Delaware Hayes Roundup: Pacers' Orion Ward earns two trips to state track podium

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Delaware Hayes senior Orion Ward finished 10th in the long jump in the Division I state meet June 4 at Hilliard Darby. The next day, he placed fifth in the 100 meters and sixth in the 200.

Delaware Hayes senior Orion Ward finished his prep career by reaching the podium in two events in the Division I state track and field meet June 4 and 5 at Hilliard Darby. 

The Pacers’ lone state representative, Ward placed fifth in the 100 meters (10.93 seconds) behind champion Justin Braun (10.47) of Westerville Central and sixth in the 200 (22.21), again behind Braun (21.13). 

The top eight finishers in each event reach the podium.

Ward also was 10th in the long jump (21 feet, 11 1/4 inches) behind champion Luke Laubacher (24-3 1/2) of Massillon Perry.

“We’re really proud of his accomplishments this season and we are just really thankful we had the opportunity to work with him over the past four seasons,” coach Sean Patrick said. 

Patrick said Ward scored the most points this season of any athlete he has coached. 

“We know he really made us proud and made Pacer nation proud,” Patrick said. 

Delaware finished 39th (7) at state behind champion Pickerington North (43) as 84 teams scored. 

“I feel like I met my expectations in the 100 and 200, but for long jump I could have done a lot better,” Ward said. “But overall this was a good year.” 

Ward advanced to state by placing third in the long jump (23-0), fourth in the 100 (10.79) and fifth in the 200 (21.95) in the regional meet, which concluded May 28 at North. He received an at-large state berth in the 200 based on his time. 

Despite losing Ward to graduation, Patrick said the Pacers expect to return a deep team on the boys side. 

Expected key returnees include junior Brady Williams and sophomore Tyler Zembo in the pole vault, freshmen Caleb Forney and Will Polter in hurdles, sophomore Conner Ziegler and freshman Guiness Stewart in the throws and junior Paolo Sferrella and sophomore Sawyer Sand in sprints. 

A strong distance corps led by juniors Blake Frisch, Sebastian Stewart, Eric Stewart and Ryan Gray round out the returning group. 

“We have a lot of underclassmen that really stepped up this year, and we have a good-sized junior class that are all ready to contribute,” Patrick said. “I’ve got the deepest team coming back that I’ve had in a long time.” 

Senior McKenzie Hayes was one of the top competitors for the Pacers girls track and field team.

The girls team concluded its season at regional. The 400 relay of senior McKenzie Hayes and juniors Hannah Halstead, Madi Diaz and Taylor Brown placed 11th (50.46) and sophomore Samantha Toney was 10th in the shot put (31-10 1/2). 

“It was great to get out there and compete and watch the girls get better and better as the year went on,” coach Andy Graham said. “We had some young girls step up and do some great things this year.”

Graham said Toney, Halstead and junior Gabby Anderson should lead the way in the field events next season, with Halstead, Brown and Diaz pacing the relays. 

Sophomores Rowan Herring, Julia Young, Meg Wolf and Elizabeth Atanosian and freshman Sammy West are expected to step up in distance events next year. 

Boys volleyball team

loses tourney opener

The 18th-seeded boys volleyball team lost 25-13, 25-17, 25-21 to 20th-seeded Dublin Scioto in the first round of the Division I, East Region tournament May 21 to finish 2-17 overall. 

Delaware finished seventh (2-11) in the OCC-Ohio behind champion Gahanna (14-0). 

The Pacers will lose senior outside hitter Mike Trippier (honorable mention all-league) and senior defensive specialist Yomar Rivera.

Expected key returnees include junior libero Isaac Robinson and junior middle hitter Grant Bardon.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

TRACK & FIELD 

•OCC-Capital standings: Boys – Canal Winchester (174), Big Walnut (142.5), Westerville South (99), Dublin Scioto (70), Worthington Kilbourne (62.5), Westerville North (60), Delaware (49), Franklin Heights (4); Girls – Big Walnut (144.4), South (142), Delaware (87.4), North (78.5), Canal Winchester (73.5), Kilbourne (71.2), Scioto (61), Franklin Heights (3)  

•Seniors lost: Boys – Alex Blevins, Dom Boeriu, Ben Chesnes, Logan Eubanks, Connor Green, Levi Haack, Logan Hummel, Josh Koehler, Padraig Mumper, Owen Salyers, Isaak Scheeler, Jake Vilchinsky, Orion Ward, Gary Weckerly and Taylor Wernz; Girls – Caylee Combs, Ally Gray, McKenzie Hayes, Liza Ida, Anna Johnson, Kelsie Keeder, Brynn McGrail, Rena Ouyang, Jill Wyatt and Becca Young 

•Key returnees: Boys – Caleb Forney, Blake Frisch, Ryan Gray, Will Polter, Sawyer Sand, Paolo Sferrella, Eric Stewart, Sebastian Stewart, Brady Williams, Tyler Zembo and Conner Ziegler; Girls – Gabby Anderson, Elizabeth Atanosian, Taylor Brown, Madi Diaz, Hannah Halstead, Rowan Herring, Sammy West, Meg Wolf and Julia Young 

•Postseason: Boys – Seventh (38) at district, 15th (15) at regional, 39th (7) at state behind champion North (43); Girls – 13th (18) at district, did not score at regional 

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

•Record: 2-17 overall 

•OCC-Ohio standings: Gahanna (14-0), New Albany (12-2), Pickerington Central (10-4), Pickerington North and Westerville Central (7-7), Reynoldsburg (3-11), Delaware (2-11), Westerville South (0-13)

•Seniors lost: Mike Trippier and Yomar Rivera 

•Key returnees: Grant Bardon and Isaac Robinson

•Postseason: Lost to Scioto 25-13, 25-17, 25-21 in first round of Division I, East Region tournament