Considering the level of talent, Paige Bormann calls it an honor to have been the Canal Winchester High School girls cross country team's top runner all season.
Bormann, a senior, might not have foreseen at this time last year that her team now will go only as far as she goes.
Bormann finished 18th (19 minutes, 47.32 seconds) in the Division I, district 3 meet Oct. 21 at Watkins Memorial to earn an individual berth to regional Saturday, Oct. 28, at Pickerington North. The top six teams and top 24 individuals advanced.
"We have a lot of talented girls on this team. It's a huge honor to be the top girl," Bormann said before the district meet. "I've been pretty pleased with my times. The weather hasn't necessarily been cooperating; this is one of the hottest seasons I can remember and I've been running since seventh grade. I've broken 20 minutes twice, and I think that's going to be what it takes (to advance to regional)."
Bormann finally broke 20 minutes Oct. 7 at the Marion Harding Invitational, when she finished seventh in 19:57.7. She has been joined in the top three this year by classmate Erica Babusci, who committed Oct. 17 to run at the University of Pittsburgh, and freshman Allena Klamorick.
Bormann has an extra appreciation for anything she does this season, given that she was hampered by anemia as a junior. Her best time last year was 20:42.61 at the district 2 meet, in which she finished 38th to end her season.
"I noticed last year that I was just tiring too quickly," Bormann said. "I'd be fine during practices, but I didn't have the energy I needed during races."
Bormann, who adjusted her diet and began taking iron pills, said she has felt fine this year.
"She's had a very solid season rebounding from all of that," coach Jeff Kline said. "Her leadership is the biggest thing that stands out to me. She has been running varsity since she was a freshman and her improvement has been incredible. She's never been afraid to lead."
The girls finished seventh (214 points) in the district 3 meet behind champion Hilliard Davidson (25) as 18 teams scored. Big Walnut (195) was sixth.
Also scoring for Canal Winchester were Klamorick (32nd, 20:27.58), Babusci (44th, 20:55.03), Kassidy Pastor (53rd, 21:12.9) and Erin Duckworth (67th, 21:36.4).
The boys team's season ended with a 10th-place finish (267) in the district 2 meet behind champion Pickerington North (56) as 17 teams scored. The top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced to regional.
Reece Klamorick finished 24th (16:56.24) to lead the Indians, followed by Will Butler (37th, 17:11.75), Drew Kotwis (59th, 17:46.73), Evan Young (64th, 17:52.12) and Michael McKeon (83rd, 18:21.6).
At regional, the top 20 individuals advance to state Nov. 4 at National Trail Raceway.
Bormann said she did not plan to scout the competition this week.
"(At district) we were more focused on ourselves and our placement. I didn't think as much about time and I didn't look up anyone else's, either," Bormann said. "That's one of the things I don't like to do. I don't want to worry about what anybody else is doing. I don't think that's the right approach to take. I like my mindset and I want to run the very best race I can."
Stakes high for football team
The football team is out of the hunt for the OCC-Capital Division championship as it travels to Big Walnut on Friday, Oct. 27, but the Indians still have a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012 if they win and get some help.
Canal Winchester is 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the league after a 47-7 home win over Newark on Oct. 20. The Indians were projected to be ninth in the Division II, Region 7 computer ratings this week with 12.4944 points, just behind eighth-place Westerville South (12.7222). The top eight teams in the region make the playoffs.
According to Fantastic50.net, Canal Winchester has a 63 percent chance to make the playoffs with a win and likely would be eliminated with a loss.
DeShawn Williams caught eight passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Indians past Newark. Quarterback Jack Beeler completed 15 of 22 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a touchdown, Dominic Davis added two 3-yard touchdown runs and Tanner Conley ran for a 10-yard touchdown as the Indians outgained the Wildcats 405-205 in total yards.
Trevor Thompson kicked field goals of 23 and 35 yards.
That same night, Big Walnut clinched at least a share of the league title with a 14-13 win at Groveport. The Golden Eagles are 5-4 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Capital, one game ahead of second-place New Albany.
Canal Winchester and Franklin Heights are tied for third, two games behind Big Walnut.
A victory also would clinch the Indians' first winning season since 2012.
