Track & Field: Olentangy Braves’ Sydney Burrs nearly brings home state title in 300 hurdles

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Olentangy sophomore Sydney Burrs (center) placed second in the 300 hurdles (44.17) and fifth in the 100 hurdles (15.1) in her first trip to the Division I state meet. She finished 0.99 of a second behind Gahanna’s Camden Bentley in the 300 hurdles.

Sydney Burrs had a sophomore year to remember, beginning with helping the Olentangy girls soccer team reach the Division I state final last fall and ending with a dominant postseason for the track and field team.

Burrs finished second in the 300-meter hurdles (44.17 seconds) and fifth in the 100 hurdles (15.1) in the state meet June 5 at Hilliard Darby, capping a four-week run that saw her win OCC-Cardinal Division and district 1 championships in the 300 hurdles and score all 12 of the Braves’ points at state.

“It’s really nice because I didn’t (run any meets) at all last year. I did two weeks of conditioning and then (the season was canceled),” said Burrs, who also was league champion and district runner-up in the 200. “So it was really cool to have a sophomore experience of running at state. I have two more years to experience knowing that I didn’t have a season last year.”

Burrs was 0.99 of a second behind Gahanna’s Camden Bentley in the 300 hurdles, while Westerville South’s Marissa Saunders won the 100 hurdles in 14.05.

“I’m happy with the race,” Burrs said of the 300 hurdles. “I was trying to go for first, but it’s OK because Cam is really good, so I’m OK with second.”

Olentangy finished 18th behind champion Mentor (70) as 75 teams scored. Junior Jaedyn Tucker finished 12th in the long jump (16 feet, 11 ½ inches) and freshman Samantha Happel placed 15th in the 1,600 (5:25.46).

Other key athletes eligible to return include juniors Caroline Coggins (throws), Olivia Hulshof (sprints) and Adriana Sweeney (throws) and sophomores Emilee Baumann (sprints), Alyssa Hardin (jumps), Amelia Smith (sprints) and Rachel Stocker (hurdles). 

Smith was eighth in the long jump (16-7 ½) at regional May 28 at Pickerington North.

For the boys team, junior Quin Forgrave competed in his second consecutive state meet, earning sixth-place finishes in the seated 100 (21.5), 400 (1:12.51) and 800 (2:29.7).

Also expected back are juniors Luke Galloway (distance), Taye Gonzalez (distance), Nate Karr (distance), Min-Song Kim (hurdles, jumps, sprints), Jack Renton (sprints) and Reilly Worthington (throws), sophomore Tommy Richards (distance) and freshmen Roman Corbett (distance) and Matthew Tobias (jumps).

Worthington placed seventh in the shot put (47-7) and ninth in the discus (137-9) at regional.

Orange senior Jonathan Petersen cleared 16 feet, 2 inches to finish third in the pole vault in the Division I state meet. Petersen will compete at Penn State.

Orange had four competitors — two boys and two girls — in the pole vault at state.

Senior Jonathan Petersen finished third (16-2) for the boys and senior Sara Borton was fifth (12-4) for the girls. Senior Kaleb Cramblett had no height in the boys meet, and junior Taylor Hill had the same result in the girls event.

“I’m proud of what I’ve done for the past four years,” said Petersen, a Penn State signee. “It’s pretty crazy how far I’ve come. I had a hard time adjusting to outdoors after missing last year. I couldn’t be happier.”

Borton also was pleased with her effort, but was left wanting more.

“I definitely wanted to go higher, but it’s like that no matter where I place,” said Borton, who is a Tennessee signee and was seventh as a sophomore by clearing 12-0. “I blew through all of my poles, and I had never gone on a 13-footer before today.”

Junior Joel Addo injured his right knee earlier in the season, but was able to place sixth in the high jump (6-4).

“I had a season-best (effort), which is good coming off spraining my (right) MCL about the third week of the season,” he said. “I know what I have to beat going into next year because there were a lot of good juniors out there. Hopefully I can increase my PR to 6-7 or 6-8.”

Junior Ava Musgrove reached the podium by finishing seventh in the 200 (25.85) and was 11th in the 100 (12.44), while the 800 relay of sophomore Josephine Davis, seniors Celeste Conley and Kylie Hanson and sophomore Cassidy Shimp also finished 11th (1:44.5).

Other top performers for the girls expected back are juniors Abby Faulkner (sprints), Abby Schroff (distance/middle distance) and Quinn Shannon (distance/middle distance), sophomores Teresa Christian (long jump) and Hailey Miles (sprints) and freshmen Mairin O’Brien (distance/middle distance) and Maddie Sharp (distance/middle distance).

