The Watkins Memorial High School boys and girls cross country teams both competed in the Division I regional meet Oct. 29 at Pickerington North after advancing from home district races Oct. 22.

The Watkins Memorial High School boys and girls cross country teams both competed in the Division I regional meet Oct. 29 at Pickerington North after advancing from home district races Oct. 22.

It really was not a surprise to third-year coach John Jarvis, but it was a relief.

“The expectations for this program are so high that if you don’t make the regional, it seems like a failure,” Jarvis said. “So when we do advance, there’s always just a sigh of relief when the district is over.

“Both teams have made it to regionals in my three years as coach, and I’m really not sure when the last time was that we didn’t make it. I know (former coach Marty Dahlman) did this for years, but I can’t recall when we didn’t make it.”

The girls team finished third in the district 1 race, as the top five teams and individuals who finished in the top 20 advanced to the regional.

The Warriors scored 95 points to finish behind champion Dublin Coffman (41) and Olentangy Orange (84). Also advancing to the regional from the 10-team district field were Hilliard Darby (102) and Westerville North (109).

Freshman Josie Woosley, senior Mara White and sophomore Veda Durbin all would have qualified individually to regional if the Warriors did not advance as a team.

Woosley was ninth in 20 minutes, 20.94 seconds, White was 10th in 20:37.5 and Durbin finished 14th in 21:00.67.

Also scoring were senior Kara Sparks (27th, 21:34.66) and freshman Tiyana Ross (36th, 22:19.27). Also competing was sophomore Natalie Watson (41st, 22:40.35).

At regional, the top four teams and individuals who finished in the top 16 advanced to the state meet Saturday, Nov. 5, at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.

“Our goal this season was to improve on our regional race, not necessarily advance to state as a team,” Jarvis said. “We have struggled at that level the past few seasons.”

The boys team finished fourth in the district 3 race. The top six teams and individuals who finished in the top 24 advanced to the regional.

The Warriors scored 136 points to finish behind champion Coffman (58), Olentangy Liberty (61) and Westerville North (118). Also advancing from the 16-team field were Lancaster (141) and Marietta (142).

Senior Erich Vlaar finished seventh in 16:19.48. He was followed by senior Regan Coyle (17th, 16:59.77), senior Taylor Williams (32nd, 17:37.10), junior Kyle Day (37th, 17:49.74) and junior Luke Gamertsfelder (43rd, 18:00.57).

Also competing were sophomore Trey Brewer (54th, 18:24.40) and senior Taylor Fuss (85th, 19:56.86).

“Obviously, we have hopes of competing at state and we’ve got maybe four individuals who, if they run well and to their potential, could advance,” Jarvis said. “With three of them being seniors — Erich Vlaar, Regan Coyle and Mara White — it would be great to see them make it. It’s been a tough year for Mara since she was coming back from injury, so that would be special. It would also be great for Josie Woosley to get state experience as a freshman.”

•The boys soccer team played better in the Division I district tournament than it had played in the final weeks of the regular season.

The Warriors upset seventh-seeded Hilliard Darby 2-1 in the second round Oct. 22 after having a first-round bye and then played toe-to-toe with ninth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in a district semifinal Oct. 26.

But the season ended when Austin Tourville scored with 25 seconds remaining in overtime to give Kilbourne a 2-1 win over the host Warriors.

“It was a good battle and the boys came ready to play,” said coach Wally Wolfe, whose team finished 6-10-2. “We went through a little adversity at the end of the season, but we made a few adjustments and the kids had a great week of practice followed by a great result (against Darby), and I couldn’t ask for them to play better or harder than they did (against Kilbourne).”

Watkins Memorial didn’t get a shot in the 15-minute overtime, as the Wolves dominated possession and improved to 9-3-7.

“We couldn’t get to a point where we could make a pass (in overtime),” Wolfe said. “You’ve got to credit their pressure on the ball. They weren’t allowing us to get that first pass off. We had to try something in the air or just clearing it.”

The Warriors scored first when Connor McCafferty knocked in a Jared Newman assist with 9:58 left in the first half. The Wolves tied it when the Warriors couldn’t clear a throw-in from Ryan Wiet that bounced through the box before Brian Hanks ran onto it on the far side with 28:33 remaining in regulation.

