With a six-stroke lead after the first day of the Division III state tournament Oct. 11, the Columbus Academy boys golf team was in contention for its first state title since 1999.
The Vikings, however, struggled on Oct. 12 and Toledo Ottawa Hills rallied to finish first with a two-day total of 647. Academy ended up with a 659, second of 12 teams that competed on Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Academy led Ottawa Hills 323-329 following the first day of play, but was outscored on day two by the Green Bears 318-336. It was the 25th state berth for the Vikings.
"It was a great season," coach Steve Evans said. "I'm so happy for these guys that put in the time and effort. Our goal is always to get here. Once we get here, we would love to win, but we played really well (Oct. 11) and (Oct. 12) we just didn't play as well."
Junior Carter Kistler shot an opening-round 74, second behind Village Academy junior Jeg Coughlin's 73, but Kistler shot a 79 the second day to finish fifth (153) of 71 golfers. He was first-team all-state.
Coughlin was medalist with a 144, followed by Ben Silverman of Ottawa Hills (147). Grove City Christian's Cam-eron Michalak and Wellington's Justin Perdue tied for third (152).
Academy's Shabaz Khan finished 21st (166), while Ted Loper tied for 24th (168), Vincent Dong tied for 33rd (172) and Max Berk tied for 43rd (177).
Academy (312) won the 12-team sectional at Darby Creek on Sept. 24 ahead of second-place Wellington (318), and qualified for state by finishing third (326) in the 12-team district tournament Oct. 2 at River Greens behind champion Wellington (318).
Kistler earned medalist honors at district, beating Michalak on the second playoff hole after tying for first with a 73.
Academy won the MSL-Ohio Division at 17-1, ahead of runner-up Bexley (14-4).
Ballinger earns state tennis berth
Junior Andrea Ballinger of the girls tennis team will be making her second consecutive state tournament appearance after finishing second in singles in the Division II district tournament Oct. 11 and 12 at Columbus School for Girls.
Ballinger lost the district final to Wellington's Aashika Katapadi 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
"Andrea has beaten this girl before," coach Megan Martzolf said. "She wasn't playing how she usually can. It was an off day."
The top two finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state Friday, Oct. 18, at Ohio State and Saturday, Oct. 19, at Hilliard Davidson.
Last season, Ballinger teamed with Hannah Wexner to win the state doubles title, the program's first state title since 2008.
"The experience of being in the state tournament will help her," Martzolf said of Ballinger.
Wexner reached a district semifinal, losing to Katapadi 6-3, 6-4. Katherine Guan also reached a semifinal before losing to Ballinger 6-3, 6-3.
Academy's doubles teams lost in district semifinals. Libby Sirak and Makela Hughes fell to CSG's Mary Anne Click and Linda Yang 6-1, 6-2, and Sarah Wexner and Jacinta Crestanello fell to CSG's Paige Quinton and Marissa Madison 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Football team to play Madison Plains
The football team will continue its pursuit of a Division VI, Region 21 postseason berth when it plays host to Madison Plains on Friday, Oct. 18.
"If we win our last three games, I feel good that we will get a playoff berth," coach Jim Collis said.
The Vikings fell to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the MSL-Ohio with a 38-14 loss at West Jefferson on Oct. 11.
West Jefferson had a 25-9 advantage in first downs and held Academy to minus-five yards rushing.
Wide receiver Lee Solomon had four catches for 95 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown.
"We didn't make the adjustments we needed to and they made plays when opportunities presented themselves," Collis said.
Girls cross country team wins league meet
Led by Julia Rizk, the girls cross country team won the MSL-Ohio meet Oct. 12 at London Country Club.
The Vikings finished first (45) ahead Bexley (48), Grandview (57), London (85) and Worthington Christian (136). It was their first league title since joining the MSL in 2003.
Rizk was second of 34 runners in 19 minutes, 39 seconds. London's Sarra Taylor won in 19:26.
Other runners for Academy were Audrey Grammel (third, 19:50), Susan Peck (ninth, 21:30), Sydnie Boykins (15th, 21:57), Abby Wilson (16th, 22:01), Cobi Warstler (17th, 22:34) and Elizabeth Falkenberg (19th, 23:01).
"We were really happy with Julia's performance and even more so happy with Audrey Grammel's performance right behind her in third place," coach Kelly Parker said. "She is a freshman and has really stepped up her game for us this year."
Academy will compete in the Division III district meet Saturday, Oct. 19, at Watkins Memorial. The top four teams and top 16 individuals advance to regional Oct. 26 at Pickerington North.
The boys team finished second (58) in the league meet, behind Bexley (38) and ahead of Grandview (66), Whitehall (102), Worthington Christian (117) and London (140).
Aron Aziz was fifth (17:41) of 39 runners, followed by Ben Uchimura (seventh, 17:46), Atticus Lee was (14th, 18:37), Otis Klingbeil (15th, 18:38), Sean Reagan (17th, 18:39), Alex Ho (31st, 21:31) and John Hughes (37th, 22:43).
The boys also will compete in the Division III district meet at Watkins Memorial.
Girls soccer team finishes 4th in league
The girls soccer team went 3-2-1 in the MSL-Ohio to finish fourth behind champion Worthington Christian (6-0).
The Vikings were 7-3-6 overall before playing 13th-seeded Liberty Union in the first round of the Division III district tournament Oct. 14.
The winner plays at top-seeded Worthington Christian Thursday, Oct. 17. Fourth-seeded Academy lost to Worthington Christian 3-0 on Aug. 27. The second-round winner plays fifth-seeded CSG, sixth-seeded West Jefferson or eighth-seeded Wellington in a semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 22.