Hilliard Darby High School boys cross country coach Matthew Fox thinks his team still has gas in the tank after advancing to the Division I regional meet Saturday, Oct. 28, at Pickerington North.

The Panthers totaled 168 points in the 16-team district 3 race Oct. 21 at Watkins Memorial to earn the sixth and final regional berth, behind champion Olentangy Liberty (49). Olentangy (197) was seventh.

“It was not our best race of the year, but it does feel good to get back to regional after not making it last year,” Fox said.

“I honestly believe that we have an outside shot at advancing on to state.”

The top five teams and top 20 runners at regional advance to the state meet Nov. 4 at National Trail Raceway.

Senior Dylan Newport placed 11th of 124 runners in 16 minutes, 23.09 seconds to lead Darby. Also scoring for the Panthers were Owen Martin (33rd, 16:56.44), Balaji Kurapati (34th, 16:56.82), Sean Carney (36th, 17:00.55) and Josh Baldridge (54th, 17:29.58).

“I thought Dylan and Balaji ran great races at district,” Fox said. “Dylan ran the best race of his

career.

“This team races with a lot of heart and won’t back down from the moment. At regional, for the first time this season, we’re going to try to have our top seven guys all have their best race on the same day. The goal this week is to get our pack to race a little better between the first and second miles.”

Santos runs to district title

The girls cross country team also advanced to the Division I regional meet.

Led by Daniella Santos, Abby Cannon and Anita Perie, the Panthers finished fourth (117) in the 16-team district 2 race Oct. 21 at Watkins Memorial, behind Granville (43), Thomas Worthington (76) and Marysville (112). Bradley (118) and Westerville Central (139) also advanced.

Santos, a sophomore, was district champion in a field of 116 runners, finishing first in 18:20.58.

Cannon placed 14th (19:28.96) and Perie was 18th (19:38.46). Also scoring were Madison Murphy (34th, 20:55.57) and Erin Cowen (51st, 21:30.55).

“The girls ran well,” coach Jon Agriesti said. “We expected to finish fourth overall. Daniella ran a good race and it looks like she should finish on the podium at regional. Abby and Anita also made all-district. They are close to the top 20, but will have to run well to get to state individually.

“Our fourth and fifth runners have steadily improved. We just need a little more from them this week. We’re hoping to hit it just right and see what happens. If they all run well together, we may have a chance (to advance as a team).”

Boys soccer team reaches district semi

The 10th-seeded boys soccer team played at fourth-seeded St. Charles in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 25.

The winner plays seventh-seeded Marysville or 11th-seeded Westerville Central in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at a site to be determined. The district champion advances to a regional semifinal, with the date and site to be determined.

The Panthers lost to Marys-ville 1-0 in their regular-season finale Oct. 12.

Darby defeated 37th-seeded Columbus West 3-0 in the first round of the district tournament Oct. 18 and edged 24th-seeded Big Walnut 1-0 in overtime in the second round Oct. 21 to improve to 8-4-6.

Against Big Walnut, Josh Govine headed in the lone goal off a corner kick by Jackson Janetski with 11:25 remaining in overtime and goalkeeper Nick Hermosilla made one save.

Girls soccer team routs Cougars

The seventh-seeded girls soccer team played host to 12th-seeded New Albany in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 24.

The winner will play third-seeded Gahanna or 15th-seeded Watterson in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at a site to be determined. The district champion advances to a regional semifinal, with the date and site to be determined.

Darby tied Watterson at 2 on Sept. 23.

The Panthers, who had a first-round bye, defeated 40th-seeded Westland 12-0 in the second round Oct. 19 to improve to 10-4-3.

Aaliyah Brletic scored two goals against the Cougars and Blair Cowan, Emily Radcliff, Naomi Walters, Brynn Miller, Olivia Kane, Hannah Knob-loch, Sophia Roberts and Carli Rigel each scored one. The Cougars also had two own goals.

Girls volleyball team advances in tourney

The 12th-seeded girls volleyball team played ninth-seeded Pickerington Central in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 25.

The winner will play top-seeded Dublin Coffman or 25th-seeded Dublin Scioto in a district final at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at Whitehall. The district champion advances to a regional semifinal Nov. 2 at Worthington Kilbourne.

Darby swept Scioto in OCC-Cardinal Division play, winning 25-22, 21-25, 25-16, 25-19 on Aug. 29 and 21-25, 25-15, 25-22, 21-25, 15-12 on Sept. 26.

The Panthers defeated 24th-seeded Newark 25-23, 21-25, 25-13, 25-17 in the second round Oct. 18 to improve to 15-8. They opened the postseason by beating 48th-seeded Walnut Ridge 25-4, 25-13, 25-6 in the first round Oct. 16.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek