As Dublin Scioto High School senior cross country runner Cesar Arellano readied for the Meet of Champions on Sept. 30 at Hilliard Darby, he told a teammate to be prepared to witness something special.
Arellano could sense he would challenge the program record, and he responded by easily eclipsing the mark of 15 minutes, 34 seconds set by Luis Carbajal in 2010.
"The day before I told a close friend of mine, 'If you go watch the race, you're going to have a show,'" Arellano said. "It was a pretty good race. I just focused on running my race and running fast. ... I just hope to run faster at state."
Arellano finished fourth (15:15) of 194 runners in the Meet of Champions, competing against runners he will see again in the Division I, district 2 meet Oct. 21 at Watkins Memorial, and possibly beyond.
"It wasn't if. It was when," coach Kevin Foley said of Arellano breaking the program record. "It wasn't as if it was a surprise how much he beat it by, either. He's been training for the last three years at a level that shows that he could do something pretty big. The Midwest meet is a mental breakthrough for him."
The boys and girls teams will prepare for district by competing in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet Saturday, Oct. 14, at Darby.
"It's a meet that is very important to us, especially this year as a team," Arellano said. "We want go out and compete and be tough. It's a fun course, fun meet, so we go out and we do what we can. The competition is harder at district, but it's still a race."
Arellano is gearing up for what he hopes is a return trip to the state meet Nov. 4 at National Trail Raceway. Last season at state, he placed 21st (15:43.7) of 186 runners, earning all-state honors by finishing in the top 25.
Arellano was the Irish's first state qualifier since 2010 when Carbajal, a four-time state qualifier, placed 12th (15:41.4).
"This year I have higher goals for the state meet, and I'm ready to run out and run hard," he said.
Arellano, who finished 119th (19:02) of 122 runners at regional as a freshman and 57th (16:55.1) of 123 runners at regional as a sophomore, would like to run cross country in college and will consider his options after the season.
"I don't take it too serious now," he said. "Once the season gets closer to being over and I feel like I'm reaching my peak, I'll have a better idea of where I want to go."
Two tennis players advance to district
Ashley Lambillotte and Nicole Santoso of the girls tennis team both earned berths in the Division I district tournament with strong showings in a sectional Oct. 6 and 7 at Hilliard Bradley.
The district tournament is Thursday, Oct. 12, at Bradley and Saturday, Oct. 14, at Upper Arlington. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to state Oct. 20 and 21 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Lambillotte reached the singles final at sectional before losing to Jerome's Jaiqi Liu 6-4, 6-4.
Santoso, a transfer from Village Academy, placed third in singles by defeating Jerome's Kavya Alagappan 6-2, 6-1 in the third-place match.
"I am thrilled for both Ashley and Nicole, as qualifying for district was a goal for both players this season," coach Sean Gilbert said. "I am proud of the way they played at sectional. Ashley fought through an injury (arthritis in knee) Friday and both players played through very windy conditions Saturday. Both are playing at a high level right now and have put themselves in a position to be successful at district."
Also at sectional, Peyton Shaffer went 1-1 in singles, Sydney Davis and Julia Trotti went 1-1 in doubles and Maddy Baughman and Maggie Szabo went 0-1 in doubles.
Boys golfers edged for district berth
The boys golf team saw its season end at a Division I sectional Oct. 3 at Clover Valley, but not before making a strong bid for a district berth.
Scioto finished fifth (329) of 12 teams behind St. Charles (300), UA (311), New Albany (319) and Coffman (328), as the top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Oct. 10 at Apple Valley.
"It's tough," coach Todd Hardesty said. "We were playing well and we were right where we wanted to be. We were there when we made the turn. We made the turn at 158, and 158 times two is 316 and that would have been more than enough and we decided instead to put 171 on the back (nine), and that didn't do it."
Senior Nic Rath, Big Walnut's Kenny Schneider and Westerville North's Pierre Southibounnorth each shot 80 to tie for the last individual district berth, but Schneider earned the spot by winning a playoff on the first hole.
Senior Matt Magno was next for the Irish with an 81, followed by junior Braytton Krock (83), senior Nathan Tacosik (85) and senior Dakotah Marshall (107).
The Irish went 18-6 in the OCC-Cardinal tournament to place third, behind Jerome (23-1) and Thomas Worthington (19-5) and ahead of Worthington Kilbourne (11-13), Bradley (7-17), Darby (6-18) and Delaware (0-24).
Scioto won the final round of the league tournament Sept. 13 at Clover Valley, shooting a 291 to edge Jerome (293). It marked the Irish's first win in the league tournament in Hardesty's four seasons.
Magno was first-team all-league, Krock and Rath were second-team all-league and Tacosik was honorable mention all-league.
"It was another great season with six guys taking care of each other and dragging me around and letting me being a part of it, too," Hardesty said. "It was very rewarding, a very good season."
Girls golfers end season at sectional
The girls golf team closed its season by placing 11th (420) of 12 teams in a Division I sectional Oct. 3 at Mentel Memorial, behind champion Jerome (314).
The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek.
Junior Breanna Santoso led the Irish with an 86, followed by sophomore Lauren Perry (111), seniors Alexis Rivers (110) and Caitlyn Arendse (113) and junior Angela Choudhary (120).
Scioto finished fourth (10-14) in the OCC-Cardinal tournament, behind Jerome (24-0), Delaware (19-5) and Bradley (17-7) and ahead of Kilbourne (7-17), Darby (4-20) and Thomas (3-21).
Santoso was second-team all-league.
Below are the coming schedules for the Scioto field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 18 -- At fourth-seeded Olentangy Liberty in first round of district tournament. Winner plays sixth-seeded Worthington Kilbourne, 10th-seeded Bexley or 11th-seeded Jerome in district semifinal Oct. 24. The Irish are seeded 16th.
Oct. 12 -- Home vs. Horizon Science Academy
Oct. 18 -- At 19th-seeded Olentangy Orange in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays host to 47th-seeded Newark in second round Oct. 21. The Irish are seeded 35th.
Oct. 14 -- Home vs. Chillicothe
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 24th-seeded Newark in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays host to 28th-seeded Lancaster in second round Oct. 19. The Irish are seeded 20th.
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 28th-seeded Logan in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays host to 32nd-seeded Thomas Worthington in second round Oct. 18. The Irish are seeded 25th.
*Finishes: Third in OCC-Cardinal, fifth at sectional
*Seniors lost: Matt Magno, Dakotah Marshall, Nic Rath, Michael Salvator and Nathan Tacosik
*Key returnee: Braytton Krock
*Finishes: Fourth in OCC-Cardinal, 11th at sectional
*Seniors lost: Caitlyn Arendse and Alexis Rivers
*Key returnees: Angela Choudhary, Lauren Perry and Breanna Santoso