The Reynoldsburg High School boys cross country team hopes the best still is yet to come in terms of its pack running.

The Reynoldsburg High School boys cross country team hopes the best still is yet to come in terms of its pack running.

A week after easily winning the OCC-Ohio Division championship Oct. 16, the Raiders settled for a second consecutive district runner-up finish last Saturday at Watkins Memorial.

The Division I regional meet is 12:35 p.m. Saturday at Pickerington North.

"We thought overall that it was a pretty good meet, although a lot of things could have gone better," sophomore Dominik Seitzer said. "We all just went out and did what we could."

While junior Tsehaye Hiluf won the Division I district 2 race in 15 minutes, 40.7 seconds last Saturday, the performance of Seitzer each of the last two weeks is one of the reasons for the Raiders' high postseason expectations.

Seitzer did not compete in cross country last season, but ran the 800 meters and 1,600 in track last spring. He originally wasn't going to come out for cross country this fall because he thought he was moving out of the district. When that didn't happen, he decided to join the team after running into coach Denny Hammond at a local park.

After finishing in 18:16 in his first meet, Seitzer has cut his time considerably. He finished in 16:42.2 at the OCC meet and finished in 16:42.5 last Saturday to make first-team all-district.

"I pretty much missed a whole summer of training, but coach Hammond has been working with me a lot and feels I can keep running faster," Seitzer said. "I never really expected to be this (fast) since this is my first time running cross country, but coach Hammond is a great coach. The last couple weeks I've been able to run faster and at an easier pace."

Last Saturday, Hiluf was followed by junior Khalid Omar (third, 15:44.85) and senior Hiruy Abraha (fifth, 16:10.05) when the Raiders had their top four make all-district.

Junior Jeremy Richard, who has battled stomach pains this season, finished 24th in 17:05.01 as Reynoldsburg's No. 5 runner. He took 10th in 16:34.1 at the league meet.

Rounding out Reynoldsburg's district competitors were senior Paul Newell (45th, 17:44.2) and sophomore Brian Albrecht (57th, 18:18.84).

New Albany edged the Raiders by two points at district last year and scored 42 points last Saturday. Reynoldsburg was second out of 14 teams with 48 points. The top five advanced to regional, and Hilliard Davidson (102), St. Charles (116) and Olentangy (145) also moved on.

Other teams expected to compete with the Raiders at regional for the four state team berths include district 1 champion Dublin Coffman, district 3 champion Westerville North and the Eagles.

The best individual district time was by Westerville North senior Brian Hannaford (15:33.58).

"Our top four guys ran well," Hammond said. "We had four guys make all-district, but cross country is a sport of five and we didn't have five guys run well. This is two years in a row that we've been beaten by New Albany, and it's definitely not a goal of Raider cross country to be district runner-up."

•The girls team finished 11th (350) in the 12-team district 2 meet behind champion Dublin Coffman (26).

Leading Reynoldsburg was sophomore Kirsten Boone, who was 61st (22:50.16).

Also competing were sophomore Kyrsty Rider (67th, 23:08.1), junior Kenzie Purtell (69th, 23:21.18), senior Michelle Snyder (77th, 25:18.62) and freshman Kaitlyn Hill (79th, 26:44.94).

The Raiders did not score at the OCC-Ohio meet at Evans Athletic Complex in Newark that was won by Pickerington North (36). Snyder led the way with a 27th-place finish (21:41.8).

"They'll get better," Hammond said. "They're all starting to get it."