Watkins Memorial had three scoring chances later in regulation. Newman’s apparent goal was disallowed because of an offside call with 24:36 left, and he also missed an open net in the closing minutes when Kilbourne goalkeeper Joey Cipicchio was late arriving to a ball at the top of the box. Newman settled the bouncing ball, but his quick shot sailed over the goal with about two minutes remaining. Reid Wolfe had a breakaway with around nine minutes left, but Cipicchio made the save on a low shot.

“We had some chances there, but didn’t finish,” coach Wolfe said. “Reid tried to make the keeper make the play, which is what he did. Jared didn’t have much time to turn and hit it, either. We were so close.”

Watkins Memorial was playing without senior left outside back Leon Schroeder, who was injured against Darby.

“We missed him back there, so as it wore on, I was hoping to get it to (penalty kicks) because I felt confident with our kickers,” Wolfe said.

Warriors goalkeeper Chase Dupps made six saves, including one with 1:05 left in overtime, but he couldn’t get to Tourville’s left-footed shot following a throw-in and redirected pass.

Against Darby, Reid Wolfe scored the winner off a Newman assist with just under seven minutes remaining.

•The girls soccer team was hoping for a chance to play top-seeded Dublin Jerome in a Division I district semifinal to prove how far the program has progressed this season.

The matchup never materialized as the Warriors lost to Upper Arlington in the second round Oct. 22. The visiting Golden Bears won 4-3 on penalty kicks after the teams played to a 2-all tie through two 15-minute overtime periods.

Watkins Memorial finished 10-4-3 overall after going 5-9-3 last season.

“I think the season went awesome,” first-year coach Alex Stout said. “It was a huge improvement from last year and our coaching staff and parents could not be more proud of our young ladies.”

The Warriors had a first-round bye and the second-round game was rescheduled from Oct. 20 when game officials deemed the Warriors’ field unplayable after heavy rain.

Shelby Jude, Stephanie Robb and Erin Marek converted their penalty kicks in the shootout, but the Warriors trailed 4-3 through four rounds as UA goalkeeper Ashley Copley made one save. The Warriors’ last chance to tie sailed wide and the Bears didn’t need their fifth attempt.

Watkins Memorial tied the game at 2 when sophomore Mackenzie Lauterbach scored on a rebound with 40 seconds remaining in regulation.

“Scoring with 40 seconds left shows how much heart and belief they have as a team,” Stout said. “They played all 110 minutes of soccer and never once gave up.”

Freshman Olivia Kuhn gave the Warriors a strong start when she scored 15 minutes into the game. UA’s Carly Allen tied it with about 18 minutes left in the first half and the Bears took a 2-1 lead when Megan Demott scored five minutes into the second half.

The Warriors finished 4-2 in OCC-Capital Division play after going 1-4-2 last season. Their league losses were 1-0 to Orange on Sept. 20 and 2-1 to champion Hilliard Bradley on Oct. 13 in a game that decided the league title.

Last season, Watkins Memorial lost to Orange 9-1 and to Bradley 3-1. They also lost to New Albany 9-0, a team they beat 1-0 on Sept. 6.

Bradley won the title at 5-0-1 and New Albany was second at 4-1-1. The Warriors tied Orange for third place, with Big Walnut (2-4), Delaware (1-5) and Mount Vernon (0-6) rounding out the standings. Franklin Heights did not compete in league games this season.

The Warriors will lose four seniors in April Daniels (midfielder), Alisha Hastilow (forward), Marek (midfielder/forward) and Kirsten Strickland (defender).

Marek was first-team all-league and Hastilow was on the second team.

“The seniors were amazing,” Stout said. “They all had great attitudes and were great leaders. I could not be more pleased with my first senior class. They trusted in their coaches and their teammates and helped us build a new beginning for Watkins Memorial girls soccer.”

The defense expects to return juniors Melissa Spurbeck and Jesi Hosmer and freshman Maddie Berry in front of sophomore goalkeeper Madison Moore, who was first-team all-league. Spurbeck was second-team all-league.

Others expected back include juniors Jude, Jessica Kennedy, Robb, Amber Rogers and Kaitlin Snider, sophomores Natalie Hagans, Paige Meinen and Britnee Stapleton and freshmen Natalie Buscemi and Samantha Newman.

Robb was special mention all-league and Jude was honorable mention.

“The future looks very promising,” Stout said. “We have a good core group returning and more talented underclassmen coming. I am very excited for next season. I am looking forward to pushing these young ladies to the next level.”

•The football team was hoping to finish .500 when it closed the season Oct. 28 against Bradley.

The Warriors beat Franklin Heights 56-6 on Oct. 21 to improve to 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the OCC-Capital.