Of the Reynoldsburg High School girls track and field team's six regional competitors, each advanced to state either as part of a relay or in an individual event.

The Division I state meet begins Friday, June 2, and concludes Saturday, June 3, at Ohio State.

"It will be a great experience for all of them," coach Richard Ladowitz said. "(Our performance at regional) says a lot for the girls. Our training schedule is right on target."

Senior Mika Cox heads into state coming off a strong regional.

On May 24 and 26 at Pickerington North, Cox was fifth after the preliminary in the 400 meters but turned in a third-place finish (55.74 seconds) in the final.

She also ran on the third-place 1,600 relay (3:53.42) with seniors Hannah Gaskins and Tylar Mixon and sophomore Nia Grant.

The 400 relay of Gaskins, Mixon, junior Dalajah Long and freshman Jessica Ricks also advanced with a third-place finish (48.16).

"I was very pleased," Cox said. "It was such a great feeling to finally run the time (in the 400) that I've been trying to reach all season. Also, the team advanced in a lot of races, and I couldn't be more proud of them."

Last season at state, the 1,600 relay placed third, Cox was sixth in the 200 and the 800 relay was 10th.

At this year's regional, Reynoldsburg scored 24 points to place 11th behind champion Gahanna (97) as 35 teams scored.

"I felt that things went great (at regional)," Gaskins said. "We got a few (personal bests) and we definitely brought our 'A' game. We even surprised ourselves.

"I hope we'll continue to work hard in practice, encourage each other and get in a winning mindset rather than a mindset that settles for less."

Also competing at regional were Cox in the 200 (fifth, 25.14), Ricks in the 100 hurdles (sixth, 15.08), Grant in the 400 (ninth, 59.64) and Long in the 100 (10th, 12.69).

"I think we did so well because we were focused and determined to make it to state," Cox said. "A lot of us are seniors and want to end our last year in high school by doing the best we've ever done."

Boys team wants
strong state finish

The boys track team overcame adversity to come through with what it deemed a solid performance at regional.

Seniors J.J. Cooper and Travis Marx both advanced individually and ran on the 400 relay that earned a state berth despite injuries to two of its top competitors.

"We made it (to state) with our second alternate (in the 400 relay)," Ladowitz said.

Senior Sterling Smith hasn't been able to compete since the OCC-Ohio Division meet May 11 and 13 at Olentangy Orange because of a hamstring injury.

On May 24 in the preliminaries at regional, Cooper and Marx were joined by junior Marion Organ and freshman Adrian Logan on the 400 relay that had the fifth-best time.

Logan wasn't able to compete during the final two days later because of a hamstring injury he sustained during that event. He was replaced by sophomore Dionte Roddy, who helped the Raiders turn in a third-place finish (41.93).

Smith, who ran on the 400 and 800 relays throughout much of the regular season, could be available for the state meet, according to Ladowitz.

Also at regional, Marx won the 200 (21.48) and Cooper was third in the 100 (10.81) and third in the 200 (21.76).

The Raiders placed sixth (37) behind champion Thomas Worthington (73) as 37 teams scored.

"It was exciting (to win the 200)," Marx said. "I had to make a comeback after the 100 and the (800 relay)."

At state last season, Marx and Smith ran on the 400 relay that was fourth and on the 800 relay that placed fifth, and Marx added a fifth-place finish in the 200. Smith also competed on the 1,600 relay that was 10th.

Also scoring at regional were the 800 relay of Cooper, Marx, Organ and junior Elijah Dismuke (seventh, 1:29.17), Marx in the 100 (sixth, 10.94) and senior Tyler Britton in the discus (144 feet, 4 inches).

The other regional competitors for the Raiders were freshman Muhammed Fall in the 300 hurdles (10th, 40.58), senior Warrick Stanford in the 400 (15th, 51.82), the 1,600 relay of Stanford, senior Arrington Dulin, sophomore Lance Gauthney and freshman Wendesen King (16th, 3:37.98) and the 3,200 relay of Dulin, King, Stanford and junior Brandon Abernathy (16th, 8:25.28).

"I was hoping we'd get into the top five (at regional) and we got sixth, so it's tough to complain about that," Ladowitz said.

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