The Delaware Hayes High School girls cross country team advanced to the Division I regional meet by finishing sixth in the 15-team district 3 race Oct. 22 at Watkins Memorial.

The Delaware Hayes High School girls cross country team advanced to the Division I regional meet by finishing sixth in the 15-team district 3 race Oct. 22 at Watkins Memorial.

“The third through seventh runners ran pretty well as a pack overall and that was the difference,” coach Jim Bibler said. “We had a few girls struggle, but we were able to overcome that and (we were) thrilled to make it to regional.”

The top four teams and individuals who finished in the top 16 at regional, which was held Oct. 29 at Pickerington North, advanced to the state meet Saturday, Nov. 5, at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.

At district, the Pacers scored 174 points to earn the final regional-qualifying berth ahead of Teays Valley, which finished seventh with 181 points.

Hilliard Davidson (43) won the meet. Rounding out the top five were Upper Arlington (56), New Albany (77), Pickerington North (114) and Dublin Jerome (128).

Sophomore Emily Richards led Delaware by finishing 25th in 21 minutes, 20.15 seconds, with junior Sierra Mollenkopf placing 26th (21:21.02).

Junior Harlee Mollenkopf (33rd, 21:33.22), senior Katie Haller (44th, 22:01.95) and freshman Sammi Piroska (46th, 22:03.78) rounded out the scoring. Also competing were senior Alanna Sturgill (48th, 22:05.08) and freshman Sam Curtin (71st, 23:23.30).

“Katie and Harlee, two of our consistent top runners, had bad days,” Bibler said. “Katie threw up in the first mile and Alanna passes her and yelled at her. Katie is so tough. She worked her way back up there. I don’t think there’s another regional-qualifying team who did not have an individual finish in the top 24. So that tells you how good our pack was.”

Teays Valley’s Lora Overholt was third in 19:19, 22 spots better than Richards. But the Pacers made up the difference by positioning better with their Nos. 2-5 runners. For instance, Piroska was 18 spots better than Teays Valley’s No. 5 runner.

The boys team finished eighth (209) in the Division I, district 1 race, as the top five teams and individuals who finished in the top 20 advanced to regional.

Davidson (42) won and was joined at regional by Jerome (58), Central Crossing (92), Reynoldsburg (101) and Pickerington Central (124).

Also finishing ahead of the Pacers in the 13-team race were Gahanna (139) and Teays Valley (208).

Senior Zach Flint was 26th (17:48.30) to lead Delaware.

Also scoring for Delaware were senior Kalebh McBrearty (36th, 18:14.75), junior Thomas Oliver (47th, 18:39.10), senior Justin Sistrunk (51st, 18:51.16) and senior Tommy Peterson (52nd, 18:51.66). Also competing were sophomore Jacob Rumbalski (53rd, 18:54.74) and sophomore Jason Watkins (71st, 20:19.23).

“Our boys were projected to finish ninth, and they nearly finished seventh,” Bibler said. “It was our tightest pack all season, so I was pleased with our effort and the way we finished.”

•The boys soccer team played well in the final few weeks of the regular season and that momentum carried into the Division I district tournament.

But the season ended in the second round Oct. 22 when the Pacers lost to host Olentangy Orange 1-0 on Alec Binger’s goal with 10 minutes, 47 seconds remaining in the second 15-minute overtime period.

The Pacers, who beat Mount Vernon 4-3 in overtime in the first round Oct. 20 at Westerville South, finished 6-11-1.

“I guess you win some that way and you lose some that way,” coach Nate Weakland said. “I’m very proud of the way the boys played. It was an up-and-down season, and with our trouble against Orange in the past, I thought our boys played extremely well.”

The program has had to overcome adversity the past three seasons, including coaching changes, system changes and few wins. There was more adversity against Orange, as junior goalkeeper Andrew Ward was injured eight minutes into the second half. Ward, who showed concussion symptoms, was replaced by junior Tommy Gibbs.

“Both of our keepers did a really good job coming off their line,” Weakland said. “Andrew had perhaps his best half of the season and Tommy did a great job stepping in. It’s hard to come in cold in the middle of the game. Tommy had not had a lot of action all year, so it was big that he was able to come in and play the style we were asking.”

