In the days heading into the City League championship match May 22, Northland High School boys tennis coach Allen Jarrett was informed that the last time the program played for the conference title was 1998.

In the days heading into the City League championship match May 22, Northland High School boys tennis coach Allen Jarrett was informed that the last time the program played for the conference title was 1998.

The Vikings might not have such a long dry spell if the young talent in the program continues to mature.

After going 5-1 to capture the City-North title, Northland lost to visiting Briggs -- which was making its eighth consecutive appearance in the final -- 5-0 to finish 6-2 overall.

Of the seven players who competed, only two were seniors.

"Last year we finished second to Centennial (in the City-North), and I told the guys that we can come in first this year if we do what we're supposed to do," Jarrett said. "We've got three freshmen who really enjoyed playing and they've seen how hard they have to work. I'll be out there with the girls in the fall and I've told them I'll have open courts that they can come out and play on if they want."

The only seniors are Ian Smith, who lost 7-5, 6-3 at second singles, and Ebenezer Dapaa, who teamed with freshman Daniel Smith in a 6-2, 6-2 loss at first doubles.

Junior Rob Dove lost 6-4, 6-1 at first singles, sophomore Clement Owusu fell 6-2, 7-5 at No. 3 singles and the second doubles team of freshmen Austin Miller and Able Adu lost 6-3, 6-4.

No Northland players advanced to the Division I district tournament, which was last Friday and last Saturday at Hilliard Davidson.

"We gave it all we had," Jarrett said. "Briggs is a good team, and they've been to the City championship match eight straight times. They won it last year 4-1 (over Centennial) and their three singles guys were seniors who played well."

•Three individuals and a relay advanced from the boys and girls track and field teams to the Division I regional meet which began last Wednesday and will conclude Friday at Hilliard Davidson.

For the boys, advancing from the district 3 meet last Saturday at Dublin Coffman were T. Andre Brown in the 110-meter hurdles (fourth, 14.8 seconds), Alex Johnson in the 200 (fourth, 22.72) and Raynard Ballard, Travis Byrdsong, Alfred Geiger and Johnson in the 400 relay (fourth, 43.2).

"We've just got great speed (on the 400 relay) and great handoffs," Johnson said. "Everybody has been working as a team. We were in about sixth when I got the baton, and all I was thinking was that I've got to catch up so we can make it to the regional.

"(The 200) was fast. I came out of the blocks in last but I caught up."

The boys were 11th (29.75) of 13 teams behind champion Reynoldsburg (126). Also scoring but failing to advance to the regional were Johnson in the 100 (fifth, 11.06), Dimonde Hale in the 400 (fifth, 51.43), Alex Holley 400 (seventh, 52.0), Javon Cornley in the high jump (seventh, 5 feet, 10 inches) and Ben Bennett, Hale, Holley and Johnson in the 1,600 relay (fifth, 3:30.45).

"I had a real bad start (in the 110 hurdles)," Brown said. "I might have won it if I'd had a better start. My start is usually the best part of my race."

The girls team finished eighth (23) of 14 teams behind champion Reynoldsburg (135) as sophomore Andrea Madison took third in the shot put (35-5) to advance to regional. Madison added a fifth-place finish in the discus (100-3).

"I'm very thrilled with our throwers," said coach Tom Fast, whose team also had Sierra Bray place fifth in the shot put (34-4) and eighth in the discus (92-5). "Andrea is a sophomore who just missed going to the regional in the discus.

"We haven't had anyone go to the regional in both the shot and discus and it's been since 1999 that we had somebody make it to the regional in the shot."

Also scoring for the girls team were Barbara Amoakoh, Jetti Laggah, Ebony Mundy and Delisa Sanford in the 800 relay (sixth, 1:48.92), Amoakoh, Valencia Dove, Laggah and Sanford in the 400 relay (sixth, 52.21), Laggah in the 800 (eighth, 2:28.84) and Dove, Laggah, DaShayla Robinson and Sanford in the 1,600 relay (eighth, 4:12.56).

"We had a bad exchange on our (800 relay) and our (400 relay's) first exchange was very bad," Fast said. "At district these kids have got to realize that can't happen.

"The good thing is that Jetti is a junior and everybody else is a sophomore or freshman."