The Reynoldsburg High School boys tennis team had two of the top four seeded players in a Division I sectional tournament May 16 and 18, but it wasn't a surprise to coach Mark Mathias that a third player from his team also ended up among the top four finishers.
Sophomore Cameron Raglin captured the singles championship after entering as the No. 1 seed and senior Brandon Person took fourth after coming in as the fourth seed.
Junior Yosef Maher, who played third singles for the Raiders during the regular season, ended up upsetting third-seeded Nikil Rungaswamy of Dublin Jerome 6-0, 6-1 in a quarterfinal May 16 at home to give his team a third district qualifier.
The district tournament is Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25, at Hilliard Davidson. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the state tournament May 31 and June 1 at Ohio State.
Raglin lost in the first round of the state tournament a year ago.
"I was confident in (Maher) having a chance to make it," Mathias said. "I thought we had a good opportunity to have three singles players make it to district. They're all playing well."
After the sectional semifinals and finals were moved to Pickerington Central on May 18, Raglin beat Person 6-0, 6-0 in a semifinal and Olentangy's Austin Karbler 6-2, 6-1 in the final. Maher lost to Karbler 7-5, 6-1 in a semifinal but beat Person 6-1, 6-2 to take third.
Maher lost to Rungaswamy 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 on April 29, when Reynoldsburg lost to Jerome 5-0 in a dual match.
"It's my first time doing it, so I'm obviously happy to make it past the sectional," Maher said. "I definitely suffered after (finishing second in third singles in the OCC-Ohio tournament), so I'm definitely happy with the way I performed. I definitely stepped up my game."
The doubles team of juniors Zach Kahl and Isaac Kahn lost to Jerome's Pranav Kaza and Patrick Liu 6-2, 6-2 in a quarterfinal to come up one win short of district.
Also competing in doubles at sectional were juniors Raymond Truong and Bryn Bell, who lost 6-1, 6-1 in the second round to Pickerington North's Matt Barry and Patrick Yen.
"Our doubles players faced pretty tough draws at the sectional," Mathias said.
Gause, Wallace shine in girls track
The girls track and field team wasn't able to defend its OCC-Ohio championship May 16 and 18 at Thomas Worthington, but it wasn't because of a lack of effort from senior Diamond Gause or sophomore Leah Wallace.
Gause won the 100 meters (12.03 seconds), the 200 (25.01) and the 400 (57.42) and Wallace captured championships in the 1,600 (5:14.92) and 3,200 (11:56.27) as Reynoldsburg finished fourth with 78 points. Gahanna (177.5), Pickerington Central (141) and Pickerington North (116.5) took the top three spots and Lancaster (46.5), Grove City (43.5), Newark (35) and Groveport (21) rounded out the standings.
The Raiders are competing in the Division I, district 2 meet that was held May 21 and 22 and concludes Saturday, May 25, at Hilliard Darby. The top four in each event advance to the regional Wednesday, May 29, and May 31 at Pickerington North.
According to coach Richard Ladowitz, Gause was expected to compete in the 100, 200 and on the 1,600 relay at district.
"In one meet we got 50 points from two girls," he said.
Also scoring in the league meet were Kiara Chatman in the 400 (sixth, 1:00.66), Cherese Nimmons in the 200 (eighth, 26.91), Gloria Opoku in the 300 hurdles (eighth, 51.14), Courtney Purtell in the high jump (third, 5 feet), the 800 relay of Ramiah Thornhill, Imani Evans, Brianna Barber and Chatman (third, 1:47.24), the 400 relay of Opoku, Cymone Rodgers, Kuziah Smith and Barber (fifth, 52.58) and the 1,600 relay of Evans, Rodgers, Thornhill and Nimmons (seventh, 4:27.78).
Seitzer leads boys track team
The boys track team also is competing in the Division I, district 2 meet.
In the OCC-Ohio meet, the Raiders were seventh (26) behind Pickerington North (202), Pickerington Central (99), Gahanna (98), Lancaster (90), Groveport (67) and Newark (54) and ahead of Grove City (19).
Senior Dominik Seitzer won the 1,600 (4:19.64) and was sixth in the 800 (2:03.7). He also ran on the fourth-place 1,600 relay (3:28.41) with El Hadj Kamara, Jacob Cicak and Mark Gooden and on the sixth-place 3,200 relay (8:30.26) with Christian Snyder, Michael Crider and Jalen Jones.
Also placing were Gooden in the 400 (seventh, 53.14) and the 400 relay of Leon Evergin, Chris Cochenour, Caleb Holbrook and Cameron Young (sixth, 46.64).
"Dominik had a great race in the (1,600)," Ladowitz said. "That took a little out of him in the 800."
Most of softball team should return
The softball team is eligible to return all but four players after going 3-20 this season.
Jessie Alianiello (P/INF), Trenice Davidson (2B/3B) and Danni Woolever (C/OF) are seniors, and junior Kelley Alianiello (OF) is expected to graduate early.
Juniors Marissa Andrews (1B/C), Kaitlyn Cress (CF/1B), Savannah Hinkle (INF/OF) and Paige Parker (LF), sophomores Sydney Brown (P/INF/OF), Michel O'Brien (OF) and Bailey Long (INF/OF) and freshman Keiri Johnson (SS/P) should be among the top returnees.
Andrews led the Raiders with four home runs.
"I have not met with the new parks director (for the city) but we're trying to get as many kids playing summer ball as we can," second-year coach Rich Hogle said.
"The problem is that rec league is rec league and you want your talent to play talent in travel ball. One thing that really helped us this year is the new batting cage we had, but we still had over 100 errors."
The Raiders went 0-14 in the OCC-Ohio to finish last behind Grove City (13-1), Gahanna (11-3), Groveport (9-5), Pickerington Central (9-5), Lancaster (7-7), Pickerington North (5-9) and Newark (2-12). They have lost 62 consecutive league games.
Reynoldsburg opened the Division I district tournament with a 16-0 loss May 14 at Westerville Central in the first round.
Coach: Baseball team has bright future
The baseball team had three freshmen among its key players including shortstop Connor Richardson, who batted .402.
With the expected return as well of juniors Alex Core (P/INF) and Hunter Steele (P) and freshmen Shayne Lyons (P) and Nick McPommell (C/3B/P), Raiders coach Rob Gravatt is excited for the future.
Core batted .402.
"There's a lot to look forward to," Gravatt said. "At the beginning of the year you pencil in a lineup but we had some injuries at vital positions.
"We lost (Richardson) for a few weeks after we got off to a 3-1 start in Florida. We had a winning record this season when he was our shortstop."
The Raiders won five of their last seven of the regular season and opened the Division I district tournament with a 7-4 win over visiting Dela-ware on May 13.
Reynoldsburg lost 8-1 to top-seeded Pickerington North on May 15 in a second-round game to finish 11-17 overall.
"We played hard but had some baserunning mistakes at crucial times," Gravatt said. "The next thing we knew it was 8-1."
The Raiders went 4-10 in the OCC-Ohio to finish behind Pickerington North (12-2), Pickerington Central (10-4), Grove City (9-5), Gahanna (8-6), Lancaster (8-6) and Newark (5-9) and ahead of Groveport (0-14).
The Raiders lose six seniors, including their leading hitter in Nick Hedrick, who batted .407.
Sophomore Eric Duncan (1B/P) and junior Davis Otani (2B) are other key players eligible to return.