Reynoldsburg Roundup: Boys runners keeping 'eyes on the prize'
The Reynoldsburg boys cross country team is getting on track after having what fourth-year coach Bill Crane considered a "slow start" to the season.
Five of the top seven runners from last year have returned for the Raiders, including senior Seth Davis after he placed 98th (16 minutes, 41.7 seconds) in the Division I state meet.
Davis and senior Mars Davis, who is not related to Seth and was the team's No. 3 runner last fall, give Reynoldsburg a strong duo as it looks to build on a season in which it advanced to regional as a team for the first time since 2011.
Among Seth Davis' goals are to run faster than 16 minutes and to battle for league and district titles.
After previously competing in the OCC-Ohio Division, the Raiders have moved to the OCC-Buckeye, where they are joined by Central Crossing, Groveport, Lancaster, Newark and Pickerington Central.
"We're all putting in more work than we've done last year," Seth Davis said. "The team this fall has a huge opportunity to perform exceptionally in meets if we keep our eyes on the prize and keep working hard. We need to stay consistent with what we've been doing and most importantly, take care of our bodies."
Seniors Emanuel Dejarnette and Dominic Sabo and junior Andrew Potter are other returnees.
Freshmen Jackson Powell and Alex Begeny also are key runners.
Reynoldsburg next competes Sept. 26 in the Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster.
"(It) really took awhile to get the kids back into the swing of things and we had a few early injuries," Crane said. "The past three weeks have gone really well. The kids are finally hitting their stride. The motto has been 'trust the process' the past few years. We've reached the point where it has become 'love the process.' The kids have really started to embrace this."
Moyer leading girls runners
Senior Avril Moyer has returned to lead the girls cross country team after finishing 98th (19:47.5) in last year's Division I state meet.
Moyer, who was the OCC-Ohio runner-up last fall, is a three-time regional qualifier who ran at state for the first time.
"The season has been going pretty great for the girls," Moyer said. "We've gotten a lot stronger both mentally and physically in the last year and I believe that we're going to do really well this season. Overall, the team has put a lot of work into working as a team and learning to love the process. The team has a lot of potential to do some big things this season and I'm really excited to see what we can do."
Freshman Emma Hinds has been the No. 2 runner, followed by junior Paige Castello.
Seniors Alyse Powell, Kristin Sheets and Macy Thompson and junior Abby Robinson are returnees.
According to Crane, the Raiders have set a goal of challenging Lancaster for the OCC-Buckeye title.
"The girls have had a very productive summer and early fall," Crane said. "They've really started to get the whole process. We see them pack running and starting to work towards training paces that will truly allow them to compete."
At a glance
*Coach: Bill Crane, fourth season
*Top athletes: Boys -- Alex Begeny, Mars Davis, Seth Davis, Emanuel Dejarnette, Andrew Potter, Jackson Powell and Dominic Sabo; Girls -- Paige Castello, Emma Hinds, Avril Moyer, Alyse Powell, Abby Robinson, Kristin Sheets and Macy Thompson
*Key losses: Boys -- Grant Boone and Wendesen King; Girls -- Bella Hutson-Comeaux
*2019 OCC-Ohio standings: Boys -- Pickerington North (33), Gahanna (36), Lancaster (78), Pickerington Central (104), Reynoldsburg (110), Grove City (173); Girls -- Gahanna (40), Lancaster (47), North (76), Central (92), Reynoldsburg (112), Grove City (172)
*2019 postseason: Boys -- Sixth at district, 15th at regional; Girls -- 12th at district