Seitzer, Wallace bound for state
This is the weekend Reynoldsburg High School senior Dominik Seitzer and sophomore Leah Wallace have been working for.
On Oct. 27, Wallace took a step toward competing for her first individual state cross country championship when she won the Division I regional girls title in 18 minutes, 44.9 seconds at Pickerington North.
Earlier in the day, Seitzer reached a season-long goal of advancing to state when he finished ninth in 16:10.92 in the Division I boys regional race.
On Saturday, Nov. 3, Seitzer will race at 12:30 p.m. and Wallace will compete at 3 p.m. in the state meet at National Trail Raceway.
"I just want to keep tapering and feel fresh," Wallace said. "We'll do a few workouts. This is my favorite time of year. It's exciting."
"It feels good to (make it to state) as an individual," Seitzer said. "This year not having (any teammates at regional) was hard, but I'm happy to still be going."
A year ago, Wallace placed fifth (19:15.22) at regional and 13th (18:35.76) in the first state meet held at National Trail Raceway.
She led this year's regional for most of the way and beat Westerville North's Heather Sandvik (18:51.73) by nearly seven seconds while competing as an individual.
The top four teams and top 16 individuals advanced to state.
"I was ready for it," Wallace said. "I led for most of it. My goal was to stay with it in the first mile and I just kept telling myself, 'Push it, push it.' We've been tapering ... so my legs were fresh. My goal was to win it, so it's really, really exciting."
A year ago, 2012 Reynoldsburg graduate Tsehaye Hiluf captured the state boys championship in 15:21.52.
Hiluf attended the regional Oct. 27 to support Seitzer, who placed 33rd (17:06.66) at regional a year ago. The Raiders were sixth as a team at regional last season but only advanced Seitzer to the regional this fall.
"The first mile of the race I was probably in the lead pack and I held on for as long as I could," Seitzer said. "I just wanted to have fun with it."
Football team beats Groveport
The football team closed the season with a 28-0 win at Groveport on Oct. 26.
The 7-3 finish was the Raiders' best record since 2001, when they were 9-3 and made it to the Division I, Region 3 playoffs for the only time in program history.
Reynoldsburg settled for 10th this season in Region 3 as the top eight teams advanced to the playoffs.
Pickerington North and Pickerington Central each went 6-1 to share the OCC-Ohio Division title ahead of the Raiders (5-2), Gahanna and Grove City (4-3), Lancaster (2-5), Newark (1-6) and Groveport (0-7).
Against Groveport, Kumar Collins rushed 30 times for 126 yards with touchdown runs of 1, 2 and 3 yards as the Raiders led 21-0 by halftime. Cory Beal returned a fumble 10 yards for a score during the second half.
The Raiders won their final three games after losing to Pickerington North 49-27 on Oct. 5.
Boys soccer team falls in district semi
The boys soccer team beat Westerville North 3-1 on Aug. 21 but couldn't earn a season sweep of the Warriors as it lost 1-0 on Oct. 24 in a Division I district semifinal.
North's Jacob Pulliam scored with 27 minutes remaining.
"I told them at halftime that North was very one-dimensional and that they were trying to attack on the outside," Reynoldsburg coach Justin Lewis said.
"After the first five minutes we made an adjustment and I feel like they really didn't get another clean look at the goal. We lost track of our mark (on the goal) and had a guy take advantage of it."
Reynoldsburg, which opened the district tournament with a 2-1 win over Marysville on Oct. 20 in the second round, finished 6-10-2.
The Raiders were district champions a year ago.
Girls volleyball coach happy with progress
First-year girls volleyball coach Amber Harris believes her program took steps forward this fall.
After going a combined 6-39 the past two seasons, including 3-20 a year ago, the Raiders went 5-20 this fall. They opened the Division I district tournament with a 25-8, 25-17, 25-14 loss to Watterson on Oct. 16.
"I do feel that my team has made some steps in the right direction," Harris said. "Each and every girl that was involved in the program this year improved a great deal. We have many good athletes and a lot of talent to work with. ... Now it's time to focus on getting better through hard work and dedication throughout the offseason."
The Raiders lose four seniors in Emma Few, Paige Lovensheimer, Shiloh Murphy and Mackenzie Snare.
Juniors Nia Coleman, Kaylin Davison and Paige Thomas and freshman Deja Clark were key players. Juniors Loegan Brzezinski and Taylor Corns and sophomores Lexi Biller, Sydney Brown, Madison Eubanks, Alexa Jeffers and Bailey Long were other letterwinners.
Murphy led the Raiders in kills (102) and serving aces (32), Clark led in blocks (52), Davison in digs (225) and Jeffers in assists (216).
Reynoldsburg went 0-14 in the OCC-Ohio to finish behind Pickerington North (14-0), Gahanna (11-3), Grove City and Newark (9-5 each), Lancaster (7-7) and Groveport and Pickerington Central (3-11 each).
"Even though our record does not show much success in the way of winning matches, I had a lot of fun with the girls that were on the team," Harris said.
"The senior class this year was an integral part of beginning to build a strong volleyball program. These four seniors did exactly what seniors should do -- positively lead and guide the underclassmen."