Things have started to come together for junior Leah Wallace of the Reynoldsburg High School girls track and field team.
The two-time state qualifier in the 3,200 meters was selective regarding what meets to compete in this season, instead spending much of the regular season training.
She hopes a pair of runner-up league finishes is the push she needs for another successful postseason.
Wallace and the Raiders are competing in the Division I, district 1 meet that began May 20, continues Thursday, May 22, and concludes Saturday, May 24, at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional Wednesday, May 28, and May 30 at Pickerington North.
"The last few weeks my training has changed," Wallace said. "My confidence is starting to come back for the postseason. I've been training more than racing this year."
In the OCC-Ohio Division meet May 15 and 17 at Thomas Worthington, Wallace earned a runner-up finish in the 1,600 meters (5 minutes, 19.82 seconds) behind Gahanna's Kelsey Sandlin (5:10.7).
She then stayed with Sandlin for the first half of the 3,200 before settling for second (11:56.95). Sandlin won in 11:39.4.
A year ago, Wallace earned a district runner-up finish and won the regional title before taking 13th at state.
She was the top finisher in this year's league meet for the girls team, which placed seventh (38) behind Gahanna (202.5), Pickerington Central (141), Pickerington North (91.5), Lancaster (58.5), Grove City (56) and Newark (47.5) and ahead of Groveport (25).
Gloria Opoku took third in the 100 hurdles (15.68) and was eighth in the 300 hurdles (53.08). She also ran on the fourth-place 400 relay (51.55) with Bryanna Barber, Monique Bolton and Cymone Rodgers.
The 800 relay of Barber, Bolton, Maisha Rash and Rodgers was fourth (1:51.33).
Also placing were Alexis Anderson in the long jump (seventh, 14 feet, 5 1/2 inches) and the 100 hurdles (eighth, 17.36), Rash in the 300 hurdles (seventh, 51.57) and the 1,600 relay of Finesse Jones, Rash, Rodgers and Nicole Thatcher (eighth, 4:28.37).
The boys team, which also is competing in district 1, was seventh (34) in the league meet behind North (170.5), Lancaster (154), Gahanna (80), Central (79), Groveport (69) and Newark (43) and ahead of Grove City (27.5).
Ashton Dulin won the 300 hurdles (39.13) and was fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.27). He also ran on the fifth-place 1,600 relay (3:34.35) with Mark Gooden, Spencer Kershaw and Christian Snyder.
The 400 relay of Jalen Duncan, Caleb Holbrook, Travis Marx and Jordan Pryor took fifth (45.61) and the 3,200 relay of Kershaw, Hunter Rich, Warrick Stanford and Snyder was sixth (8:57.03).
Placing eighth were Marx in the long jump (19-10) and Tyler Britton in the discus (116-6).
"Our girls relays were pretty solid, and I'm real proud of Tyler Britton," coach Richard Ladowitz said. "He hadn't picked up a discus before the start of the season and he scored a point for us."
Raglin, Maher advance to district in tennis
Junior Cameron Raglin will make his third consecutive Division I district tournament appearance and senior Yosef Maher is back at that level for the second year in a row for the boys tennis team.
Top-seeded Raglin beat second-seeded Evan Yakubov of St. Charles 7-6, 6-4 for the sectional championship May 18 at Reynoldsburg. Third-seeded Maher lost to Brad Strawser of Teays Valley 6-4, 6-3 in the consolation match.
"We've played some really good teams, so I'm going into district definitely feeling confident," Maher said.
Raglin, who has been battling a minor shoulder injury, retired during a 4-1 loss against Pickerington North on May 8. He won his match against Dublin Jerome 6-0, 6-0 on May 13 and then won each of his first four sectional matches 6-0, 6-0.
"When I retired, it was more of a precautionary thing," Raglin said. "(The postseason) is more important. When we played Dublin Jerome that was my first match back and I was a little shaky, but I've bounced back pretty fast."
Reynoldsburg lost to Jerome 3-2 to fall to 10-5 overall.
On May 16, Raglin and Maher both won their first three sectional matches to qualify for district.
Last season, Raglin won a sectional title and took third at district. Maher took third at sectional and lost his first-round district match.
The district tournament is Friday, May 23, and Saturday, May 24, at Hilliard Davidson. The top four singles players advance to the state tournament May 30 and 31 at Ohio State.
"The toughest competition (at district) is going to come from the (Upper Arlington) sectional," coach Mark Mathias said. "There will be four good players coming from there and the big key is going to be the draw."
Also at sectional, Isaac Khan advanced to a quarterfinal before falling to Strawser 6-0, 6-0. The doubles teams of Malcolm Kirksey and Bryn Bell and of Zach Kahl and Raymond Truong each lost in the second round.
"Khan played well," Mathias said. "Our doubles players had some tough competition."
Baseball team falls to Darby
With runners on first and third and none out in the top of the sixth of a 2-all game against Darby on May 14, the host baseball team was forced off the field because of a tornado warning.
When play resumed the next day at St. Charles, the Raiders didn't take advantage of the opportunity.
Darby pitcher Brett Hay got a pair of strikeouts and a Reynoldsburg runner was picked off at first to end the threat.
In the bottom of the sixth, the 10th-seeded Panthers got a leadoff walk, a fielding error on a bunt and an RBI single by Hunter McSweeney as they went on to win the Division I district tournament second-round game 3-2.
"(Not scoring in the top of the sixth) pretty much killed all the momentum, and then not being able to make the play on the bunt hurt," said coach Rob Gravatt, whose team was seeded 28th.
In the fourth against Darby, Alex Core homered and Shane Lyons singled and scored on a single by Connor Richardson to give the Raiders a 2-1 lead.
Reynoldsburg advanced to the game by beating 43rd-seeded Walnut Ridge 12-2 on May 12. Core pitched the first three innings to earn the victory.
The Raiders were 13-14 after the loss to Darby. Their game May 6 against Canal Winchester was moved because Reynoldsburg had to make up a league game. It was rescheduled for May 16, but the Indians ended up with a district tournament game that day.
If the game is rescheduled, proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen organization's fight against breast cancer.
Softball team loses to Delaware
The 39th-seeded softball team fell to second-seeded Delaware 16-0 on May 16 in the second round of the Division I district tournament.
The Raiders finished 6-18.
During a 15-4 win over 41st-seeded Northland in the first round May 13, Reynoldsburg scored seven runs in the first and six in the second as Sydney Brown started and picked up the victory. Reanna Moline also pitched for the Raiders.