For the boys, juniors Jordan Rudolph (sprints, jumps) and Gabe Torres (sprints) and freshman Kobe Sharpe (sprints) are among the top athletes expected to return.

—Scott Hennen

•Representing Liberty at state was sophomore Camryn Thompson, who was 13th in the girls high jump (5-2). 

“I’m just happy I made it (to state) and knowing that I have two more years, I can do better next year being able to experience it as a sophomore,” Thompson said. “I’m definitely going to practice over the summer and I’m thinking about doing indoor next year.” 

The biggest losses to graduation will be Nicole Tonetti, Sophie Culver and Charlotte Hummell. Tonetti was fifth at regional in the long jump and also ran on the 800 relay at regional, while Culver was a regional qualifier in the high jump and Hummell advanced in the 300 hurdles.

Juniors Morgan Mahan and Coral Pierson and freshmen Kennedy Elfers and Sophie Sampson should be among the top returnees. Mahan, Elfers and Sampson were members of the 800 relay, and Sampson also was a regional qualifier in the 100. Pierson advanced in the 100 hurdles.

Others eligible to return include juniors Sarah Gilbert (middle distance), Michelle Ezenekwe (discus), Ava Howski (pole vault), Ellie White (hurdles) and Rachel Ziel (distance) and freshmen Julia Bockenstette (distance), Eva Mackan (sprints) and Natalie Nichols (sprints). 

The boys team loses a senior class that was led by regional qualifiers Mitchell Boggs (1,600 relay) and Anirudh Banda (110 hurdles). 

Juniors Drew Gaitten, Aedan Gilbreath and Nick Johnson and freshman J.J. Sebert competed on the 400 relay at regional, and Gaitten also ran on the 1,600 relay with Boggs, sophomore Jaxson Eckert and freshman Andrew Kerscher. Eckert advanced in the 300 hurdles.

Other regional qualifiers expected to return are junior Carson McKee (pole vault) and sophomore Dean Stack (high jump). 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

Senior Luke Walden became Berlin's first state qualifier and first state placer, tying for sixth (15-0) in the pole vault.

•Senior Luke Walden became the first athlete from Berlin to qualify for state and tied for sixth in the boys pole vault (15-0).

“I’ve trained for the last four years leading up to this moment, and it’s great,” said Walden, a Butler signee who holds the program record of 16-7. “I didn’t have the best meet, but I did what I had to do to get on the podium. I had a bad meet and still placed, so I think there’s a lot left in the tank.”

Coach Anthony Beggrow said Walden set the bar for the program.

“His work ethic, his maturity and his leadership are just great,” Beggrow said. “He’s the first state qualifier and first state placer, so he set the standard high for us.”

At regional, Walden was runner-up in the pole vault (16-4) and seniors Jack Dunlop (3,200, 9:40.83) and Corey Rinehart (1,600, 4:34.06) both placed ninth.

Key performers expected back include junior Abram Murphy (sprinter) and sophomores Cooper Citro (distance/middle distance), Moses Murphy (sprints) and Beau Pullens (sprints).

“The boys have a lot coming back,” Beggrow said. “We lose Luke, Liam (McGreevey), Jack and Corey, but we have a lot of sprinters and distance runners coming back for us.”

For the girls team, senior Abby Brennan finished fifth in the 400 (1:00.06) at regional.

Top performers expected to return include juniors Maggie Conrad (pole vault) and Ada Freeman (distance), sophomore Grace Dahlke (distance) and freshman Brenna Mowrey (distance, high jump).

“The girls team is really developing for us,” Beggrow said. “We had some good senior leadership and we have a lot of young kids coming back, and they’re eager to train over the summer and really develop the program into something they’re proud of.”

—Scott Hennen

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BERLIN

OCC-Cardinal standings: Boys — Thomas Worthington (128), Hilliard Darby (111), Berlin (87), Dublin Jerome (80), Marysville (63), Olentangy (54); Girls — Olentangy (123), Darby and Jerome (117), Marysville (76), Thomas (63), Berlin (27)

Seniors lost: Boys — Antonio Alonso, Blake Borgquist, Tongyu Cai, Sean Dote, Jack Dunlop, Nathaniel Foltz, Stephen Hauer, Liam McGreevey, Adam Minner, Carson Reed, Corey Rinehart, Cole Troyer, Luke Walden, Luke Wilcox and Mason Zamilski; Girls — Kathryn Balthaser, Abby Brennan, Mia Mulig, Carli O’Keefe, Skylar Stevenson and Lindsey Whitmore

Key returnees: Boys — Cooper Citro, Abram Murphy, Moses Murphy and Beau Pullens; Girls — Maggie Conrad, Grace Dahlke, Ada Freeman and Brenna Mowrey

