Watterson Roundup: Lucy Ragiel’s return sparks girls cross country team

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Hartley's Piper Minnich (left) and Watterson's Lucy Ragiel head to the finish in the CCL girls cross country meet Oct. 17 at St. Mathew Athletic Fields. Ragiel finished second and Minnich third behind DeSales' Mary McCallister.

Just three days before the CCL meet Oct. 17 at St. Matthew Athletic Fields, Lucy Ragiel finally was cleared to compete for the Watterson girls cross country team.

She entered her freshman season this fall with an eye on breaking the program record of 18 minutes, 56 seconds.

Eclipsing that mark might take more time now with her being forced to pause her training for six weeks because of an injury, but Ragiel showed her potential in the league meet by turning in a runner-up finish in 20:21.7.

Ragiel battled fellow freshmen Mary McCallister of DeSales, who won in 20:21, and Piper Minninch of Hartley, who finished third in 20:21.8.

“I’m kind of surprised at my performance (in the league meet),” Ragiel said. “I’ve been out for six weeks with an injury and I was told I could run for sure (Oct. 14). I’ve been biking a lot and been aqua jogging in the water.”

Ragiel, who began competing in cross country in seventh grade, was hoping to run faster than 20 minutes when she and her teammates competed in the Division I, district 3 meet Oct. 24 at Hilliard Darby. The top six teams and top 24 individuals advanced to the regional meet Saturday, Oct. 31, at Pickerington North.

Watterson finished second (34 points) in the league meet behind DeSales (33) and ahead of Hartley (59) and Ready (113).

Ragiel was followed by juniors Chloe Demboski (sixth, 20:54.3) and Leah Hetteberg (seventh, 21:01.4), sophomore Eden Brush (ninth, 21:21.3), seniors Brooklyn Brush (10th, 21:25) and Averie Cunningham (14th, 22:05.6) and junior Marie Grassi (18th, 22:35.1).

“(Ragiel’s) only been back for (a few) days,” coach Matt McGowan said. “She was our No. 1 runner at the beginning of the year but didn’t do anything for about two to three weeks, then it’s been doing gradual stuff. She’s a gutsy runner.”

The boys team competed in the Division II, district 2 meet at Darby, where the top four teams and top 16 individuals advanced to regional.

Senior Will Garey was league runner-up in 16:13.9, followed by juniors Max Latshaw (third, 16:42), Cris Kubatko (fourth, 17:05), David Druhan (15th, 18:04.7), Max Hall (21st, 18:24.9) and Jake Vanausdle (22nd, 18:25.1) and sophomore Finn Kephart (23rd, 18:45.3).

Watterson was second (45) behind DeSales (44) and ahead of St. Charles (56), Hartley (94) and Ready (140). 

“Last year Will improved three minutes from his freshman year,” McGowan said. “He’s running well, him and Max both. Cris is our No. 3 guy and that’s the best I’ve seen him run all year (in the CCL meet), so that’s a nice improvement.”

Tyler Young's 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown helped spark Watterson to a 39-21 win over Hamilton Township on Oct. 16.

Young sparks football

team to playoff win

Senior Tyler Young's 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown helped spark the sixth-seeded football team to a 39-21 win over 11th-seeded Hamilton Township in its Division III, Region 11 playoff opener Oct. 16.

It was the first return score of Young’s career, although he’s had long returns before.

In a 25-20 victory over Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit in 2018, Young returned a kickoff 50 yards in the fourth quarter.

Both games were played at Ohio Dominican.

“I returned a 50-yarder as a sophomore but I got tackled by the kicker at the (37-yard line),” Young said. “I got made fun of for a while for that.”

The win over Hamilton Township was Watterson’s first postseason victory since 2015.

The Eagles improved to 4-3 and advanced to a regional quarterfinal Oct. 23 at third-seeded Thornville Sheridan, with the winner to play second-seeded Hartley or 10th-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley in a regional semifinal Friday, Oct. 30, at the home of the better-seeded team.

Tennis players end

season at district

The girls tennis team had three representatives in the Division I district tournament Oct. 15 at Reynoldsburg, including two who are eligible to return.

Freshman Sara Goodlive, who played first singles throughout the regular season as Watterson went 6-7 overall and won the CCL championship at 3-0, opened district with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Olentangy Orange’s Karol Korotkin before losing to Olentangy Liberty’s Dani Schoenly 6-0, 6-1 in a quarterfinal. Schoenly qualified for state for the fourth consecutive season and was district runner-up.

In doubles, the sister duo of senior Claire Hohlefelder and freshman Liz Hohlefelder lost to eventual district champion Ella Hazelbaker and Megan Basil of Upper Arlington 6-0, 6-0 in the first round.

Watterson’s other singles competitors at sectional Oct. 8 at Pickerington Central were senior Caroline Goodlive, who lost in a quarterfinal, and senior Isabella Roscoe, who lost in the first round.

In doubles at sectional, the Hohlefelder sisters finished fourth and sophomores Katherine Braidech and Reese Borland lost in a quarterfinal.

Sara Goodlive was the sectional runner-up and was first-team all-CCL along with Claire Hohlefelder and Caroline Goodlive.

Borland and Liz Hohlefelder were second-team all-league.

Senior Grace Orians and freshman Maddy Lynch were others in the program.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

GIRLS TENNIS

Record: 6-7 overall

CCL standings: Watterson (3-0), DeSales (2-1), Hartley (1-2), Ready (0-3)

Seniors lost: Caroline Goodlive, Claire Hohlefelder, Grace Orians and Isabella Roscoe

Key returnees: Reese Borland, Katherine Braidech, Sara Goodlive and Elizabeth Hohlefelder