Ward made three saves and Gibbs had nine.

Delaware had its best chance to score moments before the game ended when Blake Lehman sent a ball to Nate Spahr on the left side of the box. Spahr’s shot got past a defender and was just wide of the left post, settling into the side net.

“I thought that was the one that was going to put us through,” Weakland said. “Unfortunately, it was just a little wide. That’s the thing, they finished on their best opportunity and we didn’t. That’s soccer.”

Delaware finished 2-5 in the OCC-Capital Division to tie for fifth place with Mount Vernon and Watkins Memorial. Big Walnut (6-0-1) won the league title, New Albany (5-1-1) was second, Orange and Hilliard Bradley (both 4-1-2) tied for third and Franklin Heights (0-7) was last.

The Pacers will lose six seniors, including four-year starter Blake Lehman (outside midfielder) and three-year starter Luke Leatherman (defense), who were the captains. The other seniors are Spencer Deighton (midfielder), Kyle Fritch (defense), Noah McDonald (sweeper) and Sam Spivey (defense). Leatherman was second-team all-league, Spivey was honorable mention and Lehman, who missed time with injury, was the team’s scholar athlete.

“We’re losing a lot with the leadership of Blake and Luke, who played fantastic in the back with Noah (against Orange),” Weakland said. “We only have three club players, so to play like we did in the tournament was great. Overall, we tripled our wins and got a tournament win.”

Expected to return are juniors Phoenix Neitzelt and Spahr in the midfield, Jordan Carlson at forward and Ward and Gibbs in goal. Other key contributors expected back are sophomore Ridge Snyder (midfielder) and freshman Nabie Yokie (midfielder).

Neitzelt was first-team all-league. Spahr, who led the team with nine goals and four assists, was special mention. Carlson was the second-leading scorer with eight goals.

•The girls volleyball team fell to fourth-seeded Westerville Central 25-12, 25-21, 25-18 in the second round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 22 at Granville.

The Pacers, who finished 8-15 overall, defeated Northland 25-12, 25-20, 25-8 in the first round Oct. 20 at Jonathan Alder.

“The girls played fairly well (against Westerville Central) and they fought hard,” first-year coach Josh Lee said. “We got some balls up that just a week before were hitting the ground, but we weren’t consistently aggressive and confident enough to put them away on offense.

“The girls just didn’t know what it took to win at (that) level because none of them had ever been there. Plus, Westerville Central has been there, they’re used to winning and you could see that confidence that we don’t have just yet.”

The Pacers were 6-8 in the OCC-Capital to tie New Albany for fifth behind champion Bradley (13-1), Big Walnut (12-2), Mount Vernon (10-4) and Orange (7-7). Watkins Memorial (2-12) and Franklin Heights (0-14) rounded out the standings.

“For the first season, I would say it was a success overall,” Lee said. “We weren’t above .500, but we were successful in other ways other than wins and losses. I’m really excited about the future of Delaware Hayes volleyball.”

Senior setter Andie Moore was second-team all-league, as well as the team’s scholar athlete. Senior outside hitter Keshawna Ximines was honorable mention.

Those two are the only seniors on the Pacers’ roster.

Expected to return are juniors Rachel Howser (middle hitter), Nicole Nelson (outside hitter), Sarah Scott (outside hitter) and Candice Rathburn (right-side hitter), as well as sophomores Jen Foreman (libero) and Krysta Iwanek (middle hitter/outside hitter).

“We’ll miss our two seniors, but we have a lot of juniors coming back and a strong core of sophomores,” Lee said. “We need to find a good supporting cast. I think Kaitlyn Woerner, our j.v. setter, will fill in for Andie, but I’m not opposed to running a 6-2. I’ve done that coaching elsewhere and we could go to that if we can find someone else to help in that (setter) role.”

•The football team fell to 3-6 overall and 2-4 in the OCC-Capital with a 45-17 loss to New Albany on Oct. 21.

The Pacers closed the season by taking a four-game losing streak into the Oct. 28 finale against Orange.