Sophomore twins Jeff and Brian Hannaford of the Westerville North High School boys cross country had impressive performances at the Division I regional last Saturday at Pickerington.

Sophomore twins Jeff and Brian Hannaford of the Westerville North High School boys cross country had impressive performances at the Division I regional last Saturday at Pickerington.

With the top 16 individuals advancing to state Saturday at Scioto Downs, Jeff finished seventh (16 minutes, 13 seconds) and Brian was 12th (16:22) behind champion Yoshi Shimizu (16:05) of Hilliard Davidson.

"I just wanted to make sure I qualified," said Jeff, who ran at state last year. "I really didn't care what place it was."

Jeff said the plan was not to worry about where he and his brother were in the field, but rather to hit their time goals for each mile and pass other runners as the race progressed.

Jeff was nine seconds slower than the 5:10 goal for the first mile, which forced him to pick up the pace.

"I used a ton of energy that second mile and just tried to pick off as many people as I could," he said.

Jeff was near the top 20 after two miles and used the final portion to secure a spot among the top 10. At state last year, he was 81st (16:44.38) in a field of 150.

"I went out too fast," he said. "That first mile just killed me."

His goal this year is to break 16:00 and finish in the top 25 to be named all-state. He also is happy to have his brother along.

"I'm excited for him," Jeff Hannaford said. "I'm just going to tell him not to get overwhelmed by the crowd and to run his race."

•Nick Shepherd of the Central boys team battled stomach cramps as he finished 83rd (17:39) last Saturday.

"Right when the gun went off my stomach felt like it was sucking in," he said. "It bothered me during the race. I don't think it was nerves, I don't know what it was."

Still, he believes the experience will be beneficial if he returns to the regional as a senior.

"I know I'm good enough to get to that race, I know I'm in shape enough to get to that race," Shepherd said. "If I can get my stomach better I know I can race better than I did."

•Tess Hoogeveen of the South girls team finished 84th (21:29) behind champion Michelle Thomas (17:59) of Cincinnati Glen Este in the Division I regional. It was Hoogeveen's first regional appearance.

"I guess you have good days and you have bad days," the senior said. "This was a bad day. It was awesome just to be there. It was totally different from any race I've ever run."