Wellington Roundup: Jaguars boys tennis team wraps up strong season at state

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Wellington senior Griffin Biernat competes in the Division II state tournament May 28 at Camargo Racquet Club in Cincinnati. Biernat lost 6-2, 6-3 to eventual champion Andrew Zimcosky of Chagrin Falls after a first-round victory.

As they reflected on winning a match in the Division II state tournament May 28 at Camargo Racquet Club in Cincinnati, the Wellington boys tennis doubles team of senior Evan Manley and junior Brayden Chawla didn’t take anything for granted. 

Manley and Chawla entered the postseason as the No. 3 seed for the Columbus Academy sectional that began May 11 but came away with a confidence-boosting 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over top-seeded Will Meyer and Stefan Schiff of Bexley to win the championship May 15. 

They also upset second-seeded Austin Flamm and Mitchell Giller from Bexley 6-2, 6-1 in a sectional semifinal.

“We had a big match in sectionals to beat Bexley’s Meyer and Schiff and that’s pretty much what got us here,” Manley said. “It’s great to be here and get a win at state and be all-Ohio. It’s pretty cool.” 

Manley and Chawla defeated Ottawa-Glandorf seniors Colin Welch and Carter Welch 6-3, 6-3 in the first round at state before losing 6-0, 6-1 to junior Tejas Pisati and freshman R.J. Pofenberger of Cincinnati Indian Hill in a quarterfinal. Pisati and Pofenberger went on to finish third.

“I wasn’t expecting us to get this far,” Chawla said. 

Wellington also had its top two singles players — senior Griffin Biernat and freshman Sanjan Shanker — reach the quarterfinal round at state. 

Biernat lost 6-2, 6-3 to junior and eventual champion Andrew Zimcosky of Chagrin Falls after a 6-1, 6-1 first-round victory over Lima Shawnee sophomore Mason Stahl. 

Shanker opened with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Shawnee freshman Gabe Burke before losing 6-0, 6-1 to Indian Hill freshman Jack Pollock. 

“I had a good draw and that helped me (win) one match,” Shanker said. “(I learned) probably that I need to attack a lot more because I’m more of a passive player and I need to be more aggressive.”

Wellington finished 10-5, which included a 3-1 loss to Academy on May 18 in a district final of the Division II OTCA team tournament. 

Junior Sadeq Al-Ali was third at sectional and lost in the first round at district in singles, and sophomores Jack Kalnicki and Sriharsha Reddy lost in a doubles quarterfinal at sectional. 

Freshman Hussein Al-Ali is another eligible to return. 

“It was nice,” Shanker said. “Everyone played well and it was a very good year.” 

Junior Harvey Wheeler is expected to be one of the top returnees for the Wellington boys track and field team.

Track’s return year

ends at regional 

In the track and field program’s first season since 2016, the Jaguars were represented in three individual events and two relays in the Division III regional May 26 and 28 at Chillicothe Southeastern. 

All of the regional competitors were in the girls meet but none scored. 

Senior Reagan Kadlic was 10th in the 200 meters (27.69 seconds), junior Abigail Burkhardt was 14th in the 100 (13.9) and sophomore Olivia Robinson was 10th in the 300 hurdles (50.59).

The 400 relay of Burkhardt, junior Lauren Okoye and sophomores Dylan Ehlers and Avery Thielman was 13th (54.5), while the 800 relay of Burkhardt, Kadlic, Okoye and Robinson was 10th (1:55.33). 

Other key contributors for the girls team were freshmen Eva Dulle and Emerson Thompson. Both competed in middle distance and distance races. 

The boys team didn’t advance any athletes to regional. The senior class featured Zubin Reyazi and Victor Thompson in middle distance and distance, Kethan Mokadam (discus, shot put, sprints) and Kiran Mokadam (sprints, middle distance). 

Juniors Eric Albers (distance), Parker Heskett (sprints), Jackson Jacobs (sprints) and Harvey Wheeler (middle distance), sophomores Cameron Deguchi (sprints) and A.J. Taylor (sprints, hurdles) and freshman Armaan Chaudhary (sprints) are among those eligible to return.

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

@UlreyThisWeek 

BOYS TENNIS 

Record: 10-5 overall  

MSL-Ohio standings: Bexley, Columbus Academy and Wellington (5-1), Grandview (3-3), Buckeye Valley (2-4), Worthington Christian (1-5), Whitehall (0-6) 

Seniors lost: Griffin Biernat and Evan Manley 

Key returnees: Sadeq Al-Ali, Brayden Chawla, Jack Kalnicki, Sriharsha Reddy and Sanjan Shanker 

TRACK & FIELD 

MSL-Ohio standings: Boys — Grandview (176), Bexley (109), Whitehall (105), Academy (65), Buckeye Valley (56), Worthington Christian (51), Wellington (6); Girls — Buckeye Valley (165.33), Bexley (129.33), Columbus School for Girls (106), Grandview (74), Academy (68), Worthington Christian (56), Wellington (26.33), Whitehall (14) 

Seniors lost: Boys — Kethan Mokadam, Kiran Mokadam, Gavin Ray, Avery Rennick, Zubin Reyazi and Victor Thompson; Girls — Caroline Cooke and Reagan Kadlic 

Key returnees: Boys — Eric Albers, Armaan Chaudhary, Cameron Deguchi, Parker Haskett, Jackson Jacobs, A.J. Taylor and Harvey Wheeler; Girls — Abigail Burkhardt, Eva Dulle, Dylan Ehlers, Lauren Okoye, Olivia Robinson, Avery Thielman and Emerson Thompson 

Postseason: Boys — Did not score at district; Girls — Sixth (48.5) at district behind champion Mount Gilead (135), did not score at regional