The big three for the Olentangy Liberty High School girls cross country team came up big in the Division I state meet Nov. 7 at National Trail Raceway.

The big three for the Olentangy Liberty High School girls cross country team came up big in the Division I state meet Nov. 7 at National Trail Raceway.

Sophomore Emma Bower, freshman Gracie Sprankle and senior Claire Linn all finished in the top 13 as the Patriots placed second (124 points) of 16 teams behind Centerville (71).

Bower took third (17 minutes, 54.3 seconds) behind Centerville's Lainey Studebaker (17:39) and Hilliard Davidson's India Johnson (17:43). Sprankle was 11th (18:22.4) and Linn was 13th (18:23.4), earning all-state honors along with Bower by finishing in the top 25.

"This is a great day," said Bower, who was all-state last season by finishing 14th (18:32.73). "For us to finish second at state as a team is really great. Three of us getting (all-state) is incredible. I don't know what else to say about it other than to thank my teammates and coaches for helping us do this."

Coach Darrell Dewese said his top three had the perfect mental approach to the race.

"I told those three all season that they were the best top-three runners on any team in the state, but it took awhile for them to start to believe it," he said. "They just needed to prove it and they did that."

Also competing for the Patriots were sophomore Sarah Colvin (71st, 19:40.7), senior Meghan Piero (86th, 19:56.3), freshman Emily Matta (118th, 20:41.2) and sophomore Rachel Ausec (126th, 20:58.3).

In the team's first state appearance last season, Liberty placed sixth (178) behind champion Centerville (52).

In the regional Oct. 31 at Pickerington North, Bower was second (18:08.6) behind Johnson (17:58.1) with Sprankle third (18:20.7) and Linn eighth (18:52.9), leading the Patriots to second place (94) behind Granville (93).

Liberty won its second district title in a row in the district 1 race Oct. 24 at Watkins Memorial, as Bower (17:53.14), Sprankle (18:05.86) and Linn (18:47.18) finished 1-2-3 to lead the Patriots to 41 points.

Liberty finished second (42) in the OCC-Central Division meet Oct. 17 at Hilliard Darby behind Davidson (40) and ahead of Thomas Worthington (66), Upper Arlington (96), Dublin Coffman (104), Marysville (192), Westland (205) and Central Crossing (246). Bower (second, 17:40.26), Sprankle (third, 17:43.52) and Linn (fourth, 18:10.83) finished behind Johnson (17:31.35).

The boys team was edged out of a state berth by finishing fifth (154) at regional, one point behind Coffman, which earned the fourth and final qualifying spot.

Senior Mitchell Towne (17th, 16:07.9) just missed moving on. Logan's Billy Woltz (16:07.7) took the 16th and final individual-qualifying spot.

Sophomore Logan Boone (33rd, 16:39.4), senior John Ropchock (34th, 16:40), senior Luke Wojciechowski (41st, 16:42.9), junior Ryan Milligan (59th, 16:55.9), freshman Nicholas Anderson (71st, 17:13.5) and freshman Joseph Johnson III (76th, 17:16.1) also competed.

The boys placed fourth (107) in district 3 behind champion Darby (70) and third (72) in the OCC-Central behind Coffman (39) and Thomas (43) and ahead of Davidson (88), Marysville (142), Central Crossing (165) and UA (193).

Guagenti, Moore fare well for Orange

Junior Hunter Moore and freshman Allison Guagenti raced to all-state accolades for Orange.

Moore earned his second all-state honor by finishing seventh (15:31.5) in the boys race.

"I'm excited with the way I ran and I know I can do better next year," said Moore, who finished 20th (15:58.43) last season. "I'm going to work real hard and try to get back and improve on this. Who knows what can happen next year?"

Guagenti finished seventh (18:13.9) in the girls race.

"I think being in our district prepared me for this because it's a very tough district," she said. "I know some of the Liberty girls and I knew if I kept pace with (Sprankle and Linn), I'd be in good position."

Moore (fifth, 15:44.9) and Guagenti (seventh, 18:32) led Orange at regional.

The boys team finished 10th (240) at regional with sophomores Jackson Schiefelbein (58th, 16:55.8) and Tyler King (68th, 17:26.76) and juniors Matt Hartzell (69th, 17:10.2), Tommy Heiden (88th, 17:26.4) and Josh Brooks (89th, 17:26.8) also competing.

The girls finished seventh (195). Also running were freshman Lindsey Ott (22nd, 19:29.9), freshman Grace Frye (53rd, 20:11.9), sophomore Zoe Bond (54th, 20:13), freshman Elizabeth Schneider (79th, 20:39.6), senior Hannah Dieker (111th, 21:59.9) and senior Lindsey Brandt (116th, 22:19.2).

Moore (15:26.27) won the district 3 race, leading the Pioneers to third place (92).

The girls team placed third (74) in district 2 behind champion Davidson (38).

Both teams won their first OCC-Capital titles Oct. 17 at Pickerington Central.

The boys scored 27 points to finish ahead of Olentangy (65), New Albany (80), Worthington Kilbourne (101), Mount Vernon (116), Big Walnut (178) and Delaware (183).

The girls had 27 points to win ahead of Olentangy (50), Kilbourne (87), Delaware (102), New Albany (105), Big Walnut (172) and Mount Vernon (184).

Brookshire, Sasso compete for Braves

Olentangy junior Anthony Sasso moved up in his second state meet and freshman Lex Brookshire gained valuable experience.

Sasso finished 65th (16:23.5) in the boys race after taking 73rd (16:41.02) last season, and Brookshire was 61st (19:32.3) in the girls race.

At regional, Sasso was 11th (16:02.8) as Olentangy finished 16th (360). Junior Zach Balthaser (91st, 17:29.7), junior Alex Garner (99th, 17:35.5), freshman Carter Schaefer (101st, 17:36.9), sophomore Jeremy Kendle (108th, 18:05.7), junior Grant Maddox (115th, 18:21) and freshman Luke Murdock (119th, 18:24.9) also competed.

Brookshire was 16th (19:13.3) at regional as the Braves took 14th (289). Sophomore Melina Endsley (49th, 20:08), junior Camryn Stobart (71st, 20:30.3), sophomore Katie Slyh (91st, 20:54.4), freshman Gracie James (98th, 21:06.6), junior Chloe Murdock (103rd, 21:24.9) and senior Kendall Supinger (105th, 21:31.3) also competed.

The girls finished fourth (100) in district 2 and the boys were sixth (193) in district 3.

Olentangy was second in both OCC-Capital races to Orange.