Notebook: Sean Carney eagerly goes the distance for Hilliard Darby Panthers boys track team

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Darby senior distance runner Sean Carney holds the boys cross country program record as well as the boys track program records for both the indoor and outdoor 1,600 and 3,200.

Sean Carney believes distance running isn’t for the faint of heart.

The Hilliard Darby senior entered the week ready to test his abilities in the Division I boys track and field postseason, which began for the Panthers in the district 3 meet May 19, 20 and 22 on their home track.

Carney said running long distances is a deterrent for many athletes, but not for him.

“(Running) is seen as a punishment (in other sports), and that’s one reason some distance runners kind of like it,” Carney said. “It’s not easy, and we don’t really see it like that.

“It’s not playing a game like other sports are. I’m not saying that (other sports) are less challenging, but it’s a test more than it is a game. We’re here to test ourselves physically and mentally and test how much work we have put in throughout the year.”

Carney passed the test in the fall for cross country, winter for indoor track and in the spring outdoor season. 

He holds the boys cross country program record of 15 minutes, 13.8 seconds as well as the program standards for both indoor and outdoor races in the 1,600 meters (4:16.32 indoor, 4:12.38 outdoor) and 3,200 (9:04.88 indoor, 8:59.48 outdoor).

He prefers the circular pattern of running on an all-weather track to maneuvering through the cross country courses.

“I like the shorter distances (in track) but also it’s a little mindless, and I kind of like that about it,” he said. “I can kind of zone out, run on the pace and not think about it. I was told in middle school to run fast and turn left and that’s all I need to do.”

Carney set the 1,600 record May 7 during the prestigious Rod Russell Invitational in Mason after converting his time in the mile. The event featured an invitation-only mile race — which is slightly longer than the 1,600 — with top runners from around Ohio as well as adjacent states.

Carney finished third in 4:13.85, behind Uniontown Lake’s Nathan Moore (4:13.06) — the individual champion last fall in the Division I state cross country meet — and Larry Josh Edwards (4:13.46) of Morgantown (West Virginia) University.

“I was happy with the performance,” Carney said. “It was the fastest (mile) time I’ve clocked so far.

“It’s also the fastest 1,600 that I’ve clocked. I had some slightly bigger goals going into that race. I wanted to get under 4:10 for the full mile, which is something I think I can definitely do, but the pacing we had in that race didn’t allow it.”

Darby assistant coach Joe Jackson has worked with Carney since the seventh grade, and he expects big things in the postseason.

“Sean is one of those athletes that pretty much tackles everything I throw at him head-on,” said Jackson, who coaches the Darby distance runners. “He’s working really hard and putting in all of the extra stuff outside of practice as well, taking care of his body recovery-wise and all of that. We’re happy with where he’s headed going into the postseason.”

At district, the top four in each event advance to the regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North. The top four in each event at regional qualify for state June 4 and 5 at Darby.

Carney, who has a 4.12 GPA and plans to compete in cross country and track at Ohio State, is excited about the prospects of running in the state meet on his home track. Normally, the state meet is held at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

“For me, I’ll have plenty of time to run at Jesse Owens, so it will be really cool to have it here,” said Carney, who plans to major in civil engineering. “Every workout I can visualize exactly what the race is going to look like out here.”

•Mason Koons has been a standout on the mound and at the plate for the Bradley baseball team.

Through 23 games, Koons was 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA, 23 strikeouts and nine walks in 31 innings. He had a .413 batting average with one home run, nine RBI and team highs of 20 runs and a .519 on-base percentage.

The Jaguars were 8-16 overall and 2-12 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Dublin Coffman on May 14.

Dylan Gray led Bradley in batting average (.462), RBI (16) and doubles (10) and had one homer and 12 runs scored. Carter Hanson was batting .339 with a team-high three homers along with 13 RBI and 13 runs.

Max Vosters was 1-4 with a 2.26 ERA, 26 strikeouts and 12 walks in 31 innings, and Ben Duncan was 0-2 with a 2.55 ERA, 32 strikeouts and 20 walks in 22 innings.

The Jaguars, who were seeded 29th in the Division I district tournament, faced 44th-seeded Franklin Heights in the first round May 17. The winner played third-seeded Grove City on May 19.

If Bradley reached a district semifinal May 25, potential opponents include 16th-seeded Thomas Worthington, 22nd-seeded Dublin Scioto and 23rd-seeded Dublin Jerome. The district final is May 27.

—Scott Hennen

Bradley's Alyssa Burnside (left) battles Davidson's Leah Craft earlier this season. Craft led the Wildcats with four goals in a 16-9 loss to Westerville Central on May 11.

Davidson girls lacrosse coach Chad Smock continued to see glimpses of potential as the regular season wound down. 

The Wildcats were 7-9 overall before playing Hartley on May 14 and finished 2-3 in the OCC-Central. 

Davidson lost 16-9 to Westerville Central on May 11 at home. Leah Craft led the Wildcats with four goals, followed by Gigi Meyer with two. 

“I wish that they had a little more confidence in their abilities,” Smock said. “They’re better than I think they think they are. There’s some confidence stuff that we need to work on, getting them in the right mindset.” 

Seeded 12th in the Division I, Region 3 tournament, Davidson played 13th-seeded Pickerington North in its opening game May 18, with the winner likely facing top-seeded Upper Arlington on May 21. That winner advances to a regional semifinal May 24. 

—Frank DiRenna

•The Davidson boys lacrosse team finished the regular season 7-11 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Central. 

“Our strength of schedule is one of the (toughest) in the state and our grit and fight never quits,” coach Dave Ames said. “Our youth has hurt us in key decision-making aspects of the game.” 

Through 18 games, Kaden Ames led the Wildcats in scoring with 26 goals and 32 assists, followed by Josh Lively (41 goals, 7 assists), Noah Dodgion (24 goals, 13 assists) and Adam Van Voorhis (11 goals, 12 assists). 

Seeded seventh in the Division I, Region 3 tournament, the Wildcats played eighth-seeded Pickerington North in their opening game May 18, with the winner likely visiting third-seeded St. Charles on May 21. That winner advances to a regional semifinal May 25. 

—Frank DiRenna 

•Four underclassmen led the Darby boys lacrosse team’s attack through 14 games. 

Junior midfielder Miguel Sayers had 30 goals, 10 assists and 40 ground balls for the Panthers, who were 4-12 after losing to Columbus Academy 16-11 on May 13. 

Other scoring leaders were freshman midfielders Maguire Link (21 goals, 8 assists) and Connor Burke (17 goals, 10 assists) and sophomore midfielder Ben Krumpe (18 goals, 6 assists).

Sophomore defender Cade Galko had 107 ground balls, and freshman goalie Will Hoshak had 74 saves. 

The Panthers were seeded 12th in the Division I, Region 3 tournament and played fifth-seeded Centerville on May 18 in their opener. The winner faced fourth-seeded Thomas, 12th-seeded Westerville North or 15th-seeded Bradley on May 21. The regional semifinal is May 25.

—Scott Hennen

•Through 13 games, the top scorers for the Bradley boys lacrosse team were midfielder Andrew Burnett (11 goals), attacker Max Williams (10 goals), attacker Samuel Green (8 goals) and attacker Mason Miller (7 goals).

Defenders Zach Lehman and Hunter Stickler had 26 and 21 ground balls, respectively, while goalie Liam Kennedy had 140 saves. 

The Jaguars were seeded 15th in the Division I, Region 3 tournament and were 2-11 before opening the postseason against 13th-seeded Westerville North on May 14. The winner played fourth-seeded Thomas on May 18, and the winner of that game faced fifth-seeded Centerville or 12th-seeded Darby on May 21.

The regional semifinal is May 25, with top-seeded UA as a possible opponent.

—Scott Hennen

•Citing family commitments, Joy Taylor has stepped down as Davidson girls basketball coach after 11 seasons. 

Under Taylor, the Wildcats went 126-132 overall and 67-67 in the OCC-Central. Davidson shared the league title with Dublin Coffman in the 2012-13 season. 

The Wildcats finished 7-15 overall and 3-7 in the OCC-Central this past season.

“It was very difficult for my assistant, John Klie, and I to make the decision to step down,” Taylor said. “We have coached together for over a decade and I can confidently speak for both of us when I say that we love coaching and will absolutely miss it. I feel blessed to have had a very positive experience at Davidson and am so thankful for the strong relationships formed over the years. The team is truly a second family to me. 

“I’m very proud of the culture that our program has cultivated together. I will continue to support our players and the program as I allow new priorities to take the forefront in my life.” 

Before taking over at Davidson, Taylor went 78-72 in seven seasons at Loudonville.

—Frank DiRenna

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