Garegin Soghomonyan cleared his calendar in the hopes that he'd be busy the first weekend of June.
The senior pole vaulter for the Upper Arlington High School boys track and field team achieved his goal of competing in the Division I state meet June 2 at Ohio State, although it didn't go as well as he had hoped.
Soghomonyan was not able to clear the opening height of 13 feet, 6 inches on any of his three attempts. Eight days earlier in the regional meet at Pickerington North, he achieved a lifetime-best height of 14-4 to place third and qualify for state.
"I had been vaulting pretty hard, but track and field can be unpredictable," said Soghomonyan, the boys team's first state qualifier since 2010. "Getting here was a big personal goal of mine. I just looked at state as something I wanted to achieve for myself. Being the first boy to make it here for my school for a while is nice, but I didn't have that on my mind. That would have been some extra pressure."
The Golden Bears' other state representative, junior Heidi Heuerman of the girls team, finished 15th in the 3,200 meters (11 minutes, 11.19 seconds). She was the first member of the girls team to make state since 2015.
Soghomonyan, who has been dealing with a stress fracture in his left shin and will vault at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, previously wrestled but gave up that sport this year.
"That (fracture) hasn't fully healed," Soghomonyan said. "I wasn't just doing track and field (instead of wrestling). I was running a lot and doing conditioning on my own. Before this season, everything just felt like it clicked. I felt like I could have a really good year."
UA did not score at state. Pickerington Central won the boys championship (58 points) ahead of runner-up Centerville (36.5) as 69 teams scored, and Gahanna took the girls title (51) ahead of runner-up Lancaster (31) as 64 teams scored.
The state meet ended a season that saw both the Bears' boys and girls teams finish second in the OCC-Central Division meet May 10 and 12 at Dublin Coffman. The boys scored 117 points to finish behind Hilliard Davidson (159) and ahead of Coffman (105), Marysville (72), Central Crossing (53) and Westland (15), and the girls scored 124 points to finish behind Davidson (201) and ahead of Coffman (108), Marysville (78), Westland (6) and Central Crossing (4).
The girls team got league titles from senior Emma Zid in the 400 (59.05) and sophomore Adrienne Wachtman in the high jump (5-2). Winning league titles on the boys side were junior Max Czerwonka in the 110 hurdles (15.45) and Soghomonyan in the pole vault (13-8).
The boys team competed in the district 1 meet that concluded May 19 at Hilliard Darby, with senior Avery Heath winning the 100 (11.27) and Soghomonyan finishing first in the pole vault (14-0). The Bears finished fourth (57) behind champion Pickerington Central (158) as 16 teams scored.
The girls were sixth (56.5) in district 3 behind champion Pickerington North (109) as 14 teams scored. Wachtman was second in both the discus (117-8) and high jump (5-1).
At the regional meet May 23 and 25 at Pickerington North, the boys tied Mount Vernon for 17th (11) behind champion Pickerington Central (97) as 41 teams scored, and the girls finished 16th (12) behind Gahanna (84) as 32 teams scored.
Heuerman placed fifth in the 3,200 (11:00.63) but advanced to state with an at-large berth.
Other athletes eligible to return include juniors Jack Amling (distance), Tynan Matthews (jumps) and Thomas Richter (distance) and sophomores Sean McRae (throws), Isaac Perry (hurdles) and Christopher Schweisthal (jumps, sprints) for the boys and junior Elizabeth Clingan (distance), sophomore hurd-lers/sprinters Juliana Mustric and Elizabeth Schueler and freshman Sofia Sivilotti (distance) for the girls.
Boys lacrosse team falls short of state
For the first time since 2011 and only the second time since 1991, the boys lacrosse team's season ended before the state tournament.
Top-seeded UA lost to second-seeded Worthington Kilbourne 8-7 in the Division I, Region 3 final May 25 at Fortress Obetz to finish 19-3 overall. The Wolves also ended the Bears' season in 2011 in a regional final.
It was the Bears' first loss in six one-goal games this season.
UA opened the 19-team regional tournament by routing 16th-seeded Miamisburg 22-2 in the second round May 15 and beat 10th-seeded Pickerington North 10-1 in a quarterfinal May 18 and fifth-seeded Davidson 9-8 in overtime in a semifinal May 22.
A 9-7 loss to Coffman on May 2 cost UA a chance at the OCC-Central title. The Bears went 6-1 in the league to finish second behind the Shamrocks (7-0) and ahead of Davidson (6-2), Pickerington Central (4-3), Pickerington North (3-4), Gahanna (2-5), Marysville (1-6), Newark (0-7).
UA is losing 16 seniors, including three starting attackers in Harry Baker, Matt Marsh and Nik Schickram, two starting defenders in Jackson Bergdoll and Will Robbins as well as goalkeeper Jake Carlin.
"This season ended too early for our group of seniors. They worked very hard and helped to unite all 36 varsity players," coach Kyle Olson said. "I was very proud of how we played as a team and won a lot of very close games throughout the year. We were tested early with a lot of very challenging games on our schedule. Our overall leadership from the captains and seniors was the difference in those games. Hopefully, the underclassmen learned from them and will continue to work as a team and focus on the little things."
Robbins, who has committed to North Carolina, shared OCC-Central Player of the Year honors with Coffman's Cam Bowdy and was named region Player of the Year and first-team all-state. Schickram, a Denison commit, was second-team all-league and first-team all-region.
Bergdoll, Carlin, Marsh and senior Charlie Little (midfielder) also were first-team all-league. Seniors Andrew Pema (defender/long-stick midfielder) and Ben Tjaden (midfielder) and junior Sam Campbell (midfielder) were second-team all-league, and junior defender Joe Winslow was honorable mention all-league.
Bergdoll, Carlin, Little, Marsh, Pema and Tjaden were first-team all-region, Campbell was second-team all-region and Baker and Winslow were honorable mention all-region.
Carlin was first-team all-state, while Bergdoll, Little, Marsh, Pema and Tjaden were second-team all-state.
Other players eligible to return include juniors A.J. Achatz (attacker), Drew Hellstedt (goalie), Nathan Junk (midfielder) and Anthony Pardi (attacker).