Alison Gilbert likes the change of pace she gets from week to week as a member of the Upper Arlington High School girls cross country team.

Alison Gilbert likes the change of pace she gets from week to week as a member of the Upper Arlington High School girls cross country team.

Last Saturday, the Golden Bears finished second with 60 points in the Division I district 3 race behind champion Hilliard Davidson (44) on a Watkins Memorial course marked by hills and wooded terrain. In their prior race, the OCC-Central meet on Oct. 16 at Hilliard Darby, the course was flat and more conducive to running low times.

Gilbert and her teammates advanced as a team to the regional on Saturday at Pickerington North. That course bears more resemblance to Darby than Watkins Memorial.

"This is the 10th time I have run here at Watkins (Memorial), so I know the course pretty well and it can be a lot of fun," said Gilbert, who finished 28th in 20 minutes, 44.84 seconds last Saturday. "It has hills in back of the woods and it definitely can be a challenge."

The top five teams - Davidson, UA, Dublin Jerome (80), Canal Winchester (138) and Olentangy Orange (139) - advanced to regional.

Davidson senior Jessica Hoover won the race in 18:14.55 followed by the UA tandem of freshman Dorrian Jaffe (second, 18:45.72) and junior Olivia Menden (third, 18:50.83).

"We did pretty well and the girls get to run at least one more week," coach Dale Hartney said. "Dorrian and Olivia both ran extremely well, but we'll have our work cut out for us at regional. We'll have to run well to advance to state."

The top four teams and those individuals not on a qualifying team who finish in the top 16 advance to state on Nov. 6 at Scioto Downs.

Freshman Sarah Heuerman (ninth, 19:59.45) was next for the Golden Bears followed by freshman Reyna Lusson (20th, 20:29.07), senior Michelle Navarre (26th, 20:38.16), Gilbert and freshman Gabriella Berland (42nd, 21:17.7).

"Sarah Heuerman has made great strides as a freshman and has been doing really well to help us significantly," Hartney said. "Both Sarah and Reyna Lusson have made great strides since the beginning of the year."

Last year in the regional at Pickerington North, UA finished eighth (190) behind state qualifiers Sylvania Northview (61), Dublin Scioto (71), Toledo Notre Dame (111) and Canal Winchester (131).

Allison Magee, a 2010 graduate, qualified for state after finishing 10th (20:34.39). At state, she was 98th (20:36.57).

•The boys team was 13th (308) in the 18-team Division I district 3 race behind district qualifiers Westerville North (52), Pickerington North (118), Watkins Memorial (124), Vincent Warren (159), Canal Winchester (170) and Newark (191).

Junior Victor Pataky finished 12th (16:31.07) for UA to qualify for regional. Westerville North's Brian Hannaford won the race in 15:33.58.

Sophomore Nathan Perry (68th, 17:45.11) was next for the Golden Bears followed by freshman Lucas Sencio (69th, 17:46.11), sophomore Jacob Fowler (76th, 17:55.69), freshman Tyler Bergen (83rd, 18:02.19), senior Wes Ewing (87th, 18:06.58) and sophomore Thomas Paulson (91st, 18:11.45).

"Victor advanced, but I was disappointed that Wes Ewing wasn't able to advance," Hartney said. "He's normally our No. 2 runner, but finished as our No. 6 after falling at the beginning of the race. He had a two-inch gash on one leg, another one-inch wound and he was spiked on one of his ankles. He got up and toughed it out, but I know that's not the way he wanted to run his last high-school race. Things like that happen. I still have a couple of scars from spikes from when I fell down running in college."

In the regional last year, the Golden Bears finished sixth (173) behind state qualifiers Pickerington North (75), Reynoldsburg (118), New Albany (139) and Dublin Coffman (147). Brendan Long, a 2010 graduate, was 10th (17:37.14) to advance to state, where he finished 51st (16:46.96).