The Westerville South High School boys cross country team will participate in its first Division I regional meet since 2009.
South's fifth-place finish in the district 2 meet Oct. 19 at Watkins Memorial placed the Wildcats among three Westerville teams that advanced to compete Saturday, Oct. 26, at Pickerington North. Central's girls were fourth in their district 2 race, and North's girls were fifth in district 1.
The top five teams and top 20 individuals in districts 1 and 2 advanced, as did the top six teams and top 24 individuals in district 3.
From regional, the top four teams and top 16 individuals advance to the state meet Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway.
Junior Greg Smith was 11th in 16 minutes, 42.12 seconds for South's boys, who scored 129 points to place fifth behind champion Dublin Jerome (23). Freshman C.J. Johnson was 23rd in 17:07.75, followed by senior Ben Gannon (24th, 17:09.03) and juniors Nicholas Vermaaten (34th, 17:29.99), Derek Wei (37th, 17:35.12), Connor Svendsen (70th, 18:57.38) and Reed Watkins (73rd, 18:08.68).
Powered by top-10 finishes from senior Dana Roberts and junior Tarike Osuobeni, Central's girls scored 100 points to place fourth in district 2 behind champion Gahanna (39). Roberts was third (19:14.36) and Osuobeni sixth (19:37.19), followed by sophomore Macy Leach (15th, 20:08.75), senior Gracie Boden (36th, 21:02.91), sophomore Kelsie Potts (41st, 21:08.32) and freshmen Torey Kuchan (65th, 22:24.05) and Chauntress Like (66th, 22:24.46).
In the district 1 girls race, North junior Heather Sandvik was second (18:41.37) and twin Haley Sandvik was seventh (19:13.39) as the Warriors scored 110 points to place fifth behind champion Hilliard Davidson (48). Junior Jocelyn Sharpe was 26th (20:34.23), followed by sophomore Mary Swatzell (29th, 20:44.67), junior Morgan Bernhard (47th, 21:53.92), freshman Claire Wetta (50th, 21:58.29) and senior Alex Mobley (57th, 22:16.33).
North senior Nick Horton was 14th (16:52.73) in district 2 to advance as an individual, and the Warriors boys were sixth (150) as a team, missing a regional berth by one place. Horton was followed by senior Evan Larrick (26th, 17:13.59), juniors Trevor Dilley (29th, 17:16.33) and Daniel Mallett (31st, 17:23.57), sophomore Adam Sherrard (50th, 17:56.87) and juniors Zach McConaghy (56th, 18:06.63) and Evan Crew (59th, 18:30.86).
Also falling short of regional berths were Central's boys and South's girls.
The Warhawks boys were eighth (267) in district 1 behind champion Davidson (29). Competing for Central were senior Conor Hollern (45th, 18:20.67), freshman Mitchell McClain (53rd, 18:55.46), junior Cameron George (54th, 18:56.38), senior Joel Schmelzer (56th, 19:06.32), freshmen Derrick Rymers (59th, 19:13.01) and Jacob Shirey (60th, 19:13.61) and senior Dustin Edens (68th, 19:34.4).
Senior Victoria Husain (51st, 21:18.93) and junior Lauren Frank (52nd, 21:20.6) led the Wildcats girls to 11th (341) in district 3 behind champion Upper Arlington (64). Also running for South were junior Amanda Gesouras (75th, 22:50.35), seniors Caryn Snide (79th, 23:03.82), Taylor Moore (84th, 23:15.21) and Jenna Fudale (87th, 23:43.86) and freshman Kathryn Gaunt (88th, 23:51.77).