Molly Fagin tried to add a positive spin as she reflected on her prep career following her final race, but the disappointment showed.
The senior for the Bexley High School girls track and field team placed eighth in the 3,200 meters (11 minutes, 21.32 seconds) in the Division II state meet June 2 at Ohio State to reach the podium for the second consecutive season as one of the top eight finishers. She was fourth in 11:05.96 last year and 13th in 11:44.59 as a sophomore.
"I think I kind of panicked when I couldn't stay up with the top two runners," said Fagin, who will compete in track and cross country at Ohio State starting this fall. "I kind of fell back after the 800. It was weird being my last race and all. I wish it could have ended a little better."
Fagin earned the team's lone point, giving the Lions a tie for 68th behind champion Beachwood (38) as 75 teams scored.
"I know Molly would have liked to have gone faster, but two years in a row on the podium at the state meet is really hard to do," seventh-year coach Jamie Hayes said. "She has had a great career and has been great for the program, especially working with the younger kids."
Fagin also was on the 16th-place 3,200 relay (9:51.79) with sophomore Caroline Bunker and freshmen Karleigh Place and Maria Steinke.
"I had a 2:19 (on the opening leg of the 3,200 relay) so I was happy with that," Fagin said. "I was happy for the younger girls and I think it sets them up well for next year and the next couple of years."
Fagin won the 3,200 in 11:22.45 at regional, which concluded May 26 at Lexington. The 3,200 relay was third in 9:45.03 as the top four finishers in each event advanced to state.
Steinke just missed advancing in the 3,200, finishing fifth in 11:46.25, and senior Libby Brown was eighth in the 300 hurdles (49.51) as Bexley tied for 14th (21) behind champion Orrville (70) as 38 teams scored.
Sophomore Lucy Powers was ninth in the long jump (15 feet, 8 1/2 inches), Place was 10th in the 800 (2:28.79) and freshman Hannah Hayden was 10th in the 1,600 (5:47.19). Fagin qualified but did not run in the 1,600, the same with Bunker in the 800.
Bunker was on all four relays at regional. She also was part of the ninth-place 800 relay (1:50.36) with senior sister Maggie Bunker, Powers and junior Margaux Harding. The same four runners comprised the 12th-place 400 relay (52.64), and Caroline Bunker was on the 13th-place 1,600 relay (4:22.01) with senior Stacy McDonald, freshman Samantha Nack and Brown.
"Molly, Libby, Maggie and the other seniors did amazing things," Hayes said. "They showed the freshmen the way to do things and what they could do for us on the track."
In the MSL-Ohio Division meet May 8 and 11, the Lions won their second league title in three seasons by scoring 128 points, finishing ahead of Columbus Academy (121), Grandview (116), Worthington Christian (68), host London (61) and Whitehall (22).
Fagin won the 1,600 (5:17.04) and Steinke was first in the 3,200 (11:45.72). Junior Freddie Collins won the discus (118 feet, 8 inches) and was third in the shot put (30-1).
"We had three freshmen who made it to regional in individual events, which is really great," Hayes said. "We have a nice group coming back who are excited about the sport. It should be a lot of fun."
Season ends for boys at regional
The boys track team's season ended in the Division II regional meet at Lexington, where they tied Amanda-Clearcreek and Lorain Clearview for 43rd (1) behind champion Sandusky Perkins (70) as 45 teams scored.
The 3,200 relay of junior Grant Halliday, senior Grant Heilman, senior Zander Hirsch and freshman Spencer Stephenson was eighth in 8:09.9 to account for the team's lone point.
Junior Alexander Garside was 15th in the long jump (18-10) and Heilman was 16th in the 400 (56.17).
Garside won the long jump (19-6 1/2) in the MSL-Ohio meet to lead the Lions, who finished sixth (48) behind Worthington Christian (130), London (121), Academy (101), Whitehall (63) and Grandview (57).
Bexley was led by seventh-year coach Shane Roberts.
Girls lacrosse team endures growing pains
The girls lacrosse team won only three contests a season after reaching a Division II, Region 7 semifinal and going 12-5.
The 13th-seeded Lions finished 3-14 overall, losing at second-seeded Academy 23-5 on May 17 in the first round of the Region 7 tournament. Last season, they fell to DeSales 14-13 in a semifinal but then lost 10 players to graduation.
Bexley finished seventh (1-6) in the Central Independent League behind DeSales (7-0), Academy (6-1), Granville (5-2), Hartley (4-3), Columbus School for Girls (3-4) and Watterson (2-5) and ahead of Wellington (0-7).
The Lions defeated Wellington 8-6 on April 26, Westerville Central 11-10 on April 19 and Centennial 18-6 on April 12.
Attacker Abby Fisher was second-team all-league to lead a five-player senior class.
Junior midfielder Emma Dressel was named second-team all-region and first-team all-league. Also expected to return are sophomores Joanna Howson (midfielder; honorable mention all-region and all-league) and Sidney Poulos (defender) and freshman Maia Ben-David (midfielder).
Bexley was led by first-year coach Maggie Bornhorst.
Boys lacrosse team has tough season
The boys lacrosse team went 2-13 with an injury-ridden roster that had several players moving to new positions and starting for the first time at the varsity level.
The 12th-seeded Lions lost at fourth-seeded Granville 17-2 on May 14 in their Division II, Region 7 tournament opener, ending the season with a five-game losing streak.
Bexley lost its first eight games before defeating Wellington 15-9 on April 30 and Jonathan Alder 16-8 on May 2 in back-to-back contests.
Senior attacker Zander Kauffman suffered a broken collarbone in a season-opening 11-10 double-overtime loss to Pickerington North on March 16. Another key attacker, junior Hunter Hilgeman, was out with a knee injury suffered in football.
Attacker Owen Rupp was honorable mention all-region to lead a 10-player senior class.
In addition to Hilgeman, expected to return are junior Tommy Lee (defender), sophomores Tyler Behl (attacker), Carter Brenner (attacker), Jake Brigdon (defender), Jack Dawson (attacker; honorable mention all-region) and Drew Yaffe (attacker) and freshman Tyler Owens-Terwilliger (goalkeeper).
The Lions were led by second-year coach Stony Burks.