Heather Sandvik of the Westerville North High School girls cross country team won her second consecutive league championship, and Greg Smith of the South boys team set a school record to highlight the area's day in the OCC-Cardinal Division meets Oct. 12 at Hilliard Darby.
Sandvik, a junior, was first in 18 minutes, 22.26 seconds to lead North to 83 points and a third-place finish behind Dublin Scioto (54) and Hilliard Bradley (72) and ahead of Dublin Jerome (89), Westerville Central (90), Canal Winchester (135), Darby (178) and South (195). Sandvik was followed by juniors Haley Sandvik (third, 18:44.4) and Jocelyn Sharpe (12th, 19:55.03), sophomore Mary Swatzell (27th, 20:44.46), junior Morgan Bernhard (41st, 21:29.3), senior Alex Mobley (42nd, 21:29.44) and freshman Claire Wetta (52nd, 21:54.2).
Smith, a junior, was eighth in the boys race in 15:47.48, smashing the 11-year-old school record of 16:02.5 set by Ryan Davis and leading the Wildcats to fourth place (97) behind Jerome (23), North (66) and Darby (81) and ahead of Bradley (121), Scioto (141), Canal Winchester (164) and Central (242). Other South runners were freshman C.J. Johnson (12th, 16:13.44), senior Ben Gannon (24th, 16:46.29) and juniors Nicholas Vermaaten (26th, 16:49.21), Derek Wei (27th, 16:50.75), Connor Svendsen (41st, 17:42.24) and Reed Watkins (47th, 17:54.26).
Sophomore Matt Parkhurst's sixth-place finish (15:36.82) led North's boys. Junior Trevor Dilley was 10th (16:07.39), followed by seniors Nick Horton (13rd, 16:17.11) and Evan Larrick (18th, 16:27.33), junior Daniel Mallett (19th, 16:36.64) and sophomores Adam Sherrard (38th, 17:32.48) and Bryan Peck (39th, 17:33.18).
Central junior Tarike Osuobeni was fifth (19:13.94) in the girls race. Other War-hawks runners were senior Dana Roberts (10th, 19:48.45), sophomore Macy Leach (18th, 20:09.88), freshman Chauntress Like (25th, 20:40.73), senior Gracie Boden (32nd, 20:59.56), freshman Torey Kuchan (37th, 21:19.04) and sophomore Kelsie Potts (45th, 21:36.27).
For Central's boys, senior Conor Hollern (42nd, 17:43.65) led the way, followed by freshmen Mitchell McClain (57th, 18:20.37) and Derrick Rymers (58th, 18:20.42), juniors Cameron George (64th, 18:37.09) and Sean Walston (65th, 18:39.66), sophomore Noah Corbett (70th, 19:03.68) and senior Holden Ruegger (71st, 19:05.21).
Senior Victoria Husain led South's girls with a 24th-place finish (20:37.63). Also participating for the Wildcats were senior Jenna Fudale (34th, 21:07.8), junior Lauren Frank (39th, 21:27.08), freshman Kathryn Gaunt (53rd, 22:05.95), junior Amanda Gesouras (54th, 22:07.65) and seniors Taylor Moore (56th, 22:18.8) and Caryn Snide (60th, 22:32.5).
Central's boys and North's girls will compete in the Division I, district 1 meet Saturday, Oct. 19, at Watkins Memorial. North's boys, South's boys and Central's girls are in district 2, and South's girls are in district 3.
The top five teams and top 20 individuals in districts 1 and 2, and the top six teams and top 24 individuals in district 3, will advance to the regional meet Oct. 26 at Pickerington North.
-- Dave Purpura