The roster may be small, but ninth-year coach Doug Boggs likes the potential of his Central Crossing High School boys cross country team because of the miles his runners logged over the summer.
The Comets, who have only nine runners, finished no lower than eighth in their first three races. That included winning their fourth consecutive championship in the Best of the South-West meet Sept. 1 at Westland.
Central Crossing finished first in the three-team event with 30 points, followed by Grove City (40) and Westland (53). Franklin Heights had just one runner.
"I thought we had a great summer and put in a lot of miles, which is helping us right now," said Boggs, whose team finished fifth (130) in the OCC-Central Division meet last fall behind champion Hilliard Davidson (24). "Putting in those miles helps you push through barriers and uncomfortable situations during the season."
Senior Avery Wright led Central Crossing in its first three meets, including placing second (11 minutes, 3.0 seconds) in the 3,200-meter race at Westland. Sophomore Dominic Manson (fourth, 11:22) was next, followed by freshman Joey Taylor (fifth, 11:23), senior Michael Fry (13th, 11:58) and sophomore Jake Archer (17th, 12:24).
"All of the work you put in over the summer and in every single workout will help you during the season," Wright said. "It helps you get through every race and do the best that you can."
The Comets opened Aug. 20 by placing fifth (145) of 10 teams in the New Albany Invitational behind the champion and host Eagles (44). Wright was 20th (19:05.6), Manson was 27th (19:31.1) and Taylor was 29th (19:37.5).
On Aug. 29, Central Crossing was eighth (181) in the 16-team Canal Winchester Invitational behind champion New Albany (69). Wright was 18th (18:29.7) to lead the way, ahead of Fry (29th, 19:02.2), Taylor (37th, 19:18.8) and Manson (41st, 19:28.7).
Also on the roster are juniors Austin Dunigan-Vazquez and Noah Reardon and sophomores Jonathan Carroll and Charles Kulp.
"We're working on a 'team first' mentality and making sure we are relying on each other out there," Boggs said. "We are having a good stretch right now."
Girls runners playing catchup
Just as it did last season, the girls cross country team has only seven runners.
"We have some new kids out that haven't run cross country before and they are learning how to compete and run distance," said Boggs, whose team finished fifth (155) in the OCC-Central meet last season behind champion Davidson (22). "That will come with the more that they run this season."
The Comets were second (53) in the Best of the South-West behind Grove City (22) and ahead of Westland (59). Sophomore Rachel Sinyuk finished fifth (14:28.2) and senior Mia Martinez was sixth (14:28.4), followed by junior Emma Thompson (12th, 16:49), sophomore Ellie Williams (13th, 16:57) and freshman Emma Bethel (17th, 20:33).
Central Crossing was scheduled to open in the New Albany Invitational, but the girls race was postponed because of lightning. Instead, the Comets began the season by finishing 12th (310) of 16 teams at Canal Winchester behind champion Bexley (40) as Martinez (55th, 24:02.7), Sinyuk (60th, 24:14.5), junior Jennifer Pena-Zamora (75th, 25:17.6), senior Mallory Lalonde (104th, 26:53.3) and Thompson (120th, 27:38.0) scored.
"The season has been going well," Lalonde said. "I don't run track in the offseason so it takes a little longer for me to get back in shape, but things have been going pretty well. You have to set goals and just man up and stick to them.
"You have to stay positive throughout the season. A lot of that has to do with being with your teammates and encouraging them so they will have a positive mindset."
Davern among league leaders in boys golf
Senior boys golfer Caleb Davern is fourth in the OCC-Central with a 76 average entering the fourth and final round of league play Wednesday, Sept. 12, at Darby Creek.
Davern, the league Player of the Year each of the past two seasons, shot a 76 in both of the league rounds in which he competed. Those were Aug. 13 at Denison Golf Club and Aug. 29 at Apple Valley. He did not play in the first round Aug. 7 at Turnberry because he was competing in an American Junior Golf Association tournament.
The Comets are fifth in the league at 2-13, behind Upper Arlington (15-0), Dublin Coffman (11-4), Davidson (10-5) and Marysville (6-9) and ahead of Westland (1-14).
In the third round at Apple Valley, Central Crossing was fifth (414) behind first-place UA (313).
Aug. 20 -- New Albany Invitational
Aug. 29 -- Canal Winchester Invitational
Sept. 1 -- Best of the South-West Invitational at Westland
Sept. 4 -- Licking Heights Invitational
Sept. 15 -- Otterbein Invitational
Sept. 22 -- Celtic Clash at Dublin Jerome
Sept. 29 -- Pickerington North Panther Invitational
Oct. 3 -- Hilliard Darby Dash
Oct. 13 -- OCC-Central meet at Hilliard Davidson
Below are the coming schedules for the Central Crossing boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 8 -- Hickory Hills Invitational
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Central at Darby Creek
Sept. 11 -- Home vs. Hamilton Township
Sept. 8 -- At Big Walnut
Sept. 11 -- At Hartley
Sept. 10 -- Home vs. Bloom-Carroll
*Sept. 6 -- Home vs. Marysville
Sept. 10 -- At Utica