Daniella Santos will represent the Hilliard Darby High School girls cross country team in the Division I state meet Saturday, Nov. 3, at National Trail Raceway.
The junior will be making her second state appearance after placing 28th of 173 runners last year in 18 minutes, 36.4 seconds.
"My biggest goal this year was to get back to state and finish much higher than last year," Santos said. "I also wanted to win districts again and the regional."
Santos repeated as a district champion on her home course Oct. 20 when she won the district 2 race in 18:01.7 and then placed second (18:45.7) in the regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North, behind Olentangy Liberty's Gracie Sprankle (18:23.1).
At regional, the top five teams and top 20 individuals qualified for state.
Joining Santos at regional from the girls team was freshman Alivia Cannon, who finished 90th (21:35.9) of 133 runners.
The boys team placed 13th (280 points) of 16 teams at regional, behind champion Davidson (95).
Sophomore Sean Carney finished 40th (17:09.9) of 127 runners to lead the Panthers, followed by David Shapoval (58th, 17:18.9), Owen Martin (66th, 17:25), Eric Lowery (75th, 17:30.1), Isaac Becker (95th, 17:53.9), Belaji Kurapati (101st, 17:57.8) and Jake Long (114th, 18:32.9).
Girls soccer team falls in district final
The girls soccer team was 1:22 away from upsetting third-seeded Dublin Jerome in a Division I district final Oct. 27 at Westerville South.
But the 12th-seeded Panthers allowed the tying goal by Riley Mullady and then allowed the winning goal with 9:39 remaining in the second overtime to lose 3-2.
"(To give up a late goal) was heartbreaking, but (we) fought," coach Dan Brady said. "I'm so proud of the kids."
Darby, which lost to Jerome 5-3 in the regular season Sept. 20, finished 9-7-3. In the rematch with the Celtics, the Panthers overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit with goals from sophomore forward Maddy Leone and junior forward Naomi Walters.
"Obviously, we made adjustments (from the regular-season game) and I thought we made the right adjustments," Brady said. "A tricky bounce either way and that game could have gone our way. I'm proud of the kids for coming back and taking the lead."
Darby, which upset ninth-seeded Upper Arlington 4-2 in a district semifinal Oct. 23, is losing eight seniors in Aaliyah Brletic (midfielder), Natalie Brown (defender), Sophia Roberts (midfielder), Emily Schneck (goalkeeper), Abbey Spencer (midfielder), Caitlyn Spencer (midfielder), Cassidy Webber (defender) and Allison Williams (defender).
Among the expected return-ees are Leone, Walters and juniors Teddy Coe (defender), Zayna Hampton (defender) and Carli Rigel (midfielder).
Season ends for boys soccer team
The 12th-seeded boys soccer team gave top-seeded Liberty a bit of a scare before losing to the host Patriots 2-1 in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 24 to finish 9-6-3.
Junior forward Luke Lassiter scored off a rebound with 4:45 left after a free kick by senior defender Daniel Djelmis went off Liberty goalie Theran Handlon.
"It ended up being a good year because we got in a groove there for a while," coach Kyle Reichle said. "We fought to the end and played intense soccer against the top team in the district. We had eight seniors and they wanted to finish strong. I was happy with the way they worked throughout the season and put some things together.
"We had five or six senior starters, but we'll return eight juniors and we had 15 freshmen on the j.v. team, so I'm also excited with what we have coming back."
The senior class consisted of Djelmis, Sid Dasaraju (midfielder), Nick Hermosilla (goalie), Jackson Janetski (midfielder), Matt Mills (midfielder), Aaron Muldrow (defender), Matthew Toplikar (defender) and Matthew Turner (defender). Hermosilla suffered a season-ending injury in the first game.
Among the expected returnees are Lassiter, juniors Trevor Burke (midfielder), Alexis Delarosa (forward), Ethan Hessick (midfielder) and Zach Jasper (midfielder/forward) and sophomores Brian Watkins (goalie) and Colin Walters (forward).