No members of the Centennial High School boys tennis team reached the finals of the City League tournament, which began May 1 at Linden-McKinley and concluded May 16 at Columbus South.

No members of the Centennial High School boys tennis team reached the finals of the City League tournament, which began May 1 at Linden-McKinley and concluded May 16 at Columbus South.

All the same, coach Barb Stevenson considered it a major success when sophomore Ben Oatney and junior Slobodan Zecevic went 2-1 in doubles in the event. The duo lost to eventual champions Marcos Gasca and Alex Phin of Columbus West 6-3, 6-4 in a semifinal.

"Ben hurt his knee and wasn't able to start playing until three weeks into practices, and Slobodan didn't join the team until we were a week into practice, and both of them are brand new to the sport, so finishing third in the City is a big-time accomplishment for them," Stevenson said. "They're a very inexperienced doubles team, but both of them are natural athletes and they both listen and learn really well, and I'm proud of how well they were able to do, especially after getting such a late start."

Senior Sam Zafris also went 2-1 in singles in the City tournament, losing to Eastmoor Academy's Brennon Woodly 6-2, 6-2 in a semifinal.

The performances by Oatney, Zecevic and Zafris in the City tournament concluded a successful season for the Stars, who went 11-3 overall in dual matches.

Centennial went 10-2 in City League matches to tie Beechcroft and Whetstone for second in the league behind West (12-0).

Two days after losing to Beechcroft 3-2 on April 16, the Stars bounced back to defeat Whetstone 3-2.

However, Centennial lost to West 3-2 on May 2 and didn't advance to the City championship match because it had won the title more recently than Beechcroft or Whetstone.

West defeated Whetstone 3-2 in the final May 14.

None of the Stars placed within the top four in singles or doubles in the Division II sectional tournament May 10 and 12 at Columbus School for Girls to advance to the district tournament held May 18 and 19 at Columbus Academy.

Going 1-1 at sectional were foreign exchange student Rafael DeCarvalho in singles and Oatney and Zecevic in doubles.

"It seems like we were one unfortunate step away from reaching all of our goals, but we still had a really good season for the experience level we have and the schedule that we played," Stevenson said.

The Stars lose three seniors in Zafris, Teddy Jones and Miles Wilburn. They also lose DeCarvalho, who is expected to return to Brazil at the end of this school year after going 13-1 at second singles in dual matches.

"Sam was a great leader who really cared about how the entire team did," Stevenson said. "We're losing most of our top singles players, along with Teddy, who is a good doubles player, but we've got some good kids coming back to build around.

"Ben and Slobodan played amazing tennis for their experience level, and (freshmen) Ben Bendolph and Martin Yzeiri gained some valuable experience playing varsity tennis, too."

Track and field teams fare well at district

The boys track and field team scored 60 points in the 13-team Division II, district 1 meet that concluded May 19 at Westerville South to place fifth behind champion Eastmoor (160).

The top four finishers in each district event qualified for the regional meet Thursday, May 24, and Saturday, May 26, at Lexington. The top four finishers in each regional event advance to the state meet June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.

Derrick Evans won the 3,200 meters in 10 minutes, 43.11 seconds.

Kevin Adams, Matthew Wolfe, Andrew Banks and Stanley Hendricks placed second in the 3,200 relay (8:32.98). Wolfe also placed second in the 1,600 (4:44.69) and placing fourth were the 1,600 relay (3:33.86) and Hendricks in the 800 (2:03.27).

"Our boys team did real well to place fifth," said girls coach Rhonda Reese, who coaches the distance runners for both teams. "We had a big group of distance runners move on, which is exciting. Our boys will need to drop more time to make it to state, but anything can happen."

The girls team scored 28 points in the 14-team Division I, district 3 meet that concluded May 19 at Hilliard Darby to finish 10th behind champion Reynoldsburg (116.5).

The top four finishers in each district event advanced to regional, which began May 23 and concludes Friday, May 25, at Pickerington North.

Qualifying for regional were Aarin Jones in the 400 (55.93, second), Emiyah Kelly in the 800 (team-record 2:19.04, third) and Kelly, Jenna Herron, Aalyah Slappy and Jones in the 1,600 relay (team-record 3:57.62, fourth).

"It's all about moving kids on at district, and when you do that while breaking school records, that's even more exciting," Reese said. "All of our girls have a shot at making state if they run well."