Tanner Williams finished his career with the Worthington Kilbourne boys cross country team on the podium at the Division I state meet Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway.
The senior finished in 15 minutes, 40.6 seconds to place seventh of 186 runners, behind champion Matt Duvall (15:12.9) of Pickerington North.
"It was a great experience," Williams said. "I was here last year and I really had a great time and it was a learning experience with me placing 96th, so I improved a bit. I was shooting for the stars today and landed on the moon."
Williams has committed to run at Ohio State.
"I think that just sent him in the right direction," coach Josh Stegman said. "He didn't have to worry about (recruiting) anymore. He did what we needed him to do. He is a competitor and that showed today."
Williams was joined at state by senior John Cuozzo, who finished 40th in 16:09.9.
"If this were any other season, (Cuozzo) is our best guy by far," Stegman said. "But I think it was one of those lucky things, too. He and Tanner get along really well. They are great teammates and I think that having Tanner doing as well as he did helped John to do what he did.
"I don't think (Cuozzo) was expecting as physical of a race as he was in, but when you have the best in the state, there are 10 or 20 guys within two or three seconds of you. That's what's going to happen."
Among the expected returnees for the Wolves are juniors Will Bartram and Kieran Maldney and sophomore Luke Miller, who also competed at regional Oct. 26 at Pickerington North when the Wolves finished 14th (256 points) of 16 teams, behind champion Gahanna (100).
The girls squad finished 18th (392) of 20 teams at state, behind champion Beavercreek (51), in its first state appearance as a team.
"I think it went really well," coach Katie Scocozzo said. "Our girls ran really hard. I think we ended the season right where we wanted to. We made it to states and ran well for our first time running there. I hope, being a young team, we can make it there again in the future."
Senior Sasha Bomser led the Wolves, finishing 62nd (19:23.8) of 183 runners, behind champion Taylor Ewert (17:22.5) of Beavercreek.
Also competing at state were freshman Toby Bomser (93rd, 19:44.3), sophomore Riley Tate (119th, 20:02.1), freshman Evelyn Ambler (143rd, 20:24.2), junior Sylvia Long (164th, 21:13.3), freshman Evelyn White (179th, 22:19.2) and senior Madeline Allen (183rd, 23:03.5).
"(We have) five of our (top) seven returning," Scocozzo said. "Evelyn Ambler, Evelyn White and Toby Bomser are freshmen ... Riley Tate is a sophomore and Sylvia Long is a junior, so I see a lot of potential there."
Boys soccer team ousted by Patriots
Playing without its goalkeeper and its leading scorer, the boys soccer team fell to Olentangy Liberty 5-0 in a Division I regional final Nov. 2 at Olentangy.
Junior goalie Tyler Katz missed the game after suffering a concussion in the first half of the Wolves' 1-0 win over St. Charles in a regional semifinal Oct. 30 at Westerville Central and junior forward Chris Guerra missed the game as a result of being red-carded late in the second half against the Cardinals.
"From our standpoint, when you lose your starting goalkeeper on a team that's undefeated and you lose your leading scorer, it's two starters out and you could argue your two most important starters," coach Jon Sprunger said. "That changes the whole dynamic of the game. Players are pulled from their normal positions to cover for them."
Kilbourne finished 17-1-3 overall and posted its first undefeated regular season since 1993, when it went 16-1-2 and lost in a district final.
"The year has been a fantastic year," Sprunger said. "To have a season like that against the schedule that we played ... is challenging. The kids are great and they did a great job this year. I told him that the sting of (the) loss (to Liberty) will hurt for a day, but the memories of having an undefeated (regular) season and being (ranked) fifth in the state, those are memories that they will take with them. That'll be the important stuff later on."
Senior Jimmy Sauder started in goal against Liberty and had one save before being replaced by classmate Carson Kott, who had three saves.
Sauder was a top defender for the Wolves and Kott was normally a forward as the Wolves had no backup goalie this season.
Seniors Keegan Smith (midfielder) and Logan Evans (forward) each had 10 goals for Kilbourne, which is losing 12 seniors, including defenders Bobby Barklay, Braydon Biehn and Max Kott.
Carson Kott finished with three goals and four assists.
"The challenge next year is going to be who's going to step up to take the position of the (starting) defensive four," Sauder said. "But I think we'll be strong again next year."
Guerra (19 goals, 10 assists) and Katz (56 saves) are expected to be among the key returnees next season, as are junior midfielders Brandon Kim (10 goals, 6 assists) and Jay Shaver (3 goals, 5 assists).
"Our junior class is strong, too," Sprunger said. "You could argue that the two guys we really needed (against) Liberty are coming back next year. Brandon is our second-leading scorer and he's coming back and some of the guys that we play on the outside midfield are coming back, so we've got starters coming back."
Football team falls in season finale
The football team closed its season with a 56-0 loss to Dublin Jerome on Nov. 1 to finish 1-9 overall and 1-6 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.
The Celtics scored 42 points in the second quarter, including a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown and two fumble recoveries that were returned for scores.
"We had turnovers and blocked punts and they were all returned for touchdowns," coach Mike Edwards said. "There's not much you can do other than ask the kids to keep fighting and keep a positive attitude out there on the field."
Terrique Gray had 53 yards rushing on 14 carries to lead the Wolves, who were held to 48 total yards and had three turnovers.
"Our kids need to perform better under the lights," Edwards said. "I take nothing away from the kids. (They've) shown up with positive attitudes and worked (hard)."