Notebook: Olentangy Braves thrower Reilly Worthington striving for state berth

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Olentangy junior Reilly Worthington is aiming to reach his first Division I state meet. He won both throwing events in the Freedom Relays on April 23 at Liberty and the Olentangy Invitational on April 30.

Olentangy boys thrower Reilly Worthington enters the most important part of the track and field season knowing both his goals and the distances he’ll need to reach to compete in his first Division I state meet.

Losses have been rare for the junior, but he talks as if he hasn’t accomplished anything so far.

“I’ve been trying to hit 50 feet like I have in practice. It just hasn’t been happening. Same with discus. I’m throwing well, but I feel like I should be throwing better,” said Worthington, whose season bests before the Delaware County Elite 8 on May 7 at Orange were 149 feet, 7 inches in the discus and 49-11 1/2 in the shot put. “I just have to work on some things to get (my distance) down. I haven’t been doing anything really special.”

Worthington sought his third consecutive sweep of throwing events in the Elite 8, having won both in the Freedom Relays on April 23 at Liberty and the Olentangy Invitational on April 30.

“He’s very natural at throwing with that rotational spin,” said his father and throws coach, Keith Worthington. “He’s always been consistent and he’s very coachable. It’s tough being the dad coach at times, but it’s fun and it’s rewarding. He is great and a humble kid. He gets along with all of his teammates and he never stops pushing himself.”

Both Keith and Reilly Worthington expect that Reilly will have to reach 55-0 in the shot put — a distance he has achieved only to be negated by fouls — and 160-0 in the discus to contend for a state berth.

“If he can get his finish down, he can easily hit those,” Keith Worthington said. 

The Braves wrap up the OCC-Cardinal Division meet May 15 at Thomas Worthington before turning their focus to the Division I district meet at Hilliard Darby. The boys and girls teams are in district 1 on May 18, 20 and 22.

The top four finishers in each event advance to regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North.

•With only one individual champion to go with two winning relays, depth helped the Orange boys track team win the Olentangy Invitational.

Leyton Suver won the 300-meter hurdles (43.16 seconds) as the Pioneers scored 142 points to finish ahead of runner-up Olentangy (107). Suver also was on the first-place 1,600 relay (3:34.57) with Lincoln Weber, Peyton Frazier and Joe Gargasz.

Nick Robinson, Jemal Burton, Frazier and Gargasz were on the winning 800 relay (1:35.23). Frazier was runner-up in the 200 (23.44), and Jordan Rudolph was second in the 100 (11.27).

Cole Benishek was second in the 3,200 (10:04.58), and Jadon Ampadu was runner-up in the 110 hurdles (15.61). Andrew Reynolds (high jump, 5-10 inches) and Jonathan Peterson (pole vault, 15-0) also placed second.

Sara Borton won the pole vault (12-0), Ava Musgrove won the 200 (25.93) and Noel Frye was first in the discus (118-7) and second in the shot put (33-4) to help lead the girls team to a second-place finish (144) behind Upper Arlington (166).

Josephine Davis, Musgrove, Cassidy Shimp and Borton were on the first-place 400 relay (50.7), and Musgrove, Celeste Conley, Kylie Hanson and Abby Faulkner won the 800 relay (1:44.96).

Hanson, Conley, Abby Wells and Faulkner were second in the 1,600 relay (4:10.59), and the runner-up 3,200 relay (10:32.39) featured Mairin O’Brien, Maddie Sharp, Makenna Younger and Kayla Sucharski. Hanson also was second in the 400 (1:01.39).

Orange competes in the OCC-Central meet May 13 and 15 at Westerville North before heading to the Division I, district 2 meet May 18, 19 and 22 at Darby. 

—Scott Hennen

•Luke Walden led the Berlin boys track team in the Olentangy Invitational as the Bears were third (107).

Walden won the pole vault (15-0) and was second in the long jump (20-9). Jack Dunlop was first in the 3,200 (4:30.84), Cooper Citro won the 800 (1:59.01) and Jude Elkins was first in the 110 hurdles (15.45).

Jackson Combs (300 hurdles, 44.71) and Cole Troyer (discus, 127-7) both were runners-up. Abram Murphy, Citro, Beau Pullens and Moses Murphy were on the second-place 1,600 relay (3:35.47).

The girls team finished sixth (35.33) led by third-place finishes from Maggie Conrad (pole vault, 10-0) and Brenna Mowrey (800, 2:31.15).

Berlin will compete in the Division I, district 3 meet May 19, 20 and 22 at Darby.

—Scott Hennen

Senior Vishnu Bodavula has been at first singles all season for Liberty. He is seeded third for the Division I sectional May 13 and 15 at Hilliard Bradley.

