Led by three seniors, the Westerville Central High School girls cross country team has high aspirations this season.
Chloe Ey, McKenna Fry and Sydney Kapral appear to have the Warhawks in position to contend for an OCC-Buckeye Division title and then district, regional and state honors.
Central is seeking its fourth consecutive Division I regional berth.
"We have a shot, but a lot of it is going to be depending on who our fourth and fifth runners are and how they come along," 10th-year coach Ryan Borland said. "It's not easy to get there, but we think we can have a shot by the end of the year."
The Warhawks opened Aug. 26 by winning the five-team Dan Reid Invitational at Whitehall. They scored 22 points to finish ahead of runner-up Big Walnut (51).
Fry was first of 93 runners in 18 minutes, 58.7 seconds, followed by Kapral (third, 19:27.2) and Ey (fourth, 19:56.2).
Fry then finished fourth (18:34.73) of 84 runners in the Hot Summer Bash on Sept. 2 at Hilliard Davidson. Kapral was 24th (19:43.54) and Ey placed 27th (19:56.5).
Central finished fifth (123) of nine teams behind champion Centerville (35). The Elks have won three consecutive Division I state titles.
Fry is seeking her second state berth after finishing 41st (19:02.2) as a sophomore.
Her bid for a return trip last season fell short, as she withdrew from the regional with about 200 meters remaining after becoming ill because of an iron deficiency. She was sixth when she left the race. The top 20 individuals advanced to state at National Trail Raceway.
"Motivation is never a factor or problem for her," Borland said. "She's healthy and she's pretty excited. We're trying to learn from things that didn't end well last year with health. She's working on making sure that doesn't happen again."
Fry is looking forward to her final cross country season. Along with Ey and Kapral, she also is a standout on the track and field team.
"I'm excited for this year and I think we're going to do great," Fry said. "Last year wasn't really the perfect ending, but this year is going to be really good. I'm really healthy and my team is healthy, so we're ready to go."
Kapral, who decided not to play soccer this fall, also is expecting a solid season.
"The four years flew by," she said. "I quit soccer this year so I could focus on cross country, so I'm hoping that will help my times and improve the team as a whole. I want to run in college."
Freshman Ashley Hockstok has had early success, as she was sixth (20:24.7) at Whitehall and 33rd (20:23.03) at Davidson
Junior Mya Delaney was eighth (20:52.9) at Whitehall and 53rd (21:21.42) at Davidson.
"Mya has no varsity experience, but she has really improved a lot over the last year," Borland said.
Other runners looking to contribute include sophomores Kayla Jones and Remington Schultz.
leading boys team
Senior Austin Smith has led the boys cross country team so far this season, as he won the 169-runner Dan Reid Invitational in 16:10.7 and the 64-runner Westerville North Classic on Sept. 2 in 16:41.35.
The Warhawks finished first (44) of 10 teams in the Dan Reid Invitational, ahead of runner-up Reynoldsburg (57). Senior Sam Reyes was eighth (17:32.3).
"Austin is off to a great start," 15th-year coach Jason Loughman said. "We expected him to be our No. 1 guy and just watching him through track season and watching him the summer of training that he had, we knew that he was setting himself up for a really successful senior year."
Reyes was 27th (17:57.64) at North as the Warhawks finished fourth (125) of 10 teams behind champion Olentangy Liberty (34).
Other key runners have been sophomore Josh South, junior Jacob Owens and seniors Jordan Klapper, Brant Henson and Nathan Schroeder. South and Klapper are in their first year with the team.
Last season, Central finished fourth (111) in the OCC-Buckeye Division meet behind champion Olentangy Orange (29).
"It's going to be Liberty and Orange out there," Loughman said. "I know one of our goals is to see if we can close the gap. ... The ultimate goal would be to finish in the top three at the conference meet. If we keep working the way we have been and stay healthy, we have a great chance of (being in the) top three."
Girls volleyball team
looking to bounce back
The girls volleyball team is looking to improve on last season's 7-16 overall record.
The Warhawks were 1-4 before opening OCC-Buckeye play Sept. 5 against North. They defeated Upper Arlington 25-23, 25-22, 25-19 on Aug. 22.
