Cross Country: Worthington Kilbourne's Toby Bomser learned lessons running at state
Worthington Kilbourne sophomore Toby Bomser continues to set the bar higher as she progresses through her cross country career.
After placing 93rd (19 minutes, 44.3 seconds) in the Division I state meet last season, Bomser finished 46th (19:15.5) of 176 runners as Kilbourne’s lone representative at state Nov. 7 at Fortress Obetz.
She qualified for state by finishing 16th (19:44.7) in the regional meet Oct. 31 at Pickerington North.
“Although it is hard to gain motivation at the state meet since it is the last race of the season and I was the only team member to run this year, I did a good job pushing myself to get out fast,” Bomser said. “A takeaway for next year is to go into some of my races with no expectations and just see what unfolds.”
Coach Katie Scocozzo said she was impressed with Bomser for earning a second state appearance in as many seasons.
“We were so excited to see Toby make it back to the state meet this year and she truly ran a great race,” Scocozzo said. “Before the race we talked about getting out early to not get blocked in and she did just that. She ran a strong, confident race and we are very proud of her.”
Bomser, who earned first-team all-league honors in the OCC-Capital Division this season, hopes for a top-30 finish next year at state.
“This race I learned some new strengths and weaknesses from approaching my race differently, and also got rid of some stress that sometimes has a negative effect on the race,” she said.
Junior Riley Tate also was first-team all-league for the Wolves girls team, and sophomore Evelyn Ambler was second-team all-league.
“Despite the slow start to the season, added stress, being remote then hybrid (with school) and much smaller meets and varying degrees of competition, the girls trained hard and pulled through,” Scocozzo said. “They ran many personal bests or were very close to them, which is amazing under the circumstances.”
Silliman runs at state
for Thomas boys team
Senior Noah Silliman experienced the Division I state meet last season when the Thomas boys cross country team qualified as a group.
This year, Silliman went on his own as an individual qualifier after leading the Cardinals at regional, where he placed 19th (16:37.0).
At state, Silliman finished 84th (16:45.5) of 177 runners, wrapping up a season in which he earned first-team all-league honors in the OCC-Cardinal.
“I wasn't incredibly happy with my state race this year,” he said. “I got out in a good spot and then slipped back a lot of places through the majority of the race. It wasn’t my day, and I think I had a lot more to give, unfortunately.
“One thing I learned is how much I missed having my team there. They’re such great guys and I really missed having them there after working together the whole season to get there.”
Last year at state, Silliman was 93rd in 16:39.5.
“It wasn’t the result he wanted (Nov. 7), but we are so proud of him and his development as a runner,” coach Bill Darling said. “He ended his (season) where he belonged — at the state meet, running against the best.”
Senior Wesley Horton also earned first-team all-league honors. Junior Ben Smith was second-team all-league.
“Overall, we were thrilled with our team's performance this year,” Darling said. “In the beginning, I didn’t think this team had a shot at going to state, but we went into the regional with a plan and had every intention of making it to Fortress Obetz.
“It didn’t work out for us, but the fact that we were going after it until the end is a testament to how hard these kids worked.”
Thomas girls team
grateful for season
Coach Andy Cox said the Thomas girls cross country team was happy it had the opportunity to compete.
The Cardinals, who had qualified for the state meet in three of the past five seasons, reached the regional level this fall.
“As a program, we were truly concerned that we may not have a season,” Cox said. “To have athletes actually compete this season was simply amazing. As always, I loved seeing our athletes grow individually with many establishing career personal records. Indeed this was not the season we wanted, but we are excited for the future.”
The Cardinals will lose six seniors. Expected key returnees include sophomores Rosalie Smullen, Natalie Laughman, Raiva Jha and Carly Fidler and freshmen Caroline Murphy and Sayer Mondrach.
Kilbourne boys team
excited for the future
Kilbourne boys cross country coach Josh Stegman said he is excited for the future after a younger cast of runners exceeded expectations.
“This group is confident, hardworking and already starting to work toward next year's goals by starting offseason training for track season in the spring,” Stegman said. “This is a special group that I am incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with.”
The Wolves had several young contributors, including freshman Steven Miller, who won the OCC-Capital meet Oct. 17 at Westerville North in 16:18.6.
Freshman Ryan Smith also was first team all-league, while freshman A.J. Hawkins earned second-team all-league honors.
The Wolves had their season end at regional and lose 13 seniors.
Other key expected returnees include juniors Luke Miller and Jackson Pinschenat and freshmen Stephen Tice and Levi Knuth.
•OCC-Capital standings: Boys — Dublin Scioto (32), Kilbourne (54), Westerville North (90), Canal Winchester (91), Delaware (118), Big Walnut (148), Westerville South (151); Girls — Scioto (63), Canal Winchester (79), Big Walnut (97), North and South (101), Kilbourne (107), Delaware (113)
•Seniors lost: Boys — Elijah Alpern, Zach Bailey, Will Bartram, Luke Compton, George Fang, Mark Fong, Isaiah Johnson, Sean Kim, Kieran Maloney, Saahib Mohammed, Riley Najera, Cole Niemantsverdriet and Brian Strickland; Girls — Ella Brown and Sylvia Long
•Key returnees: Boys — A.J. Hawkins, Levi Knuth, Luke Miller, Steven Miller, Jackson Pinschenat, Ryan Smith and Stephen Tice; Girls — Evelyn Ambler, Toby Bomser, Rachel McCague, Riley Tate and Evelyn White
•Postseason: Boys — Fifth (110) at district behind champion Hilliard Davidson (27), 14th (290) at regional behind champion Davidson (57); Girls — Fifth (125) at district behind champion Davidson (19), 12th (293) at regional behind champion Davidson (42)
•OCC-Cardinal standings: Boys — Dublin Jerome (31), Thomas (63), Olentangy Berlin (65), Olentangy (86), Hilliard Darby (117), Marysville (148); Girls — Jerome (45), Berlin (73), Marysville (77), Darby (78), Thomas (113), Olentangy (129)
•Seniors lost: Boys — Justin Darling, Macario Etienne, Wesley Horton, Victor Nash, Noah Silliman and David Young; Girls — Peyton Bowers, Morgan Edwards, Grace Hamor, Hannah Innes, Carina Napoleon and Naya Roebke
•Key returnees: Boys — Ben Smith, Sam Caine, Owen Hedberg and Ethan Morgan; Girls — Carly Fidler, Raiva Jha, Natalie Laughman, Sayer Mondrach, Caroline Murphy and Rosalie Smullen
•Postseason: Boys — Third (126) at district behind champion Lancaster (91), eighth (227) at regional behind champion Davidson (57); Girls — Fourth (170) at district behind champion Dublin Coffman (55), 17th (379) at regional behind champion Davidson (42)