The Division I regional meet Oct. 31 at Pickerington North was emotion-filled for the Pickerington High School Central cross country program.

The Division I regional meet Oct. 31 at Pickerington North was emotion-filled for the Pickerington High School Central cross country program.

Both the boys and girls teams came up just short of advancing to the state meet Saturday, Nov. 7, at National Trail Raceway, but each ended a long drought by having at least one individual qualify.

Moving on for the boys team were sophomore Matt Scrape, who placed sixth (15 minutes, 47.6 seconds) of 123 runners, and junior Jack Jaynes, who finished 15th (16:05.1). The top 16 runners advanced.

The last time the boys team had a state qualifier was 2005 when senior Brian Phillips finished 72nd at state.

"We knew that Matt was sitting in about eighth and I was sitting about 17th pre-race, but we both got it done," Jaynes said. "I knew I was 18th coming out of the woods, so I just dropped my arms and wanted to catch two people."

"I beat a few guys I didn't expect to beat," Scrape said. "I'm very excited to have a race out (at National Trail Raceway)."

The boys team finished sixth (182) in the 16-team regional as Watkins Memorial won (113) and the top four teams moved on. Dublin Coffman (153) was the final state qualifier and Olentangy Liberty (155) was fifth.

Also competing for the Tigers were Brady Johnson (38th, 16:41.4), Steven Bauers (43rd, 16:45.3), Isaiah Smith (107th, 18:03.2), Chris Siebert (121st, 18:58.5) and Jacob Jobe (122nd, 19:20.8).

Moving on to state for the Central girls team was junior Olivia Chapman, who placed 11th (18:56).

She is the first state qualifier for the girls program since 2002 when Ashley Snyder placed 32nd at state.

Central believed it had qualified as a team when the results initially were posted, as the Tigers were listed as finishing fourth. However, the results were recalculated and the Tigers had to settle for fifth (121) behind champion Granville (93). Hilliard Davidson (112) earned the fourth and final state berth.

"I've never seen that quality of a race where no teams had an off day," coach Hunter Nichols said. "Olivia gave everything she had and she was visibly more devastated than anyone else when she found out her team didn't get in with her."

Also competing for the Tigers were Lauren Marvin (24th, 19:36.9), Amber Hamelin (27th, 19:41.3), Maddie Schmidt (31st, 19:47.4), Elizabeth Fee (37th, 19:52) and Rachael Sentivany (115th, 22:08.8).

The North girls team's lone representative at regional was sophomore Skylar Briggs, who came in 59th (20:18.4). The boys team did not have any regional qualifiers.