Julia Swallows didn't take long to rebound from disappointment.
The senior for the Central Crossing High School girls track and field team qualified for the Division I state meet in the pole vault as a sophomore, but came up just short last spring.
Swallows finished fifth at regional, one spot from advancing to state. She cleared 11 feet, 4 inches, tying Dublin Coffman's Megan Cameron for fourth, but Cameron won the tiebreaker by having three misses to four for Swallows.
However, Swallows only took two days to get back at it, knowing practice was the best way to make sure she didn't miss out on reaching state as a senior.
"I set high goals for myself, so it was hard for me not to make it out of regional," said Swallows, who owns the program record of 11-6 and was 13th (11-0) at state in 2015. "After that, I took two days off and then it was back to work. I knew going in (to regional) that it would come down to misses and it did -- one miss. ... I know I have to have no misses next time. That's the key."
The Otterbein recruit dedicated herself to improvement over the summer, which was nothing new. The difference was the commitment and focus she put into the event.
"Julia has dedicated herself to that event, and it almost has become an obsession with her," coach Reggie Cannon said. "I want her to improve day by day and then she can vault high. She needs to work on being consistent and fine-tuning her technique."
Swallows may be passionate about the pole vault, but it's not the only event in which she excels.
In the 15th annual Best of the South-West meet April 13 at Franklin Heights, Swallows won three individual events -- the pole vault (10-6), long jump (personal-record 15-7 1/4) and 300-meter hurdles (personal-record 49.3 seconds). She also was a member of the winning 800 relay (1:52.4) with senior Abiola Oseni and sophomores Jordan Brothers and Abriana Mann.
The Comets finished second (77 points) behind Grove City (94) and ahead of Franklin Heights (56) and Westland (26).
Mann also won the 400 (1:01.5).
Swallows hadn't run the hurdles since her freshman season, but wanted to do it for fun.
"I stopped running the hurdles to focus more on pole vaulting, but I really missed it," she said. "It's my senior year and I wanted to have some fun. I wanted to do it again."
Swallows started pole vaulting in the seventh grade. Although she admits to being "afraid of heights," that hasn't stopped her from having success in the event.
"I fell in love with (pole vaulting) and it was a personal challenge for myself," she said. "I keep working to get over the mental barriers. I tend to overthink everything. If I'm not 100 percent perfect, I think things are going to be bad."
Swallows said Cannon has been working with her to improve her speed on the approach. Getting down the runway quickly can only help her height.
"Speed is very important in the event because it enables you to load the pole to get up and over," Cannon said. "It's like the old adage, 'Run fast and hold high.'"
Patrick tops boys team
at Best of South-West
Junior C.J. Patrick won the 800 (2:05.6) and 1,600 (4:49.0) to lead the boys track team in the Best of the South-West meet.
The Comets finished third (59) behind Grove City (85) and Westland (63) and ahead of Franklin Heights (44).
Junior Jerry Erwin won the 100 (11.4), and senior Nick Fulton won the pole vault (11-8). Sophomore Luis Bolanos-Cruz was first in the discus (133-10).
Carr leads lineup
for baseball team
Sophomore J.J. Carr has led the offense for the baseball team, which was 6-8 overall and 2-5 in the OCC-Central Division after defeating Dublin Coffman 4-2 on April 17.
Through 13 games, Carr led the Comets in batting average (.378) and RBI (9), and also had scored three runs. Freshman Matt Reed was hitting .353, and sophomore Dylan Davis was batting .310 with three RBI, eight runs and a team-high four stolen bases.
Junior Mo Bostard was batting .286 with two RBI and four runs, and sophomore Nash Baker was hitting .267 with five RBI and four runs.
On the mound, senior Jordan Pilkington was 2-3 with a 2.63 ERA, 27 strikeouts and 17 walks in 29 1/3 innings. Freshman Tyler Ronevich was 2-3 with one save, a 2.74 ERA, 19 strikeouts and 11 walks in 23 innings.
suffers first loss
The softball team was 10-1 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Central after defeating Hilliard Davidson 3-1 on April 17.
The Comets lost to Marysville 3-0 on April 13. Junior Emily Gant threw a six-hitter, but dropped to 7-1.
Gant tossed a two-hitter April 12 in an 8-0 win over Upper Arlington in the OCC-Central opener. The Boston University recruit also hit a solo home run.