Everything Derek Amicon had visualized came to pass in the Division III state boys cross country meet Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway.
The Grandview Heights junior won the championship in 15 minutes, 42.5 seconds. He was 17.5 seconds faster than runner-up Demetrius Snellenberger of East Canton.
"I pictured everything that happened and I have had dreams about stuff like this, but when you're up front and there's no one ahead of you and this is a state championship, it's a great feeling," Amicon said. "It's something that I'm glad to be a part of."
The performance ended three weeks of postseason perfection for Amicon, who also won regional and district championships. He won regional in 15:50.2 on Oct. 26 at Pickerington North and won the district 1 championship in a program-record 15:36.6 on Oct. 19 at Hilliard Darby.
"I know people probably thought I came out of nowhere to win, but I've done this three races in a row," he said. "I really thought I had a chance of this coming in, and I wanted to get after it."
Amicon was 22nd at state last season in 17:04.8. He said that experience helped him this time around.
"I realized that you can't lose the first pack, that's my big thing now," he said. "No matter what, you have to be up there with that pack, or there's no chance. You can't get back on them. Once you drop off, you've lost. I knew that I had to stick with that front pack, which I didn't do last year."
Coach Chris Szabo was shaking and filled with emotion following Amicon's state championship effort.
"We knew that it could happen, so I'm not shocked," Szabo said. "He's a tough kid. He's a competitor through and through.
"When he was at about two-and-a-half miles, he had to push it because he knew it would come down to a kick. At this level all of these kids are really strong and I knew Derek had that last gear. That's when his competitiveness comes out."
Chris Miller also ran at state, finishing 46th in 17:00.0. The senior was making his fourth appearance at state after placing 51st in 17:35.5 last season.
Miller was ninth at regional in 16:40.3.
In the MSL-Ohio Division meet Oct. 12 at Buckeye Valley, Amicon won in 16:19.0 and Miller was second in 16:46.7
The girls team ended its season at regional, finishing seventh (204 points) behind champion Mount Gilead (57). Senior Liza DeVere finished 25th (20:44.1), followed by freshman Greta Tew (60th, 21:42.6), sophomore Nina Brown (63rd, 21:46.2), seniors Amelia Sturbois (75th, 22:06.0) and Emmalyn Kukura (82nd, 22:25.6), freshman Sosi Mahdashian (107th, 24:24.1) and senior Jenna Richards (121st, 25:36.5).
Boys soccer team edged in regional semi
The boys soccer team lost to Cincinnati Seven Hills 2-1 in a Division III regional semifinal Oct. 30 at Xenia.
Junior midfielder Kai Iisaka scored off a pass from freshman forward Will DeVere. Sophomore goalkeeper Owen Carter had seven saves as the Bobcats finished 10-6-4.
Grandview won its sixth consecutive district championship by defeating top-seeded and second-ranked Worthington Christian 3-2 in two overtimes Oct. 26 at Olentangy Orange.
The Bobcats, who were seeded fourth in the district, lose their top two scorers in senior forwards Ross Day (18 goals, 10 assists) and Lance Trares (13 goals, 3 assists). Both were first-team all-MSL-Ohio.
Midfielders Sam Amurgis and Charlie Ferguson (honorable mention all-league) and defenders Jack Freeman, Jack Kessler, Ravi Kumar (honorable mention all-league) and Ethan Page round out the senior class.
Iisaka (6 goals, 7 assists) and junior midfielder Adam Bechtel (3 goals, 4 assists) were second-team all-league.
Junior forward Henry Murphy had six goals and DeVere had three goals and three assists. Sophomore forward Collin Haj Abed had two goals and four assists, and sophomore midfielder Connor Hayes added two goals and one assist.
Carter had 70 saves. Junior Johnny Herlihy and sophomore Adam Narcelles were top defenders.
The Bobcats were led by fourth-year coach James Gerdes.