lee (3B/P, honorable mention all-league), Zach Rines (OF), Jackson Seiple (OF) and Noah Sprowls (2B, special mention all-league).