Big Walnut, Liberty girls advance to state showcase


By Ben Stroup - bstroup@aimmediamidwest.com



The Big Walnut girls cross country team is no stranger to racing on the state’s biggest stage.

The Golden Eagles advanced to the state showcase twice in the past — for the first time in 1979, then again in 2009.

This weekend, thanks to a fourth-place showing at Saturday’s regional championship meet at Pickerington North, they’ll get to do it again … this time in the big school division for the for the time in program history.

Big Walnut, thanks to a top-25 performance from Addie Zielinski (21:21.6), closed fourth with a score of 160.

Gianna Rose-Romosier (36th in 21:38.1) and Natalie Ghering (38th in 21:43.1) smoothed out the squad’s top three.

Olentangy Liberty also advanced to Saturday’s state meet at Memorial Park and Fortress Obetz, closing fifth in the regional race.

Sarah Gilbert paced the Patriots with a 27th-place performance (21:24.3). Julia Bockenstette and Madeline Pohmer were also steady, closing 34th (21:36.7) and 40th (21:46.1), respectively.

Olentangy Berlin’s Grace Heitkamp also kept her season alive, qualifying for the state meet as an individual thanks to an eighth-place showing (20:18.1) in Pickerington.

Saturday’s Division I state championship race is slated for 3 p.m.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

Olentangy Orange just missed out on qualifying for the upcoming state showcase as a team, finishing sixth at Saturday’s Division I regional championship meet at Pickerington North.

Only the top five teams — first-place Hilliard Davidson, Dublin Coffman, Lancaster, Dublin Jerome and Worthington Kilbourne — advanced, but that’s not to say the Pioneers won’t be represented when the state’s best compete on Saturday.

Sophomore standout Saketh Rudraraju will be there. He finished third among individuals with an effort of 16:55. Carter Giacomelli will be there, too, as he finished 20th in 17:32.8.

Olentangy Berlin and Olentangy also competed, finishing 13th and 14th, respectively.

Roman Corbett led the Braves, crossing the finish line 35th in 17:57.3. The Bears, meanwhile, got a boost from senior Calvin Davies, who finished his high school career with a 41st-place finish in 18:05.2

Big Walnut’s Gabe Ghering and Delaware Hayes’ Blake Frisch competed as individuals, finishing 77th (18:39) and 94th (19:04.3), respectively.

Saturday’s Division I state championship race is slated for 4 p.m.

Division II

Buckeye Valley’s Liam George and Andrew Suchland were in action at Saturday’s Division II regional championship meet in Pickerington, finishing 20th and 53rd, respectively.

George’s top-20 finish (18:00.5) earned him in a spot in Saturday’s state meet in Obetz.

Suchland crossed the line in 18:48.

The Division II state championship race is set to start at 1 p.m. Saturday in Obetz.

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By Ben Stroup

bstroup@aimmediamidwest.com