The phrase "greatest team ever" has been among those used by some to describe the 2009 Reynoldsburg High School girls track and field team after it destroyed all comers at the Division I state meet.

The phrase "greatest team ever" has been among those used by some to describe the 2009 Reynoldsburg High School girls track and field team after it destroyed all comers at the Division I state meet.

When a comment such as that comes from the coaching staffs of perennial state powers such as Cleveland Collinwood and Cleveland Heights Beaumont, it's enough to make just about anybody take notice.

The Raiders did plenty that season to deserve the notoriety and earn the No. 3 spot on ThisWeek Newspapers' list of the most dominant teams of the past 21 years.

It even seems possible that Reynoldsburg might have made it a spot or two higher if just one more thing had gone its way.

With 11 athletes, the Raiders won six titles and scored in 10 of the 17 state events as they finished with a Division I state-record 82 points.

Runner-up Cincinnati Withrow finished a distant second with 35 points, and the difference likely would have been more if the state meet had been held a few weeks earlier.

Senior Timia Ingram, who had placed fifth in the 200 meters and sixth in the 100 at state as a junior, was unable to compete at the OCC, district and regional meets because of injury.

She returned for state and helped the 800 relay win in a state-record 1 minute, 37.02 seconds. Ingram also competed on the 400 relay that took second (46.78).

"What people don't remember is Timia getting hurt," coach Denny Hammond said. "She didn't run the 100 and 200 in the postseason like she did the year before. We were able to get her healthy and she ran on the two relays at state, but if she'd been able to run earlier in the postseason, we probably would have had more points than we did."

The Raiders defended their title this June by scoring 56 points and are one of just four central Ohio programs to have won a Division I team title since the first girls state meet in 1975.

The others to win outright titles were Mifflin (56 points) in 1982 and Upper Arlington (38) in 1985, while Brookhaven (58) earned a share of the 1998 title with Collinwood.

Pickerington North girls track and cross country coach Jim Langenderfer remembers several strong teams from Upper Arlington and Thomas Worthington in the 1980s and '90s but can't recall a team that had as much depth as the 2009 Reynoldsburg girls.

"That's probably the best team central Ohio has ever had," Langenderfer said. "They were strong in the field events, hurdles, sprints, everything. That was one of the few teams that won a state championship based on their whole team. It's the best team I've ever seen in girls track."

"We really felt all along like we could win (state)," Hammond said. "Somebody asked me before if we could win, and I said we could score 70 once you start adding up the points. We set so many records, and we convincingly set school records in so many events."

Ingram was joined on the 800 relay by sophomore Azia Walker and freshmen Destinee Gause and Faith Washington and on the 400 relay by senior Ashley Phillips, sophomore Kacia Grant and Gause.

Also posting a state-record time was the 1,600 relay of sophomore Taneisha Cordell, Gause, Walker and Washington (3:43.83).

The other state champions for the Raiders were senior Melissa Dodaro in the discus (146 feet, 4 inches), Cordell in the 800 (2:10.79), Gause in the 200 (24.21) and Walker in the 400 (54.74).

"There was a lot of natural talent," Cordell said. "There were a lot of girls that were already familiar with the sport, and everybody was just determined to win. We had pretty much every event covered."

Washington (300 hurdles, 43.38) and the 3,200 relay of Cordell, senior Melanie Marx and juniors Loni Marchello and Dani Watson (9:16.37) each added fourth-place finishes and Dodaro was fifth in the shot put (40-10 3/4).

Cordell (800), Gause (200), Walker (400) and Washington (300 hurdles) all set program records, as did all four relays.

"We were really lucky to have the numbers we did have, and we were evenly distributed with our talent," Ingram said. "We had a lot of versatile athletes that could go from the (400 relay) to the (800 relay) to the (3,200 relay)."

Reynoldsburg was without Cordell for most of April and didn't win every regular-season meet. But at the OCC-Ohio Division championships, Reynoldsburg won its third consecutive league title by scoring 177 points, ahead of a field that included Pickerington Central (138).

At the district 3 meet, the Raiders piled up 157 points as Watkins Memorial was a distant second (98). It was Reynoldsburg's fourth consecutive district championship.

