Daevon Anderson of the Hilliard Bradley High School boys track and field team qualified for the Division I state meet in three events, but his takeaway from the regional meet May 23 and 25 at Pickerington North was what unfolded in his fourth event.
The senior placed third in the 300-meter hurdles (38.39 seconds) and fourth in the 110 hurdles (14.4) and was on the fourth-place 800 relay (1:29.05) with Matthew Drovdlic, Kory Taylor and Zeke Bennett. However, Anderson's lasting memory from the meet probably will be his seventh-place finish in the long jump (21 feet, 1 inch).
The top four finishers in each event advanced to state Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at Ohio State. Also, for the first time, two at-large state berths were awarded for each running event based on regional times statewide.
Anderson jumped 21-1 on the second of six attempts, but fouled on all three of his attempts in the finals. He jumped 21-10 1/2 on one of those attempts, but that attempt later was nullified by meet officials.
Had that attempt counted, Anderson would have placed second and qualified for state.
"It was chaos," Anderson said. "When you jump, (the officials) have to say your name twice and I went before (the official) called my name again. They were going to count my jump (21-10 1/2), but several people complained about it, so they (disqualified) me on that jump. It was tough. I'll just have to pusher harder in practice and work on my hurdles and the relay."
Anderson and his three teammates on the 800 relay all will be making their first appearance at state.
"We were seeded fifth going into the (800 relay) final, so getting fourth is crazy," Bennett said. "It's going to be a long shot to place at state, but we'll give it a try. It has been a great ride."
Drovdlic ran the opening leg of the relay.
"I just wanted to keep up with the other guys and not let anyone catch me," Drovdlic said. "I wanted to make up for the stagger, which is a big thing in the (800 relay)."
Caleb Levitt fell two places shy of qualifying for state, as he placed sixth in the high jump (6-3).
"I felt good and I thought I was going to do better," said Levitt, who holds the program-record at 6-5. "I was too close to the mat and the bar when I came in and I was hitting the bar early."
Also competing at regional were the 400 relay of Drovdlic, Taylor, Kenyon Richardson and Ian Howard (10th, 44.09), Bennett in the 400 (11th, 50.69) and Ibrahim Dumbuya in the 300 hurdles (11th, 40.46).
The Jaguars scored 21 points to tie Reynoldsburg for 11th behind champion Pickerington Central (97) as 41 teams scored.
The girls team did not have any regional competitors.
Boys lacrosse team improves IQ
Under first-year coach Alex Gossard, the boys lacrosse team posted two more wins than it did last season when it finished 3-15.
The 14th-seeded Jaguars defeated 17th-seeded Kettering Fairmont 13-2 in the first round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament May 12 before losing to second-seeded Worthington Kilbourne 18-2 in the second round May 15 to finish 5-11 overall.
Bradley went 1-5 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to place sixth, behind Kilbourne (6-0), Dublin Jerome (5-1), Delaware (4-2), Thomas Worthington (3-3) and Darby (2-4) and ahead of Dublin Scioto (0-6).
"As a whole, the team grew a tremendous amount from day one," Gossard said. "Overall, all the stick skills and general IQ for the game are light years ahead of where we started. I believe our team chemistry also came a long way.
"When I first took the job, I knew the culture was something that was going to need a lot of focus. Now it's something I don't need to address because the team knows what I expect from everyone."
The Jaguars are losing six seniors in Eli Bjornes (midfielder), Thomas Clarke (midfielder), Kellan Grainger (midfielder), Jake Humphreys (def-ender), Colton Pyles (defender) and Nick Saylor (attacker).
"This group of seniors really means a lot to the program," Gossard said. "With this being my first year taking over the program, they are the building blocks. They set the tone for every class to come."
Among the expected returnees are junior attacker Colin McClurg, sophomore goalkeeper Matt Humphreys and freshman defender Zach Lehman, who was named honorable mention all-league.
Boys volleyball team losing one senior
The boys volleyball team had only one senior as it finished 8-11 overall and 5-7 in the OCC-Cardinal to place fourth, behind Darby (12-0), Jerome (10-2) and Kilbourne (8-4) and ahead of Thomas (4-8), Scioto (3-9) and Delaware (0-12).
The 16th-seeded Jaguars defeated 19th-seeded New Albany 25-8, 25-9, 25-18 in the first round of the Division I East Region tournament May 18 before losing to second-seeded Olentangy 25-19, 25-20, 25-11 in a quarterfinal May 19.
"We greatly improved our defense and passing to help make up for a lack of height at the net," eighth-year coach Zach Franklin said. "Because of numerous injuries, we got comfortable with stepping into different roles and learning the overall game."
Senior middle hitter Dylan Chaney (honorable mention all-league) and junior outside hitter Attia Soliman (honorable mention all-region, first-team all-league) were the only returning starters. Chaney had 112 kills and 60 blocks, while Soliman had 118 kills, 13 blocks, 147 digs, 32 assists and 19 aces.
"Dylan Chaney was our only senior and he really stepped up in a leadership role as a middle blocker and helped greatly as a vocal leader with calling out hitters," Franklin said. "He greatly improved both his hitting and blocking in the offseason to be able to contribute a lot more than last season when he was a role player. He became our second-leading hitter."
Another key player expected to return is freshman outside hitter Jonah Gilbert, who was second-team all-league.