Patriots claim 4th straight district crown


By Ben Stroup - [email protected]



The top-seeded Olentangy Liberty girls volleyball team secured its fourth straight district championship with an impressive three-set win over 11th-seeded Watkins Memorial Saturday at Central Crossing.

Meredith Mrukowksi put the finishing touches on a 25-9 opening-set win with a block.

A big run midway through the second set up a 25-17 win before Claire Mrukowski had three kills late in the third to help the Patriots smooth things out with a 25-11 decision.

With the win, defending state runner-up Liberty advances to Thursday’s Division I regional semifinal against Dublin Coffman — a team it beat 3-1 (Sept. 6) and 3-0 (Oct. 4) during the regular season. Action is set to get underway at 6 p.m. at Hilliard Darby.

Dublin Jerome 3, Olentangy Orange 2

The third-seeded Pioneers won back-to-back sets to climb out of an early two-set hole, but couldn’t complete the comeback as the eighth-seeded Celtics held on for a 25-22, 25-20, 20-25, 15-25, 15-9 win in Saturday’s Division I district championship at Whitehall.

It was the first district title for Jerome, and snapped a string of six straight for Orange.

Lily Barron led the Pioneer attack with 22 kills in the season-ending setback.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

Saketh Rudraraju finished fifth among individuals in 15:24.41 to lead Olentangy Orange to a fourth-place showing at Saturday’s Division I regional championship in Pickerington.

Olentangy finished 12th and Olentangy Liberty was 14th.

Matthew Schroff backed Rudraraju, finishing 20th overall in 16:02.83, and Luke Woolard rounded out the team’s top three with a 32nd-place finish in 16:32.28.

Olentangy’s Jason Rettinger was 27th (16:25.07), Delaware Hayes’ Luke Todt finished 34th (16:35.27), Big Walnut’s Eli Lengl was 35th (16:36.02), Liberty’s Hani Deen was 47th (16:50.53) and Olentangy Berlin’s Cooper Citro closed 49th (16:53.52) to lead their respective squads.

In the Division II race, Buckeye Valley’s Liam George was 33rd (17:08.23).

GIRLS GROSS COUNRY

Olentangy Orange’s Brooke Chapman, Olentangy Liberty’s Julia Bockenstette and Olentangy Berlin’s Grace Heitkamp all nabbed top-10 showings to lead their respective teams at Saturday’s Division I regional championship in Pickerington.

Chapman finished fourth among individuals (18:13.38), Bockenstette was seventh (18:40.16) and Heitkamp was 10th (18:45.13).

The Patriots finished third as a team while the Pioneers were fifth.

Delaware was also in action, finishing 11th.

Aicha Tounkara led the Pacers, crossing the line 43rd overall in 20:16.14.

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By Ben Stroup

[email protected]