Senior Tanner Williams continued his strong season for the Worthington Kilbourne boys cross country team at the Bob Reall Invitational on Sept. 21 at Lancaster.
Williams, who has finished in the top three in all five races this season, picked up his second victory by finishing first of 107 runners in 16 minutes, 3.9 seconds.
Last season, he represented the Wolves in the state meet, finishing 96th (17:16.2) of 186 runners.
"His freshman year, he was in the mid-17's," coach Josh Stegman said. "You know you have something special when you're working with a freshman in the mid-17's. Then, he's knocked 30 seconds off (his personal record) every year."
Williams prepared for this season by putting in a lot of mileage during the offseason, Stegman said.
"It's paying off right now," Stegman said. "And he's not even close to peaking. Every meet we've been to, the conditions have seemed unseasonably warm and dry, so I don't think any of these guys have had the bottom drop out."
John Cuozzo placed fourth (16:49.2) at Lancaster as the Wolves finished first (88 points), beating out 12 teams. The host Golden Gales were second (106).
Cuozzo has had quite a season in his own right. He has finished in the top 15 in all five races this season, giving the Wolves a formidable 1-2 punch.
Stegman now is looking for his next three runners to solidify down the stretch run. Also scoring at Lancaster were Luke Miller (14th, 17:18.6), Gabe Knuth (32nd, 18:10.7) and Alexander Scites (39th, 18:36.3).
"We're looking for (our No.) 3, 4 and 5 (runners) to really turn a corner here," Stegman said. "The team goal is to qualify for the state meet and I think we have the top five guys to do it."
Kilbourne has qualified for state as a team three times, but not since 2005.
Stegman said his team will be using the Les Eisenhart Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Thomas and the OCC-Cardinal Division meet Oct. 12 at Hilliard Davidson to help prepare for the postseason.
The postseason gets underway Oct. 19 with the Division I district meet at Hilliard Darby.
"I think our guys would be disappointed if we weren't in at least the top three at Eisenhart," Stegman said. "It would be nice to repeat as OCC champs, but that's not the end goal. We would all be disappointed if it doesn't happen. But when we get to the regional meet and they're calling our name as having qualified for the state, that'll make it all worth it."
Girls runners paced by sisters
Senior Sasha Bomser and her sister, freshman Toby Bomser, of the girls cross country team usually stick together during a race.
Coach Katie Scocozzo thinks they motivate each other throughout a race.
The siblings have finished within 10 seconds of each other in three of the four races this season.
In the Bob Reall Invitational, Sasha Bomser (19:38.2) and Toby Bomser (19:47.1) finished fourth and sixth, respectively, out of 136 runners to lead the Wolves to a third-place finish (108) in the 16-team meet, behind Lancaster (88) and Marysville (103).
"The race started in a downpour, but the girls came out strong and finished well," Scocozzo said. "Our team runs boys and girls together (in practices) and I think that really helped them build their speed."
Rounding out the scoring for the Wolves were Riley Tate (21st, 21:04.9), Sylvia Long (34th, 21:50.4) and Evelyn Ambler (41st, 22:04.1).
"(Tate) has been running well this season," Scocozzo said. "She ran her all-time best PR (in the Galion Cross Country Festival on Sept. 14 at Amann Reservoir Park) and she ran really well again at Lancaster. She's a sophomore, so we hope to see her keep improving (because) she's dropped almost a minute from last year, which is exciting to see."
The Wolves will compete in the Les Eisenhart Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 5, and the OCC-Cardinal meet Oct. 12 before beginning the postseason.
"I think (Stegman and I) came up with a plan for the season and the girls are executing it really well," Scocozzo said. "I think all the runners are running some of their best times and that's because of the work they did in the offseason. It's all paying off now."
Girls tennis team set for sectional
The girls tennis team lost to Marysville 4-1 on Sept. 30 and was 4-16 overall before facing Pickerington Central on Oct. 1.
The Wolves, who finished 0-7 in OCC-Cardinal play, will compete in a Division I sectional Thursday, Oct. 3, and Saturday, Oct. 5, at Upper Arlington.
Libby Costello, Elise Elliott and Rhea Taneja are playing singles, while Lily Hershey and Hannah Lindaman will comprise one doubles team and Ella Needleman and Eve Bomsta will comprise the other.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 10 and 12 at Reynoldsburg.