After making it to the Division I regional meet last fall, Avril Moyer's hopes for her girls cross country career have continued to grow.
The Reynoldsburg High School sophomore was looking to run in the mid-19:00 minute range or faster, and she turned in a ninth-place finish in 19 minutes, 24.4 seconds in the district 2 meet Oct. 20 at Hilliard Darby to again advance to regional.
On Oct. 27 at Pickerington North, Moyer finished 51st (20:44.2) as the top 20 individuals advanced to state.
"It's been fun," she said. "I'm a sophomore, but at the same time I've had really high expectations of myself. I guess it's good. I've just got to meet them at some point. Really my biggest goal is to go to state."
Moyer was trying to become the girls team's first state qualifier since Leah Wallace in 2013.
"Avril is on path to potentially break through and get to state," coach Bill Crane said. "She's set that as her main goal. It's been a progression for all of them."
Representing the boys team at regional was sophomore Seth Davis, who finished 98th (17:55.6) as the top 20 advanced to state.
Davis was 22nd (17:17.3) in the district 3 meet to advance to regional.
"Seth has been the most consistent runner all year, but it's getting him to believe he's our top guy," Crane said. "(Before the OCC-Ohio Division meet Oct. 13) he went out and told me before the race (that he was) going to be No. 1, and he went out and did it. He's running with a lot of confidence.
"(Seth) and Mars (Davis have) been consistently right there. We'll have a lot of kids back for next year, which is exciting."
While Mars Davis also is a sophomore, the boys team is losing Liam Bryan, Brody Swisher and Andy Young to graduation from its top seven.
Junior Grant Boone, sophomores Kyle Cannon, Mekhi Dejarnette and Dominic Sabo and freshman Andy Potter are others eligible to return.
Sophomores Kasey Lichtner and Kristin Sheets and freshman Abby Robinson should be other top returnees for the girls team. Sophomores Alyse Powell, Macey Thompson and Rachel Watkins and freshmen Sydney Hurt and Bemnet Shewaye also are eligible to return.
The only senior on the girls team was Natalie Castello, a four-year competitor who was consistently among the top seven this fall.
Boys soccer team falls in semifinal
As was the case throughout most of the season, strong defense and a possession style helped the boys soccer team stay with one of the area's top teams during a Division I district semifinal Oct. 24.
After beating 27th-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley 1-0 in overtime Oct. 17 and 30th-seeded Watkins Memorial 1-0 on Oct. 20, the 18th-seeded Raiders lost 1-0 at third-seeded St. Charles to finish 9-4-6 overall.
The Raiders were fourth (1-2-2) in the OCC-Ohio behind champion Pickerington North (5-0).
"I'm proud of the boys," coach Tony Labudovski said. "They buy into the system, they work hard and they're organized."
The Raiders lose a five-member senior class that was led by midfielders Suijit Khatiwoda, Nishan Pokwal and Patrick Young.
Junior defender Nate Russell, junior forward Nick Wallace, sophomore midfielder Jackson Harms and sophomore goalkeeper Brady Frydl should be among the top returnees.
Russell entered the postseason with no goals but scored the Raiders' only goal in both of their tournament victories.
Others eligible to return include juniors Collin Bradley (defender), Yobal Fishation (midfielder), Elijah Harris (midfielder), Aidan Hasson (defender), Gabriel McCarroll (forward), Sanjock Poudel (forward/midfielder), Pawan Rai (midfielder) and Kevonn Rayford (defender) and sophomores Moises Ayala (midfielder) and Crofton McDevitt (midfielder).