The Athletes of the Year were named at the ThisWeek Sports Awards banquet May 22 at Villa Milano. A story on Olentangy Liberty's Ben Roderick, the Super 12 boys basketball captain, also is in this edition. A story on Africentric's Jordan Horston, Super 12 girls basketball captain, appeared last week, and a story on Olentangy Liberty's Carson Kharchla, Super 12 wrestling captain, will be in the next edition.

Here are the other Athletes of the Year for the winter season:

Ellie Andrews


When this Dublin Coffman sophomore is having a good race, she's usually thinking about "how good the adrenaline feels."

That "joy of racing," as she calls it, helped her reach new heights this season.

Andrews took a big step up in the 200-yard individual medley, improving from ninth at the Division I state meet last season to capturing the championship in 1 minute, 59.73 seconds at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Her performance was the second individual state title in program history.

"We really worked on the (butterfly) and she got that fly out really nice and had a great breaststroke leg," coach Steve VonSchriltz said. "She did a great job of controlling her backstroke (to give her) a chance."

Also at state, Andrews placed second in the 100 breast (1:01.76), swam the second leg of the fourth-place 200 medley relay (1:43.74) and capped the meet by swimming the second leg of the second-place 400 freestyle relay (1:43.74).

Andrews' performances helped the Shamrocks place fourth at state to lead all central Ohio teams.

At the district meet at Ohio State, she won the 200 IM (2:03.73) and was runner-up in the 100 breast (1:02.57).


Jordan Aurnou-Rhees, Columbus School for Girls, Jr.

Hannah Bailey, Dublin Coffman, Jr.

Nyah Funderburke, Columbus School for Girls, So.

Kristyn Sabol, Dublin Coffman, Jr.


Dakota Elliott, Upper Arlington (2018); Miranda Donley, Columbus School for Girls (2017); Katie Trace, Upper Arlington (2016); Gracie Long, Upper Arlington (2015, 2013); Olivia Ball, Olentangy (2014)


Jacob Eismann


This Columbus Academy senior capped his prep career by competing in his fourth Division II state meet.

Eismann anchored the 200 free relay to a second-place finish (1:26.28), placed third in the 100 backstroke (49.96) and was part of the third-place 200 medley relay (1:35.16) at Branin Natatorium in Canton. He also touched the wall first in the 50 free, but was disqualified for a false start.

Led by Eismann, the Vikings finished fifth (119 points) at state behind champion Hunting Valley University School (331) as 61 teams scored.

At district at Ohio State, Eismann won both the 100 back (meet-record 49.73) and 50 free (20.99).

As a junior, the University of Kentucky signee earned the Vikings' first state title, tying Bellbrook's John Sampson for first in the 100 back (49.34).

"Jacob has made huge contributions to the program," coach Craig Yakscoe said. "His leadership through words and action helped us (to strong showings at state). He worked through a few glitches in his career and has become a better person and athlete because of them.

"He will be part of nine of the 11 events for school and pool records on our board, so he is one of the best swimmers to go through Academy."


Andrew Bernsdorf, Westerville North, Sr.

Jack Matthews, Olentangy Liberty, So.

Max Scott, Dublin Jerome, Sr.

Spencer Tussing, Grove City, Sr.


Jason Mathews, Westerville North (2018); Parker Neri, Upper Arlington (2017); Cameron Thatcher, Olentangy Liberty (2016); Mason Miller, Westerville North (2015); Thomas Trace, Upper Arlington (2014); Joey Long, Upper Arlington (2013)


Raegan Ernst


This Dublin Jerome freshman never performed like she was scared of the moment.

Ernst not only won the all-around at nearly every regular-season meet in which she competed, but she captured the district championship with a 36.65.

Then at the state individual meet at Hilliard Bradley, Ernst placed fifth on floor exercise (9.375) to become the first gymnast from central Ohio in three years to reach the podium in an event. She also tied for 12th in the all-around (36.225).

Led by Ernst, Jerome reached the state team meet for the second time, finishing 11th (134.475).

"This is all brand new for her," coach Kristen Willms said. "When you look at her win-loss record (in the all-around) as an individual, I want to say she's only lost maybe two meets this year."

Ernst helped Jerome set a program-record with a 139.8 while earning a district runner-up finish. In addition to winning the all-around, she captured district titles on floor (9.45) and vault (9.275) and was runner-up on uneven bars (9.35).

Ernst also was the OCC-Cardinal champion on vault, bars and balance beam.

"She has a lot to be happy with," Willms said. "She still has some goals for next year to keep her motivated through the offseason."


Olivia Boone, Olentangy Berlin, Jr.

Anne Hassay, Hilliard Darby, Fr.

Grace Krouse, Dublin Jerome, Sr.

