The Worthington Kilbourne High School boys cross country team captured its first league championship Oct. 13, as three Wolves finished among the top nine finishers in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet at Hilliard Davidson.
The Wolves scored 55 points to finish ahead of Thomas (65), Hilliard Darby (72), Dublin Jerome (90), Dublin Scioto (93), Hilliard Bradley (145), Olentangy Berlin (155) and Delaware (246).
"We've been a bit under the radar this year, but I think this will capture everyone's attention now," first-year coach Katie Scocozzo said. "We had a great race across the board and now we're going into district excited and looking to get to regional as a team."
Tanner Williams placed fourth in 16 minutes, 9.3 seconds to lead the Wolves, followed by Jack Begley (seventh, 16:20.8), John Cuozzo (ninth, 16:33), Luke Miller (17th, 16:42.9), Max Shafran (18th, 16:56.8), Gabe Knuth (33rd, 17:27.2) and Alexander Scites (48th, 17:54.1).
"Tanner had a huge (personal record), by 14 seconds," Scocozzo said. "In fact, nine of our top 10 guys had their PRs on the day. Any time one of our teams wins a big game, they traditionally ring the bell back home. It's not often the cross country team gets that chance. But we came back and rang the bell as a team. It was very exciting.
"We placed high at some meets this season, but this was the first time we won. The boys deserved it. They've worked so hard together and they amp each other up. Jack is definitely the leader. He gets them ready for every workout and he makes a difference by helping to create a great atmosphere."
The girls team placed fourth (113) in the league meet behind Thomas (29), Berlin (99) and Jerome (109) and ahead of Scioto (118), Darby (119), Delaware (154) and Bradley (180).
Sasha Bomser placed seventh (19:31.6) to lead the Wolves, followed by Riley Tate (16th, 20:41.5), Sylvia Long (28th, 21:17.6), Marisa Long (29th, 21:17.6), Madeline Allen (38th, 21:33.5), Chloe Emberton (45th, 21:50.9) and Gwendoly Cardimen (61st, 22:36.8).
Both teams will compete in the Division I district meet Saturday, Oct. 20, at Darby.
The boys are in district 1, where the top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to the regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North. The girls are in district 3, from which the top six teams and top 24 individuals advance to regional.
Boys soccer team wins league title
The boys soccer team defeated Thomas 3-1 on Oct. 9 to clinch the outright OCC-Cardinal championship.
Kilbourne went 6-1 in the league as Jerome and Scioto tied for second at 4-2-1.
"We had to win or tie against Thomas to assure ourselves a share of the title and then Jerome got beat (2-0 by Scioto on Oct. 9) any way, but we made sure it didn't matter," coach Jon Sprunger said. "It was a wild celebration because the Kilbourne Krazies rushed the field to join us in the celebration at Thomas. We haven't lost in a month and we have momentum on our side entering the district tournament."
The Wolves were 10-4-2 overall entering the Division I district tournament.
Kilbourne is seeded seventh in the Division I district tournament and played host to 36th-seeded Mifflin in the first round Oct. 17. The Wolves entered the contest 10-4-2 overall, with their last loss coming against Darby, 1-0 on Sept. 4.
"That loss to Darby put us at 1-4, so we made some changes in formation and personnel," Sprunger said. "We had too much talent and we weren't scoring. We switched from a 4-5-1 to a 4-2-2 and moved Logan Evans from forward to midfield and that left us with Chris Guerra and Brandon Kim up top. It really helped. Logan has 12 goals and four assists (through 16 games). Chris and Brandon both have six goals. Josh Blankenship has nine assists and Keegan Smith has four assists.
"We were trying to protect a young 5-foot-6, 110-pound goalkeeper (Tyler Katz) early on. But he's a veteran now and had some huge stops against Thomas."
Kim, Smith and Jack Smullen scored against the Cardinals.
The first-round winner plays 15th-seeded Westerville South in the second round Saturday, Oct. 20, at the home of the better seed. That winner plays 13th-seeded Marysville, 20th-seeded Scioto or 32nd-seeded Logan in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the home of the better seed.
