Competing in the Division II state boys tennis tournament for the first time a year ago proved to be an eye-opening experience for Worthington Christian High School junior Joel Montgomery.

Competing in the Division II state boys tennis tournament for the first time a year ago proved to be an eye-opening experience for Worthington Christian High School junior Joel Montgomery.

After defeating Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic senior Andrew Linden 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in his state opener, Montgomery lost to Pepper Pike Orange junior Maksim Kan 6-0, 6-0 in the second round.

While Kan won the state singles title but is not playing high school tennis this year, Montgomery has won all eight of his postseason matches this season in straight sets.

His next task is his second consecutive state tournament, which will be held Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1, at Ohio State.

He beat Columbus Academy's Shrikar Kundur 6-0, 6-1 to win a sectional title May 20 at Academy and defeated Watterson senior Ryan Bibo 6-4, 6-3 to capture the district championship May 25 at Academy.

"It's been my goal to get back (to state) and do it more handily," Montgomery said. "Now I've got to improve even more. When I lost to Kan, it inspired me to work a lot harder. I really want to improve.

"I feel like I've improved everywhere since last year. I've been working on just being a better all-around player."

Montgomery opened the district tournament by beating Watterson sophomore Kevin Beattie 6-1, 6-1 and then was leading Village Academy senior James Pyne 6-1, 3-0 before Pyne retired.

The top two district finishers in singles and doubles advanced to the state tournament.

"He was playing really well (at district) and was aggressive," coach Alex Schmidt said. "He was hitting his shots. Because of what happened to him at state last year, he knew how much he needed to improve. He's added some weapons to his game and has more confidence in his game. He's a lot more relaxed coming into his matches."

Boys track teammoves on in 8 events

Paced by one first-place district finish, the boys track and field team advanced seven athletes in eight events to the Division III regional meet that began May 29 and concludes Friday, May 31, at Fairfield Union.

The top four in each event advance to the state meet June 7 and 8 at Ohio State.

Winning a championship in the district 2 meet held May 21, 22 and 25 at Hamilton Township was the 400-meter relay of juniors Chris Osborn, Jordan Brown and Jay Trainer and sophomore J.J. Phillips (44.99 seconds).

The Warriors tied Mount Gilead for third (74) behind Fairbanks (134) and Grandview (90) as 16 teams scored.

Also advancing were Osborn in the 100 (second, 11.45), Phillips in the 200 (fourth, 23.54), junior Mark Parsell in the 400 (fourth, 51.73) and long jump (fourth, 19 feet, 2 3/4 inches) and junior Luke Proxmire in the high jump (second, 5-10).

The 800 relay of Osborn, Trainer, Parsell and Phillips was second (1:31.88) and the 1,600 relay of junior Matt Watterson, Proxmire, Parsell and Phillips was fourth (3:33.71).

Watterson came up short of advancing in the 800, as he placed fifth (2:08.45).

Last season, Parsell, Phillips and Watterson all ran on the 1,600 relay that finished sixth (3:26.36) at state.

Hemmings, Coleadvance to regional

The girls track team advanced sophomore Natalee Cole and freshman Christina Hemmings to the Division III regional.

In the district meet, Hemmings was first in the 100 hurdles (16.65) and Cole was second in the 200 (27.37), third in the 400 (1:00.4) and fourth in the 100 (12.96).

The Warriors finished eighth (41) behind champion Columbus Academy (96.5) as 24 teams scored.

Baseball team isdistrict runner-up

The baseball team had its best postseason since earning district runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2008.

The third-seeded Warriors opened the Division IV district tournament by beating 12th-seeded Gahanna Christian 15-0 in five innings May 13 and seventh-seeded Shekinah Christian 2-1 on May 15 before defeating sixth-seeded Danville 2-1 in a district semifinal May 20 at Hilliard Darby.

On May 22, Worthington Christian lost to top-seeded Newark Catholic 14-4 in five innings in a district final at Don Edwards Field in Newark to finish 16-8.

The Green Wave has won eight consecutive district championships.

Coach Tim Kraynak was unable to coach the team for about two weeks during the regular season because of a health issue. His brother, Michael Kraynak, filled in during his absence.

"We had great chemistry this year," Tim Kraynak said. "We had five seniors, and four of them were everyday players. Every single one of them hit .350 or higher. You expect intangibles from seniors but when they do it (on the field) it's special."

Junior Casey Hamrick was the starting pitcher in the tournament loss.

Freshman Brian Fields (1B/P) and sophomores Alex Sanders (C) and Jordan Nishizaki (P/INF) are other key players eligible to return.

Senior Clayton Siders started at shortstop and pitched in six games, senior Frankie Myers was the winning pitcher in relief against Danville, senior Caleb Penney split time between catcher, first base, second base, third base and pitcher and senior Jordan Rugg (OF) also was a regular.

Penney recently committed to Ohio Christian University.