Every week brings a new sense of adventure for the Olentangy Berlin High School boys and girls cross country teams.
The first-year teams run courses for the first time and finish with new top times. The Bears will have another first -- their first league competition -- when they race in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet Saturday, Oct. 13, at Hilliard Davidson.
One week later, they will compete in Division II district races at Hilliard Darby.
"It's been neat because everything is a first and is historic," boys coach Anthony Beggrow said. "We're having a lot of fun with that.
"It's pretty exciting because we are in a pretty tough (OCC) division. We're pumped for the challenge and the kids will treat it as a serious race."
Girls coach Catherine Ubry said her team has had a great inaugural season, and she expects that to continue in the league meet.
"We're super-excited to be going to our first league meet," she said. "We have some good teams there and the girls are really excited to see what they can do."
Sophomore Corey Rinehart (17 minutes, 6 seconds) has the best time for the boys this season. Junior Grant Schrieber (17:10.8) is next, followed by sophomore Jack Dunlop (17:21.7) and juniors Pietro Pozzi (17:22), Jacob Reitz (17:27.7) and Ethan Harsh (17:49.8).
"We have been doing really well and have really continued to progress," Beggrow said. "They have been getting after it. The difference between our top runner and our No. 5 has been about 25 seconds."
Junior Meghan Boggess has the girls' top time of 19:32.4. Junior Rebecca Koppelman (20:00) is next, followed by sophomore Katie Balthaser (20:04.9), junior Megan Schlabig (20:44.3) and sophomores Rachel Fillman (20:58.7) and Madison Lapid (21:07).
"We have been doing well, but we have had some tough meets early in terms of weather," Ubry said. "It's tough for them not to see their times drop more, but hopefully that will come when the weather is a little cooler. That's when they will see those summer miles paying off."
In Division II, the boys district meet is split into two races while the girls have one 22-team district race.
"(District) will be competitive, but then the whole postseason will be very competitive," Ubry said. "We're in Division II, which will be good for getting our feet wet for the first time. We have some girls from Olentangy who ran in Division I last year, so that experience should help them."
The Bears did not race last weekend, opting to train going into the league meet.
"We want to get a week of hard training in as we prepare for league," Beggrow said. "We're hoping to finish well and make a strong showing at district. Our kids are determined to do well and get their chance to make a run for state."
Three golfers compete at district
The boys and girls golf teams both had players competing for state berths in Division I district tournaments Oct. 9.
Sophomore Bryce Reed and freshman Brady Casto played in the boys district at Apple Valley, where the top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Junior Leila Raines competed in the girls district at Crooks Creek, where the top two individuals not on qualifying teams moved on to state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
Reed shot a 74 to lead the boys team in a sectional Oct. 2 at Denison Golf Club, as the top four teams and top four individuals not on those teams advanced to district. The Bears were fifth (321) behind Dublin Jerome (290), Orange (308), Davidson (315) and New Albany (316).
Medalist Caleb Davern (67) of Central Crossing, Reed and Marion Harding's Kameron Hall (75) secured the first three individual-qualifying berths to district, but Casto tied Watterson's Fred Gilbert and Delaware's Mark Sulek for the final spot with a 78. Casto then won a three-hole playoff to secure his district berth.
Also competing at sectional were juniors Layne Comyns (83) and Tanner Shimp (86) and sophomore Ethan Hegg (86).
Raines was medalist with a 72 in a sectional Oct. 2 at Mentel Memorial. Gahanna's Kayla Davis (75) and Dublin Scioto's Breanna Santoso (83) also advanced to district.
Junior Sierra Cardi (88) and freshman Michele Starner (109) also competed for the Bears.
Franz wins sectional tennis title at CSG
Ella Franz of the girls tennis team went 4-0 to win the singles title in a Division II sectional tournament Oct. 5 and 6 at Columbus School Girls.
The freshman advanced to play at district Thursday, Oct. 11, at CSG and Saturday, Oct. 13, at Reynoldsburg. The singles and doubles champions qualify for state Oct. 19 and 20 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
At sectional, the top-seeded Franz defeated Worthington Christian's Abby Mayotte 6-1, 6-0 in a semifinal and Wellington's Camille Olmstead 6-0, 6-1 in the final.
Also competing in singles were junior Vidya Puttagunta (0-1) and sophomore Janna Harris (2-1), as the top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district.
In doubles, the third-seeded team of junior Maggie Torlone and sophomore Emma Reger went 1-1, as did the tandem of junior Maddie Reger and sophomore and Sydney Webb.
Below are the coming schedules for the Berlin field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 17 -- At top-seeded Columbus Academy in second round of district tournament. Winner plays ninth-seeded Bexley, 10th-seeded Granville or 12th-seeded Dublin Coffman in district semifinal Oct. 23. The Bears are seeded 18th.
Oct. 13 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 21st-seeded Eastmoor Academy in first round of Division II district tournament. Winner plays 22nd-seeded Licking Valley in second round Oct. 20. The Bears are seeded seventh.
Oct. 15 -- Home vs. 12th-seeded Lakewood in first round of Division II district tournament. Winner plays sixth-seeded Buckeye Valley or 13th-seeded Sparta Highland in second round Oct. 18. The Bears are seeded seventh.
*Oct. 11 -- At Delaware. The Bears lost to the Pacers 25-22, 25-18, 21-25, 25-22 on Sept. 13.
Oct. 17 -- At eighth-seeded Heath or 11th-seeded Licking Valley in second round of Division II district tournament. Winner plays third-seeded Jonathan Alder, 20th-seeded Horizon Science or 22nd-seeded Cristo Rey in district semifinal Oct. 24. The Bears are seeded 13th.