•One thing that Liberty boys tennis coach Adrian Tolentino believes shows the growth of his team is that it hasn’t lost 5-0 in a dual match. 

The Patriots, who are 8-4 heading into their regular-season finale May 18 at New Albany and finished 3-2 in the OCC-Central, have had senior Vishnu Bodavula at first singles and sophomore Jay Ramakkagari at second singles most of the season. 

Much of the remainder of the lineup, though, has been more fluid. 

“It’s been great,” Tolentino said. “If you look at our scores, we’ve only lost a match (4-1) one time and all of our other losses have been (3-2) losses, so we’ve developed phenomenally especially coming off the off year. It’s just a matter of how consistent our level of focus is when it comes to the (postseason).” 

Liberty opens the postseason in a Division I sectional May 13 and 15 at Hilliard Bradley. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district May 20 and 22 at Reynoldsburg. 

Bodavula is the third seed in singles. His only loss through 11 matches was 6-1, 6-2 on April 16 to St. Charles’ Reece Yakubov, who is the No. 1 seed. 

Also competing in singles are Ramakkagari and freshman Krish Badri. 

In doubles, seniors Arvind Nair and Nandha Srivenkateswaran are the third seed, with sophomore Elijah Polintan and freshman Marcus Bode as the other entrant. 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

Olentangy boys tennis player Sam Routzahn is the top seed in singles and teammates Trevor Gerald and Roshan Sriram are seeded second in doubles for a Division I sectional May 13 and 15 at Pickerington Central.

Dakshin Pisini and Sujan Sriram are the Braves’ other doubles team. Rounding out the sectional lineup in singles are Vedant Dave and Mitch MacDowell.

Olentangy was 10-3 before participating in the New Albany Invitational on May 8 and is scheduled to play New Albany in an OTCA district semifinal on a date to be determined. The winner faces Dublin Jerome or Upper Arlington in a district final, and the district champion advances to the state tournament May 30 at Reynoldsburg.

—Dave Purpura

Orange's Matt Wolfe was hitting .393 with team highs in homers (2), stolen bases (15) and on-base percentage (.551) through 20 games. The Pioneers were 18-2 overall and 10-1 in the OCC-Central before playing Dublin Coffman on May 7.

•The Orange baseball team had .392 batting average through 20 games.

Caden Konczak and Matt Wolfe had been the primary leaders for the Pioneers, who were 18-2 overall and 10-1 in the OCC-Central before playing Dublin Coffman on May 7.

Konczak was batting .457 and led the team in RBI (23), runs (27), doubles (9) and triples (6). The Toledo signee also had one home run and 13 stolen bases.

Wolfe was hitting .393 with team highs in homers (2), stolen bases (15) and on-base percentage (.551). The Vanderbilt recruit also had 17 RBI and 20 runs.

Sam Sells led with a .465 batting average and had 14 RBI and 19 runs, and Cole Cahill was batting .419 with 19 RBI and 13 runs. Logan Shearer was hitting .404 with 19 RBI and 14 runs, and Connor Till was batting .391 with 10 RBI and nine runs.

Josh Laisure was hitting .391 with 16 RBI, 17 runs and 11 stolen bases, and Austin Knupp was batting .351 with nine RBI, 18 runs and 11 stolen bases. 

—Scott Hennen

•The Liberty baseball team bounced back from back-to-back OCC-Central losses by beating Coffman 4-0 on May 5 on a four-hitter by senior pitcher Joe Tootle. 

The Patriots improved to 16-5 overall and 7-4 in the league. 

Liberty is preparing for the 47-team Division I district tournament, which begins May 17.  

Against Coffman, Tootle walked twice, sophomore shortstop Mason Onate had two hits and junior left fielder Nolan Fogg and junior right fielder Connor Bourn both had two RBI. 

Senior Nick Falter and sophomore Anderson Gomez also have been mainstays in the rotation for the Patriots, who are scheduled to close the regular season May 14 at Orange and May 15 at home against Olentangy. Liberty lost to the Pioneers 5-2 on April 30 and 6-4 on May 3 in league games. 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

•Gavin Angell has led the offense for the Berlin boys lacrosse team, which was 9-7 overall after losing to Hilliard Davidson 10-1 on May 6.

Through 13 games, Angell had 41 goals and 22 assists. Zack Zielinski had 16 goals and three assists, and Zach Rainey had 12 goals.

Drew Haver had 11 goals and two assists, and goalie Sam Warner had 135 saves.

The Bears finished 2-4 in the OCC-Cardinal.

—Scott Hennen

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