The Athletes of the Year were named at the ThisWeek Sports Awards banquet May 24 at Villa Milano. Here are the honorees for the spring season:Daevon Anderson
BOYS TRACK & FIELD
This senior became Hilliard Bradley's first two-time state placer and posted the program's two best finishes in the Division I state meet held June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
Anderson was runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles in a program-record 37.17 seconds, finishing .04 of a second behind Evan Matthews of Pickerington Central, and placed third in the 110 hurdles (14.23).
Anderson also holds the program records in the 110 hurdles (14.19) and long jump (23 feet, 2 inches) and as a member of the 400 relay (42.48).
"Daevon is one of those athletes that no matter when he competes or who he was against, you knew exactly what you would get," coach Ben Gadfield said. "He's a gamer. He loves to compete, and it's what he does."
Anderson finished first in the 100 hurdles (14.19), 300 hurdles (38.54) and long jump (21-10) and was a member of the winning 800 relay (1:30.73) in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet May 10 and 12 to help the Jaguars win their first league championship.
A first-team all-state wide receiver last fall, Anderson will play football and run track at Grand Valley State in Allendale, Michigan.
Lucas Bons, Dublin Coffman, Sr.
Alec Frymier, Hilliard Bradley, Sr.
Zach Harrison, Olentangy Orange, Jr.
Brandon Mosher, Big Walnut, Sr.
Lonzell Feagin, Canal Winchester (2017); Andrew Jordan, Watkins Memorial (2016); Nick Gray, Pickerington North (2015 and 2014); Desmond Palmer, Pickerington North (2013)Robert Cash
The New Albany junior won every match he played and did not drop a set all season en route to winning the Division I state singles championship.
Cash went 21-2, with both of his losses coming when he defaulted the semifinal and third-place matches in a sectional tournament because of illness. He defeated Mason's Niraj Komatineni 6-3, 6-1 in the state final May 26 at Five Seasons Sports Club in Cincinnati.
Cash placed fourth at state in singles as a sophomore and finished third in doubles with teammate Nathan Jose as a freshman.
New Albany went 16-1, losing to Mason 3-0 in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I state final May 27 at Reynoldsburg.
"Robert is a great player, but what separates him is the mental approach he brings to matches and his ability to step up in big moments," coach Marc Thomas said. "As good of a player as Robert is, he is an even better competitor, which showed (during the state tournament). There is always a unique set of obstacles, both mentally and physically in an event like (state), but Robert overcame any adversity to play his best when it counted."
Stu Brdicka, Olentangy, Sr.
Kai Britz, Thomas Worthington, Sr.
Josh Cole, Upper Arlington, Sr.
Nathan Jose, New Albany, Jr.
Cash (2017); Jacob Wareti, Columbus Academy (2016 and 2015); Chuck Shewalter, Upper Arlington (2014); Stu Little, Upper Arlington (2013)Jack DeSantis
This senior defender helped lead DeSales to its first Division II state championship since 2012 and second overall.
DeSantis, a four-year starter who committed to Maryland before his freshman season and signed with the Terrapins in November, anchored a defensive unit that allowed 5.5 goals per game. He was named first-team All-American, all-state and all-region as well as state and region Defender of the Year as DeSales went 19-3, defeating Toledo Ottawa Hills 13-5 in the state final June 2 at Ohio Wesleyan.
The Stallions went 62-15 in DeSantis' four seasons, finishing as regional runners-up in 2015 and 2016 and losing in a regional semifinal last year.
"He's the heart and soul of our team," coach Matt Triplet said. "He is one of those guys who fulfills that old cliche 'first to come, last to leave.' It's not just that. He'll give a guy a ride home 20 miles away at 11 o'clock at night. If something is going on with the team, if a member of someone's family or a pet died, he'll let me know. He's just an all-around great kid. He's just trying to make sure the team keeps close and keeps focused."
Cam Bowdy, Dublin Coffman, Sr.
Kyle Milliron, Olentangy, Sr.
Will Robbins, Upper Arlington, Sr.
Skyler Wahlund, Olentangy Liberty, Sr.
Jack Dolan, Upper Arlington (2017); Danny Logan, Upper Arlington (2016); Justin Wick, Upper Arlington (2015); Brandon Jones, Upper Arlington (2014); Jack Warmolts, Upper Arlington (2013)Lauren Farber
This senior midfielder was Upper Arlington's third-leading scorer and primary draw specialist as it won its fourth consecutive Division I state championship and ninth overall.
Farber had 66 goals, 17 assists, 43 ground balls, 23 caused turnovers and 169 draw controls as UA went 24-0, defeating New Albany 11-5 in the state final June 2 at Ohio Wesleyan.
A Furman recruit, Farber was OCC-Central Player of the Year and first-team all-state and all-region.
"By far, she is the most important player on our team, setting us up on fast-break opportunities with her draw controls and her ability to capitalize on her quick cuts and finishes," coach Wendy Pinta said. "Her speed alone is detrimental to the opposing team's offense, but she also is quick and has a very high (lacrosse) IQ on both ends of the field. Her ability to adjust quickly to the setup of her opponents and her teammates on the draw circle is unmatched in the state.
"She is crucial to our attack, our midfield transition and to our defense. She is the top player in our zone because she sees space and can cover it so quickly, and she has some of our team's best man-to-man defense."
Megan Kozar, Upper Arlington, Sr.
Mollie McCormack, Olentangy Liberty, Sr.
Emily Rezabek, New Albany, Jr.
Gabby Rothermund, Dublin Jerome, Jr.
Olivia Schildmeyer, Upper Arlington (2017); Liza Hernandez, New Albany (2016); Molly Plasket, Upper Arlington (2015); Miriam Bassani, Worthington Kilbourne (2014); Elaina Enich, New Albany (2013)Emily Gant
The Central Crossing senior was a force in the circle and at the plate.
