Although she still has moments when she feels "very weird" about the plight of her athletic career, Reynoldsburg High School senior Alicia Rodgers couldn't be happier with the direction things have been going this spring.

Although she still has moments when she feels "very weird" about the plight of her athletic career, Reynoldsburg High School senior Alicia Rodgers couldn't be happier with the direction things have been going this spring.

Originally interested in competing for the Raiders' girls track and field team to keep in shape for volleyball, Rodgers this season has completed a leap into track stardom.

After competing in club volleyball each of the past four years, Rodgers elected to concentrate solely this spring on helping Reynoldsburg defend its Division I state championship.

The Raiders, and Rodgers, have quickly reaped the benefits of that decision.

Rodgers is doing the unique combination of the high jump, the shot put and discus, and has had significant success in all three.

"Coach (Denny) Hammond would always say, 'You're a track athlete that plays volleyball,'" Rodgers said. "Volleyball was always my first sport until I realized that volleyball wasn't going to be my way into college. It's just crazy because I never thought it would be track."

In the Maralyn H. Wood Invitational on April 10 at Cleveland Collinwood, Rodgers won the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches). She also was second in the discus (122-8) and fourth in the shot put (33-6) to earn Most Valuable field events performer.

She then topped her discus performance April 17 in the Mansfield Mehock Relays when she threw 131-9 to finish second behind Sarah Moss from Ontario (Canada) Notre Dame (meet record 147-7).

Rodgers' discus throw was first in the area Honor Roll released April 19.

After earning second-team all-OCC and second-team all-district honors in volleyball during her senior season, Rodgers will be looking for big postseason finishes this spring.

Her final OCC-Ohio Division track meet is May 13 and 15, followed by the Division I postseason.

In the conference meet last year, she finished third in the discus (103-11) but didn't place among the top eight in the high jump. She didn't compete in the shot put at the league or district meets.

Although she joined track expecting success in the high jump, her best performance didn't come until this season when she cleared 5-0 on March 27 in the Hammond Relays. That finish would have been good enough to advance her to the regional last year from two of the three district meets.

Rodgers was a regional qualifier in the discus last year and came close to completing a throw of what she estimated was about 125 feet, but fouled on the attempt. She finished 10th (105-0).

Rodgers' best throw in the shot put over the season's first month was 34-11, which would have been good enough to advance from the district 3 meet last year where the Raiders won the team championship.

She kicked off this year by finishing sixth in the weight throw (39-2) in the state indoor championships March 20 in Akron.

Rodgers, who is the executive treasurer for Reynoldsburg's branch of the National Honor Society and has a 4.1 GPA, is considering an academic scholarship to Ohio State and a track scholarship to Akron.

"I looked over at my teammates (after the runner-up throw at Mansfield) and my teammates were just like, 'Alicia!'" Rodgers said.

"Last year, my best throw was only 117-4. Last year I focused the whole season on throwing and this year I'm not doing club volleyball. I've been able to use my energy a lot better, and I've also done more strength training work in the weight room."

Rodgers comes from a family of athletes that includes her older brother, Leon Rodgers Jr. An Eastmoor and Northern Illinois graduate, he played professional basketball in Germany, France, Holland and China and is currently playing for Leones de Ponce in Puerto Rico.

Her father, Leon Rodgers Sr., played football for Ohio State in the mid-1970s.

Rodgers' ascension has enhanced a Raiders' roster which has been led all season by Faith Washington (school record in 100-meter hurdles, 14.85) and Destinee Gause (school record in 100, 11.85).

"(Rodgers is) a great student and one of those people who can do a lot of things well," Hammond said. "She's really starting to believe that she's a track athlete."

At a glance

Below are recent results and the coming schedule for the Reynoldsburg boys and girls track and field teams:

April 6 - Boys: Defeated Grove City 68-64; Girls: Lost to Grove City 90-41

April 10 - Boys: Finished fourth (73) in 13-team Maralyn H. Wood Invitational at Cleveland Collinwood behind champion Cleveland Glenville (155); Girls: Finished fifth (52) in 15-team Wood Invitational behind champion Rocky River Magnificat (101)

April 13 - Boys: Def. Newark 66-62; Girls: Lost to Newark 78-48

April 17 - Boys: Finished tied for 24th (8) with three other teams in 43-team Mansfield Mehock Relays behind champion Glenville (70); Girls: Finished first (66) in 34-team Mehock Relays. Champions were Donyelle Brown in the shot put (42-5 1/4), Destinee Gause in the 200 (24.65) and 400 (57.52), Faith Washington in the 100 (14.88) and the 800 relay (1:43.51).

April 20 - Boys: Def. Pickerington North 80-43; Girls: Lost to Pickerington North 69-49

Last Friday - Boys: Finished sixth (33.5) at 21-team Edwin Moses Relays behind champion Centerville (83.5). The Raiders won the 6,400 relay (18:36.25); Girls: Finished third (43) at 20-team Edwin Moses Relays behind Mason (68.5) and Lebanon (44). The Raiders won the 800 relay (1:41.04) and 1,600 relay (3:59.6) and Alicia Rodgers was first in the discus (129-8).

Last Tuesday - Boys, girls: Competed against Lancaster

Friday - Boys, girls: At Don Mitchell Roosevelt Invitational in Dayton

Tuesday - Boys, girls: Home vs. Groveport