The district final is Oct. 27.
Volleyball team repeats as league champion
The girls volleyball team repeated as OCC-Cardinal champion by defeating Berlin 25-12, 25-10, 25-14 on Oct. 9 and Thomas 25-8, 25-17, 25-15 on Oct. 11.
The Wolves went 13-1 in the league to edge runner-up Scioto (12-2).
"I think we're peaking at the right time and playing on all cylinders," coach Meladee Hopkins said. "We've really stepped it up the past few weeks. The goal now is to stay healthy."
Last season, the Wolves were seeded sixth in the Division I district tournament but lost a key player in outside hitter Taylor Katz to an injury in the second round and lost to eighth-seeded Olentangy 27-25, 25-19, 25-20 in a district semifinal.
"Taylor is very steady and one of our most consistent players, along with (libero) Amber Beals," Hopkins said. "What I like about this group is that they're all doing their jobs. I think (setter/outside hitter) Maddie Reeve has really picked up her game lately. Everyone is playing well right now and we earned the highest seed we've ever had."
Kilbourne is seeded fifth and took a 19-3 overall record into the district tournament opener Oct. 16 against 48th-seeded Mifflin. The winner plays 46th-seeded Westland in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18, at the home of the better seed.
That winner plays 18th-seeded Logan, 19th-seeded Pickerington North or 25th-seeded Chillicothe in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Franklin Heights. The district final is Oct. 27 at Franklin Heights.
Girls soccer team beats Yellow Jackets
The 22nd-seeded girls soccer team defeated 38th-seeded Mount Vernon 4-0 in the first round of Division I district tournament Oct. 15 to improve to 7-9 overall.
Kilbourne plays at 14th-seeded Marysville in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18. That winner likely would play at top-seeded Watterson in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 23. The district final is Oct. 27.
Kilbourne lost to Berlin 3-1 on Oct. 11 to close the regular season, finishing 2-5 in the OCC-Cardinal.
Girls water polo team set for state
The girls water polo team will compete in the state tournament Friday, Oct. 19, and Saturday, Oct. 20, at Cincinnati Princeton.
The Wolves, who finished the regular season 16-11-1, are seeded fifth of 10 teams and will open against fourth-seeded Cincinnati Sycamore.
The boys team, which finished the regular season 4-17-2, is off this weekend and will compete in the state tournament Oct. 26 and 27 at Mason and Princeton.
The Wolves are seeded 11th of 13 teams and open against sixth-seeded Cincinnati St. Xavier.
Field hockey team begins tourney
The field hockey was seeded third in the district tournament and played host to 14th-seeded Columbus School for Girls in the second round Oct. 17.
The winner plays fifth-seeded Olentangy Liberty, seventh-seeded Upper Arlington or 15th-seeded Hartley in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 23, at a site to be announced. The district final is Oct. 27 at Liberty.
Kilbourne was 11-2-2 entering the postseason.
Catanzarite falls shy of state golf berth
John Catanzarite of the boys golf team shot a 77 in the Division I district tournament Oct. 9 at Apple Valley to tie for 11th of 72 golfers.
The top two individuals not on one of the two qualifying teams advanced to state Friday, Oct. 19, and Saturday, Oct. 20, at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
"It wasn't my best round, but it wasn't horrible, either," said Catanzarite, a three-time district qualifier who earned second-team all-OCC-Cardinal honors this season. "There are a few holes I wish I had back, but I had fun representing my school."
Catanzarite advanced to district by earning the final individual qualifying spot in a sectional Oct. 2 at Darby Creek. He shot a 76 to enter four-player playoff to determine the final three district qualifiers and earned the final spot on the third playoff hole.
The Wolves finished sixth of 13 teams at sectional with a 319. Also competing at sectional were senior Evan Fisher (79), sophomore Mark Towns (80), junior Garrett Meeks (84) and sophomore Isaac Henry (84).
The Wolves went 9-19 in the four-round league tournament to finish fifth behind champion Jerome (28-0). Also on the roster was junior Jack Hale.