Girls Cross Country: Worthington Kilbourne 'excited to race,' push for state
The Worthington Kilbourne girls cross country team made history last season when it advanced to the Division I state meet for the first time.
Second-year coach Katherine Scocozzo hopes her team can repeat that success, although the Wolves are happy to even have a season because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
"We're definitely just excited to race," said Scocozzo, whose team finished 18th (392) of 20 teams at state behind champion Beavercreek (51). "I think we definitely would like to make it back to regionals and state, but I think right now we're just excited to have the opportunity to race and see what's out there."
Key runners include seniors Sylvia Long and Ella Brown, junior Riley Tate and sophomores Toby Bomser, Evelyn Ambler, Evelyn White and Rachael McCague.
Bomser finished 93rd (19 minutes, 44.3 seconds) of 183 runners at state, followed by Tate (119th, 20:02.1), Ambler (143rd, 20:24.2), Long (164th, 21:13.3) and White (179th, 22:19.2).
"We definitely have a young roster," Scocozzo said. "We were pretty freshman heavy last year, so now we're pretty sophomore heavy. But I think we're definitely gaining experience there. And if nothing else, we're really excited that we get to be running and that we get to race. And I think that's good news."
The Wolves opened Aug. 29 at the Pickerington North Classic, where they placed second (76) in their race by Dublin Jerome (61).
Bomser finished first (20:03.1) out of 131 runners and Tate was second (20:55.4), followed by Ambler (13th, 22:28.8), McCague (26th, 23:21.9) and White (41st, 24:31).
Kilbourne also competed in the Westerville North Classic on Sept. 5, finishing seventh (142) behind champion Canal Winchester (73). Bomser was fourth (19:48.5), followed by Tate (eighth, 20:15.3), Ambler (19th, 21:17.6) and McCague (48th, 22:22.9).
Cardinals aiming for return to state
After reaching the Division I state meet for the third time in four seasons, that again is the No. 1 goal for Thomas.
"The ultimate goal is to qualify for the state meet," said coach Andy Cox, who is in his 24th season. "That's what we're aiming to do this year. You put that on the calendar for a reason.
"The girls have worked extremely hard in some crazy conditions over the summer, and that's what they want to do."
The Cardinals lost Lydia Miller and Abby Moulton to graduation, but key returnees include seniors Morgan Edwards, Carina Napoleon and Naya Roebke and junior Lina Guerra.
Miller was the top finisher at state for the Cardinals, placing 24th (18:45.0), ahead of Napoleon (35th, 18:58.8), Guerra (152nd, 20:42.8), Moulton (155th, 20:50.0), Roebke (160th, 21:05.7) and sophomores Raiva Jha (169th, 21:31.5) and Annalie Steele (170th, 21:34.7).
The Cardinals finished 16th (375) at state after winning OCC-Cardinal Division and district titles and then finishing second (149) at regional behind Hilliard Davidson (36).
At the Pickerington North Classic on Aug. 29, Thomas finished first (49) of seven teams in their race, with Napoleon winning in 19:28.4 in a field of 117 runners.
She was followed by sophomore Karlie Fidler (eighth, 22:05.7), Edwards (10th, 22:06.8), sophomore Rosalie Smullen (13th, 22:25.8), Roebke (17th, 22:32.9), Guerra (19th, 22:33.5), Steele (23rd, 22:45), Jha (31st, 23.08.8), sophomore Natalie Laughman (36th, 23:36.6), junior Ella Fledderjohann (37th, 23:39.3) and freshman Sayer Mondrach (38th, 23:41.5).
At a glance
*Coach: Katherine Scocozzo, second season
*Top athletes: Evelyn Ambler, Toby Bomser, Ella Brown, Rachael McCague, Riley Tate, Sylvia Long and Evelyn White
*Key losses: Madeline Allen and Sasha Bomser
*2019 OCC-Cardinal standings: Thomas (51), Kilbourne (64), Olentangy Berlin (79), Hilliard Darby (91), Dublin Jerome (99), Dublin Scioto (161), Delaware (204), Hilliard Bradley (217)
*2019 postseason: Fourth at district, third at regional, 18th at state
*Coach: Andy Cox, 24th season
*Top athletes: Morgan Edwards, Karlie Fidler, Lina Guerra, Carina Napoleon, Naya Roebke and Rosalie Smullen
*Key losses: Lydia Miller, Abby Moulton and Cassidy Shaver
*2019 OCC-Cardinal standings: Thomas (51), Kilbourne (64), Berlin (79), Darby (91), Jerome (99), Scioto (161), Delaware (204), Bradley (217)
*2019 postseason: First at district, second at regional, 16th at state