It was a day of firsts for the Gahanna Lincoln and Dublin Jerome High School cross country programs Oct. 26 at Pickerington North.
Led by the individual championship run of junior Kelsey Sandlin, the Gahanna girls squad scored 90 points to win its first Division I regional championship.
A second-place finish by senior Jake Mandel helped the Jerome boys score 66 points to win its first regional title, followed by Davidson (100), New Albany (111) and Olentangy Liberty (118).
Liberty senior Andrew Johnston came away with the individual title in 15:40.8 ahead of Mandel at 15:48.24.
“It definitely was a goal of mine, so it feels good,” Johnston said.
The state meet is Saturday, Nov. 2, at National Trail Raceway.
In the girls meet, joining Gahanna as state qualifiers were Upper Arlington (104), Hilliard Davidson (118) and Thomas Worthington (143).
“We just wanted to qualify for state, so we’re really pumped up,” Sandlin said.
Sandlin finished in 18 minutes, 47.77, seconds to edge Westerville North junior Heather Sandvik (18:56.22) for the title.
Others moving on individually along with Sandvik included Jerome sophomore Carly Davis (third, 18:59.98), Liberty junior Claire Wiles (fourth, 19:02.61), New Albany senior Eliza Matt (seventh, 19:03.49), Reynoldsburg junior Leah Wallace (eighth, 19:07.19), Westerville North junior Haley Sandvik (10th, 19:12.69), Hilliard Bradley junior Tes Corea (12th, 19:27.34), Worthington Kilbourne junior Emily Stoodley (13th, 19:32.57) and Watkins Memorial junior Josie Woosley (15th, 19:38.72).
Also advancing individually along with Johnston and Madel were Newark senior Toby Hardwick (fourth, 15:58.9), Pickerington North junior Zach Zimmerman (seventh, 16:07.35), Bradley senior Eric McCabe (ninth, 16:09.34), Hilliard Darby sophomore Daniel Reynolds (10th, 16:12.21) and Watkins Memorial sophomore Andrew Jordan (16th, 16:17.9).
In the boys regional at Troy, Bexley senior Ian Kellogg (fourth, 16:25.31), Granville senior Tyler Otterstedt (11th, 16:36.76) and Granville junior Robbie Weaver (15th, 16:40.84) advanced individually.
In the girls regional at Troy, Granville finished third (87) behind Tipp City Tippecanoe (67) and Dayton Oakwood (80) to advance as a team. Hartley junior Emily Franz (13th, 19:26.52) moved on individually.
In the boys regional at Pickerington North, Grandview senior Luke Evans finished first in 16:21.64. He was joined as an individual state qualifier by junior teammate Eli Reed (15th, 17:07.57).
“I only led for the last 400 meters,” Evans said. “I was pretty optimistic but until you get into it you never really know.”
In the girls regional at Pickerington North, Columbus Academy finished second (112) behind Sugarcreek Garaway (68) while Mount Gilead (112) and Columbus School for Girls (113) also advanced to state. Academy finished ahead of Mount Gilead on the sixth-runner tiebreaker.
Academy junior Julia Rizk was third (19:24.28) to lead area individuals. Also moving on individually were Newark Catholic senior Mary Richardson (fourth, 19:36.99), Grandview junior Ali Lachey (seventh, 19:48.91) and Granville Christian junior Lauren Keiser (ninth, 19:54.99).