Consistency has been a primary theme this season for the Groveport Madison cross country teams.
Brianna Chan has been the top runner in each of the girls team's six races, and Illyaas Haji has led the boys team in each of his five meets.
Their times have dropped throughout the season, a trend coach Vincent Gay hopes will continue Saturday, Sept. 21, when the Cruisers participate in the Bob Reall Invitational on a hilly course at Lancaster.
"Brianna Chan has really stepped out on the girls team to become captain and our top runner. Each week she looks stronger and stronger. I am excited to see her continue to develop," Gay said. "On the boys side, our top five runners (Haji, Kaleb Wilson, Rafael Soler, David Neal and Jason Pinkston in that order) have really started to learn how to run together and push each other.
"(This weekend) will give us a good insight into how ready our athletes are to compete in the postseason."
Lancaster also will be the site of the OCC-Capital Division meet Oct. 12.
Haji's best time this season was a 16 minutes, 32 seconds in the Canal Winchester Invitational on Aug. 28, in which he finished third. Three days later, he ran a 16:54.88 in the Division I open race of the Westerville Classic at Westerville North to earn his first win of the season.
Haji has run in all but one of the Cruisers' meets this season, as he skipped the McGowan Invitational on Sept. 7 at Watkins Memorial.
Chan's best time of the season is a 22:20.27, recorded Sept. 14 in the Ohio Wesleyan Invitational at Liberty Park. That led Groveport to 279 points and last place among nine teams as host Olentangy Liberty won (43).
Also scoring were Grace White (71st, 24:03), Alexiz Golden (72nd, 24:25.2), Agi Jobe (73rd, 24:59) and Nijah Montgomery (74th, 25:01.5).
Haji placed 12th (16:42.4) in the same event to lead the boys team to 262 points and ninth place of 12 teams as the host Patriots won (28). He was followed by Wilson (57th, 17:54), Soler (68th, 18:36.8), Pinkston (79th, 19:05.3) and Neal (82nd, 19:20.2).
Boys golfers finish OCC play
Price Cooper and Ricky Cooper of the boys golf team shot their lowest 18-hole scores of the season during the fourth and final round of the OCC-Capital tournament Sept. 11 at Apple Valley.
Price Cooper shot a 101, ahead of Ricky Cooper (103) and Shephard Bray (127).
Groveport did not score behind Big Walnut (308), New Albany (319), Canal Winchester (374) and Newark (380).
The Cruisers went 0-16 in the league to finish fifth in the final OCC-Capital standings behind New Albany (15-1), Big Walnut (13-3), Canal Winchester (8-8) and Newark (4-12). The Eagles won their ninth consecutive league championship.
Salva earns wins for tennis team
After not winning a court during its first eight matches, the girls tennis team broke that streak Sept. 9 when first-singles player Cassie Salva defeated Zanesville's Molly Kappes 6-0, 6-1.
Despite being competitive on two other courts, Groveport lost to the host Blue Devils 4-1.
Salva, a junior, got another win Sept. 12, defeating Ready's Emily Mathew 7-6, 6-2 in another 4-1 loss for the Cruisers.
Groveport was 0-10 overall and 0-4 in the OCC-Capital before finishing league play Sept. 17 at Franklin Heights.
In other close matches against Zanesville, Jillian Caldwell lost to Ashton Hiltbrunn 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 at third singles and Kristy Recob and Marie Sungu fell to Kallie Mayle and Madison Schlub 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 at first doubles.
The Cruisers lost their other four courts against Ready in straight sets.
Below are the coming schedules for the Groveport Madison cross country, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 21 -- Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster
Sept. 28 -- Rick Mettle Invitational at Walnut Ridge
Sept. 25 -- Central Crossing at The Links at Groveport
Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Whitehall
Sept. 21 -- At Pickerington North in makeup from Aug. 27
*Sept. 24 -- At New Albany
*Sept. 24 -- Home vs. New Albany
Sept. 24 -- Home vs. Hartley
*Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Franklin Heights. The Cruisers defeated the Falcons 25-13, 25-16, 25-8 on Sept. 3.
*Sept. 24 -- At Canal Winchester. The Cruisers lost to the Indians 25-23, 25-14, 25-15 on Sept. 5.