The Westerville South High School cross country program closed its season with a pair of runners competing in the Division I regional girls meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.
Freshman Emily Ellsworth concluded a strong first year with the Wildcats by finishing 74th of 133 runners in 21 minutes, 17.6 seconds.
"Emily continues to impress with how she's not rattled by those moments and delivered a very strong race for a freshman in her first regional," coach Jimmy Gaul said. "We hope this is the first of four trips for her there and maybe we can find some company in terms of a whole team or least a couple of teammates to bring with her the next couple of years."
Senior Ellie Bouton closed her prep career by finishing 88th (21:32.4) in her first regional meet.
"Ellie got to cap off her career by finally earning that extra race, that burst to the regional meet and that experience," Gaul said.
The top 20 individuals advanced to state Saturday, Nov. 3, at National Trail Raceway.
"They raced about as well as they could," Gaul said. "Pickerington North is a tougher course than (Hilliard) Darby (for district). They were the last race of the day, so it was a little slippery, a little sloppy. They put in the same type of effort they did at district and the league meet, so we're very happy with the experience."
South finished ninth (227 points) in the 16-team district 2 meet Oct. 20 at Darby behind champion Granville (34). Ellsworth finished 20th (20:19.4) and Bouton was 23rd (20:24).
The Wildcats finished sixth (133) in the OCC-Buckeye Division meet Oct. 13 at Hilliard Davidson behind champion Olentangy Orange (38). Bouton led the way by finishing 13th (20:13.7) of 55 runners.
Other key runners eligible to return include junior Karina Deere, sophomores Taylor Hughes, Marley Jackson, Izzie Kotik and Abbey Williams and freshman Emma Henderson.
The boys team was led by senior Cole Koehler, who turned in the Wildcats' top performances in the district and league meets.
South finished 11th (267) in the 13-team district 1 meet behind champion Gahanna (63). Koehler was 22nd (17:12.6), two spots from advancing to regional.
The Wildcats finished fifth (130) in the league meet behind champion Orange (34) as Koehler was 11th (16:56.3) of 60 runners.
Key runners eligible to return include juniors Connor Bushman, Isaac Combs, Donovon Slattery, Jaxen Swank, Anthony Vilardo and Huy Vu, sophomores Paul Braskett, Caedin Bouton and Isaac Weaver and freshmen Chase Jackson, Parker Smith and Teague Svendsen.
Football team loses finale
The football team concluded coach Matthew Christ's second season with a 17-0 loss at Orange on Oct. 26.
The Wildcats finished 3-7 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Buckeye. South is 7-13 overall and 2-8 in the league under Christ.
Orange improved to 7-3 overall and finished 4-1 in the league to share the title with Olentangy and Olentangy Liberty.
The Pioneers outgained South 232-159, with Ta'Veon Falls rushing for 54 yards to lead the Wildcats. Peter Pedrozo passed for 40 yards and Michael Mansaray added 27 yards rushing.
After a scoreless first quarter, Orange scored 10 points in the second.
Jake Vanchieri rushed for 135 yards and one touchdown on 30 carries to lead the Pioneers.
Orange is seeded sixth in the Division I, Region 2 playoffs and plays at third-seeded Toledo Whitmer in the first round Friday, Nov. 2.
Boys soccer team enjoys winning season
The boys soccer team finished 7-6-4 overall and went 1-2-2 in the OCC-Buckeye to finish fourth behind champion Liberty (5-0).
South tied Westerville North at 1 on Oct. 2 and Westerville Central at 1 on Oct. 9.
The Wildcats were seeded 15th for the Division I district tournament and lost at seventh-seeded Worthington Kilbourne 1-0 in the second round Oct. 20.
Seniors Russell Montemarano (goalkeeper) and Desmond Williams (midfielder) were first-team all-league, senior Oliver Jones (defender) was second-team all-league, senior Brandon Garcia (defender) was special mention all-league and senior Dylan Gary (defender) was honorable mention all-league.
Key players eligible to return include juniors Aidan Braxton (defender/midfielder), Sean Hagan (defender), William Martinez (defender/midfielder) and Vilardo (midfielder/forward), sophomores Tate Marcelain (midfielder/forward), Milo McNabb (defender/midfielder) and Thomas Stathulis (defen-der/midfielder) and freshman Henry Hutchinson (midfielder).