Cameron Raglin believes the Scarborough Tennis and Fitness Club 14-and-under tennis team landed in one of the toughest brackets at the Advanced USTA Junior Team Tennis national championship held Oct. 21-24 at Surprise, Ariz., and that hurt its chances of winning the championship.

Cameron Raglin believes the Scarborough Tennis and Fitness Club 14-and-under tennis team landed in one of the toughest brackets at the Advanced USTA Junior Team Tennis national championship held Oct. 21-24 at Surprise, Ariz., and that hurt its chances of winning the championship.

The Columbus-area team placed 13th of 16 teams at the event.

"We were definitely in the hardest bracket," said Raglin, 13, who lives in Reynoldsburg and attends Wayne Road Junior High School. "The tournament was very fun. I met a lot of people, but we had a lot of hard competition."

Scarborough, which represented the Midwest, went 1-2 against teams in the fourth flight of the advanced tournament, defeating the Southern California representative 30-29 and losing to the Middle States representative 40-21 and the Hawaii-Pacific representative 39-20.

Because of its record in round-robin play, Scarborough could not finish higher than 13th.

In the placement tournament, it defeated the New England representative 40-21 and the Missouri Valley representative 40-4.

The other three finishers from the fourth flight finished in the top 10, with the Middle States representative placing third, the Hawaii-Pacific representative earning seventh and the Southern California representative taking ninth.

Raglin played singles for Scarborough, as did Blair Carr of Pickerington and Andrea Ballinger of Columbus. Shrikar Kundur of New Albany and Kyah Thomas of Groveport formed one doubles team and D.J. Thomas and Isis Thomas, both of Groveport, formed the other.

Scarborough is the first team to qualify for the national tournament since New Albany Country Club made it in 2005. It qualified by winning a district championship July 23-25 in Wilmington and winning a 15-team Midwest sectional tournament that featured teams from a seven-state region Aug. 8-10 in Indianapolis.

Coach Bob Hilborn believes the kids got much more out of the experience than just playing in a tournament. Participants had a question-and-answer session with former tennis professionals Mark Philippoussis, an Australian who reached the finals of the U.S. Open in 1998 and Wimbledon in 2003, and Aaron Krickstein, an American who was ranked sixth in singles in 1990.

"It's something they're going to remember for a lifetime," Hilborn said. "We got the royal treatment. I think it was a really good experience for the kids. Everyone raised the level of their game and all of them want to come back."