Even when Ashton Dulin was putting together one of the greatest performances in Reynoldsburg High School boys track and field history, his coach wondered if his best was yet to come.

Dulin won the 300-meter hurdles and became the first athlete in program history to place at state in four events in the 2015 Division I state meet, prompting Raiders coach Richard Ladowitz to call him "probably the greatest boy athlete to come through in the history of the track program."

"We always knew we were just scratching the surface with Ashton's abilities," Ladowitz said. "He only ran high school track for two years and never ran indoor track due to basketball. Now that he runs indoor and has gotten bigger and stronger, he's become a beast."

Dulin's athleticism and a matured work ethic have been factors in him becoming a standout collegiately.

Now preparing for his junior year at Malone University in Canton, Dulin has become the football team's No. 1 wide receiver in addition to being one of the nation's best track athletes in Division II.

In the NCAA Division II outdoor meet May 25 in Bradenton, Florida, Dulin broke the Malone program record in the 400 hurdles when he won his preliminary heat in 51.4 seconds.

He improved on that time two days later, finishing fourth in 51.33 to earn All-America honors.

Dulin, who helped Malone finish 13th overall, entered the NCAA meet with the 12th-best time in the 400 hurdles but never wavered in his belief that he could make the podium.

He was 13th in the 400 hurdles as a freshman.

"I definitely came into the season with the goal of being an All-American," Dulin said. "Being able to accomplish that this season, it felt really good."

After a freshman track season in which Dulin was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, he said he "turned it up a notch" from a workout standpoint.

Dulin is 6-foot-2 but now weighs more than 200 pounds after putting on 10 pounds of muscle since high school.

"As talented as he was, his work ethic in high school was really nothing to brag about," Ladowitz said.

"Now that he's older and the stakes are higher in college, his focus, training and practice routine have become more regimented and more the norm for him. He will continue to peak, and we expect a lot of national recognition by his senior year."

Dulin will have familiar company during the coming football and track seasons in his younger brother, Arrington Dulin, a 2017 Reynoldsburg graduate who also will play both sports for Malone.

The football team went 0-10 during Ashton Dulin's freshman season, as he finished with 19 catches for 329 yards and three touchdowns while playing in all 10 games at wide receiver and kick returner. He also had 106 yards rushing.

As a sophomore last fall under first-year coach Fred Thomas, the Pioneers improved to 1-8 as Dulin became the team's No. 1 receiver, finishing with 50 catches for 825 yards and four touchdowns. He also returned 18 kickoffs for 353 yards (19.6 average) and two punts for 25 yards.

Dulin's average of 136.3 all-purpose yards per game ranked as the fifth most in Malone history.

He had 12 receptions for 168 yards and a touchdown during a 40-30 loss to Kentucky Wesleyan, finishing just one catch from tying the program record.

As a senior for Reynoldsburg in 2014, Dulin had six interceptions and 41 tackles at defensive back and added 896 all-purpose yards with six touchdowns on offense.

"The new coaching staff (at Malone) is great," Dulin said. "My role increased and I became more of a leader. Football was always my sport, but I was more of a defensive guy in high school and now I'm strictly a receiver."

Dulin is a sports management major who is interested in becoming an athletics director, coach or possibly a general manager of a sports team.

"I'll be starting internships in the winter and I'll probably go back to Reynoldsburg and possibly shadow the athletic director there," he said. "I'll probably also shadow the (Malone) AD. I'm really enjoying it (at Malone). I feel really comfortable here."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek