The Canal Winchester High School girls cross country team failed to achieve its goal of winning the Division II regional last Saturday at Pickerington North, but the Indians did advance to state Saturday at Scioto Downs by placing third (128) behind Johnstown (120) and St. Clairsville (123) and just ahead of Gallipolis Gallia Academy (132).

The Canal Winchester High School girls cross country team failed to achieve its goal of winning the Division II regional last Saturday at Pickerington North, but the Indians did advance to state Saturday at Scioto Downs by placing third (128) behind Johnstown (120) and St. Clairsville (123) and just ahead of Gallipolis Gallia Academy (132).

The top four teams and 16 individuals qualified.

"We wanted to win. We won last year and were probably favorites to win it this year," coach John Bender said. "We knew Johnstown was really good from how they did at the district meet. The girls ran hard, but there's still a gap between our third and fourth runners and that proved to be too much."

Still, the Indians earned their spot in a field of 16 at state.

"The best the girls have ever done was 12th at state and we want to finish higher than that this year," Bender said. "Individually, 25 girls will earn all-state honors. We've never had any girl make all-state so we'd like for that to happen. We think that Emily Pifer, Kaitlin Smith and Penny Boswell all have a chance to earn that honor. But overall we want the entire team to do well."

Canal Winchester had three individuals finish ahead of the top runner for Johnstown, but the Johnnies had all five runners finish in the top 50. Pifer was second (19 minutes, 2 seconds), followed by Smith (fifth, 19:16), Boswell (13th, 19:52), Hannah Spicer (71st, 21:53), Whitney McDonald (77th, 22:03), Christy Wildermuth (82nd, 22:17) and Alyssa Burns (87th, 22:26).

The boys team's season ended last Saturday in the Division II regional at Troy. The Indians finished 16th (371) as Tipp City Tippecanoe (49), Dayton Carroll (83), Hamilton Badin (112) and Cincinnati McNicholas (160) advanced.

Jarrod Genther was 65th (18:08), followed by Dan Williard (83rd, 18:25), Micah Cobb (100th, 18:55), Mike Williard (103rd, 18:58), Tyler Jenkins (108th, 19:12), Aaron Robertson (120th, 20:00) and Jimmy Fraley (125th, 20:27).

"They ran hard, just too fast. We didn't run as well as we did the week before at district," Bender said. "We like running at Troy, we just didn't do too well there (last Saturday)."

The Indians will lose seniors Aaron Barber and Mike Williard but expect to return everybody else. Inexperience hampered the Indians at times, but they still were able to win MSL-Buckeye Division and district titles.

"I'm proud of them. They're probably the most unlikely district winner we've had," Bender said. "They kept the streak going and now we've got five district titles in a row. So we think that they ran well this year. Running in the regional and doing well at district, that will give them incentive to run well next year."

•The girls volleyball team advanced to a Division II district final for the second consecutive and again came away as runner-up.

Last Saturday the third-seeded Indians lost to second-seeded Big Walnut 19-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-20 at Pickerington North to finish 16-6. It was Big Walnut's eighth district title in nine years.

After winning the first game, an incorrect lineup card was submitted for the second and it threw off the rotations and matchups coach Colleen Ross had planned. The Eagles took the second game and momentum, and the Indians weren't able to recover.

"I thought the first game was how we were going to play for the entire game," Ross said. "We continued to play hard (during and after the second game) but the rotations threw us off. The better team won (last Saturday) and I'm proud (Big Walnut) is going to represent the central district."

Canal Winchester, which won the MSL-Buckeye at 13-1 ahead of runner-up Logan Elm (12-2), will lose two seniors in Crystal Elliott (setter) and Erika Lounsberry (defensive specialist).

Players expected to return include juniors Abbey Stumbo (setter), Emily Hall (middle hitter), Hannah Toler (libero), Katie Nelson (outside hitter), Megan Miller (defensive specialist), Jen Rohrig (defensive specialist) and Megan Ray (outside hitter) and sophomores Allison Hutchinson (outside hitter), Chelsey Miller (outside hitter/middle hitter), Andrea Peer (setter), Mallory Haack (setter/defensive specialist), Rachel Miles (middle hitter) and Kaley Edens (defensive specialist).