Coach Jim Bibler began the season with a clouded vision of his girls and boys cross country teams at Delaware Hayes High School.

Coach Jim Bibler began the season with a clouded vision of his girls and boys cross country teams at Delaware Hayes High School.

The fourth-year coach since has seen the picture clearly.

"We had so many new inexperienced runners that I wasn't sure how things would shake out," Bibler said. "But this has been a different year, a year of reestablishing what we want to do as a team. As a team, we're just trying to train our younger kids, get everyone focused and committed to what we do as a team. Individually, the only (personal records) we've had this year have been by freshmen and sophomores, which is typical."

The boys had been led by senior David Oliver in five of six meets this season before the team competed in the Erin Nance Fall Classic last Saturday. His season-best time was 17 minutes, 18.57 seconds, as he finished 48th in the John McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial on Sept. 6.

"David Oliver has a chance to qualify to regional for the boys and we've designed his training in order to peak at the end of the season," Bibler said. "David put in the miles during the summer and he began the season in the best shape he's ever been in before."

Oliver, who did not compete as a sophomore, ran a 17:18.38 to finish 40th in the Division I district 1 meet last year at and the Pacers finished sixth with 190 points behind champion Reynoldsburg (67). The top eight teams advanced to the regional, where the Pacers finished 16th. Oliver ran a 17:40 at regional.

"Last year we had (graduate) Kurt Kostyu running in the 16s and three or four others in the mid 17s," Bibler said. "A few times this year, we've had three guys go under 18 in the same meet, but not in the mid 17s. And we don't have that real top-tier No. 1. So it's tough to score well as a team like that."

Bibler has high expectations for sophomore Steve Swisher as the team's No. 2 runner. Swisher has been the team's second finisher in four of the five meets in which he had participated, but his times haven't dropped much. He started with a 17:56 in the Mount Vernon Invitational on Aug. 23 and had a season-best 17:43 in the Galion Cross Country Festival on Sept. 13.

"I've been waiting for Steve Swisher to break out because he has a lot of talent," Bibler said. "But he does have allergy problems and it has been a hot, humid fall with little rain. As a matter of fact, at Galion, which is typically a real fast race, one guy ran under 16 and it was a 15:58. Last year, 14 guys were under 16 and four were under 15:30. It's been a tough weather season for cross country times."

Both the boys and girls teams will compete Saturday in the Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington, their last meet before the OCC-Capital meet Oct. 11 at Groveport.

The girls have been led by seniors Eva Kostyu and Sam Catania.

After a suffering a stress fracture in her left leg last spring during track season, Catania did not train hard over the summer and began slowly with a 25:07 at Mount Vernon. She has lowered her time in every meet but one and had a season-best 22:36 at Lancaster.

"Sam finally became our top finisher this year," Bibler said. "Eva had our best time in every meet she competed in until Lancaster. But neither of them is where they want to be right now."

"It felt good to run well, but my goal is to get back in the 20-minutes again," Catania said. "My career-best was 19:58 and it would be really fun to get back there, but I don't know if that's possible."

Kostyu's best was a 22:02 at Watkins Memorial. Sophomore Kathleen Jackson has the team's second-best time of 22:29, which also was at Watkins Memorial.

•The girls tennis team entered the OCC-Capital tournament last Saturday tied for second with Watkins Memorial, as both had 24 points to trail New Albany, which had 35.

The Pacers finished 4-2 in league duals, as did Watkins Memorial. New Albany was 6-0. Olentangy Orange also went 4-2, but lost one one more court to enter the tournament with 23 points.

The only court New Albany lost was last Monday to Delaware as Kristen DeVaughn and Stephanie Leyva defeated Samantha Levy and Amy Dennis 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 at second doubles. DeVaughn and Leyva went 6-0 in league duals and were the top seed at second doubles in the tournament.

However, Delaware played New Albany's reserves, as the Eagles' varsity was busy beating Watterson 3-2 in an OTCA Division I district semifinal the same day.

The Pacers, who downed Orange 3-2 last Tuesday, will close out the regular season with matches Tuesday at Marysville and Wednesday at Hilliard Davidson before sectional play begins Friday at Davidson.

At sectional in singles, Amy Chappell will play Beechcroft's Mariah Eaton, Lindsay Fowler will play Marion-Franklin's Mercedes Tutt and Bri Sturm had a first-round bye and will play Pickerington Central's Sarah Gordon or Lancaster's Monica Allen.

In doubles, Kristen DeVaughn and Stephanie Leyva will play Davidson's Colleen Baker and Lindsay Sherman. Shannon Sember and Libby Gardner had a first-round bye and will play either Rachael Seiffert and Christy Brugler of DeSales or Christina Johnson and Aly Jurcenko of Westerville Central.

The top three in singles and doubles will advance to district Oct. 10-11 at Davidson. None of the Pacers reached district last season.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Hayes boys golf, boys soccer, boys and girls cross country, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:

BOYS GOLF

Last Monday -- Defeated Marysville 162-165. Tyler Carney-Debord was medalist with a 38.

Last Thursday -- Def. Westerville South 162-173 at Blackhawk

Wednesday -- At Division I sectional at Darby Creek. The top four teams and top four individuals not on a qualifying team advance to district Oct. 7 at Apple Valley. The Pacers had no district qualifiers last season.

Thursday -- At Delaware County Bank Cup at North Star

BOYS SOCCER

Sept. 20 -- Lost to Olentangy Liberty 2-0

Last Thursday -- Played Buckeye Valley

Last Saturday -- Played Dublin Scioto

*Tuesday -- Home vs. New Albany

Thursday -- Home vs. Westerville South. The Wildcats have won three of the last four meetings, including 4-2 last year.

*Saturday -- At Big Walnut. The Pacers lost 2-0 last season.

Of note: The Pacers were 7-2 overall before last Thursday and are 3-0 in the OCC-Capital.

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 20 -- Boys: Finished 12th (310) in 17-team Division I race in Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster behind champion Dublin Coffman (71). Scoring were David Oliver (27th, 17:43.7), Steve Swisher (49th, 18:27.3), Daniel Nethers (61st, 18:58.4), Bobby Oliver (85th, 19:52.3) and Tommy Peterson (88th, 20:00.8); Girls: Finished 13th (307) of 14 Division I teams behind champion Upper Arlington (23). Competing for the Pacers were Sam Catania (43rd, 22:36.7), Eva Kostyu (53rd, 23:08.1), Kathleen Jackson (74th, 24:30.9), Alanna Sturgill (80th, 26:14.5) and Kelly Robinson (82nd, 26:56.1).

Last Saturday -- Competed in Erin Nance Fall Classic at London

Saturday -- At Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington

GIRLS SOCCER

Last Tuesday -- Lost to Jonathan Alder 3-0.

Last Thursday -- Def. Buckeye Valley 1-0

Last Saturday -- Played Dublin Scioto

*Tuesday -- At New Albany

Thursday -- At Reynoldsburg. The Raiders won the last meeting 6-0 in 2006.

Of note: The Pacers were 4-6-1 overall before last Saturday and are 1-2-1 in the OCC-Capital.

TENNIS

*Last Monday -- Lost to New Albany 4-1

*Last Tuesday -- Def. Orange 3-2

Last Wednesday -- Def. River Valley 5-0

*Last Saturday -- Played in OCC-Capital tournament at Orange

Tuesday -- At Marysville. Delaware won 5-0 last year.

Wednesday -- At Hilliard Davidson

Friday -- At Division I sectional at Davidson

Of note: The Pacers were 12-4 overall before last Saturday and finished 4-2 in the OCC-Capital.

*OCC-Capital contest