Madeline Hayes and Torie Young represented the Delaware Hayes High School girls track and field team in the Division I state meet held June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
The seniors both advanced to state for the first time. Hayes, the team's top scorer in field events, qualified in the pole vault, while Young, who led the team in points on the track, qualified in the 400 meters.
"We've worked together and been good friends since seventh grade, so it's pretty neat to go out together at state," Young said. "We also both went to indoor states this season."
Both Hayes and Young set school records in the regional meet May 23 and 25 at Pickerington North.
Hayes cleared 11 feet, 4 inches and placed fourth, as the top four finishers in each regional event qualified for state. She cleared the same height as North's Jessie Kinder and Athens' Lindsay Zatta, but Kinder and Zatta tied for second because they cleared the height on their first attempts while Hayes did so on her second attempt.
Olentangy's Siobhan Szerencsits won the event by clearing a regional-record 13-5.
"What I like most about the girls in pole vault is that we were all cheering for one another to do our best," Hayes said. "We all know each other. A bunch of us competed in gymnastics together at Gym X-Treme.
"Siobhan, (Delaware senior) Chase Patton and (2017 Olentangy Orange graduate and Indiana University freshman) Anna Watson and I were all there together. In fact, I told Anna when we were in gymnastics that she had the perfect body and drive to try pole vault. Now she holds the state record (13-6 1/4) and actually went 13-9 in the New Balance Nationals (Outdoor) last summer before going to Indiana."
Patton finished sixth (10-8) at regional.
Young placed third in the 400 (56.72 seconds) at regional.
"I had never been to regionals before in an individual event and made it there in the 200 and 400, and now I'm getting to go to state," Young said. "It's very thrilling."
Young's time in the 400 broke the school record of 56.86 set by 2014 Delaware graduate Emily Richards, who graduated from Ohio Northern this spring as a nine-time NCAA Division III champion and a 13-time All-American with a career-best 55.02 in the 400.
"For the longest time this season, I was not getting under 58 (seconds), but my coaches told me to trust the process and these past few weeks have been great," Young said. "I finally broke my idol's outdoor record. I'm so excited."
Young placed 12th in the 200 in 26.06.
In all, the Pacers set four school records at regional. Sophomore Ari Avant placed fifth in the 100 hurdles in 15.33 and seventh in the 300 hurdles in 45.27, breaking her own school mark in the latter event.
The 800 relay of Young, sophomore Sydney McMillin, Avant and senior Lauren McMillin was seventh in a school-record 1:43.73.
"We had a fantastic second day at regional, with four school records," coach Andy Graham said. "The previous (800 relay) record was set in 1995, so it stood for a long time. All of the girls were just outstanding. I think the work they put in in the weight room, at the YMCA and during the indoor season paid dividends. It was evident."
The Pacers scored 22 points at regional to finish 14th behind champion Gahanna (84) as 32 teams scored.
The boys team had two competitors at regional, but did not score. Freshman Orion Ward finished ninth in the long jump (20-5), while senior Todd Toney competed in the discus but fouled on all three attempts.
Softball team losing five starters
The softball team, which finished 19-3 overall and earned a share of the OCC-Cardinal Division title, is losing seven seniors, including five starters in Amaia Daniel (SS), Audrey Hannahs (LF), Abby Lewis (RF), Megan Shearer (Flex player) and Mallory Stonebraker (1B).
Delaware saw its season end with an 8-3 loss to 15th-seeded Mount Vernon in a Division I district semifinal May 14 at Olentangy. The loss snapped an 11-game winning streak for the fifth-seeded Pacers, who had opened the postseason with a 17-1, five-inning win over 23rd-seeded Dublin Coffman in second-round game May 9.
Delaware went 10-2 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Bradley for first place. Hilliard Darby (9-3) finished third, followed by Dublin Jerome (6-6), Worthington Kilbourne (4-8), Dublin Scioto (3-9) and Thomas Worthington (0-12).
"It was another strong year and we won an OCC championship, but we were aiming for more and thought we had the talent to win a district championship," coach Mark Thomas said. "So it's a bit disappointing, but I'm not disappointed at all with the girls' heart and efforts. Sometimes it takes more than talent to win a district title. You need a little luck along the way and we didn't get that."
Daniel, who has committed to Ball State, hit .706 with 11 home runs, 45 runs scored and 53 RBI and was named league Player of the Year and first-team all-district and all-state. Stonebraker, a John Carroll commit, batted .471 with four home runs, 18 runs and 33 RBI and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
Hannahs batted .283 and scored 18 runs and Lewis hit .387.
Six starters are expected to return in juniors Bobbi Adams (C), Alex Armstrong (CF), Chloe Barton (3B), Lexi Mattix (2B) and Laiha Slayton (designated player) and sophomore Haley Osborne (P).
Adams batted .554 with six home runs and 29 RBI, Barton hit .463 with 39 runs and 28 RBI, Armstrong batted .410 with three home runs, 31 runs and 22 RBI, Mattix batted .438 with 26 runs, Slayton hit .414 with 21 RBI and Osborne batted .397.
In the circle, Osborne was 18-3 with a 1.94 ERA and 126 strikeouts in 115 1/3 innings.
Adams was named first-team all-league and all-district and Osborne was first-team all-league and second-team all-district. Armstrong and Barton both were second-team all-league.
In team honors, Daniel was named MVP and Offensive Player of the Year, Adams was Defensive Player of the Year and Barton was Most Improved Player.
"Having our battery back will be a huge plus," Thomas said. "With all those girls coming back, that's a solid base. Plus, our (junior varsity) went 12-0 and we have a strong eighth-grade class coming in."