Coach Ben Gadfield said the bar has been raised for future Hilliard Bradley High School boys track and field teams.
This season, the Jaguars won their first league championship and senior Daevon Anderson posted the two best state performances in program history, placing second in the 300-meter hurdles (program-record 37.17 seconds) and third in the 110 hurdles (14.23) in the Division I state meet held June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
Anderson finished only .04 of a second behind champion Evan Matthews of Pickerington Central in the 300 hurdles.
"This was special group," said Gadfield, who completed his sixth season. "We won a conference title and did it with a variety of kids from all levels. We had some freshmen that contributed for the first time as varsity runners. We also had good senior leadership. It was a good mix of veterans and new contributors who stepped up for us."
Also at state, Anderson joined senior Kory Taylor, junior Zeke Bennett and sophomore Matthew Drovdlic on the 12th-place 800 relay (1:29.64), as the Jaguars scored 14 points to tie Cincinnati Withrow for 16th behind champion Pickerington Central (58) as 69 teams scored.
In the regional meet May 23 and 25 at Pickerington North, Anderson placed third in the 300 hurdles (38.39) and fourth in the 110 hurdles (14.4) and 800 relay finished fourth (1:29.05).
Also competing at regional were junior Caleb Levitt in the high jump (sixth, 6 feet, 3 inches), Anderson in the long jump (seventh, 21-1), the 400 relay of Drovdlic, Taylor and freshmen Kenyon Richardson and Ian Howard (10th, 44.09), Bennett in the 400 (11th, 50.69) and sophomore Ibrahim Dumbuya in the 300 hurdles (11th, 40.46).
Bradley tied Reynoldsburg for 11th (21) at regional behind champion Pickerington Central (97) as 41 teams scored after finishing third (82) in the district 3 meet that concluded May 19 at Darby behind Olentangy Orange (133) and Big Walnut (86.5) as 14 teams scored.
The Jaguars scored 143.5 points in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet May 10 and 12 at Dublin Coffman to finish ahead of Darby (128.5), Thomas Worthington (104.5), Dublin Jerome (98), Dublin Scioto (77.5), Worthington Kilbourne (42) and Delaware (35).
Anderson, who has committed to play football and run track at Grand Valley State in Allendale, Michigan, holds the program records in the 110 hurdles (14.19) and long jump (23-2) as well as in the 300 hurdles. He also has the program record as a member of the 400 relay (42.48) with Drovdlic, Taylor and senior Alec Frymier.
Taylor has signed to play football at Purdue.
"I think (running track) has helped to keep my body in condition and to get ready for college football," Taylor said. "It's a whole different level there. I have been preparing my body through this and lifting, so I think I'm ready."
Frymier has committed to compete in track at Eastern Michigan after missing much of the postseason with a hamstring injury. In addition to being on program-record 400 relay, he holds the program marks in the 100 (10.77) and 200 (22.04) as well as the 800 relay (1:28.48) with 2017 graduate Tyler Lewright, senior Said Saleh and Taylor.
Anderson, Frymier, Saleh and Taylor led a 12-member senior class.
"They brought great leadership and continued to raise the bar for future classes," Gadfield said. "They just did their job, and they did a good job of showing the younger kids how to do things."
Among the athletes expected to return are junior Grant Buehl (pole vault), sophomores David Metzler (throws), Ethan Poff (pole vault) and Eli Scheiderer (distance) and freshman David Lamb (200, 400, 800).
"We're losing a lot of good seniors, but we still have some good kids coming back," Gadfield said. "That's what makes this group so special. When we would have someone go down, we would have someone in the fold step up and get the job done."
Season ended for girls track team at district
The girls track and field team finished its season at the Division I, district 1 meet that concluded May 19 at Darby, as it did not have any regional qualifiers.
At district, placing seventh were sophomore Emily Keck in the shot put (33-8 1/4) and the 3,200 relay of senior Laura Scheiderer, junior Grace Michel and sophomores Emily Marsch-hausen and Isabella Brooks (10:11.75) and finishing eighth were the 1,600 relay of junior Mikhayla Draper and freshmen Brittany Amador, Delaney Porter and Ella Richardson (4:17.96), Marschhausen in the 1,600 (5:37.73) and Scheiderer in the 800 (2:28.89).
The Jaguars finished 14th (7) of 16 teams at district, behind champion Pickerington Central (112), after finishing seventh (31.5) in the OCC-Cardinal meet, behind Darby (146.5), Thomas (141), Scioto (116), Delaware (93), Jerome (63.5) and Kilbourne (39.5).
"Looking back, we didn't win a league championship, but we kept improving throughout the season, and that's what we focused on," said coach Thom Nees, who completed his ninth season.
The Jaguars are losing 10 seniors, including Scheiderer, Cameron Hienton (sprints) and Kim Mars (throws).
"I can't say enough about Cameron Hienton and what she did for us this year," Nees said. "She ran a 31.2 in the 200 as a freshman and had that down to a 26.1 this year.
"This group of seniors was a great bunch of leaders. Laura Scheiderer was having a great season, but got sick the night before the (district) final. I'm certain she would have advanced to regional if not for that."