The right-hander went 17-4 with 316 strikeouts, 12 walks and a 0.52 ERA in 135 innings. She averaged 2.3 strikeouts per inning and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 26.3 to 1.
A Boston University signee, Gant also batted .488 with one home run, eight RBI, 29 runs scored, five triples, six doubles, 13 stolen bases and a .567 on-base percentage.
She was named first-team all-state in Division I, district Player of the Year and first-team all-OCC-Central.
The Comets earned the second seed for the district tournament but were upset by 18th-seeded Reynoldsburg 3-0 in a semifinal May 14 to finish 19-5 overall. They were runners-up in the OCC-Central at 8-2, behind Marysville (10-0).
"Emily not only has pinpoint control, but she can buckle down when she needs to most," coach Rona Dorsey said. "Some kids try to get kids to chase bad pitches, but Emily goes right at the batter and she stays around the plate."
Last season, Gant hit .588 with three homers and 25 RBI and went 18-3 with a 0.24 ERA, 287 strikeouts and 11 walks in 144 2/3 innings.
Amaia Daniel, Delaware, Sr.
Emily Daniel, Marysville, Jr.
Sara Gockenbach, Groveport, Sr.
Addie Kittel, Gahanna, Sr.
Gant (2017); Madi Huck, Delaware (2016); Kallie Boren, Pickerington Central (2015); Mikayla Cooper, Delaware (2014); Emma Cornell, Grove City (2013)Aaric Gossett
This senior outside hitter/defensive specialist was integral in guiding Olentangy to its first state tournament.
Gossett had 274 kills and 82 service aces -- both team highs -- as well as 129 digs and 51 blocks as the Braves went 23-5 overall, losing to Cincinnati Moeller 23-25, 31-29, 25-22, 25-21 in a Division I state quarterfinal June 2 at Capital University, and 10-0 in the OCC-Buckeye. Olentangy finished the season ranked fourth in the state. Gossett was second-team all-state, first-team all-region and OCC-Buckeye co-Player of the Year.
One of nine seniors on the roster, Gossett helped lead the Braves to a 62-12 record the past three years, including Division I East Region runner-up finishes in 2016 and 2017. He will play at Division II Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois.
"Aaric was instrumental in the success of the program ... but more importantly, (he) was like having another coach on the floor when it came to his knowledge of the game (and) his intensity and desire to get better," coach Karen Kochheiser said. "He is the only kid I had that played all six rotations for me all year."
Bentley Azbell, Olentangy, Sr.
Russell Burke, Gahanna, Sr.
Kevin Gallagher, St. Charles, Sr.
Noah Platfoot, Hilliard Darby, So.
Brad Brinkerhoff, Hilliard Darby (2017); Dejon Clark, Pickerington North (2016); Evan Feltz, DeSales (2015 and 2014); Jared Kelso, Hilliard Darby (2013)Mitch Milheim
With this senior left-handed pitcher leading the way, Olentangy Liberty went 30-4 and won its first Division I state title by beating Whitehouse Anthony Wayne 8-1 on June 2 at Huntington Park.
An Ohio State recruit, Milheim went 10-0 with a 1.31 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 59 innings, including a two-hitter as the Patriots beat Lancaster 3-2 on May 24 in a regional semifinal.
In a state semifinal June 1, Milheim gave up two runs in 4 1/3 innings while earning the victory as Liberty beat Medina Highland 13-2.
Milheim went 19-5 with 146 strikeouts in 132 1/3 innings and batted .333 for his prep career.
"Mitch's success this year begins with his work ethic on and off the field," coach Ty Brenning said. "He committed himself to the weight room, the training room and the practice facilities. While his success on the field has been fun to be a part of, it really comes as no surprise for those of us who have watched him work in the offseason. ... He studies pitching. He studies weight training. He studies health and nutrition. He operates like a professional and ... his investment is beginning to reap the rewards on an individual and team level."
Austin Becker, Big Walnut, Sr.
Ben Gbur, Hilliard Darby, Sr.
Mitchell Smith, Pickerington North, Sr.
Blake Storr, Marysville, Jr.
Cael Baker, Gahanna (2017 and 2016); Cameron Comer, Olentangy Liberty (2015); Jacob Niggemeyer, Olentangy Liberty (2014); Alec Tuohy, Gahanna (2013)Abby Steiner
GIRLS TRACK & FIELD
There wasn't a more successful athlete in Ohio the last four years than this Dublin Coffman senior.
A four-time honoree for ThisWeek Athlete of the Year, Steiner closed her prep career with nine outdoor state championships and seven indoor state titles.
On June 1 in the Division I state meet at Ohio State, Steiner ran 11.47 seconds in the 100 meters and 23.17 in the 200 during the preliminaries to break her own state records. The next day, she eclipsed her own marks again by running 11.38 to win her third consecutive championship in the 100 and 22.73 to capture her fourth title in a row in the 200.
She also ran on state championship 800 relays in 2016 and 2017, but an injury during this year's regional limited her to two state events.
Steiner will compete in soccer and track at Kentucky.
"I'll probably never have another athlete like that," coach Greg King said. "She's just got that switch that she flips whether it's athletically or in class when she has something she wants to accomplish. ... She's got amazing physical talent, one of the best work ethics I've seen and might be the fiercest competitor I've ever had."
Grace Frye, Olentangy Orange, Jr.
Sophie Lewis, Hilliard Davidson, Jr.
Madison Martinez, Gahanna, Jr.
Jaydan Wood, Pickerington Central, Jr.
Steiner (2017, 2016 and 2015); Sade Olatoye, Dublin Coffman (2014); Aaliyah Barnes, Eastmoor Academy (2013)