Meghan Boggess fell just short of representing the Olentangy Berlin girls cross country team in the state meet for the second consecutive year.
The senior finished 28th (19 minutes, 47.5 seconds) in a rainy, blustery Division I regional meet Oct. 26 at Pickerington North as the top 20 individuals advanced to state Saturday, Nov. 2, at National Trail Raceway. Marysville's Bryn Hothem finished 20th in 19:20.5.
Last season, Boggess was 45th (20:10.9) in the Division II state meet.
The top five teams at regional advanced to state, and the Bears finished 11th (272 points) behind champion Hilliard Davidson (36). Thomas Worthington (149), Worthington Kilbourne (158), Liberty (183) and Orange (193) also qualified for state.
Also competing for the Bears were sophomore Ada Freeman (57th, 20:27.3), senior Rebecca Koppelman (63rd, 20:33.0), freshman Grace Dahlke (64th, 20:34.1), junior Maria Fratianne (111th, 21:28.6), senior Megan Schlabig (119th, 21:50.3) and sophomore Ella Ziegler (123rd, 22:12.1).
"I'm really pleased with how they ran," coach Catherine Ubry said. "It's hard going from no program to Division II last year and now Division I. It's a lot. We had a competitive program and they gave it all they had."
Junior Corey Rinehart competed for the boys team, but his race was cut short when he became ill on the course.
"Corey got a little sick during the race," coach Anthony Beggrow said. "He was prepared and ready to go but couldn't finish. He will come back super-strong from this."
Rinehart finished fourth (16:23.3) in the district 1 meet Oct. 19 at Hilliard Darby.
The girls team finished third (79) in the OCC-Cardinal Division meet Oct. 12 at Davidson behind Thomas (51) and Kilbourne (64). The boys were sixth (125) behind champion Thomas (59).
"I think our seniors did a good job of just motivating everyone," Ubry said. "It was like they were seniors two years in a row because we didn't have a senior class last year. It was special that they were put in that leadership role. They competed athletically but also motivated the younger kids and set the bar for everything."
Beggrow is optimistic about the program's future.
"We had an awesome senior class," he said. "They laid the foundation for the program and how it could be more of team sport than just an individual sport. They started a tradition that will continue."
Girls soccer team falls in district semi
The girls soccer team lost at eighth-seeded New Albany 2-1 on Oct. 23 in a Division I district semifinal.
It was the second trip to a district semifinal in as many seasons for the 15th-seeded Bears, who finished 10-7-1 overall.
Last fall, the Bears lost to Granville 7-1 in a Division II district semifinal.
Berlin was third (4-2-1) in the OCC-Cardinal behind co-champions Hilliard Bradley and Dublin Jerome (both 6-1).
Senior forward Sydney Walker (first-team all-league) led the Bears in scoring with 13 goals and two assists, and senior goalkeeper McKinley Hoffmann (first-team all-league) had 212 saves. Defender Haley Cera, midfielder Olivia Neidhardt (second-team all-league; 2 goals, 2 assists), defender Ruth Pfeiffer (second-team all-league) and midfielder Cara Susey (honorable mention all-league; 4 goals, 2 assists) also led a nine-player senior class.
Expected key returnees include junior midfielder Sarah Cain (1 goal, 6 assists), junior forward Ashley Kerekes (4 goals, 4 assists) and freshman forwards Cameryn Susey (special mention all-league; 7 goals, 3 assists) and Claire Walker (4 goals, 2 assists).