Nathan Lawyer and quarterback Tyler Ronk each had a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter Oct. 20 for Big Walnut, which erased a 7-0 halftime deficit and has won four consecutive games since an 0-5 start.
Boys soccer team reaches district semi
The boys soccer team survived a stressful first-round game in the Division I district tournament before a rout in the second round, then visited former league rival Westerville South in a district semifinal Oct. 25.
The 15th-seeded Indians edged 31st-seeded Mount Vernon 1-0 (5-4 in penalty kicks) in the first round Oct. 18 at home and routed 38th-seeded Briggs 9-0 in a second-round home game Oct. 21.
Mason McCoy had the winning penalty kick against the Yellow Jackets, a game the senior midfielder said resembled many his team has played this year.
"In the long run, we had more (scoring) chances and didn't finish any. Luckily, it came down to penalty kicks and we hit all of ours and they didn't," McCoy said. "Most of our games have been tight. We have been playing some high-level competition and, fortunately for us, a lot of them have gone our way."
Canal Winchester was 10-5-3 before visiting sixth-seeded South, which it played in the OCC-Cardinal from 2013-15.
The winner will play top-seeded Olentangy Liberty or 19th-seeded Olentangy Orange in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at a neutral site to be determined. The district champion plays Dublin Jerome, Hilliard Bradley, Olentangy or Pickerington North in a regional semifinal Wednesday, Nov. 1, at a neutral site, and that winner will advance to a regional final Nov. 4.
The Indians lost to North 4-1 on Oct. 12.
"We felt pretty good coming in (to the tournament)," McCoy said. "Making a district final is our biggest goal."
Girls soccer team edges Warhawks
Josie Sanders' goal with 8:48 left in the second overtime gave the girls soccer team a 3-2 win over 23rd-seeded Westerville Central in the second round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 19 at home.
Lexi Snider and McKenna Sullivan scored in regulation for the 10th-seeded Indians, who led 2-0 at halftime and improved to 12-4-1.
Canal Winchester played host to 11th-seeded Grove City in a district semifinal Oct. 24. The winner will play top-seeded Pickerington North or 20th-seeded Dublin Scioto in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at a neutral site to be determined, and the district champion plays Jerome, Marysville, Olentangy or Westerville North in a regional semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 31, at a neutral site.
The regional final is Nov. 4.
Volleyball team falls in tourney opener
The girls volleyball team's first-round Division I district tournament match was as competitive as a match pitting teams separated by two seeds might have indicated, but the 14th-seeded Indians fell to 16th-seeded Greyhounds 26-24, 25-20, 13-25, 25-20 on Oct. 17 at home.
"We dug ourselves into a hole. You can't make a lot of unforced errors and expect to recover in a match like this," coach Dana Stearns said. "We saw (unforced errors) early in the season, but in the last four or five matches we'd played, they've done a good job of eliminating those."
Canal Winchester finished 15-8 overall and went 8-2 in the OCC-Capital for its best league record since going 11-3 in the MSL-Buckeye in 2011.
The Indians finished second in the OCC-Capital, behind Big Walnut (10-0) and ahead of New Albany and Newark (both 5-5), Groveport (2-8) and Franklin Heights (0-10). Canal Winchester hung tough in its losses to the Golden Eagles, the top seed in the Division II district tournament, 25-16, 25-20, 25-23 on Sept. 5 and 25-22, 26-24, 26-24 on Sept. 26.
Senior outside hitter Jada Butler led the Indians with 200 kills. Senior outside hitter Emily Sarles added 143 kills and senior middle blocker Astrid Munthe had 94.
Senior defensive special-ist/libero Lauren Toledo, a Tennessee Tech commit, had a team-high 775 digs.
Senior setter Audrey Jenkins (192 digs, 441 assists) and Toledo were named first-team all-league. Butler and Munthe were second-team all-league and Sarles made honorable mention all-league.
Expected returnees include sophomores Shalea Byrd (middle blocker) and Amanda Rarick (outside hitter/right-side hitter) and freshman Emi Waller (defensive specialist).
"I never know exactly what to say to them at the end of the year, especially with a lot of seniors (eight) who will not play on this floor again," Stearns said. "I want them to walk out of here proud of what they've done in their careers."