Senior Arjun Jha of the Thomas Worthington High School boys cross country team set the Division I district record last season at Watkins Memorial when he finished in 15 minutes, 16.1 seconds.

He broke that mark Oct. 21 when he won the district 3 race in 14:59.94.

However, Pickerington Central's Matt Scrape now owns the record after finishing in 14:59.54 in the district 2 race Oct. 21. That time also broke the course record, topping the previous mark of 14:59.89 set by Watkins Memorial's Andrew Jordan in 2015.

Buoyed by Jha and senior Andy Payne, who finished second in 15:17.22, the Cardinals totaled 87 points at district to finish second behind Olentangy Liberty (49) in a 16-team field and advance to the regional meet Saturday, Oct. 28, at Pickerington North.

"Arjun and Andy were dynamite," coach Bill Darling said. "They ran great races. Unfortunately, we got outcoached and lost to Liberty. We've faced them three times this year and they've won twice and both were at Watkins. We beat them on our course in the (Les) Eisenhart (Invitational on Oct. 7).

"Watkins is a narrow course at places and it's difficult to pass in some places. Liberty did what they did to us the first time at Watkins -- they went out fast, gained the lead and we couldn't catch up. We were too far back heading into the woods. It's a very strategic course."

The top six teams and top 24 runners advanced to the regional, where the top five teams and top 20 runners will qualify for the state meet Nov. 4 at National Trail Raceway.

"I think our workouts were geared for us to peak at regional and I think we will," Jha said. "I'm excited to see what we'll do. I believe we can run with anybody. We need to be in the top five teams, but we're gunning at winning the regional title."

Also scoring at district for Thomas were Zubin Jha (23rd, 16:39.8), Isaac Wise (26th, 16:46.76) and Ryan Gimeson (35th, 16:58.11).

"I'm hopeful we can run our best race (at regional), but the main thing is getting to state," Darling said. "There are a lot of very good teams who are similar, so it's obvious that there will be good teams not getting to state."

Girls runners place second at district

The girls cross country team finished second in the Division I, district 2 race Oct. 21 at Watkins Memorial.

The Cardinals (76) placed behind Granville (43), as the top six teams and top 24 runners qualified for regional.

Junior Gia Napoleon finished fourth in 18:38.71 and her sister, freshman Carina Napoleon, was eighth in 19:00.46. Also scoring were Lydia Miller (16th, 19:33.28), Tori Banks (19th, 19:46.78) and Cassidy Shaver (29th, 20:34.61).

"Our top four runners all earned all-district honors and anytime you can achieve that, your team is doing well," coach Andy Cox said. "I am very happy with how we are progressing as a team. We continue to run better each week. We're hoping that our training will provide us that extra lift (this) week at the regional meet."

LaLonde competes in state golf tourney

Senior David LaLonde of the boys golf team shot 172 (88-84) in the Division I state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course to finish 55th of 72 golfers.

"While I know David wished he'd played better, he still had a lot of fun and simply enjoyed the experience," coach Jay Addy said. "The state tournament is a special event and a fantastic atmosphere that many of Ohio's best golfers never get the chance to compete in.

"So for David, it was all about keeping things in perspective and looking at the big picture. He made it down to the final 72 golfers competing in the entire state."

LaLonde advanced to state by winning a three-hole playoff against Westerville South's Troy Taylor after both shot 73 in the district tournament Oct. 10 at Apple Valley. He earned the second of two individual state berths, joining Central Crossing's Caleb Davern (71).

The Cardinals reached district as a team, shooting a 311 to finish third of 12 teams, behind state-qualifiers Dublin Jerome (294) and Liberty (307).

Also competing at district for Thomas were senior Curran Gimeson (77), junior Aaron Zeller (77), senior Bailey Utterback (84) and senior Jake Savage (99).

The Cardinals advanced to district by shooting a 328 in a sectional Oct. 3 at Turnberry to edge Pickerington Central (330) for the fourth and final district-qualifying spot.

Thomas finished 19-5 in the four-round OCC-Cardinal Division tournament to place second, behind Jerome (23-1) and ahead of Dublin Scioto (18-6), Kilbourne (11-13), Hilliard Bradley (9-15), Hilliard Darby (5-19) and Delaware (0-24).

Gimeson, LaLonde and Zeller made first-team all-league and Utterback was honorable mention.

The Cardinals will be losing four seniors, with Zeller being the lone expected returnee.

"We had a great season," Addy said. "Statistically speaking, it was the best season in my 11 years and was extremely enjoyable. We had one of the most cohesive groups of young men ever, which is what helped us compete at such a high level.