Postseason: Boys — Tied for fifth (19) at district behind champion Darby (57), tied for 24th (8) at regional behind champion Darby (68), tied for 64th (2.5) at state behind champion Pickerington North (43); Girls — 10th (27) at district behind champion Watterson (139.5), tied for 26th (4) at regional behind champion Gahanna (84)

LIBERTY 

OCC-Central standings: Boys — Orange (137), Hilliard Davidson (104), Dublin Coffman (92), Liberty (76), Hilliard Bradley (65), Upper Arlington (49); Girls — Orange (140), Davidson (117), UA (93), Liberty (75), Coffman (60), Bradley (38) 

Seniors lost: Boys — Anirudh Banda, Mitchell Boggs, Henry Debord, Luke Ettefagh, Winston Fox, R.J. LaRosa, Sindhu Sharma, Liam Shoemaker and Anthony Sirianni; Girls — Emma Black, Sophie Culver, Halle Deericks, Charlotte Hummell, Haley Kruest, Elizabeth Okonak, Divya Patel, Audrey Piero, Sydney Reed, Caitlin Splain, Michaela Strunck, Nicole Tonetti, Elle Turturice and Taylor Weiss 

Key returnees: Boys — Jaxson Eckert, Drew Gaitten, Aedan Gilbreath, Nick Johnson, Andrew Kerscher, Carson McKee, J.J. Sebert and Dean Stack; Girls — Kennedy Elfers, Michelle Ezenekwe, Sarah Gilbert, Ava Howski, Morgan Mahan, Coral Pierson, Sophie Sampson, Ellie White and Rachel Ziel 

Postseason: Boys — Third (59) at district behind champion Canal Winchester (114), 36th (2) at regional behind champion Darby (68); Girls — Fifth (57.5) at district behind champion Pickerington Central (85), tied for 22nd (10) at regional behind champion Gahanna (84), did not score at state 

OLENTANGY

Seniors lost: Boys — Stephen Adkins, Kole Brookshire, Ryan Harner, Landon McElroy, Johan Rosgaard, Kyle Selby, Preston Smith, Zach Wieging and Garret Zeune; Girls — Reebha Chetty, Maggie Duffy, Caroline Hise, Olivia Johnston, Keya Lodhawala, Khanhalinh Ma, Jessica Morris, Anitha Natarajan, Helena Ronnebaum, Jill Rosenberry, Kelsey Schuliger, Yadnya Sonawane, Emma Williams and Cara Wilson

Key returnees: Boys — Luke Galloway, Min-Song Kim, Matthew Tobias and Reilly Worthington; Girls — Sydney Burrs, Samantha Happel, Amelia Smith and Jaedyn Tucker

Postseason: Boys — Tied for seventh (38) at district behind champion Canal Winchester (114), tied for 33rd (3) at regional behind champion Darby (68); Girls — Third (75.5) at district behind champion Pickerington Central (85), tied for 10th (21) at regional behind champion Gahanna (84), 18th (12) at state behind champion Mentor (70)

ORANGE

Seniors lost: Boys — Nick Allen Jadon Ampadu, Cole Benishek, Jordan Bennett, Francis Christian, Kaleb Cramblett, Charles DeBolt, Miles Devese, Brayden Dumm, Jake Ethridge, Keegan Free, Matt Fulton, Ben Gargasz, Joe Gargasz, Kent Grubb, Grant Harris, Ethan Hunter, Joe Kabealo, Ethan Knecht, Alexander Lima, Heath Mann, Justin Nichols, Dominique Parker, John Parks Jr., Michael Penka, Jonathan Petersen, Zan Saavedra, Zach Scott, Sirlem Thullah, Aidan Toombs and Lincoln Weber; Girls — Sara Borton, Celeste Conley, Noel Frye, Anna Godoy, Kylie Hanson, Casey Homorody, Brianna Merklin, Jordyn Murray, Media Patria, Heather Roberts, Mimi Russell and Nia Smith

Key returnees: Boys — Joel Addo, Jordan Rudolph, Kobe Sharpe and Gabe Torres; Girls — Teresa Christian, Josephine Davis, Abby Faulkner, Taylor Hill, Hailey Miles, Ava Musgrove, Mairin O’Brien, Abby Schroff, Quinn Shannon, Maddie Sharp and Cassidy Shimp

Postseason: Boys — Second (90) at district behind Pickerington North (121), 12th (20) at regional behind champion Darby (68), tied for 27th (9) at state behind champion North (43); Girls — Second (113) at district behind champion Gahanna (153.83), fourth (38) at regional behind champion Gahanna (84), 33rd (6) at state behind champion Mentor (70)