Senior Jacob Dumford of the Westerville North High School boys cross country team entered the Division I state meet Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway knowing he had to keep a close eye on Tipp City Tippecanoe’s Sam Wharton to have a chance to win the race.
In the second mile, Dumford made a push to take the lead but couldn’t catch Wharton and had to settle for second, finishing in 15 minutes, 17.61 seconds, less than eight seconds behind Wharton (15:09.95).
“I kind of sat pretty far back and let a lot of people block the wind for me,” said Dumford, who ran 15:51.81 to win the regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North. “Then in the second mile I saw Sam Wharton, who I knew coming in, if I didn’t win, he was probably going to. He started moving really hard the second mile and dropped me.”
Dumford was one of six area runners who placed in the top 25 and led the Warriors to 151 points and a fourth-place finish among 16 teams, behind champion Cincinnati St. Xavier (71). His teammate and classmate, Kent Ford, placed fifth (15:29.11), and Westerville North coach Dave Weaner lauded his team's No. 3 runner, Matt Parkhurst, a freshman who progressed throughout the race to finish 83rd (16:27.67).
“We’re not fifth or sixth because he pushed a little bit harder with about a half-mile to go,” Weaner said of Parkhurst. “When I saw four St. X runners come through in a row, I had a strong feeling they were going to be the ones that everyone was looking at on the podium.”
Hilliard Davidson was fifth (189), with Olentangy Liberty (264) and New Albany (324) finishing 14th and 15th, respectively.
Other area runners who finished in the top 25 in Division I were Dublin Coffman’s John Sotos (seventh, 15:33.01), Liberty’s Jim Pappas (12th, 15:41.44), Dublin Jerome’s Jake Mandel (15th, 15:42.93), Davidson’s Colin Burdette (20th, 15:47.42).
The top 25 in each division earned all-state honors.
Grandview junior Luke Evans was the top area finisher in Division III, placing 13th (16:10.92) as the Bobcats finished 15th (333) of 16 teams behind champion Attica Seneca East (101). No other area runners finished in the top 25.
“I didn’t push myself in the first mile and I was about 40th," said Evans, who finished 21st (16:26.78) at state last year. "Then I took off and after the second mile. I love this course. It runs fast.”
No area runners competed in the Division II meet.
Coffman’s Bosworth leads way for area girls
Coffman senior Rachel Bosworth placed 12th (18:16.58) in the Division I girls meet, marking the highest finish among area runners.
Lebanon's Jacquelyn Crow won the race in 17:39.31.
“My coaches just told me to go out fast, and I ran about the fastest first mile I ever have and just went from there,” said Bosworth, who finished ninth (18:26.42) at state last year and 10th (18:20) in 2010. “I might have gone out too fast. I didn’t time as well as I wanted to, but I just kept progressing.”
Led by senior Lauren Hoover, Davidson placed fifth of 16 teams with 180 points, behind champion Mason (42). Coffman was sixth (201), with Upper Arlington (291) and Dublin Scioto (333) finishing 13th and 16th, respectively.
“We had high hopes and the general sentiment is a little disappointment with fifth,” Davidson coach Nate King said. “Our goal all season long was to be in the top four. We knew there was a legitimate shot at placing second. We’re a little bummed, but they ran fast times. If you would have told me we would have run the times we did this morning, I’d have been happy. But we just got outmuscled up front by some other times.”
Hoover placed 15th (18:21.08). The Wildcats' second-highest finisher was freshman Jane Onders, who placed 31st (18:48.55).
In addition to Bosworth and Hoover, placing in the top 25 in Division I were Reynoldsburg's Leah Wallace (16th, 18:24.28) and Westerville North's Heather Sandvik (20th, 18:33.34).
In Division II, Hartley sophomore Emily Franz finished 20th (19:17.65), behind champion Sarra Taylor of London (18:50.55). Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary won the team title (53), with Granville finishing sixth (206).
In Division III, Grandview was 14th (292) and Columbus Academy finished 15th (310) of 16 teams, behind champion Liberty Center (101).
Academy was led by Abby Wilson (26th, 19:17.27) and the top finisher for Grandview was Ali Lachey (46th, 19:40.24).