The Worthington Kilbourne High School boys cross country program believes it is on the right track.
Although the Wolves came up short of advancing to the Division I regional meet each of the past two seasons, they had numerous underclassmen filling key roles.
The two top runners from last season, senior Jack Begley and junior Tanner Williams, have returned to lead a program that has about 45 athletes overall -- more than a dozen more than at the beginning of last season.
"We've actually brought in a lot of new runners," first-year coach Katherine Scocozzo said. "We've really built quite a team the last two years. The kids have been working really hard and I'm excited to see their hard work pay off."
Scocozzo was an assistant last season under Justin Riffle, who was in his first season, but the two have reversed coaching roles this fall.
On Sept. 1 in the eight-team Westerville North Classic, Kilbourne and Olentangy tied for first with 42 points but the Braves won the tiebreaker. Begley finished first (16 minutes, 35.32 seconds) and Williams was third (16:39.95).
At last year's regional, Begley took 50th (17:00.09) and Williams placed 54th (17:01.25).
Also returning after being among the top seven last year are juniors John Cuozzo and Gabe Knuth.
Other key runners include seniors Johnny Berardi and Max Shafran, junior Will Franke, sophomores Wes Frank, Riley Najera and Alexander Scites and freshman Luke Miller.
Girls runners building around Bomser
With just one senior among its top runners, 27th-year girls cross country coach Melanie Williams expects her team to look much different by season's end than it does now.
Junior Sasha Bomser is the top returnee after placing 39th (19:52.31) at last year's Division I regional meet. She was fifth (20:24.34) at the Westerville North Classic on Sept. 1 as the Wolves placed fifth (133) of 11 teams, behind champion Upper Arlington (57).
"We've actually only got one senior, so we're a very young team," Williams said. "We want to build their confidence and their conditioning levels to where as a team we have a nice pack. They run well together."
Freshman Riley Tate, who was the Wolves' No. 2 runner in the Westerville North Classic, joins senior Marisa Long and sophomores Chloe Emberton and Sylvia Long as top runners.
Others looking to contribute include juniors Maddie Allen and Courtney Quickel, sophomores Ella Brown and Emma Tasse and freshman Gwendolyn Cardimen.
Bomser was joined at regional last year by 2018 graduate Keira Smith, who finished 45th (19:58.18) and now competes for Otterbein.
"Sasha and Marisa were here pretty much all summer leading the team through summer workouts," Williams said. "There's been great leadership from both of them and it's got the kids excited to be here for the summer. I believe (Bomser) looks better now than she did even at the end of last year."
Field hockey team expects more success
In each of Alexandra Street's first three seasons as coach, the field hockey team finished at least .500 or better and reached a district semifinal.
The Wolves, who followed a program-record 12-win season in 2016 by going 9-7-2 last fall, have an 11-member senior class as they strive to remain among the area's best teams.
Before playing Hartley on Sept. 5, Kilbourne was 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-East Division. The Wolves opened with a 9-0 win over Dublin Coffman and split their first two league games, beating New Albany 1-0 on Aug. 22 and losing to Columbus Academy 6-0 on Aug. 29.
"We've got 11 seniors and they have given us great leadership," Street said. "We're asking a lot of them and they're responding. Two years ago, we broke our school record for most wins and last year we were above .500. We're trying to push them further in the tournament. They just work really hard for each other and have the same goal in mind."
Seniors Arianna Garver (goalkeeper), Meredith Johnson (defender) and Grace Karlock (midfielder) have been key players since their freshman seasons. Senior Grace Burford (midfielder) also is a key returnee along with classmates Leighanne Jordan (forward) and Reilly St. Myer (midfielder), junior Meagan Rosenfeld (defender) and sophomore Abby Pieratt (forward).
The other seniors are Alexa Burke (forward), Amanda Keener (defender), Corinne Watson (forward) and Olivia Martin (goalie) as well as Bellen Cerrutti, a foreign exchange student whose role will be determined over the coming weeks.
Rounding out the roster are sophomores Blair Andrews (defender), Olivia Barrie (defender), Grace Fronczak (forward), Erika McCague (midfielder), Nicole Miller (midfielder) and Claire Ogden (forward) and freshman Brynlee Pinschenat (forward).
Boys golfers to play final OCC round
On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the boys golf team will compete in the fourth and final round of the OCC-Cardinal Division tournament at Denison Golf Club.
In the third round Aug. 29 at Darby Creek, the Wolves shot a 335 to finish sixth behind first-place Dublin Jerome (293) as John Catanzarite shot a 79, Mark Towns carded an 82 and Evan Fisher shot an 84.
Through three rounds, Catanzarite is eighth in the league in average at 79.3 and Fisher is second on the team with an 85.7 average.
Kilbourne is tied with Hilliard Darby for fifth in the league at 6-15 behind first-place Jerome (21-0).
The girls team finished OCC-Cardinal action Sept. 5 at Mentel Memorial.
The Cardinals were 1-14 in the league through three rounds, behind first-place Jerome (15-0).
In the third round of Aug. 30 at Cooks Creek, Kilbourne shot a 459 to finish sixth as Jerome was first (325).
Trixie Abbott led the Wolves with a 97 and was averaging 99.3 in league play, while Jenna Mains led the team with a 99 league average.
Aug. 18 -- OHSAA Preseason Invitational at National Trail Raceway
Aug. 25 -- Run for a Dream Invitational at Columbus State
Sept. 1 -- Westerville North Classic
Sept. 8 -- McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial
Sept. 15 -- Galion Festival at Amann Reservoir
Sept. 22 -- Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster
Oct. 3 -- Darby Dash
Oct. 6 -- Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas
Aug. 20 -- vs. Dublin Coffman
*Aug. 22 -- vs. New Albany
*Aug. 29 -- at Columbus Academy
*Sept. 5 -- at Hartley
*Sept. 13 -- at Columbus School for Girls
Sept. 15 -- vs. Olentangy Orange and Gates Mills Hawken
*Sept. 17 -- at Bexley
Sept. 19 -- at Upper Arlington
*Sept. 26 -- vs. Watterson
Sept. 29 -- at Olentangy Liberty
Oct. 1 -- vs. Olentangy
*Oct. 4 -- at Granville
Oct. 8 -- at Thomas
*Oct. 10 -- vs. Lancaster
Below are the coming schedules for the Kilbourne boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 8 -- St. Charles Invitational at Brookside
Sept. 10 -- Gdovin Memorial Invitational at Zanesville Country Club
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Cardinal at Denison Golf Club
Sept. 10 -- Delaware at Oakhaven
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Cardinal at Mentel Memorial
Sept. 8 -- Home vs. Hudson
Sept. 11 -- Home vs. Westerville South
*Sept. 6 -- At Thomas
Sept. 12 -- At Canal Winchester
*Sept. 6 -- Home vs. Olentangy Berlin
Sept. 10 -- At Buckeye Valley