Columbus Academy Roundup: Regan Cornelius leaves mark on multiple programs

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Regan Cornelius is winding down stellar careers in field hockey and cross country with Columbus Academy. The senior, who also competes in track and field, has committed to play field hockey at Northwestern.

Winding down her time at Columbus Academy, Regan Cornelius hopes to close her prep career with continued success in three sports at the state level.

Cornelius has helped the field hockey team win back-to-back state titles. A midfielder, she scored the game-winning goal on a penalty stroke in last season’s 1-0 victory over Shaker Heights in the state final.

This fall, the senior hopes the team can capture its third consecutive state championship and 13th overall.

“This team has potential,” Cornelius said. “We’ve really bonded super well this season, especially with everything going on with COVID. We all have that feeling that it could end any day, so everyone is really ready to give it their all.”

When she isn't playing field hockey, it's a good bet Cornelius will be running for coach Denny Hammond’s girls cross country team. Last fall in the Division II state meet, she was 69th of 176 runners in 20 minutes, 3.7 seconds.

“It’s definitely tough sometimes (competing in two fall sports), but everyone does a really good job about being accommodating and both teams are super supportive,” said Cornelius, who has aspirations of returning to state this season.

Cornelius also competes for Hammond on the girls track and field team in the spring.

She may be only 5 feet tall, but Cornelius' effort and desire can't be measured by her height. She has been playing field hockey since she was 11 years and was a figure skater before that.

“I’m definitely pretty competitive,” Cornelius said. “Everyone in my family plays sports. ... Field hockey was a fun thing I picked up because I really didn’t have anything to do at the moment and I ended up falling in love with the sport.”

Cornelius’ mother, Gretchen, was an All-American swimmer at Ohio University. She graduated in 1992.

“(Regan) plays with the heart of a lion,” field hockey coach Anne Horton said. “When people get after it, she just gets madder and plays harder. She shows what it takes to be successful and hopefully others can emulate that.”

Academy was 12-1 overall and 4-1 in the COFHL-East Division before playing Granville on Oct. 8.

The Vikings defeated New Albany 4-0 on Oct. 6 behind two goals from Sarah Klingerman and one each from Cornelius and Charlotte Adams.

The game was extra special for Cornelius, whose sister, Paige, is a freshman midfielder for the Eagles.

“I’ve never played against her, (so) this was our one chance,” Regan said. “I’m sure there will be some bragging rights.”

Cornelius has earned recognition in all three sports, including being named second-team all-American as a junior and third-team All-American as a sophomore in field hockey.

Through 13 games this year, she had 17 goals and 10 assists for the season and 61 goals and 39 assists for her career.

She credits Horton and Hammond for her success at Academy.

“Four years with (Horton), it’s going to be weird to graduate from the high school environment and move on to college,” Cornelius said. “Coach Hammond and I have a great relationship and I ended up sticking with (cross country and track). I’ve made some great friends through it.”

As a sophomore in track, Cornelius joined Samantha Kass, Annalise Grammel and Hannah Clay in setting a program record (4 minutes) while finishing third in the 1,600-meter relay in the Division III state meet.

Cornelius’ junior season in track was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s been pretty dynamic to watch her compete in both field hockey and cross country and find excellence with both,” Horton said. “She’s certainly left her mark on the program and within the state itself. We feel very fortunate to have had her as part of our identity for the past four years.”

Cornelius selected her college early on at Academy, committing as a freshman to play field hockey at Northwestern. She plans to pursue a degree in a cognitive science area with hopes of eventually landing a job in a medical-related field.

“I always knew that I wanted to go to an academic school that would challenge me, but I also knew that I wanted to play in a large conference (such as the) Big Ten (or) ACC, and I love the city of Chicago,” Cornelius said. “I just really felt at home with the program and the coaches. I just knew it would end up being a really good fit.”

Girls tennis team

qualifies for state

The girls tennis team earned its fourth consecutive Ohio Tennis Coaches Association state team tournament berth with a 3-1 win over Wellington in a Division II district final Oct. 5 at home.

Winners for Academy were Sydni Ratliff 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, Anna Chang 6-3, 6-1 at second singles and Arya Chabria 6-0, 6-1 at third singles.

The Vikings will compete in a state semifinal Oct. 25 at Reynoldsburg.

Academy, which  won the MSL-Ohio title at 7-0, improved to 15-1 overall with a 3-2 win over Division I Dublin Coffman on Oct. 6.

Winners for the Vikings were Yasemin Bilgin 6-1, 6-1 at third singles, Grace Philip and Chabria 7-5, 6-2 at first doubles and Naomi Chen and Emily Motta 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 at second doubles.

Durell Moultrie and the Columbus Academy football team will open the Division V, Region 19 playoffs Saturday, Oct. 17, with a second-round home game. The Vikings are 5-1 overall and won the MSL-Ohio Division title at 5-0.

Girls golf team

competes at district

In just its second season, the girls golf team competed in its first Division II district tournament Oct. 5 at Darby Creek.

The Vikings finished second (374) in the six-team tournament behind Columbus School for Girls (364), which advanced to state Friday, Oct. 16, and Saturday, Oct. 17, at Ohio State's Gray Course.

Sophomore Grace Luo led Academy with an 83, followed by sophomore Eva Baker (94), freshman Angela Hu (96) and sophomores Eliza Freytag (101) and Morgan Crain (105).

Newark Catholic’s Anna Crumrine (79) earned the district tournament's only individual berth to state.

Freshman Morgan Richards also is eligible to return.

Academy went 12-3 in the MSL-Ohio to finish second behind CSG (15-1).

Luo and Baker were first-team all-league, Freytag and Hu were second-team all-league and Crain was honorable mention all-league.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

GIRLS GOLF

MSL-Ohio standings: Columbus School for Girls (15-1), Academy (12-3), Bexley and Worthington Christian (both 5-11), Buckeye Valley (2-13)

Seniors lost: None

Key returnees: Eva Baker, Eliza Freytag, Angela Hu and Grace Luo

Postseason: Second (366) at sectional behind CSG (346), second (374) at district behind CSG (364)