Pacers claim first league crown since 1983


By Ben Stroup - [email protected]



Cali Kent and Aicha Tounkara finished fourth and fifth, respectively, at Saturday’s OCC-Capital Division championship, leading the Delaware Hayes girls cross country team to its first league championship since it won back-to-back titles in 1982 and ’83.

Kent closed forth among the 64 individuals in action, crossing the line in 19:51.7. Tounkara was right behind her, closing in 19:56. The Pacers, who took top honors with 49 points, also got top-20 showings from Julia Young (ninth in 20:24.9), Rowan Hering (11th in 20:40.2) and Abigail Boey (20th in 21:19.1).

Big Walnut finished a close second with 54 points while Worthington Kilbourne smoothed out the top three with 77. Westerville South (116), Westerville North (122), Canal Winchester (142) and Dublin Scioto (160) rounded out the scoring summary.

Leighia Kay led the Golden Eagles, finishing sixth overall in 20:07.6. Natalie Ghering and Zara Barton also finished in the top 10, closing eighth and 10th with respective efforts of 20:22.9 and 20:39.7.

OCC-Cardinal Division Championship

Olentangy Berlin’s Grace Heitkamp won an OCC title to highlight area runners at Saturday’s OCC-Cardinal Division championship race in Westerville.

Heitkamp took top honors in 18:38.9 — a mark more than 10 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.

Berlin finished fourth as a team while Olentangy closed sixth.

Bella Yandura (19th in 21:16.2) and Rebekah Lape (23rd in 21:42.9) were also steady for the Bears.

Lauren Petska, meanwhile, led the Braves. The sophomore finished 18th among individuals in 21:10.7.

OCC-Central Division Championship

Olentangy Liberty closed second with 61 points and Olentangy Orange finished fourth with 80 at Saturday’s OCC-Central Division championship in Newark.

The Pioneers’ Brooke Chapman led area runners, finishing second among individuals with a time of 18:55.2

The Patriots had three different runners finish in the top 10. Julia Bockenstette led the trio, finishing third in 18:55.3. Madeline Pohmer, meanwhile, was seventh (19:24.2) and Elena Aldrink closed 10th (19:35.8).

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

Big Walnut’s Gabe Ghering finished sixth overall in 16:16.8 and Hayes’ Luke Brown finished 12th in 16:44.8 to lead their respective teams at Saturday’s OCC-Capital Division championship in Westerville.

The Pacers, who also got solid contributions from Luke Todt (13th in 16:45.3) and Abe Thompson (38th in 17:48.8), finished sixth overall with 134 points.

The Golden Eagles, boosted by Ghering, Eli Lengl (ninth in 16:42.4) and Emil Stanford (14th in 16:49.6), were fifth with 119 points.

OCC-Cardinal Division Championship

Roman Corbett and Jason Rettinger finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to lead Olentangy to a second-place finish at Saturday’s OCC-Cardinal Division championship in Westerville.

Corbett finished in 16:25.1 while Rettinger was right behind him in 16:31.4.

Manas Tripathi (12th in 17:06.8), Ryan Morgan (15th in 17:12.6) and Hugh Jacobsmeyer (16th in 17:12.9) rounded out the Braves’ top five.

Olentangy Berlin was also in action, finishing fifth.

Cooper Citro led the Bears, finishing eighth in 16:43.9. Other Berlin standouts included Matthew Cool (14th in 17:08.4) and Eli Baxter (18thin 17:19).

OCC-Central Division Championship

Orange closed third with 49 points and Liberty finished fourth with 116 at Saturday’s OCC-Central championship in Newark.

Saketh Rudraraju and Matthew Schroff led the Pioneers, finished third and fourth with respective times of 15:51.8 and 16:02.1.

Hani Deen was the Patriots’ top finisher, closing 14th in 16:50.8.

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By Ben Stroup

[email protected]