The Columbus Academy boys cross country team battled through sloppy conditions in the Division III regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North to earn a state berth.
The Vikings finished fourth (137 points) in the 16-team race behind champion Mount Gilead (44). The top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced to state Saturday, Nov. 3, at National Trail Raceway.
It will be Academy's fourth consecutive state appearance under coach Denny Hammond.
"I'm real excited," Hammond said. "Academy had been to the state (meet) twice in the history of the school and I've been there four years and we've been to the state four years. I'm happy with these guys. They've worked hard."
Sophomore Luke Nester led the Vikings at regional, finishing 16th of 131 runners in 16 minutes, 59.7 seconds.
"I didn't feel 100 percent when I woke up, but for not feeling the best, I'm happy with my race," Nester said.
Liam McCann was 24th (17:14), followed by Abhi Ramesh (37th, 17:42), Jake Huddleston (56th, 18:14.1), Charlie Sabgir (60th, 18:24.3), Alex O'Connor (82nd, 19:05.1) and Charlie Yaw (92nd, 19:19.8).
In the girls meet, junior Annalise Grammel earned her third state berth by finishing 14th (20:18.4) of 137 runners. Regan Cornelius was 23rd (20:52.6), followed by Ryan Milbourne (92nd, 23:28.7), Maddie Tuckerman (102nd, 23:53.6), Madeline Proctor (104th, 23:57.2) and Janet Li (127th, 26:12.8).
Academy finished eighth (248) of 17 teams behind champion Centerburg (57).
Grammel finished 17th (19:19.2) at state last season and 15th (18:59) as a freshman to earn all-state honors both years.
Field hockey team wins district title
The field hockey team continued its pursuit of a state title with a 1-0 win over fourth-seeded Watterson in a district final Oct. 27 at Olentangy Liberty.
The top-seeded Vikings improved to 19-0 and will play Cincinnati Ursuline in a state semifinal Friday, Nov. 2, at Upper Arlington. The winner plays three-time defending champion Thomas Worthington or Hudson in the state final Saturday, Nov. 3, at UA.
Academy, which defeated Hudson 2-0 on Sept. 21, Ursuline 4-0 on Sept. 22 and Thomas 4-0 on Sept. 26, has outscored opponents 132-1 this season.
Against Watterson, Kiersten Thomassey scored and goalkeeper Alex Phelps had six saves.
"We missed an open cage, which doesn't help," coach Anne Horton said. "We had a couple good chances and couldn't convert. We're happy that we did what we needed to do and moved forward."
Academy, which is seeking its first state championship since 2013, won its 22nd district title. The Vikings lost to Thomas 1-0 in last season's state final.
"It's always been a quiet desire, but this year these kids have been talking about this right from the start that they wanted to get back to the (state) final and they're really eager to try to win this whole thing," Horton said. "Hopefully we can at least get to the final to see what we can do."
The Vikings advanced to the district final with a 12-0 win over ninth-seeded Bexley in a semifinal Oct. 23 at home. Cornelius and Jenny L'Hommedieu each scored three goals and Charlotte Adams added two.
Football team wins finale
The football team closed the season with a 42-21 win at Grandview on Oct. 26 to finish 6-4 overall and 3-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division.
The Vikings, however, came up short of a Division V, Region 19 postseason berth as they finished ninth, one spot out of the playoffs.
"I'm incredibly proud of this group for how they finished," coach Robin Miller said. "We knew going in that we needed a win and some help. We could only control our performance, the other stuff had nothing to do with us. We asked our guys to focus on what they could control -- playing hard, preparing to win and doing their job against Grandview. They did just that.
"I'm heartbroken for them that we didn't get that help we needed, but also because I don't get the chance to coach them, especially these seniors, for just one more game."
Andrew Swartz rushed for 200 yards and one touchdown. Dorrian Moultrie scored three touchdowns and added 105 yards receiving.
Boys soccer team loses semifinal
The boys soccer team's season came to an end with a 1-0 shootout loss to seventh-seeded Olentangy Berlin in a Division II district semifinal Oct. 24 at home.
The game was scoreless after regulation and two, 15-minute overtime periods before the Bears outscored Academy 3-0 in the shootout.
The second-seeded Vikings finished 11-6-1 overall.
"The kids had a great season," coach Ron Leach said. "It was a great run. I was very pleased with them. Their focus was good."
Academy shared the MSL-Ohio title with Grandview at 2-1-1. It was the Vikings' second consecutive league championship.
Senior forward Tyler Schlonsky led Academy with 12 goals and was named first-team all-district and all-league.
Junior defender Charlie Mueller was first-team all-league and second-team all-district, and senior midfielder Colin Sullivan was first-team all-league and third-team all-district. Senior forward David Barren and sophomore midfielder Jonah Houston were second-team all-league.
Senior defenders Evan Scott and Jacob Sardo and sophomore defender Jared Kass were honorable mention all-league.
"For a lot of these guys, I've had the privilege of coaching them for three years," Leach said of the 11 seniors.
Other players eligible to return include juniors Blake Chiovalio (midfielder), Ashton Cofer (midfielder), Ezra Johnson (defender), Elias Marquez (midfielder), Josh Murry (forward) and Elliott Simpson (defender).
Girls soccer team drops district semi
The girls soccer team also saw its season end in a shootout as it lost at second-seeded Grandview 1-0 in a Division III district semifinal Oct. 24.
Both teams converted their first five shots in the shootout. Academy then missed its sixth and seventh attempts and Grandview's Adelle Bechtel scored the game-winner on the Bobcats' seventh attempt.
The fourth-seeded Vikings finished 9-5-4 overall.
"The reality of it is if someone had said you're going to lose six seniors from last year and you're going to lose in a shootout in the district semifinals, I'd say I'll take it," coach Matt Thompson said. "I'm proud of how far the girls came. There's not another team in central Ohio that I think is starting five freshmen and three sophomores."
Sophomore midfielder/forward Katie Schiano led the Vikings with 17 goals and was first-team all-district and all-league.
Junior defender/midfielder Sarah Neltner was first-team all-district and all-league, and junior midfielder/forward Annalise Grammel was second-team all-district and all-league.
Junior Emma Belford (midfielder/forward) was second-team all-league, and freshman Aniah Crockett (defender/midfielder/forward) was honorable mention all-league.
Academy played most of the season without freshman goalie Sophie Spolter, who injured her right wrist during warmups before a game against Worthington Christian on Sept. 5.
Freshman Kennedy Jackson replaced Spolter in goal for the remainder of the season.
"Kennedy played her best game of the year against Grandview (in the district semifinal)," Thompson said. "It speaks to her character and willingness to do what needed to be done for the team."
Other players eligible to return include sophomores Olivia Archibald (midfielder/forward), Allison Bergman (midfielder/forward), Hannah Clay (defender/midfielder/forward) and Maggie Walther (defender/midfielder) and freshmen Zora Brown, Evie Gee, Liesel Goldfarb, Ashi Gunawardena, Isabella Kaswinkel, Mary Kate Prall, Isabel Robeano, Diana Ulbrich and Emma Yakam.
"I'm really pleased with how the girls learned to compete and get after it," Thompson said.