When senior Peter Scriven suffered a knee injury as a member of the Upper Arlington High School football team last fall, he thought the best part of his athletic career was over.

When senior Peter Scriven suffered a knee injury as a member of the Upper Arlington High School football team last fall, he thought the best part of his athletic career was over.

But after placing fourth in the shot put at the Division I district 3 track and field meet that concluded last Saturday at Dublin Coffman, his best days as an athlete might be in front of him.

Scriven threw 45 feet, 3 1/2 inches to finish behind Worthington Kilbourne's Brian Skura (52-1 1/4), Westerville South's Byron Graves (47-0) and Reynoldsburg's Davion Bowers (46-0).

The top four finishers in each district event qualified for the regional meet, which began last Wednesday and concludes Friday at Pickerington North.

"This means a lot to me," Scriven said.

"In football, I played the first three games but didn't play much after (the injury). Now I feel like I found my niche."

The boys team scored 44 points at district to finish sixth of 16 teams, behind champion Brookhaven (89). The Golden Bears advanced five individuals as well as their 3,200-meter relay to regional. Their top finishers were senior Joe Cordle, who placed second in the 110 hurdles (14.71 seconds), and senior Brendan Long, who was second in the 1,600 (4:30).

Scriven became the first member of the boys team to score in the shot put at district since 2006. Since 2003, the only other UA athlete to advance to regional in the event was 2006 graduate Timmy Hwang, who was a district runner-up as a senior and placed third at district in 2004.

Scriven's performance didn't surprise Dan Ludlum, who coaches the throwing events.

"He had been throwing that far in practice but not in meets," Ludlum said. "He's got my vote for the most improved athlete on the team."

At the beginning of the season, it didn't appear as though Scriven would make an impact in the event, as he was throwing about 35 feet.

"I didn't start the season out very well, but over the course of the year, I started to throw 40 feet and then went out and finally hit 45," he said. "Everything started clicking in the middle of the year. Maybe my strength is coming on."

The top four finishers in each event at regional advance to the state meet, which will be held June 4-5 at Ohio State. That means Scriven likely will need to throw about five feet farther to have a shot at moving on to state.

Lancaster's Nathan Cheek (54-4) and Skura (52-1 1/4) are the top seeds at regional.

"For me, the gliding has been the hardest thing to get down," Scriven said. "I only glide a couple feet or so. If I could get that glide down, maybe I could get 47 feet."

ĽAs sophomore Olivia Menden of the girls team watched Watkins Memorial's 3,200 relay celebrate its first-place finish at the district 3 meet, she began to think about running against the Warriors at regional.

Watkins Memorial won the event in 9:28.9, finishing less than six seconds ahead of the runner-up Bears (9:34.78). Joining Menden on the relay were juniors Sarah Hobbs, Leah Moody and Bethany Yunker.

Watkins Memorial and UA were the top two seeds at regional.

"They were really excited to beat us, but hopefully that will put a little fire in our belly when we compete against them again," Menden said.

Last year at regional, it was the Bears who were celebrating. UA overcame a fall by Yunker to finish fifth in 9:40.93. However, an hour after the event, meet officials ruled a Watkins Memorial runner had impeded Yunker's progress and caused her to fall. As a result, the Warriors were disqualified, allowing the Bears to advance to state. UA went on to place 11th (9:27.15) at state.

"We had our best time as a relay (at district), but individually we didn't run our best times," said Menden, who placed second in the 1,600 (5:15.31). "We know we can drop some more time."

The girls team, which advanced four individuals and three relays to regional, placed sixth (70.5) at district, behind champion Watkins Memorial (120.5).