The season ended for the Gahanna Lincoln High School boys cross country team at the Division I regional last Saturday at Pickerington North, but there was one individual bright spot.

The season ended for the Gahanna Lincoln High School boys cross country team at the Division I regional last Saturday at Pickerington North, but there was one individual bright spot.

The Lions finished 12th (292) behind champion Hilliard Davidson (76) as the top four teams advanced to state Saturday at Scioto Downs. The top 16 individuals also advanced, and Chase Beckmann managed to earn one of those spots, finishing eighth in 16 minutes, 15.46 seconds.

Beckmann's time was 18 seconds off of his personal-best of 15:57, but windy conditions created a slower course for all participants. Coach Larry Schwade said it was no surprise that Beckmann will compete for a state championship.

"He has been there before, he's got the experience and I'm expecting a real good state meet out of him," Schwade said. "He was disappointed in how he did last year and I know he's going to be out to do much better."

The top 25 will be named all-state, and Beckmann believes he has a good shot at earning one of those spots.

"I was hoping to be in the top 10 (at regional) and do better than I did last year," Beckmann said. "Ultimately, I wanted to be in the top six, but the field was a lot tougher this year. Last year, I ran a 16:22 and finished 10th, and so I ran faster this year and got eighth. It was a good race."

Also running for the Lions were Harry McFann (59th, 17:19.4), Jason McDonald (86th, 17:42.12), Jae Williams (99th, 17:56.28), Cory Kanz (103rd, 18:00.58), Tim Schiefer (106th, 18:02.9) and Brian Engle (113th, 18:19.08).

Heading into the regional, the Lions had a team focus of finishing in the top 10. Although that was not the case, Schwade said the competition in the Central District and from around the state was as fierce as it has been in a long time.

"The regional was really strong this year," he said. "The Central District was as strong as I've ever seen it and the teams coming in from the (Northwest District) were pretty good,"

Making it this far is no easy task and Schwade said the season did live up to expectations. If the Lions can improve along with their tough competition in the district, they will be right back in the mix next season.

"It's getting tougher ever year with all of the parity throughout the district," Schwade said. "We had a pretty good team and a lot of them are returning, so we have a pretty good base to work with next year."

•The girls team had only KayKay Garber at the regional, and she also advanced to state, finishing 10th in 19:21.21.

Garber ran a 19:46.4 at district a week earlier and didn't exactly look like herself as she was feeling under the weather for most of the day.

"She's a veteran runner and she knew what happened last week," coach Ernie Ziegler said. "We didn't have to drill anything into her head. I knew she had the mental will and the talent to make it happen."

Garber said she will be satisfied with a top-50 finish Saturday. The sophomore will look to improve a time that placed her 98th and failed to live up to her standards a year ago.

"At the beginning of the season I knew I wanted to go to state because I knew I went last year and wanted to go again," Garber said. "I was feeling a lot better this week and I thought I ran a good race."