Heading into the Division I state track and field meet June 5 and 6 at Ohio State, the Pickerington High School North boys team and the Gahanna girls squad each had qualified in the most events for its respective competition.

Heading into the Division I state track and field meet June 5 and 6 at Ohio State, the Pickerington High School North boys team and the Gahanna girls squad each had qualified in the most events for its respective competition.

Still, numerous factors had to fall each team's way for the Panthers and Lions to win titles.

The Lions needed a number of scenarios to play out, including winning the final event of the meet, the 1,600-meter relay, to earn a co-championship with Cincinnati Withrow with 50 points.

The only other title Gahanna won was in the 800 relay, as it placed in eight events overall.

"I was hoping it was going to come down to the (1,600 relay)," Lions coach Roger Whittaker said. "That's our (best) event."

The Panthers didn't score in two open events and in one of its relays but still managed 52 points to capture the school's first state championship in any sport.

While Whittaker makes a habit during big meets of keeping his athletes informed of where they stand in terms of team points, the Panthers don't talk as much about it.

According to senior Luke Miller, his team found out "right before the (1,600 relay)" that it would win regardless of the result of the race.

North would win that event by nearly two seconds.

*TOP OF THE PODIUM -- Of the 52 points the Pickerington North boys scored, senior Nick Gray had a hand in 36 of them, winning the 400, taking second in the 100 and 200 and running on the first-place 1,600 relay.

It also was a big meet for Reynoldsburg's Ashton Dulin and the Dublin Coffman duo of Sade Olatoye and Abby Steiner in Division I, Eastmoor's Cheyanne Carter in Division II and Columbus Academy's Logan Baker in Division III.

Olatoye followed her state titles in the girls shot put and discus a year ago by winning the shot put and taking second in the discus.

Steiner captured the girls 200 title, was second in the 100 and ran on the third-place 800 relay as the Shamrocks stayed in the team title chase for much of the meet before settling for third (42).

Dulin was a part of all 24 of his team's points, winning the boys 300 hurdles, taking fourth in both the 110 hurdles and long jump and running on the fifth-place 400 relay.

Carter closed her prep career with five state titles, winning the girls 100 hurdles. She also was fifth in the 200 and sixth in the long jump.

Baker won the boys 800 and also ran on Academy's first-place 1,600 relay as well as its fifth-place 3,200 relay.

*NICE COMEBACK -- The state meet wasn't without its ups and downs for Baker.

A little less than an hour before he won the 800, he was last of the 13 runners who finished the 1,600.

He still scored 24 state points.

"I wanted to run all four events," Baker said. "I got the sympathy clap for finishing last (in the 1,600) but it was a good warmup. I got a feel for the crowd and for the track."

*TRULY THE BEST -- Ravenna Southeast senior Jenna Fesemeyer closed her career with 12 state championships, tying the mark set by 2012 Reynoldsburg graduate Destinee Gause.

Fesemeyer won the girls wheelchair shot put title June 5 and came back the next day to win championships in the 100, 400 and 800.

She set state records in the 100 (20.51 seconds) and 400 (1:11.87) and also holds the state record in both the shot put (19 feet, 1/2 inch) and 800 (2:38.97).

This season marked the third in which the OHSAA had wheelchair events at state.

Scoring the most points in wheelchair events from the area was New Albany freshman Michael Fenster, who was third in both the 100 and 400 and second in the 800.

Westerville Central freshman Leah Schulze became her school district's first wheelchair competitor at state, finishing fourth in the 100 and seventh in the 400.

*ON TO OSU -- New Albany senior Karrington Winters and North's Gray celebrated 400 titles within minutes of each other, capping another special day for two Ohio State recruits who have been dating for more than a year.

Winters, who also was the 400 champion as a freshman and sophomore, added a third-place finish in the 100 and helped the Eagles' 800 relay finish seventh.

"It's amazing," Winters said. "I am so proud of him. I am proud of myself. I believe in him more than I believe in myself at times, and he believes in me more than he believes in himself at times. It's great. It's a bittersweet ending, but then again I am home (at Ohio State)."

*FALLEN RECORDS -- Although Eastmoor's Carter won the 100 hurdles, she actually ran faster during the preliminary.

Her run of 14.04 seconds set a Division II state-meet record, which was .05 faster than she ran during the final.

Numerous other records fell in all three divisions.

Also in the Division II girls meet, Findlay Liberty-Benton junior Michaela Butler set a state-meet record by running 11.67 during the preliminary of the 100 and Pepper Pike Orange junior Jasmine Harris set a state-meet record by running 42.55 in the final of the 300 hurdles.

In boys Division II, Middletown Madison senior Coty Cobb set the state-meet record while winning the pole vault (16-6).

Warren JFK senior Chad Zallow left his mark in the Division III boys meet. He set a division record during the preliminary of the 110 hurdles (13.62) and also set a division mark in the 100 (10.55) while winning the final.

Also in Division III, the Minster girls 1,600 relay set a division record while winning in 3:55.16.

Three girls marks fell in the Division I meet.

Centerville's 3,200 relay ran 9:00.82, which set the mark for the state meet and in the division.

Chardon junior Rachel Banks set a state-meet record by running 2:07.27 while winning the 800 and North Royalton senior Kristen Denk set a state-meet and division record when she cleared 13-6 in the pole vault.

*PAYING TRIBUTE -- The four members of the Grandview boys team's 400 relay paid tribute to the memory of two friends and a teacher who died over the past four months.

Grandview coach and teacher Steve Hall, a former Ohio State men's basketball player, died from colon cancer Feb. 17.

Chase Gage, a 2013 Grandview graduate and Wittenberg student, died in an auto accident May 14.

On June 1, Colin Jourdan, a 2015 Grandview graduate, died after falling from a cliff at a quarry near Grandview.

Zach Martin, Jordan Beight, Indigo London and Grant Varner wore wristbands made of white athletic tape honoring the three. In black lettering, the wristbands read: "For Hall. For Colin. For Chase."

"We've had three deaths this year and it has been pretty tough," Varner said. "A lot of the kids on the team were close to Chase, Mr. Hall and Colin and we wanted to honor them."

The four also dyed their hair black in honor of Jourdan, a starter for the Bobcats' Division III state runner-up boys soccer team last fall.

"He dyed his hair black last year for soccer, so we thought we would do the same," Beight said.

Varner also was runner-up in the shot put (56-1 3/4) to become the program's highest state placer in the throwing events.

*IRRITATING MOTIVATION -- Jacob Ross of the Hilliard Davidson boys team received an extra source of motivation while competing in the Division I state high jump.

The junior became annoyed and more focused after an opponent started getting the crowd to clap for him before his attempts.

With a bit of pep added to his step, Ross turned what he felt was a negative situation into a positive one by winning the high jump in a team-record 6-10, ahead of runner-up Curtis Richardson (6-9) of Licking Heights.

"It got me a little ticked off when that guy started clapping to get the crowd clapping before he jumped, because that seemed like a cocky thing to do," Ross said. "That just fired me up to do better and got my adrenaline going to help me jump better."

Ross was seeded fifth for state after clearing 6-6 at regional. He had cleared 6-8 only once before state.

"Winning state wasn't even a goal at the beginning of the season," he said. "I was shocked when I (cleared) 6-10 on my first jump because I've never done that before, not even in practice. Winning a state championship is an amazing feeling."

Staff writers Frank DiRenna and Dave Purpura contributed to this report.