Three years ago as a freshman, Lydia Miller told Thomas Worthington girls cross country coach Andy Cox that she was just an average runner.
He disagreed with her assessment and now, after watching the senior compete in the Division I state meet for the third time, he has an example that he can share with future runners under his tutelage.
Miller finished in 18 minutes, 44.9 seconds at state Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway to place 24th of 183 runners, behind champion Taylor Stewart (17:22.5) of Beavercreek.
"With a little bit of work and some dedication, you can achieve some pretty special things," Cox said. "Obviously, she didn't finish where she wanted to, but she's a great kid and she's going to be a role model for my future kids."
Miller's performance led the Cardinals, who finished 16th (375 points) of 20 teams, behind champion Beavercreek (51).
"My legs felt kind of heavy today. I'm not sure why," Miller said. "I just started and immediately didn't feel so well, but I tried to fight through it as long as possible just to stay in that top 20. Honestly, it was just cool to get here and we worked really hard this postseason. This is where we get to celebrate that."
Also scoring for the Cardinals were junior Carina Napoleon (35th, 18:58.6), sophomore Michelina Guerra (152nd, 20:42.7), senior Abby Moulton (155th, 20:50.0) and junior Naya Roebke (160th, 21:05.7).
"Carina wasn't feeling well and we've got a lot of youth," Cox said. "There are 175 Division I teams in the state and we finished 16th. I'm really happy with that. We're here and we get the experience. Abby Moulton has been hurt all three years, so this is her first year being healthy for the entire season and Lydia, those two have been great for our younger girls and we expect to be back at the state meet next year."
The boys team also ended its season at state, finishing last of 20 teams with 413 points, behind champion Cincinnati St. Xavier (92).
Senior Zubin Jha finished 72nd (16:29.7) of 186 runners to lead the Cardinals. Also scoring were junior Noah Silliman (93rd, 16:39.4) and seniors Andres Mira (143rd, 17:02.5), Jack Caine (146th, 17:04.2) and Nate Johnson (165th, 17:21.9).
Field hockey team falls in state semi
Despite having no seniors, the field hockey team still managed to reach the state tournament, where it lost to Shaker Heights 2-0 in a semifinal Oct. 31 at Upper Arlington.
The Cardinals finished 16-2-2, with both losses coming against Shaker Heights. Thomas lost to Raiders by the same score Sept. 20.
The Cardinals allowed just six goals in 20 games, with four coming against Shaker Heights.
Junior goalkeeper Scarlett Oaks had three saves in the state semifinal and finished the season with 49 for an .890 save percentage.
"I'm super proud of this group," coach Terri Simonetti Frost said. "I had so much fun coaching this team. I'm blessed to be their coach. This team wasn't supposed to do what we did and to come out 16-2-2 is pretty impressive."
Junior attacker Bella Avila had a team-high 19 goals and 12 assists. Sophomore attacker Leila Boussedra had 13 goals and freshman attacker Cate Isaacson scored 12.
Junior midfielder Mollie Estepp also had 12 goals to go along with a team-high 23 assists, while freshman midfielder Tate Beegle had 18 assists and sophomore defender Cora Hamilton added 13 assists.
Other expected returnees include juniors Zoe Peveler (midfielder) and Carmen Reis (defender/midfielder), sophomores Amanda Armstrong (attacker) and Ellie Conroy (defender) and freshman Campbell Bowers (attacker).
Football squad falls short of .500 goal
The football team fell short in its quest to finish with a .500 record, as it lost 36-13 at Olentangy Berlin on Nov. 1 to finish 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.
Quarterback James Gaiters completed eight of 12 passes for 99 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and had 21 yards rushing. Nate Hoover ran of 39 yards on 21 carries and Nathan Bourghese had four catches for 41 yards.
Berlin improved to 6-4 overall and clinched its first playoff berth in just its second season.
The Bears finished 5-2 in the league.