Miles Feinknopf was pleased with his final run for the Bexley boys cross country team despite the chilly, blustery conditions Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway.
In his third appearance in the Division II state meet, the senior placed 67th in 16 minutes, 53.7 seconds. He finished 114th in 18:02.9 last year and 122nd in 17:16.6 as a freshman.
"For my last race, I'm just glad to be here," Feinknopf said. "I made it my freshman year with the team and my junior year I qualified as an individual but my team went as well.
"I felt good. I went into it not really having any goal other than to drop my time, but I think I got a little boxed in and kind of hit my stride a little too late."
The girls competed at state as a team for the fourth consecutive season and finished 12th (285 points) of 20 teams behind champion Lexington (83).
"It felt pretty good," said junior Maria Steinke, who finished 76th in 20:07.8. "It wasn't my best race, but I was happy with my time. It was a great way to finish the season. Each year we come away with something new and grow from the experience."
Sophomore Claire MacDonald led the Lions, finishing 41st in 19:31.1. Last year, she finished 59th in 20:21.2.
"It wasn't my best race ever or my best time, but I finished better than I did last year so I'm happy with that," MacDonald said. "I wanted to put in more effort. Last year, I kind of (felt like I) let the race slide and didn't take it as seriously as I should have."
Freshman Lily Keller (88th, 20:13.3), juniors Karleigh Place (110th, 20:39.7) and Hannah Hayden (112th, 20:42.3), freshman Rylee Barno (115th, 20:45.3) and junior Ally Grieshop (135th 21:15.3) also competed.
"It means a lot (to qualify for state for the fourth consecutive season), and we all worked hard over the summer to make sure we got here," Steinke said. "We deserved it.
"We were right on the cutoff of making it to state (last fall) and this year our team is a lot stronger and a lot closer in time and place. That helped us move up and make it here to state easier."
The Lions won the boys and girls MSL-Ohio Division titles, with the girls capturing a third consecutive league championship as MacDonald finished first in 19:31.2. The boys won their first league title since 2014.
Other top competitors for the boys included senior Dylan Abel, juniors Rob Donahey, Atticus Keels, Elliot Roe and Spencer Stevenson and sophomore Miller MacDonald.
Boys soccer team falls short in regional semi
The boys soccer team saw its season end with a 2-1 loss to Columbus Academy in a Division II regional semifinal Oct. 30 at Westerville Central.
Freshman midfielder/defender Grayson Fletcher scored off a corner kick by senior midfielder Miles Goldman with 17:09 remaining for the Lions, who finished 7-10-3. Senior goalkeeper Ben Ziegler had 15.
The teams tied at 1 in an MSL-Ohio contest Sept. 7.
Sam Massick scored both goals for the Vikings, on a penalty kick with 28:33 left in the first half and the game-winner with 2:24 left in the second half.
"It's been the epitome of our season," fourth-year coach Jay Scott said. "We go down and we have to fight our way back. We had more opportunities and we didn't finish. They had two opportunities and they finished them."
Fourth-seeded Bexley won its second district championship in a row by defeating second-seeded Bloom-Carroll 2-1 on Oct. 26 at Hartley.
"The way our season started (at 3-4-3) and five losses in the middle of our season, if someone would have told us that we would be in a regional semifinal I would have looked at them and thought they were a little off their nut," Scott said. "We fought back and we proved the type of players we are and the program we are.
"We went back to the fundamentals and just kept working on the things that worked. That was playing quick, having a good first touch and then making sure we are always following up."
Midfielder/defender Ford Cowan, Goldman (honorable mention all-league) and Ziegler (first-team all-district and all-league) were senior starters. Senior forward Max Dresbach was one of the first substitutes, and senior midfielder Miles Joseph missed the season after having hip surgery.
"We had a great group of seniors, and all of them have been with us pretty much all four years," Scott said. "Their strength of character and their dedication was top-notch.
"Ben Ziegler is probably our best goalie in my 12 years with the program (as a head and assistant coach). He's an incredible talent and a wonderful kid. Miles Goldman, Ford Cowan (and) Max Dresbach all did a great job."
Top players expected to return include junior mid-fielder/def-ender Simon Bernstein, junior mid-fielder/forward Will Fletcher (third-team all-district), junior for-ward/midfielder Yonatan Ligator, junior midfielder/defender Grant Nguyen (second-team all-district), junior defender Jaxon Remeis, sophomore midfielder Matt Arace, sophomore midfielder Nick Eddy, sophomore def-ender/midfielder Max Hartman and sophomore def-ender/midfielder Sam Powers.
Football team falls to Vikings
The football team dropped its season finale 41-0 to visiting Academy on Nov. 1.
The Lions, who committed three turnovers, finished 3-7 overall and 2-4 in the MSL-Ohio.
Troy Redmond led with 87 yards rushing on eight carries, and Tom Brown had 35 yards on five carries. Jon Spiess was 5-for-7 passing for 29 yards.