Colbi Borland of the Big Walnut High School girls cross country team made history in reaching the Division I state meet held Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway.
The senior advanced to state by placing seventh of 130 runners in the regional meet Oct. 26 at Pickerington North in 18 minutes, 49.2 seconds, behind champion Daniella Santos of Hilliard Darby (17:48.7).
The top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced to state.
According to coach Kevin Lewis, Borland's finish at regional is the highest in school history.
"This earned her a third straight trip to the state (meet)," Lewis said on the school's athletics website. "Her time ... (had) her ranked in the top 30 runners in the state of Ohio (heading into the state meet)."
In 2017, Borland finished 18th (19:07.1) of 129 runners at regional and 59th (19:14.5) of 173 runners at state. Last season, she finished 17th (19:33.4) of 133 runners at regional before placing 48th (19:39.9) of 176 runners at state.
Borland was joined at regional this season by her teammates. Big Walnut finished 10th (258 points) of 17 teams, behind champion Hilliard Davidson (36).
Also competing for the Golden Eagles were junior Julia Wiergowska (52nd, 20:22.7), senior Alina Pecci (55th, 20:27.1), sophomores Madi Yano (80th, 20:47.6) and Grace Grunewald (108th, 21:22) and freshmen Maddey Moroz (127th, 22:38.8) and Gianna Rose-Romosier (128th, 22:41.9).
Football team closes regular season
The football team closed the regular season Nov. 1 with an OCC-Capital Division contest against visiting Canal Winchester.
Big Walnut was 4-5 overall and 2-2 in the league following a 49-0 loss at Groveport on Oct. 25.
The Golden Eagles entered Week 10 with a remote chance of making the Division II, Region 7 playoffs, according to joeeitel.com. They were 14th in the region, and the top eight teams qualify for the postseason.
Against Groveport, Big Walnut managed just 158 total yards and committed four turnovers.
Quarterback Jagger Barnett completed 14 of 28 passes for 118 yards, and Mitchell Embaugh rushed for 27 yards on 13 carries.
Seniors excelled for girls soccer team
The list of accomplishments for six seniors on the girls soccer team includes Division II state semifinal appearances each of the past two seasons and an OCC-Capital championship this season.
This season ended for the 13th-seeded Golden Eagles with a 4-1 loss to third-seeded Olentangy Orange in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 23. The Pioneers advanced to a regional final Nov. 2.
Big Walnut finished 11-4-3 overall and went 4-0-1 in the OCC-Capital to tie Canal Winchester for the league title.
"We look back on the last couple of years and know that all of us seniors are leaving behind a legacy that, hopefully, others will want to strive for and beat that," senior midfielder Avery Schone said. "We want one of the girls programs to win a state championship."
In addition to Schone, the Golden Eagles will be losing goalkeeper Payton Carter, defenders Alyssa Tarney and Hailey Krinn and forwards Alexis Schone and Kimberly Serna to graduation.
Avery Schone (9 goals, 2 assists) and Alexis Schone (7 goals, 10 assists) were named first-team all-league along with junior defender Morgan Bodker (6 goals), who helped lead a defense that recorded seven shutouts.
Carter, who had 46 saves on the season, was second-team all-league.
Also earning second-team all-league honors were Tarney and freshman forward Ella Froehlich (10 goals, 3 assists).
Junior forward Avery Maxeiner (6 goals) was special mention all-league, junior midfielder Annie Thomas was honorable mention all-league and Chris Allen was named league Coach of the Year.
OCC honorees named for volleyball team
Sophomore outside hitter Caroline Speelman was named OCC-Capital Player of the Year and Ron Lehman earned league Coach of the Year honors for the girls volleyball team, which finished 18-7 overall and 10-0 in the OCC-Capital to win its 16th league championship in 20 seasons.
Senior middle hitter/outside hitter Kassie Bowmar also was first-team all-league. Seniors Morgan Schull (libero) and Alex Billings (defensive specialist/outside hitter) made the second team and junior Raegen Bickley (setter) was honorable mention.
Boys soccer players earn league honors
Five members of the boys soccer team earned all-OCC-Capital honors.
Seniors Chris Geddis (midfielder) and Ryan Kline (goalie) were first-team all-league, junior Cody Lumby (midfielder) made the second team, junior Jack Wood (forward) was special mention and senior Ian Kroninger (midfielder) was honorable mention.
The Golden Eagles finished 6-12 overall and 2-3 in the league.