Unbeknownst to him at the time, Gahanna Lincoln High School boys cross country runner Trent Champlin's sophomore season was about to end before he leaned past two other runners at the finish line during the Division I district 2 meet Oct. 23 at Watkins Memorial.

Unbeknownst to him at the time, Gahanna Lincoln High School boys cross country runner Trent Champlin's sophomore season was about to end before he leaned past two other runners at the finish line during the Division I district 2 meet Oct. 23 at Watkins Memorial.

"I wanted to be in the top 20, but I wasn't sure where I was at," he said. "But I knew I had a chance to break 17 minutes and that was my goal."

Champlin finished 19th in a season-best 16:57 to secure one of the final individual spots for the regional meet Saturday at Pickerington North.

The top five teams and those individuals not on a qualifying team who finished in the top 20 advanced to regional.

"I've never run there before, but I did go with (2010 graduate and 2009 regional qualifier) Harry McFann to check out the course last year," Champlin said. "I'm excited to be able to go back and give it a try."

Competing in his first district meet, Champlin slipped past Worthington Kilbourne's David Lichtenstein (20th, 16:57.3) and Olentangy's Jack Schlabig (21st, 16:57.8) during the final steps leading into the chute. Reynoldsburg's Tsehaye Hiluf won the race in 15:40.

A late surge benefitted several of Champlin's teammates as well, although it wasn't enough for the Lions to advance as a team. They finished with 147 points to place sixth behind qualifiers New Albany (42), Reynoldsburg (48), Hilliard Davidson (102), St. Charles (116) and Olentangy (145).

Cory Kanz (42nd, 17:39) also made a late move down the stretch to pass three opponents.

Senior Jason McDonald will run with Champlin at regional after he finished 11th in 16:35. Travis Opritza (34th, 17:24) and Zach Whiteman (41st, 17:35) were Gahanna's other scorers.

"We gave it a good run. Our five scorers probably had their best day of the year, but on this particular day it wasn't enough," coach Larry Schwade said. "We could have found a way to get those three extra points up and down our lineup. We had a lot of guys passing at the end; the effort just fell a little short."

ĽKay Kay Garber finished eighth (19:48) in the district 2 girls meet and was the only Gahanna runner to qualify for regional.

The Lions (154) placed sixth as a team as New Albany (34), Dublin Scioto (66), Pickerington North (70) and Hilliard Darby (118) advanced. Westerville North (125) finished fifth.

Olivia Scott (26th, 21:05), Colleen Hall (33rd, 21:16), Alexa Uber (41st, 21:34) and Alex Hack (47th, 22:00) were the team's other scorers. Pickerington North's Kristen Eisenhauer won the race in 19:11.

Garber, a senior, won the individual title at the OCC-Ohio Division meet last weekend. She is bidding to return to state for the first time since qualifying her freshman and sophomore years.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Gahanna Lincoln boys and girls cross country teams:

Last Saturday - Boys: Finished sixth (147) at the 14-team Division I district 2 meet at Watkins Memorial, behind champion New Albany (42). Jason McDonald (11th, 16:35) and Trent Champlin (19th, 16:57) qualified as individuals for the regional; Girls: Finished sixth (154) at the 12-team district 1 meet, behind champion New Albany (34). Kay Kay Garber (eighth, 19:48) qualified as an individual for the regional.

Saturday - At the regional meet at Pickerington North. The boys race is at 12:35 p.m. and the girls race is at 2:50 p.m. The top four teams in each race and individuals not on a qualifying team who finish in the top 16 advance to the state meet Nov. 6 at Scioto Downs.