"It was great to see us play at our potential (against UA)," second-year coach Gerard Iquina said. "(The Golden Bears) definitely battled, but we were able to get the result we wanted and earned it."
Last season, Central went 4-6 in the league to finish fourth behind champion Orange (9-1).
"We're confident we'll be able take care of business against the other Westerville schools," Iquina said. "Against the Olentangys, they'll definitely be battles, but we feel if we're able to play to our potential we'll give it a run."
Junior Avrey Schumacher (outside hitter/defensive specialist) finished with 251 kills last season and was second-team all-league.
Other returnees are juniors Emme Vair (defensive specialist) and Allison Saas (setter) and sophomores Danielle Ingram (middle hitter) and Madison Saunders (outside hitter).
Other players are seniors Taylor Hunyadi (right-side hitter/outside hitter), Claudia Sellitto (defensive specialist) and Raven Tipton (middle hitter), juniors Mallory Mahoney (libero), Jordan Plas (setter) and Esther Holtzclaw (middle blocker/outside hitter), sophomores Lauryn Stubbs (middle hitter) and Hayle Tillman (setter) and freshmen Josie Curran (outside hitter/right-side hitter), Ava Hampton (defensive specialist) and Riley Kindall (outside hitter).
Boys golf team
The boys golf team is third (9-6) behind first-place Liberty (15-0) heading into the final round of the OCC-Buckeye tournament Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Darby Creek.
The Warhawks finished third (318) behind the first-place Patriots (295) in the third round Aug. 30 at Apple Valley.
Joshua Qian led Central with a 76, followed by Zach Wengerter with a 79.
Girls golfers prepare
for final league round
The girls golf team will compete in the final round of the OCC-Buckeye tournament Tuesday, Sept. 12, at Westchester.
The Warhawks are third (9-6) behind first-place Orange (15-0) after finishing third (341) in the third round Aug. 29 at Cooks Creek behind the first-place Pioneers (297).
Grace Welty led the Warhawks with a 78 and Kelly Linnabary shot 83.
Aug. 26 -- Dan Reid Invitational at Whitehall
Sept. 2 -- Boys: Westerville North Classic; Girls: Hot Summer Bash at Hilliard Davidson
Sept. 9 -- Boys: Tiffin Festival; Girls: McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial
Sept. 16 -- Otterbein Invitational
Sept. 23 -- Saturday Night Lights at Centerville
Oct. 7 -- Boys: Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington; Girls: Hilliard Darby Dash
Oct. 14 -- OCC-Buckeye meet at Hilliard Davidson
Aug. 19 -- at Watkins Memorial
Aug. 22 -- at Upper Arlington
Aug. 24 -- vs. Big Walnut
Aug. 29 -- vs. Pickerington Central
Aug. 31 -- at Gahanna
*Sept. 5 -- at Westerville North
*Sept. 7 -- vs. Olentangy Orange
Sept. 9 -- vs. Central Crossing
*Sept. 12 -- vs. Olentangy
*Sept. 14 -- at Olentangy Liberty
Sept. 16 -- Worthington Kilbourne Tournament
Sept. 18 -- at Licking Heights
*Sept. 19 -- vs. Westerville South
*Sept. 26 -- vs. Westerville North
*Sept. 28 -- at Olentangy Orange
Oct. 2 -- vs. Johnstown
*Oct. 3 -- at Olentangy
Oct. 3 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley
*Oct. 5 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty
*Oct. 1 -- at Westerville South
Oct. 2 -- at Hilliard Bradley
Below are the coming schedules for the Central boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls tennis teams:
Sept. 7 -- Westerville North and Westerville South at Medallion
Sept. 9 -- St. Charles Invitational at Brookside
Sept. 13 -- OCC-Buckeye at Darby Creek
Sept. 7 -- New Albany at Royal American
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Buckeye at Westchester
*Sept. 12 -- At North
Sept. 7 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley
*Sept. 11 -- Home vs. North
*Sept. 7 -- Home vs. South
Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby
Sept. 13 -- At Dublin Scioto