Central Ohio Huddle: Columbus-Area athletes dominate the state tennis tournament


Central Ohio Huddle

The state championship gold started to flow into central Ohio as
athletes from Worthington Kilbourne, Upper Arlington, Watterson and
Columbus Academy swept all four boys state tennis championships. Now,
five central Ohio baseball and softball teams start their respective
marches to a possible state championship.

The state championship gold started to flow into central Ohio as athletes from Worthington Kilbourne, Upper Arlington, Watterson and Columbus Academy swept all four boys state tennis championships. Now, five central Ohio baseball and softball teams start their respective marches to a possible state championship.

Three central Ohio baseball teams will make the short trip to Huntington Park as Jonathan Alder and Lakewood compete in the Division II field and Newark Catholic goes for the Division IV state title. Tradition Central District powers Grove City in Division I and Lakewood in Division II travel to Akron seeking softball glory.

And the best track and field athletes from across the state will come to Columbus this week for the state meet. Gahanna boys and Reynoldsburg girls saw success last week at the Division I regional level and Bishop Hartley girls at the Division II regional level.


Grove City softball: The school year started wondering rather Grove City would have a softball team until a levy passed last August to reinstate sports, beginning in the winter season. The Greyhounds put a sweet ending on the up-and-down year for the southwest Franklin County community by beating Gahanna 1-0 in a Division I regional championship game.

Grove City, now 27-4, advanced to its second state tournament in three seasons, by using a shutout in the pitching circle by Paige Myers. Myers worked out of a pair of jams in the last two innings to send the Greyhounds to the Final Four. Myers allowed two hits and fanned 11 batters.

Grove City collected just three hits, but put the only run of the game across the plate in the fifth inning as Maci Haughn singled, advanced to second on a bunt and scored on a single by Taryn Allmon.


Kevin Metka, Worthington Kilbourne boys tennis: Metka won four tennis matches at the state tennis tournament to claim the Division I singles championships. Metka beat Lakota East’s Zack Mueck 7-6, (11-9), 6-3 in the state title match. Metka also beat Uniontown Lake’s Ross Whittaker, Cincinnati Sycamore’s Adam Reinhart and Lodi Cloverleaf’s Ethan Dunbar.


More state tennis titles: Metka wasn’t the only central Ohio athlete to win a state championship. The Upper Arlington doubles team of Billy Weldon and Stu Little New Albany’s beat Riyad Bennoui and John Hendrix 6-4 and 6-1 to win the big-school state title.

In Division II, Watterson’s Chris Diaz completed his undefeated season by taking the singles state championship with a 6-3 and 6-2 win over Joey Fritz of Cincinnati Country Day. The doubles title was a Columbus Academy affair as Andrew Enslen and Chad Buchanan beat teammates Eoghan Bahnson and Langston Hughes 6-3 and 6-4.

Green Final Four:
Newark Catholic entered the Division IV state baseball tournament 11 games below .500.

But a tough regular-season schedule prepared the Green Wave well for what was ahead as NC has rolled off six straight wins to clinch a state tournament appearance with a 7-4 win over Racine Southern. NC, now 14-19, had a balanced offensive attack as eight of its nine batters had at least one hit in the 11-hit attack. Xavier Cook had two hits, including a double, and knocked in a run, and Judah Wollenberg had two hits and swiped two bases. Jimmy Lough earned the win for the Green Wave.

Busy Lakewood:
Lakewood qualified both its baseball and softball teams to the state tournament, leaving Lancer fans with a busy schedule this week.

The Lakewood softball team routed Clyde 12-0 in a five-inning Division II regional championship game to advance to its third straight tournament appearance. Caitlin Houk had three of Lakewood’s 13 hits and drove in four runs. Brayan Gault, Chelsea Brewer and Leah Starkey each had two hits, and Courtney Kidwell drove in three runs.

The baseball team beat Zanesville 3-2 in a Division II regional title game, with Lancer first baseman Travis Lester diving to tag out Zack Pollock at home. Lester charged in from first base and dove to apply the tag as Pollock dashed for a vacant home plate for the final out. Lakewood pitcher Bryan Large allowed a hard-hitting Zanesville team just four hits and fanned six batters.

Lakewood, now 27-4, strung together four two-out hits in the seventh to take the lead on a Jordan Gray single.

Pioneering pitching:
Jonathan Alder received a pair of strong pitching performances to win a Division II regional title.

In the regional title game, Zach Maynard struck out 10 through 5.1 innings as the Pioneers routed Franklin 11-1. Tyler Miller, who authored a no-hitter in the regional semifinal game, had two doubles and three RBI to help lead the Jonathan Alder offense. Nick Squires had three RBI and Maynard chipped in two hits to help his own cause. Alder moved to 32-0 on the season.

Heriot leads Gahanna boys to regional crown:
Blake Heriot won three races at the Division I Pickerington North track regional to help the Lions past Brookhaven 63-62 to claim some hardware. Heriot won the 100 in 10.65, the 200 with a new regional record of 21.28 and the 400 in 47.81. Herman Washington chipped in a first-place finish in the 110 hurdles in 14.41 and Harry McFann won the 800 in 1:53.46.

Raiding party:
The Reynoldsburg girls track team rolled to an impressive win in the Division I Pickerington North regional with 95 points. Regional runner-up New Albany amassed 46 points. The Raiders won eight events, including Destinee Gause taking the 100 in 11.89 and the 200 in 24.52. Alicia Rodgers won the discus at 129-04 feet, Donyelle Brown took the shot put in 42-11 and Faith Washington took the 300 hurdles in 43.35.

Reynoldsburg also won three relays as Diamond Gause, Kacia Grant, Yemone Jenkins and Destinee Gause took the 400 in 47.90; Grant, Diamond Gause, Jenkins and Washington posted a time of 1:40.86 in the 800 and Washington, Grant and Diamond and Destinee Gause in the 1600 at 3:50.86.

Hawks soar:
The Bishop Hartley girls track team dominated the Dayton Division II regional by taking the title with 102 points. Dayton Chaminade-Julienne finished as regional runner-up with 43 points. Hartley was led by Chelsea Scott winning the 100 hurdles in 14.02 and the 300 hurdles in 43.77 and Chesna Sykes taking the 100 in 11.97 and the 200 in 24.38. Aisha Cavin won the 400 in 57.3 and Emily Morris took the shot put in 38-11.5.

Hartley also won three relay events as CharAnna Dixon, Sykes, Jordyn Smith and Cavin won the 400 in 47.84; Maya Pedersen, Smith, Sykes and Scott won the 800 in 1:42.28 and the 1600 team of Scott, Taisha Ferguson, Pedersen and Cavin posted a time of 3:54.70.

Circleville boys take runner-up finish:
Led by a strong showing in distance events, the Circleville boys track team was runner-up at the Division II Byesville regional with 35 points. Brad Liston, the defending Division II state champion in the two-mile run, set a pair of stadium records with a 4:19.37 in the 1600 and a 9:42.55 in the 3200 to win both events. The Circleville 3200 relay team of Brad Kline, David England, Eddie Stolarz and Liston took second in 8:11.67.


Newark Catholic vs. Columbiana, Division IV state baseball semifinal at Huntington Park, Thursday at 1 p.m.: The Green Wave are no stranger to the state tournament, but will try to keep perhaps their most Cinderella run in program history going.

Grove City vs. Lakota East, Division I state softball semifinal, Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Akron Firestone Stadium:
The Greyhounds will try and cap a tough school year in southwest Franklin County by trying to advance to a state championship game.

State track meet at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m.:
Some of the best athletes in the state come to the Capital City to compete for state championships. Reynoldsburg had a strong regional showing in the big-school girls field and could be a contender for some state hardware.

Jonathan Alder vs. Defiance, Division II state baseball semifinal at Huntington Park, Friday at 4 p.m.:
Alder seems built for a strong run in the state tournament with two strong pitchers and a good offense.

Lakewood vs. Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, Division II state baseball semifinal at Huntington Park, Friday at 7 p.m.:
Lakewood has used a combination of strong pitching and clutch hitting and heads up play, as seen in its regional final win to get here. Now, the Lancers take on 28-1 Walsh Jesuit.

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