The Raiders then scored 113 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Hilliard Davidson (65) and win its second regional title in a row.

The state meet was simply the climax of a postseason of domination by the Raiders.

Dodaro, who along with Ingram and Phillips were four-time all-state performers, led a group of throwers that also included a pair of 2010 state-qualifiers in sophomore Donyelle Brown (shot put) and junior Alicia Rodgers (discus).

"There was a lot of leadership from the seniors and that helped the younger ones," Dodaro said. "It helped them perform the way they were capable of. As a thrower, I do stuff before everyone else, so I never had a lot (of my teammates) watch me, but they always asked me how I did and would tell me good job. They all cared."

Dodaro (Ball State), Ingram (Bowling Green) and Phillips (Toledo) all signed to compete collegiately.

Cordell transferred after the season to New Albany and helped the Eagles place third in the 1,600 relay at the state meet June 5. Walker moved to Los Angeles. Marx, who earned 12 letters as an athlete at Reynoldsburg, also was joined in the senior class by Kristen Mason, Leah Sasfy, Abby Timblin and Rachel Timblin.

Gause, Grant and Washington all were key athletes for the Raiders' 2010 title team.

"What sticks out to me is that we were like a family," Ingram said. "It was really a journey, especially for the class of 2009."

Counting down to No. 1

ThisWeek Newspapers has been around for 21 years. That timeframe was used as the basis to compile a top 10 list of the most dominating single-season teams we've covered. Along with the experienced sports staff at ThisWeek and the Dispatch's high school sports reporter, Steve Blackledge, we arrived at a top-10 list. Below are Nos. 3-10 as well as honorable mentions in alphabetical order. Check back next week for No. 2 and don't hesitate to head to ThisWeekNews.com or find our Facebook page "ThisWeek Sports" and let us know your thoughts.

NOS. 3-10

3. Reynoldsburg girls track (2009) As a team at the Division I state meet, Reynoldsburg scored a meet record 82 points to beat runner-up Cincinnati Withrow by 47 points. The Raiders points came from events throughout the event in sprints, relays, middle-distance, hurdlers and weight specialists.

4: Brookhaven boys basketball (2002) Brookhaven finished 27-1 en route to a state title after beating Cincinnati Winton Woods 66-49 in the Division I championship game. Only two of Brookhaven's eight postseason games were decided by less than double digits. All five starters would eventually play Division I basketball.

5: Upper Arlington girls tennis (2003) The Golden Bears won the Division I OTCA team tournament without losing a court and finished 25-0. Individually, Kristen Flower beat teammate Christine Johnston for the singles title and Kelsey Linville and Madora Mak won the doubles title.

6: Dublin Coffman girls soccer (2003) The Shamrocks outscored their opponents 97-4 en route to a Division I state title. Defensively, Coffman had 20 shutouts, which tied the state record DeSales set in 1997 when it won the Division II state title.

7: Upper Arlington girls swimming (2008) UA swept the relays with meet records in the 200-yard medley and 200 freestyle en route to its fourth consecutive team title. The Golden Bears scored a meet-record 419 points, almost double that of runner-up Cincinnati Ursuline (222).

8: Thomas Worthington boys soccer (1998) The team finished 21-0-2 and won a Division I state championship by defeating Hudson 3-0. ,The Cardinals defense was stifling, as they allowed only four goals all year.

9: Brookhaven girls basketball (1996) Led by future Division I and WNBA players Kahli Carter and Helen Darling, Brookhaven won a City League title by 50 points, a district title by 33 points and a regional title by 20 points. The Bearcats beat Wooster 56-46 to win the Division I state title and finish 28-0.

10: Dublin Coffman girls golf (2000) The Shamrocks won the state title with a state-record team score of 630, ahead of runner-up Upper Arlington at 51 strokes behind.

Honorable Mention

Columbus Academy field hockey (2004)

Gahanna boys soccer (2009)

Hilliard Davidson football (2006)

Hilliard Davidson boys cross country (2002)

Ready softball (1995)

Thomas Worthington girls cross country (1992)

Upper Arlington boys golf (1993)

Upper Arlington football (2000)

Upper Arlington boys lacrosse (2004)