For the Hilliard Darby High School boys cross country team, the OCC-Cardinal Division meet on Oct. 13 at Davidson resulted in both good news and bad news.
The Panthers turned in a strong performance, finishing third (72 points) behind Worthington Kilbourne (55) and Thomas Worthington (65) and ahead of Dublin Jerome (90), Dublin Scioto (93), Bradley (145), Olentangy Berlin (155) and Delaware (246).
Unfortunately, their No. 2 runner, junior Tyler Hessenauer, was injured during the race. Running with a small group, he was around 10th place near the two-mile mark when he pulled a muscle. He was able to finish the race, but placed 27th in 17 minutes, 19.3 seconds and didn't figure into the team score.
"I was impressed by a few things," coach Matthew Fox said. "First, that Tyler showed his toughness by finishing the race. Second, that we still finished with three of the top 11 runners and would've really competed for first or second if he was healthy.
"The bad news is that we won't know until Monday or Tuesday if he will be able to run at district."
Sean Carney placed sixth (16:19.6) to lead the Panthers, followed by Eric Lowery (10th, 16:36), Owen Martin (11th, 16:36.3), David Shapoval (19th, 17:01), Balaji Kurapati (26th, 17:17.7), Hessnauer and Isaac Becker (34th, 17:29.8).
"The kids ran really hard and well," Fox said. "I thought David ran a great race and, unfortunately, he finished one second away from the 16s and he's never done that. He was so close. I still think we have five guys who can get us to the regional with a good effort, even if Tyler can't go at district. But we have no room for error or someone having a bad day."
There was even better news for the girls team, as junior Daniella Santos won the league title in 17:53.9, edging runner-up Audrey Bannister of Scioto by 5.5 seconds.
"Daniella is a grinder and she works so hard all year long," Fox said. "She deserves this. We finally had some good running weather, where it wasn't hot or raining, and she proved she's ready to go. I think she's one of the better runners in the state and she's going to prove that."
Santos finished 28th at state last season.
Freshman Alivia Cannon finished 11th (19:57.8) in the league meet, followed by Madison Murphy (18th, 20:48.5), Madison Brokaw (47th, 21:56.7), Krystal Singh (53rd, 22:09.1), Erin Cowen (54th, 22:09.4) and Mia Wyngarden (66th, 23:16.2).
Darby scored 119 points to finish sixth, behind Thomas (29), Berlin (99), Jerome (109), Kilbourne (113) and Scioto (118) and ahead of Delaware (154) and Bradley (180).
Both teams will compete in the Division I, district 2 meet on their home course on Saturday, Oct. 20. In the boys race, the top five teams and top 20 runners advance to the regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North, while in the girls race, the top six teams and top 24 runners advance to regional.
Boys soccer team set for postseason
The boys soccer team lost its chance to win the Hilliard Cup when it fell to Bradley 2-1 on Oct. 9.
All three Hilliard teams finished 1-1 against each other, as the Panthers beat Davidson 2-1 on Aug. 30 and the Wildcats beat the Jaguars 1-0 on Aug. 17.
Darby, which closed the regular season Oct. 11 with a 2-1 win over Marysville, is 8-5-3 overall entering the Division I district tournament. The Panthers are seeded 12th and had a first-round bye. They will play host to 26th-seeded Mount Vernon or 28th-seeded Pickerington Central in the second round Saturday, Oct. 20.
The winner likely will play at top-seeded Olentangy Liberty in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 24. The district final is Oct. 27.
Darby finished 2-4-1 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Delaware for sixth behind champion Kilbourne (6-1).
Girls soccer team to face Cougars
The girls soccer team defeated Marysville 2-1 on Oct. 11 to finish the regular season 7-6-3 overall.
Darby enters the postseason having won three of its final four games, with the loss being 2-0 to Bradley on Oct. 9.
The Panthers are seeded 12th in the Division I district tournament and had a first-round bye. They play host to 44th-seeded Westland in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18, with the winner playing ninth-seeded Upper Arlington or 43rd-seeded Mifflin in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the home of the better seed.
The district final is Oct. 27.
Darby finished 1-4-2 in the OCC-Cardinal to place seventh behind champion Jerome (7-0).
Volleyball team opens district tournament
The girls volleyball team was hoping to be at full strength for its Division I district tournament opener Oct. 16 when it played at 13th-seeded Watkins Memorial.
Seeded 23rd, Darby lost its final five regular-season matches after junior setter Olivia Zawadski sustained an ankle injury Oct. 4 against Berlin and was 6-16 overall entering the postseason.
The first-round winner plays 22nd-seeded New Albany in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18, at the home of the better seed. That winner faces seventh-seeded Grove City, 20th-seeded Westerville Central or 42nd-seeded Columbus West in a district semifinal Oct. 25 at Whitehall.
After losing to DeSales 25-15, 25-15, Liberty 25-11, 25-13 and Jonathan Alder 25-7, 25-14 in a quad-match Oct. 6, the Panthers fell to Thomas 25-16, 25-17, 21-25, 25-13 on Oct. 9 and Bradley 25-16, 22-25, 25-16, 25-21 on Oct. 11.
Darby finished 3-11 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Thomas for sixth behind champion Kilbourne (13-1).