Madeline Vouis, Olentangy, Sr.


Bethany Hurt, Dublin Coffman (2018, 2017); Darian Connors, Hilliard Bradley (2016); Ally Duckworth, Hilliard Bradley (2015); Alexa Markulls, Dublin Coffman (2014); Katie Miltko, DeSales (2013)


Dakota Fink


This Briggs junior turned in central Ohio's best performance in the Division I state tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.

Fink rolled a 605 three-game series to finish fourth of 104 bowlers and earn first-team all-state honors.

It was her third state appearance. As a freshman in 2017, she won the state championship and helped her team place fourth. As a sophomore, she finished 47th.

"I was (at state) my freshman year, so I kind of got the nerves knocked out," Fink said. "I've been bowling so much I'm used to the loud noise and all the chaos."

Fink had a 197 average in Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference action to rank second of 286 bowlers in the conference.

Her consistency continued at the sectional at HP Lanes, as she rolled a 562 to place eighth of 222 bowlers and earn an individual district berth. She then captured the district title at HP Lanes, rolling a 708 to finish first of 104 bowlers, 72 pins ahead of runner-up Kaitlyn Morrison (636) of Big Walnut.

"It means a lot," Fink said. "We don't have the team that we had for a while so it's tough, but I think it's a good thing (I represented) my school and my team (at state)."


Leah Deaner, Groveport, Sr.

Reace Gonzalez, Westerville Central, Jr.

Adriane Hammond, New Albany, Sr.

Kaitlyn Morrison, Big Walnut, Sr.


Madison Stiffler, Whitehall (2018, 2017, 2016); Tori Pappas, Briggs (2015); Paige Sutfin, Ready (2014); Miranda Singer, DeSales (2013)


Ryan Jenkins


The versatility that the Dublin Jerome senior defenseman possesses made him the perfect fit to lead one of the state's top defenses this season.

According to coach Pat Murphy, Jenkins' skating skills "are second to none in high school."

"He played three years for us, and you can see he's got great talent," Murphy said. "He's an inspiration. His skills are as good as anybody's, and he's a great kid. The younger kids really look up to him."

Jenkins, who was named first-team all-Capital Hockey Conference and second-team all-state for the second consecutive season, helped the Celtics put together the best season in program history.

In its third state tournament appearance, Jerome became the first central Ohio team to reach the state championship game. After beating Hunting Valley University 3-2 in overtime in a state semifinal at Nationwide Arena, the Celtics lost to Cleveland St. Ignatius 7-2 in the final to finish 35-3-0-1.

The loss to St. Ignatius marked just the third time all season that the Celtics gave up more than three goals in a game.

Jenkins had four goals and 21 assists and was a plus-73.


Trent Belli, Dublin Jerome, Sr.

Craig Lutwen, Olentangy Liberty, Sr.

Hunter Triplett, Upper Arlington, Sr.

Andrew Vidrick, Olentangy Liberty, Jr.


Sam Turner, Olentangy Liberty (2018); Jack Dolan, Upper Arlington (2017); Grant Powell, Dublin Coffman (2016); Chris Cathis, Dublin Jerome (2015); Alex Ward, St. Charles (2014); Chris Bergamesca, Olentangy Liberty (2013)


James Pappas


A slow start at the Division I district tournament at HP Lanes proved to be a learning experience for this Briggs junior.

After rolling a 177 in his first game, Pappas followed with games of 259 and 222 to finish fourth of 106 bowlers with a 658 series and earn a state berth. Then in the state tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl, he rolled a 686 to place fourth of 100 bowlers and earn first-team all-state honors.

"He grew a lot," coach Art Susi said. "(This year's district tournament) was a big hurdle."

Pappas led a resurgence for the Bruins, who didn't have enough bowlers to field a team last season but went 12-2 overall and earned a runner-up finish in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-C Division at 11-2.

Pappas, who was a district qualifier as a freshman, rolled a 289 and a 300 in separate league matches and ranked first of 302 bowlers in the entire COHSBC with a 230.9 average.

He placed 10th (637) of 242 bowlers in the sectional at HP Lanes to earn an individual district berth.

"He's a great bowler, a great kid and, most importantly, he's a great teammate," Susi said.


Malik Curry-Brown, Westerville Central, So.

Wesley Minke, Westerville Central, Jr.

Dillon Murfield, Delaware, Sr.

Devon Richardson, Westerville Central, Sr.


Devon Richardson, Westerville Central (2018); Ryan O'Harra, Ready (2017); Alex Fleetwood, Westerville Central (2016); Chad Szczepariski, Reynoldsburg (2015); Wayne Russell Jr., Walnut Ridge (2014); Jonathan Massey, Granville (2013)