Canal Winchester Roundup
Girls cross country team takes second in home meet
Canal Winchester High School cross country coach John Bender wasn't sure if the girls team would fare as well in its annual home meet as it had the past two seasons given that its top three runners from a year ago graduated, including Kayla Scott, who was all-state in Division I last year and is running for Ohio University.
Bender was thrilled to be proven wrong, as the Indians scored 73 points in the 17-team Canal Winchester Invitational on Aug. 29 to place second for the third consecutive season. Chillicothe Zane Trace (47) was first.
"We knew that Zane Trace was going to be really good because they have several girls back from their Division II state runner-up team (last year), but we did a little better than I expected by finishing second," Bender said. "We lost some talented runners to graduation, but our freshmen did exceptionally well in this race."
Three freshmen led the way for the Indians. Chloe Palmer placed fifth in 20 minutes, 17 seconds, followed by Megan Tamasovich (eighth, 20:23) and Cassidy Long (13th, 20:58).
Also competing were senior Elizabeth Kifer (21st, 21:13), junior Sarah Collins (40th, 22:09), senior Taryn Meidl (41st, 22:11) and freshman Julia Cook (45th, 22:26).
"These are some of the best freshmen we've had and this was their best race," Bender said. "Chloe is getting close to Emily Pifer's freshman record (20:01, which was set in 2006), but we ran in ideal weather with ideal conditions. The weather was cool and the course's surface was really hard because of the lack of rain we've had. I call this 'no-excuse weather.'"
The boys team scored 121 points to place third of 18 teams, behind Bexley (79) and Grandview (108).
Wyatt Gardner led the Indians, finishing third in 16:57, marking the fastest time by a freshman on the boys team since Denny Duckworth set the program's freshman record of 16:49 in 1983.
Also competing for the Indians were sophomore Jason Appel (14th, 17:42), sophomore Bryce Carroll (25th, 18:01), freshman Imani Daniels (44th, 18:44), senior Riley Collins (49th, 18:50), freshman Robert Moore (66th, 19:24) and senior Jonathan Horne (67th, 19:25).
"This was an excellent day for both teams," Bender said. "Wyatt ran faster than any ninth-grader to come through here in a long time, and Jason Appel got his personal record. Riley Collins ran a lot better than he ran in our first two meets, and just about all of our kids ran faster than they have so far this season."
The boys and girls teams will compete in the Zane Trace Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8.
"This will be our first time going to the Zane Trace Invitational, so it will be a new experience," Bender said. "Zane Trace has a terrific girls team, so we just want our girls to compete with them because that will make us improve."
Girls golf team eyes rematch with Braves
The girls golf team is gearing up for a MSL-Buckeye Division dual match against Logan Elm on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at Cooks Creek.
Canal Winchester, which is 4-1 in the league, is looking for redemption against Logan Elm after finishing second (379) in the MSL-Buckeye preseason tournament Aug. 14 at Homestead behind Logan Elm (355) and ahead of Teays Valley (413) and Circleville (459).
"It's a two-horse race between Logan Elm and us in our league right now and we need to beat them to even things up and stay in the hunt for the title," coach Greg Hippler said. "Logan Elm has six seniors and their maturity shined through in the preseason tournament because their players slowed down while we were in a hurry to take our next shot. We need to learn from that and match the way they play."
The Indians went 2-1 in dual matches last week. They lost to Williamsport Westfall 179-201 on Aug. 27 at Westchester but defeated Teays Valley 191-198 in a league match Aug. 28 at The Players Club at Foxfire and Lakewood 211-228 on Aug. 29 at Westchester.
Marci Browning shot a 45 over nine holes against Teays Valley and was medalist against Lakewood with a 46.
"Marci Browning and Elizabeth Kifer are playing well right now," Hippler said. "The others have been inconsistent, but both Mary Hippler and Bailey Kruger have shown that they are capable of playing well, and I expect them to get more consistent in the future."