Folake Olujide-Ajibade overcame many hurdles -- 10, to be exact -- on her way to winning the Dublin Scioto High School girls track and field team's first state title in 22 years.
The junior finished first in the 100-meter hurdles in 14.31 seconds, edging runner-up Josephine Conti of Mayfield (14.48), in the Division I state meet June 1 at Ohio State to become the Irish's first state champion since 1997 when Cori Kill won the 1,600.
"This is amazing," said Olujide-Ajibade, who ran a program-record 14.28 to win her preliminary heat May 31 and had placed eighth (14.69) at state last season. "It feels great. I really didn't expect it. I was trying to feel the moment. I feel like I'm a pretty good closer. My starts aren't that great, but it feels good to be able to close it. It's anyone's game."
Olujide-Ajibade nearly won a second title, as she was runner-up in the 300 hurdles (program-record 43.05) to Westerville Central's Mabinty Kebe (42.9). She also finished second (43.35) behind Kebe (42.84) in the regional meet that concluded May 24 at Pickerington North.
Olujide-Ajibade accounted for all of Scioto's 18 points at state, as the Irish finished 11th behind champion Liberty Township Lakota East (65) as 68 teams scored.
"She's nowhere near her best yet," coach Stacey Schall said.
Also at state, the 400 relay of Olujide-Ajibade, junior Foluke Olujide-Ajibade, senior Nena Hayes and junior Taysia Cordova finished 16th (49.6).
Folake Olujide-Ajibade led the Irish at regional by winning the 100 hurdles (14.43) and finishing second in the 300 hurdles. The 400 relay of the Olujide-Ajibade sisters, Cordova and sophomore Meg Tysen finished sixth (49.06) but earned an at-large state berth.
"The 400 relay made it much further than we had anticipated," Schall said. "We knew we had good girls on the team. We just didn't know what they would do."
Other athletes eligible to return include junior Marlae Davis (sprints) and sophomore Audrey Bannister (distance).
The boys team closed its season at regional, where senior Max Eveland tied for eighth in the pole vault (13 feet).
"Max accomplished a lot for us," coach Kevin Foley said. "I would have loved to see him (at state)."
Also competing at regional were sophomore Xavier Lopes in the high jump (tied for ninth, 6-0) and junior Logan Rich in the 300 hurdles (12th, 40.75).
Other athletes eligible to return include juniors Logan Rich (hurdles) and Nick Wolfe (throws), sophomores Ali Latif (distance) and Trevor Page (distance) and freshman Hiromu Maki (sprints).
"We were very young and we have a lot to look forward to," Foley said. "We were a sophomore-dominated team. Our sprint corps is very young. They were very competitive this year. Eventually, Hiromu Maki will develop into a closer and he's a freshman. With your relay teams, you have to have a closer."