Grove City Christian School cross country runner Sam Miller returns to the Division III regional meet Saturday at Pickerington North with hopes of even better results.

Grove City Christian School cross country runner Sam Miller returns to the Division III regional meet Saturday at Pickerington North with hopes of even better results.

Miller, a junior, earned his second consecutive regional berth after finishing ninth at the Division III district meet last Saturday at Watkins Memorial.

Miller finished in a personal-best of 17 minutes, 7.53 seconds.

"Sam had a fantastic race," first-year coach Jeanna Diederich said. "He has definitely put in the hard work. The tougher his competition, the better he runs. He was pretty determined to make it to regional. I think he just knew he had to run his best race in order to advance."

Last season, Miller finished 14th (17:48.22) at district and 22nd (18:22.90) at regional.

Diederich feels Miller has a chance to qualify for the state meet Nov. 6 at Scioto Downs.

Runners not on a qualifying team who finish in the top 16 advance.

"Although I have been with the program since it started, just to watch Sam grow as an athlete and to grow as a young man is something," Diederich said. "He's just a phenomenal kid all-around. I've just so enjoyed this season with Sam and with all of the kids."

The Eagles finished 12th (345 points) behind first-place Liberty Union (67).

"The boys were really pleased with how things went," Diederich said. "All the boys were pleased with their times."

The girls team finished seventh (193) at district behind champion Fredericktown (60) and runner-up Grandview Heights (62). Brittany Barton led the Eagles and finished 43rd (24:22.33), followed by Emily Harper (44th, 24:22.87).

•The football team ends the season Friday at Fairfield Christian. Grove City Christian and Fairfield Christian are the lone MOCAL schools with football teams.

Last season, Grove City Christian won 56-0 and has won all three meetings.

Fairfield Christian is 8-0 and was seventh in last week's Division VI Region 23 computer rankings.

"Fairfield has had a great year," Grove City Christian coach Kerry Owens said. "They're undefeated and they're looking to get into the playoffs. We can't turn the ball over and have to play good on special teams. Those are the keys for us."

Grove City Christian improved to 3-6 after a 34-6 win against Fayetteville-Perry last Friday. Quarterback Ben Whitaker completed all seven passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Whitaker also had a 1-yard touchdown run.

Zach Brewer gave the Eagles the lead for good after taking the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown.

"The kids are working hard and getting better every week," Owens said. "The special teams and defense played well, and Ben Whitaker had a big night."

Whitaker has completed 67 of 150 passes for 751 yards with two touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Tony Roark has rushed for 392 yards and three touchdowns on 72 carries, and Nate Holt has 339 yards and four touchdowns on 72 carries.

Brewer has 17 receptions for 281 yards and two touchdowns.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Grove City Christian School boys soccer and volleyball teams:


Oct. 20 — Lost to Delaware Christian 3-1 in a Division III district tournament game at Delaware Christian. Gabe Ryan scored for Grove City Christian.

Of note: The Eagles finished the season at 3-11-2 overall and 0-4 in the MOCAL.


Oct. 19 — Lost to top-seeded Shekinah Christian 25-9, 25-7, 25-8 in a Division IV district tournament match at Teays Valley

Of note: The Eagles finished the season at 3-17 overall and 1-9 in the MOCAL.