First-year coach Reggie Cannon wants his runners on the Central Crossing boys and girls cross country teams to take a goal-oriented path to success.
Cannon helped out both squads for four years under former coach Doug Boggs, who left after nine seasons.
"I want them to have goals for themselves in addition to goals for every meet," said Cannon, who also coaches the boys and girls track and field teams. "I feel that if you know what you want to do, you'll push yourself to get there. If you don't have an idea of what (time) you want to run or have set goals then it can be difficult."
The Comets are low in numbers. The boys have eight runners and the girls have four, and five are needed to record a team score in a meet. Cannon said more athletes could be on the way.
"I just wish I had twice as many people on both sides because it gives us more options," he said. "We're in the process of possibly getting one or two boys and one more girl, which would be good because then we'll have five and get a team score."
The boys opened by finishing ninth (232 points) in the 10-team New Albany Invitational on Aug. 19 behind the champion and host Eagles (35). Sophomore Joey Taylor led the way, placing 19th in 18 minutes, 38.8 seconds.
Freshman Hunter Armstrong (55th, 20:34.6) was next, followed by senior Austin Vazquez (73rd, 21:07.5) and juniors Jon Carroll (112th, 22:35.6), Jake Archer (123rd, 23:12.6), Landen Gilchrist (148th, 24:47.4) and Camden Kulp (176th, 27:10.7).
Senior Noah Reardon will be out until at least the end of September with a dislocated right shoulder. He has been at practice serving as a leader for the younger runners.
"As a senior, you have a big leadership position," Reardon said. "Austin, Jenny (Zamora) and I have to be role models and show them how things need to be done."
Zamora competed for the girls team at New Albany, finishing 71st in 25:32.8. Juniors Rachel Sinyuk (68th, 25:23.9) and Ellie Williams (115th, 30:05.1) also participated.
Sophomore Emma Bethel also competes for the Comets.
"(Cannon) definitely has been stressing belief in our teammates and ourselves," Zamora said. "He's telling us that we need to be advocates for ourselves. That's the only way you can see progress."
The boys finished 13th (363) in the 20-team Canal Winchester Invitational on Aug. 28 behind champion New Albany (51). Taylor (30th, 18:07.4) led the way, followed by Armstrong (71st, 19:25.9), Vazquez (114th, 20:37.5), Carroll (117th, 20:44.3), Archer (134th, 21:09.4), Gilchrist (136th, 21:12.4) and Kulp (259th, 26:24.2).
Zamora (77th, 24:31.1) and Williams (165th, 28:54.1) competed for the girls.
"It's psychological because you are by yourself (running) and you have to challenge yourself," Cannon said. "Even when you are running with somebody, you have to challenge yourself to do things.
"They need to go out and do the best they can do, and then we'll worry about accolades later. At this point in time, they need to get in shape, put in a good showing and run well for themselves."
Phillips, Schwinne lead boys golf team
Jackson Phillips and Jimmy Schwinne have led the boys golf team through three rounds of OCC-Central Division play.
Phillips is averaging 95.0 while competing in two of three rounds, while Schwinne has a 99.0 average while competing in all three. Aiden Phipps (107.0), Sam White (109.67) and Austin Estep (112.33) also played in three rounds and Brandon Dildine (142.0) competed in two.
Central Crossing is fifth (3-12) behind Upper Arlington (14-1), Dublin Coffman (13-2), Hilliard Davidson (9-6) and Marysville (6-9) and ahead of Westland (0-15).
The fourth and final round is Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Darby Creek.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central Crossing boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 11 -- OCC-Central at Darby Creek
Sept. 5 -- At Westerville North
*Sept. 10 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington
*Sept. 10 -- At UA
*Sept. 5 -- At Westland
*Sept. 5 -- At Marysville
*Sept. 10 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson