Reynoldsburg Roundup: Raiders' Marsellis Davis happy to finish prep track career at state

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Reynoldsburg's Marsellis Davis competes in the 800 meters in the Division I state meet June 5 at Hilliard Darby. Davis, a senior and Howard commit, finished 17th in the 800 in 1 minute, 59.24 seconds.

When it was time to determine what he’d compete in during the postseason for the Reynoldsburg boys track and field team, senior Marsellis Davis had a difficult decision to make. 

Davis was a qualifier for the Division I regional cross country meet last fall and then competed at the state indoor track finale March 7 in the 1,600 meters. 

During his return to outdoor competition, though, the 800 also seemed like a strong possibility. 

Davis, who competed at the regional in 2019 as part of the 3,200 relay, elected to go with the shorter distance and ended up at state to close his prep career. 

On June 5 in the Division I state meet at Hilliard Darby, Davis finished 17th in the 800 in 1 minute, 59.24 seconds. 

“I just did a lot of talking with my coach about whether I’d have a better chance of making it to state in the (1,600) or the 800,” Davis said. “We decided on the 800 and it worked out.” 

Davis was one of two state qualifiers for the Raiders, who didn’t score at state. The other was senior Kyle Cannon, who false-started in the preliminary of the 400 on June 4. 

Davis, who has committed to Howard, was one of two regional qualifiers for the Raiders in the 800 along with senior Seth Davis. 

Seth Davis is an Ohio University commit who was third at the state indoor finale after being a state qualifier in cross country last fall, but was hindered at the regional by a hamstring injury, according to coach Richard Ladowitz. 

Marsellis Davis was hoping for a better finish at state but ran slightly faster than when he finished fourth in 2:00.51 at the regional. 

“It’s not what I wanted (it) to be honestly,” he said. “It means a lot (to be at state). I’ve been working toward this my whole life so I’m happy to be (at state) and be able to run with the best. 

“I thought it was a great season. I got to train with Seth all season. We had a bunch of great races and I won district (in 1:54.82 on May 22 at Darby) so that was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it.” 

Cannon was a district runner-up in the 400 (48.99) and ran 50.4 while finishing fifth at the regional May 28 at Pickerington North to earn the final at-large berth to state. 

“This is his first time running,” Ladowitz said. “He lost last year and then he’s had an injury the past two indoor seasons, so he hasn’t been able to run with us. One of the injuries was a thumb injury, so some really weird stuff, but up to this point he had never (run faster than 50 seconds). He just kept getting better and better and peaked at district.” 

Juniors Markez Gillam, Ibrahim Fall, Deon Campbell and Sedric Cowans and sophomore Tehron Spencer should be among the top returnees. 

Gillam was a regional qualifier in the 100 and 200 and also ran on the 400 relay with Campbell, Fall and senior Daniel Broomfield and the 800 relay with Campbell, Fall and Cowans as both reached the regional. 

Spencer, who was hampered by an injury late in the season, was runner-up in the 300 hurdles at the OCC-Buckeye Division meet. 

Juniors J’Tahn Ellison (high jump), Justin Harrison (discus, shot put), Andrew Potter (distance) and Mitchell Rollins (hurdles), sophomore Ethan Sabo (discus) and freshmen Alex Begeny (distance), Jackson Powell (middle distance) and Maxwell Rollins (hurdles) are other contributors eligible to return. 

“They made strides in the sense that running in a big meet is going to be important for their experience,” Ladowitz said. “Markez hasn’t run track since his freshman year and didn’t run indoor, so that experience would have helped him. Qualifying in the 100, 200 and on (two relays to the regional) was really a big step for him to become a track big dog. We’ve got a bunch of juniors and a good class of juniors coming back.” 

Reynoldsburg's Milan Patterson hands the baton to Hollyn Tillman during an early season race. Both are expected to be among the top returnees for the Raiders.

Girls track team 

plans busy offseason 

According to Ladowitz, several members of the girls track team made it clear that they’re ready to get more serious about the sport. 

“The problem we talked about at the beginning of the year is that we had some depth, but it was that depth we lost at the end of the year that hurt us,” Ladowitz said. “We were waiting to put it all together. We’re going to work on more of a summer program for these kids and do more strength training of our own in the weight room.” 

The girls team didn’t have any state qualifiers, with its 400 relay of senior Kasha Rhodes, juniors Milan Patterson and Jamiona Ross and sophomore Hollyn Tillman finishing sixth (50.54) and the 800 relay of the same four placing eighth (1:46.05) at the regional. 

Ross also was a regional qualifier in the 100 and 200 and Patterson finished 11th in the long jump at the regional after winning a district title the week before. 

Juniors Paige Castello (middle distance), Nya Collier (sprints) and Abby Robinson (distance) and freshmen Aria Brown (discus, shot put), Marissa French (shot put) and Emma Hinds (distance) are others eligible to return. 

Collier was league runner-up in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles but was unable to compete in the postseason because of injury. 

“Jamiona is a basketball girl running track, but she’s never been in the weight room with us,” Ladowitz said. “She’s going to do summer track. There’s going to be more of a focus on track and field because of her potential. Hollyn Tillman is a sophomore who’s going to be in our summer track program.” 

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

@UlreyThisWeek 

TRACK & FIELD 

OCC-Ohio standings: Boys — Lancaster (168), Pickerington Central (153), Reynoldsburg (115), Groveport (51), Newark (30), Central Crossing (6); Girls — Central (164), Lancaster (158.5), Newark (95), Reynoldsburg (63), Groveport (38), Central Crossing (2.5) 

Seniors lost: Boys — Daniel Broomfield, Kyle Cannon, Marsellis Davis, Seth Davis, Mekhi Lewis, Jehan Martin, Dominic Sabo and Andre Turner; Girls — Kara Cannon, Mya Graham, Shakirah Hoffman, Adja Mbow, Avril Moyer, Alyse Powell, Kasha Rhodes and Kristin Sheets 

Key returnees: Boys — Deon Campbell, Sedric Cowans, J’Tahn Ellison, Ibrahim Fall, Markez Gillam, Jackson Powell and Tehron Spencer; Girls — Paige Castello, Nya Collier, Milan Patterson, Jamiona Ross and Hollyn Tillman 

Postseason: Boys — Fourth (51) at district behind champion Canal Winchester (114), tied for 17th (14) at regional behind champion Hilliard Darby (68), did not score at state; Girls — Sixth (43) at district behind champion Central (85), tied for 26th (4) at regional behind champion Gahanna (84)