The Worthington Kilbourne High School boys track and field team expects to return its top five scorers next season, including its lone state qualifier in Elijah Young.
Young, a junior who competed in the long jump, pole vault and sprint relays, led the Wolves in scoring this spring, followed by junior Jack Begley (distance), sophomore Hayden Shaffer (throws), junior Joey McQuade (high jump, sprint relays) and sophomore Tanner Williams (distance).
"We will be returning sophomores who will play a more prominent role on the team next year," coach Josh Stegman said. "With those top five scorers, plus sophomores Lucas LaFleur (sprints, sprint relays), John Cuozzo (distance), Gabe Knuth (distance), Josh Carter (throws), Luke Compton (sprints, sprint relays) and (freshman) Terrique Gray (discus, high jump), we've got a solid group of underclassmen coming back."
Young finished 13th in the long jump (21 feet, 1 3/4 inches) in the Division I state meet held June 1 and 2 at Ohio State. He advanced to state by placing fourth (21-4) in the regional meet May 23 and 25 at Pickerington North after finishing third (21-2) in the district 1 meet that concluded May 19 at Hilliard Darby.
Begley also competed at regional, placing eighth in the 3,200 meters in a season-best 9 minutes, 41 seconds, as the Wolves scored six points to tie four teams for 26th behind champion Pickerington Central (97) as 41 teams scored.
Begley had advanced to regional by finishing third (9:41.71) at district.
"Elijah and Jack have enormous potential," Stegman said. "Hayden exceeded expectations in the throws, especially the discus. I really look for them to break out next season."
Also scoring at district were Young in the pole vault (fifth, 12-0), Williams in the 3,200 (fifth, 9:57.8), the 3,200 relay of sophomore Keegan Smith, Begley, Williams and senior Caleb Martin (sixth, 8:13.39) and the 400 relay of senior Jack Wieland, LaFleur, McQuade and Young (seventh, 45.27).
Young lost a fourth-place tiebreaker to Watkins Memorial's Austin Ballenger in the pole vault after having finished 16th at state in the event last season.
Kilbourne finished 10th (25.5) of 16 teams at district behind champion Central (158).
In the OCC-Cardinal Division meet May 10 and 12 at Dublin Coffman, the Wolves finished sixth (42) behind Hilliard Bradley (143.5), Darby (128.5), Thomas (104.5), Dublin Jerome (98) and Dublin Scioto (77.5) and ahead of Delaware (35).
"We are still growing our program in terms of numbers and will continue to work to get strong during the offseason," Stegman said. "I am looking forward to having solid numbers and additional depth. We will have 10 seniors and 30 juniors, so we finally have a year where we will be heavy with upperclassmen.
"We will be working to score in both sprint and distance relays in every meet with the hopes of a school record going down in the (6,400 and 3,200 relays) and potentially a sprint relay moving on to the regional. We haven't had a postseason relay champion in over 10 years. It would be amazing to break that streak next season."
Girls track team losing Smith, Hunt
The girls track and field team is losing two key athletes in seniors Keira Smith (distance) and Audrey Hunt (sprints, long jump), but expects to return most of its other top scorers next year.
Kilbourne's season concluded at the Division I regional meet, where sophomores Chidima Anaraodo and Sasha Bomser represented the Wolves. Neither one scored, as Anaraodo placed 11th in the discus (104-1) and Bomser finished 12th in the 1,600 (5:32.8).
Both placed third in the district 1 meet, with Bomser finishing in 5:23.33 and Anaraodo throwing 108-1, as Kilbourne finished ninth (20) of 16 teams, behind champion Pickerington Central (112).
Also scoring for the Wolves were Smith in the 3,200 (sixth, 11:46.48), sophomore Brooklyn Richardson in the discus (seventh, 101-3), Hunt in the long jump (seventh, 16-1 1/4) and the 3,200 relay of Smith, junior Natalie Guist, freshman Chloe Emberton and Bomser (eighth, 10:13.23).
The Wolves finished sixth (39.5) in the OCC-Cardinal meet, behind Darby (146.5), Thomas (141), Scioto (116), Delaware (93) and Jerome (63.5) and ahead of Bradley (31.5).
Other expected returnees include juniors Hannah Christian and Grace Tefend, sophomores Sammy Cotrill, Abby Deitrick, Elise Elliott and Victoria Stavish and freshmen Rakiha Beckley, Aerial Davis, Amya Harris and Lee Sellers.