The Hilliard Bradley cross country programs are being led by runners at opposite ends of the high school spectrum.
Leading the boys team are a pair of seniors in Haydon Spaulding, who was a Division I regional qualifier last season, and Eli Schneider, while the girls squad is being paced by freshman Caitlyn Jones.
"We have a lot of juniors and seniors, which you want as a coach," sixth-year coach Ben Gadfield said. "Our guys have been around the program for three or four years, and that's the kind of nucleus that you like to see."
Also back for the boys team are juniors Caden Burkhart, Joshua George and Robby Klise. Senior Sean Rogers and junior Gabe Paynter stepped up their training in the offseason.
"We had some holes to fill and Gabe and Sean put in a ton of work to be able to fill holes," Gadfield said. "Now they are reaping the benefits of their hard work."
Schneider and Spaulding have been nursing early season injuries and did not compete in Bradley's opening meet.
The Jaguars opened Aug. 24 in the Pickerington Classic at Pickerington North, finishing 11th (285 points) of 18 teams in the Panther Division behind the champion and host Panthers (59).
Paynter (31st, 17 minutes, 23.9 seconds) led Bradley, followed by Burkhart (51st, 17:54.5) sophomore Evan Corea (59th, 18:05.6), Rogers (64th, 18:12.8), sophomore Connor Gleason (106th, 18:50.7), freshman Noah Buschur (110th, 18:56) and Klise (117th, 19:03.8).
The Jaguars then finished 11th (251) of 11 teams in the Hot Summer Bash on Aug. 31 at Davidson behind champion Cincinnati St. Xavier (58). Paynter (38th, 17:06.1) and Schneider (51st, 17:25.2) led Bradley.
The girls team is being headed by first-year coach Tyler Ison, a 2011 Darby graduate. An assistant with the Panthers boys program the past three seasons, he replaces Meghan Cline, who stepped down after four seasons.
"We have a good group of freshmen, but the jump from middle school to high school can be tough, going from two-mile to 5K," said Ison, an intervention specialist at Bradley. "It's quite a big jump and the expectations from middle school to high school are different. They are buying into what we are selling."
Jones led Bradley in its first two meets. She finished runner-up (19:44.3) in the Bengal Division of the Pickerington Classic as the Jaguars were 10th (322) of 25 teams behind champion New Albany (79).
She was followed by juniors Amber Figueroa (63rd, 23:08.3) and Madison Wester (90th, 24:03.6), freshman Ruby Gierman (109th, 23:24.2), senior Kate Hittie (122nd, 24:39.2), sophomore Ella Duncan (145th, 25:17.9) and senior Byann Rasul (152nd, 25:34.1).
Jones then placed fifth (18:51.4) in the Hot Summer Bash as Bradley finished ninth (223) of nine teams behind the champion and host Wildcats (35). Figueroa (58th, 22:27.0) and Hittie (59th, 22:29.7) were next for the Jaguars.
"Caitlyn is phenomenal," Ison said. "She's talented, but even beyond that, her work ethic is even more impressive."
Mordarski leading boys golf squad
Tyler Mordarski has averaged 74.33 through three rounds of the OCC-Cardinal Division to lead the boys golf team.
The senior is third in the league in average behind Olentangy Berlin's Bryce Reed (69.0) and Dublin Jerome's Ethan Snyder (73.5).
Michael Chapman is next for the Jaguars at 76.67, followed by Luke Lehman (80.33) and Tison Alexander (81.33).
Mordarski shot a 72 in the third round Aug. 28 at Darby Creek, finishing runner-up to Reed (71), as the Jaguars (317) placed third behind Berlin (303) and Jerome (309).
Chapman was next with a 76, followed by Lehman (82), Alexander (87) and Griffin Dixon (89).
Through three rounds, Bradley (15-6) is third behind Jerome (20-1) and Berlin (18-3) and ahead of Delaware (13-8), Darby (9-12), Worthington Kilbourne (5-16), Thomas Worthington (4-17) and Dublin Scioto (0-21).
The final round is Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Denison Golf Club.
Parkin, Waggener pacing girls golfers
April Parkin (95.33) and Allie Waggener (96.33) were the top scorers for the girls golf team through three rounds of the OCC-Cardinal tournament.
Delaware's Hayley Dye (75.33) was the top individual entering the final round Sept. 4 at New Albany Links.
In the third round Aug 28 at Royal American, Parkin shot a 96 to lead the Jaguars, who placed fourth (414) behind first-place Jerome (330). Waggener (101), Rachael Rice (107), Callie Hribar (110) also scored.
Jerome (19-0) sat atop the league standings through three rounds, followed by Delaware (15-4), Darby (14-5), Bradley (10-9), Scioto (7-12), Kilbourne (3-16) and Berlin (2-17).
Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 7 -- Grove City Invitational at Hickory Hills
Sept. 9 -- Gdovin Memorial Invitational at Zanesville Country Club
Sept. 11 -- OCC-Cardinal at Denison Golf Club
Sept. 10 -- Darby at Mentel Mem-orial
*Sept. 10 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne
*Sept. 5 -- At Olentangy Berlin
*Sept. 10 -- At Kilbourne
*Sept. 5 -- At Darby
Sept. 10 -- Home vs. Gahanna
Sept. 11 -- At DeSales
*Sept. 5 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto
*Sept. 10 -- At Darby