"It's always tough to say good-bye to seniors, but even more so this year because of what they accomplished."

Boys soccer team reaches district semi

The boys soccer team expected much more resistance when it played at second-seeded Dublin Coffman in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 25 than it faced in the first two rounds of the tournament.

The 13th-seeded Cardinals beat 33rd-seeded Mifflin 7-0 in the first round Oct. 18 and defeated 42nd-seeded Walnut Ridge 9-0 in the second round Oct. 21 to improve to 10-5-2.

The semifinal winner will play 18th-seeded Gahanna or 27th-seeded Kilbourne in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at a neutral site to be determined. The district champion advances to a regional semifinal, with the date and site still to be determined.

Thomas lost to Kilbourne 5-1 on Oct. 10.

Field hockey team seeks return to state

The top-seeded field hockey team played host to eighth-seeded Olentangy in the second round of the district tournament Oct. 24, looking to advance to a district final against third-seeded Granville or fifth-seeded Watterson on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Liberty.

The district champion advances to a state semifinal Nov. 3 at Upper Arlington.

The Cardinals, who defeated 17th-seeded Lancaster 9-0 in the first round on Oct. 16 to improve to 17-0, are the two-time defending state champions. They defeated Watterson 6-1 on Oct. 9.

Girls water polo team takes fifth at state

The girls water polo team defeated sixth-seeded Mason 10-6 on Oct. 21 to finish fifth in the 11-team state tournament at Cincinnati Princeton.

The fifth-seeded Cardinals opened state Oct. 20 by losing to fourth-seeded Cincinnati Sycamore 7-3, but bounced back the following day to beat eighth-seeded Princeton 9-5 and advance to the fifth-place game.

Thomas finished 17-12-1.

The boys state tournament is Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28, at Mason and Princeton.

Thomas is seeded first of 12 teams and has a first-round bye. The Cardinals are 24-7.

Girls soccer team losing four seniors

The girls soccer team gave fifth-seeded Bradley a scare in the second round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 18, but lost to the host Jaguars 1-0 to finish 4-9-5 overall.

The 26th-seeded Cardinals beat 33rd-seeded Hamilton Township 8-0 in a first-round game Oct. 16. The eight goals accounted for half of the team's season total. The Cardinals were shut out eight times.

Thomas went 2-3-1 in the OCC-Cardinal to place fourth, behind Jerome (5-0-1), Darby (5-1) and Bradley (3-2-1) and ahead of Delaware (1-3-2), Scioto (1-3-2) and Kilbourne (0-5-1).

The Cardinals, under first-year coach Tara Zimmerman, will be losing four seniors in Mary Beth DeRuntz (forward) Julia Geiger (midfielder/forward), Lauren Hitt (defender) and Alix Steele (defender).

Expected returnees include juniors Anna Fenker (defender), Annie McClure (forward), Caroline McGill (midfielder), Mackenzie Peeke (midfielder/forward), Maddy Sever (defender), Delaney Steele (defender) and Emma Weber (forward), sophomores Brooke Ackley (goalkeeper) and Sophia Tyler (midfielder) and freshmen Grace Florence (midfielder/forward), Lyndsi Fritz (defender), Lily Houser (forward), Julie Riell (goalie), Claire Sever (forward), Tatum Snyder (defender) and Ella Tyler (defender/midfielder).

Season concludes for volleyball team

The girls volleyball team fell short in its upset bid of 25th-seeded Scioto, losing to the host Irish 25-18, 20-25, 24-26, 25-18, 15-8 in the second round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 18 to finish 9-14 overall.

Thomas, which was seeded 32nd and had a first-round bye, was swept by Scioto in OCC-Cardinal play, losing 25-11, 25-15, 25-23 on Sept. 5 and 25-19, 26-24, 25-18 on Oct. 3.

The Cardinals went 2-10 in the league to place seventh, behind Kilbourne (12-0), Darby (9-3), Delaware (7-5), Scioto (6-6), Bradley (3-9) and Jerome (3-9).

Thomas loses three seniors in Regan Morgan (outside hitter), Sydney Summey (outside hitter) and Emma Watts (setter). 

Expected returnees include juniors Meredith Althouse (libero), Becca Hobbs (defensive specialist), Cindy Jackson (opposite hitter), Layne Keegan (setter), Abby Phillips (middle blocker), Gabrielle Ramsey (outside hitter) and Brie Wight (middle blocker) and freshman Grace Matthews (defensive specialist). 

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek