Daniella Santos likes the cold weather and the rain didn't bother her at the Division I regional meet Oct. 26 at Pickerington North.
The senior for the Hilliard Darby girls cross country team thrived in the conditions, finishing first of 130 runners in 17 minutes, 48.7 seconds to reach the state meet for the third time. The top five teams and top 20 individuals at regional advanced to state Saturday, Nov. 2, at National Trail Raceway.
Last season, Santos finished 18th (18:56.8) of 176 runners at state to earn all-state honors. As a sophomore, she finished 28th (18:36.4).
"I didn't really feel (the rain) because I was running," Santos said. "I don't mind when it's not good conditions because it's more about who's the toughest than who's the fastest."
Santos finished 22.2 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Davidson junior Lindsay Stull (18:10.9).
"She wasn't messing around (at regional)," girls coach Jon Agriesti said. "She went right after it and just took off. It was her game plan to get away and be ahead early."
Santos will be joined at state by Sean Carney of the boys team. The junior finished seventh (16:06.7) of 125 runners, behind champion Matt Duvall (15:33.8) of Pickerington North.
"He put together one of his, if not, best tactical race of the season," boys coach Matthew Fox said. "It's pretty exciting that he did it right around the time you want to see those things come together. He knew what he had to do and went out and executed. It shows the type of runner he is."
The girls team finished 14th (295 points) of 17 teams at regional, behind champion Davidson (36).
Also scoring for the Panthers were Alivia Cannon (38th, 20:10.8), Krystal Singh (92nd, 20:56.9), Jane Vulic (99th, 21:03) and Grace Pitt (109th, 21:26.5).
"We got out well, but didn't quite close the way wanted to," Agriesti said. "But for a team that wasn't here last year, to be here and run well ... Jane Vulic had a great season, Grace Pitt was new to us this year and ran like a trooper and Alivia was our No. 2 last year, so (her finish) was to be expected."
Girls soccer team ousted by Eagles
The 19th-seeded girls soccer team saw its season end with a 5-1 loss at sixth-seeded Watterson in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 23.
Senior goalkeeper Briana Turner had 15 saves and senior forward Naomi Walters scored for the Panthers, who finished 8-10-1.
"(Watterson) possessed the ball really well and knocked it around us and finished the chances that they had," coach Kelsey Prichard said.
In addition to Turner and Walters, Darby is losing four other seniors in defenders Teddie Coe and Zayna Hampton, midfielder Carli Rigel and forward Taylor Mahaffey.
"We lose six strong seniors that will be hard to replace," Prichard said. "But we definitely have people that are willing, able and are excited about stepping up to fill those spots."
Among the expected return-ees are sophomore defender Casey Rigel, juniors Mackezie Hessick, Elizabeth Mielke, Gabby Simpson and Caroline Turner and sophomore Sydney Thomas in the midfield, junior forward Maddy Leone and junior goalie Alexis Stewart.
Walters and Leone both were named first-team all-OCC-Cardinal Division. Hampton and Casey Rigel were second-team all-league, Hessick was special mention all-league and Carli Rigel was honorable mention all-league.
Girls volleyball team falls to Stallions
The 22nd-seeded girls volleyball team lost to second-seeded DeSales 25-14, 25-13, 25-8 in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 22 at Whitehall to finish 11-13.
"I knew (DeSales) was going to be tough being the No. 2 seed and all," coach Stephanie Dietrich said. "The outcome is always going to be disappointing in this case, but I'm proud of my team. They did the best they could (against DeSales)."
The Panthers are losing four seniors in Olivia Krumpe (middle hitter), Nicole Logan (outside hitter), Elise Neighbarger (setter) and Olivia Zawadski (setter).
Zawadski was first-team all-OCC-Cardinal and Krumpe was honorable mention all-league.
Expected returnees include juniors Lexi Capka (outside hitter) and Sophia Iosue (libero), sophomore Rachel Hopkins (middle hitter) and freshman Kaitlynn Swartz (defensive specialist).
Iosue was special mention all-league.
"(Hopkins has) learned a lot this year after being mentored by (Krumpe)," Dietrich said. "We're to be a little young in the setting position (next season). Some of them play club, so they'll play a lot of volleyball in the offseason. That'll help as well."