All things considered, Lex Brookshire's final race for the Olentangy High School girls track and field team went about how she expected.
The senior finished eighth in the 3,200 meters (10 minutes, 49.93 seconds) in the Division I state meet June 1 at Ohio State. That was seven-tenths of a second behind her third-place time at the regional May 24 at Pickerington North, which was sixth-best among state qualifiers.
"I was mostly running for place since my biggest goal was to get on the podium (as one of the top eight finishers)," said Brookshire, who was competing in her first state meet. "I really ended up being part of a big pack during the race. I started a little slow, but I was mostly between fifth and eighth from there. I looked at the field, saw who else was running and figured I'd be about where I finished.
"This has been a goal of mine for a long time. (Last weekend) was pretty awesome."
Brookshire gave Olentangy one point as the Braves tied for 61st behind champion Liberty Township Lakota East (65) as 68 teams scored.
Brookshire, an Indianapolis recruit, will participate in either the 1,600 or 3,200 in the Midwest Meet of Champions on Saturday, June 8, at Michigan State and in the Emerging Elite 3,200 race in the New Balance Nationals on June 15 in Greensboro, North Carolina, before heading to college.
Also appearing in his first state meet, junior Cade Carter of the boys team finished 11th in the pole vault (14 feet, 6 inches) on June 1. He cleared 13-0 and 13-6 on his second attempts at those heights, made 14-0 on his third try and hit 14-6 on his second vault before missing all three attempts at 14-10.
"That was a (personal record) for me (and it's) as good of a day as any to PR at the state meet," Carter said. "Right now, I'm just going to focus on coming out and putting on a show next year."
Boys freshman Quin Forgrave finished 10th in the seated 800 (2:50.12) on May 31, one spot shy of advancing to the final the next day.
"It's kind of surreal when you think about it. You're at 'the' Jesse Owens Stadium. It's super cool," Forgrave said. "Pain is temporary. Next year if things go right I'll qualify for (state in) all three (seated events), the 100, 400 and 800, because my 100 time is pretty fast."
Several other key athletes are eligible to return for both the boys and girls teams.
Those expected back on the boys side include juniors Chandler Moyer (distance) and Mikey Worboy (distance) and freshman Reilly Worthington (throws).
Juniors Katherine McCauley (middle distance, sprints) and Ciara Szerencsits (sprints), sophomores Ava McDermott (sprints) and Kelsey Schuliger (sprints, jumps) and freshman Jaedyn Tucker (sprints) are among the girls team's eligible returnees.
Two boys distance runners will compete in college in Sam Holt (John Carroll) and Carter Schaefer (Otterbein).