Whetstone Roundup: Cross country teams sweep City League championships

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Whetstone's Thaine Nederveld won the boys championship in the City League cross country meet Oct. 15, finishing in 16:23.7.

The Whetstone boys and girls cross country teams set the standard for the City League this season, as both won championships in the league meet Oct. 15 while running on their home course.

The boys finished with 28 points to outdistance Linden-McKinley (34), Eastmoor Academy (68), Briggs (135), Mifflin (139), South (149) and Northland (154). The girls (21) placed ahead of Centennial (40) and Eastmoor (75). 

It was the second year in a row that the boys won the City title. The girls improved by one spot after finishing second behind Northland in 2019.

Also, the Braves had the individual boys and girls winners.

“I was extremely proud of both teams,” coach Joe Monda said. “They ran to win and were willing to get out of their comfort zone.” 

Thaine Nederveld won the 57-runner boys race in 16 minutes, 23.7 seconds after winning it in 16:53.7 in 2019.

“Our goal the whole year was to win the boys and girls championships at our City meet. We are very happy with that,” Nederveld said. “We won last year with the boys team, so we got our second win in a row. We’re trying to start a streak there.” 

Matthew Conroy finished second (17:13.6) and Wyatt Starkie placed fourth (17:24.2) for Whetstone, followed by Maitland Neff (11th, 18:45.3), Damian Earley (14th, 19:14), Oscar Ball (16th, 19:42.1) and Joshua Conroy (21st, 20:42.6). 

Whetstone's Jane Carney won the City League girls cross country championship Oct. 15, finishing in 23:05.1.

The girls were led by Jane Carney, who finished first (23:05.1) of 30 runners. Marisa Tayal finished third (23:27.7), followed by Ava Feller (fourth, 23:31.8), Ana Kain (ninth, 24:46.9), Ella Combs (10th, 24:47.2), Mia Kain (13th, 25:36.4), and Olivia Cobbs (14th, 25:52.1).  

Carney, a senior, said she was pleased with her performance considering this is her first year running cross country. 

“I’ve done track since my freshman year, but I’ve always had just other obligations in the fall,” Carney said. “And then because of everything that’s going on, suddenly everything I do in the fall was canceled and I was like ‘huh, I guess I’ll try another sport.’ 

“It was pretty exciting. I had no idea what to expect during the season and then our second or third meet I was like ‘I might be pretty good at this.’ ” 

Nederveld, a senior coming off his first appearance in the regional meet last season, entered the postseason hoping to reach the state meet. He finished 12th (16:19.7) in the Division I, district 3 meet last season and then placed 23rd (16:36.6) at regional.  

“I’m hoping to maybe get top five at district, but the meet I’m more looking forward to is regionals,” Nederveld said. “I was three places away from making it (to state) last year, but this year I’m running even faster. My whole goal is to make it to state.” 

The boys competed in the district 3 meet Oct. 24 at Hilliard Darby. The top six teams and runners not on a qualifying team who finished in the top 24 advanced to regional Saturday, Oct. 31, at Pickerington North.

Carney said she was hoping to make the most of her postseason experience. The girls competed in district 1, with the top five teams and runners not on a qualifying team who finished in the top 20 qualifying for regional.

“My biggest goal is I want to drop more time,” she said. “Competition is a lot fiercer at that level, so obviously if I move on that would be great, but I’m not really counting on it. So my first goal is to drop as much time as I can. If it’s going to be my last race I want it to be a good one.” 

Football team faces 

Briggs in City playoff 

The seventh-seeded football team played host to 10th-seeded Briggs on Oct. 23 in the first round of the four-week City League playoff, with the winner to face second-seeded Marion-Franklin on a date to be determined.

The City playoff opener was a rematch from the previous week. The Braves improved to 3-2 by defeating visiting Briggs 24-14 on Oct. 17 in a regular-season game. 

Darric McClinton accounted for most of the Braves’ scoring, as he carried 17 times for 154 yards and rushed for touchdowns of 3, 17 and 78 yards. He also caught one pass for 13 yards. 

Joren Clem added a 28-yard field goal. 

James Ferrell completed five of nine passes for 91 yards with an interception and rushed 11 times for 10 yards. Khristian Watkins-Sellers caught three passes for 64 yards and rushed six times for 13 yards. 

Briggs turned the ball over three times as Watkins-Sellers, Ismael Obas and Dean Raczkowski each had an interception in the fourth quarter. 

The Bruins dropped to 2-3.

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