Saturday kicks off the stretch run of the cross country season, as leagues hold their championship meets.
In the City League, Collins Park is the site as the Start boys and Rogers girls look to defend their team titles.
Last season Start edged runner-up Bowsher 32-43 for the boys crown, despite a first-place individual finish by the Rebels’ Tom Heckman, who is a senior this year.
The Rogers girls outpointed second-place Bowsher 40-53. The CL boys race starts at 9 a.m., and the girls run at 9:45 a.m.
St. Francis de Sales is favored to repeat its Three Rivers Athletic Conference team championship, while Clay appears poised to unseat girls champion Notre Dame at Walsh Park in Fremont.
St. Francis easily topped runner-up Findlay 34-75 a year ago and, although individual champion Kyle Lach has graduated, the Knights retain a talented lineup which includes juniors David St. John , Jason White and Jacob Baugh, seniors Daniel Siebenaller and Ryan Maraldo, and sophomore Mitch Kaiser.
Clay, which was edged 47-49 by Notre Dame last year, is led by the defending individual girls champion, senior Erin Gyurke, and sophomore Haley Hess.
The TRAC girls race begins at 10:10 a.m., and the boys start at 11 a.m.
The Northern Lakes League meet returns to Anthony Wayne where last year Northview swept the boys and girls titles.
The Wildcat boys easily topped second-place Perrysburg 23-67, and the girls posted a 35-67 margin over runner-up Napoleon.
Northview’s boys may have a better shot at repeating because Perrysburg’s girls enter as Ohio’s sixth-ranked Division I team.
The girls race starts at 11:20 a.m., the boys at noon.
In the Northern Buckeye Conference at Fostoria, the girls race is at 10:30 a.m., and the boys at 11:40 a.m.
The Otsego boys and Eastwood girls look to defend titles. Last year Otsego clipped runner-up Elmwood 45-71, while Eastwood edged Elmwood 36-43.
Otsego’s Brandon Avers, now a junior, won the 2012 individual crown, and Eastwood’s Maddy Jackson, now a senior, was the girls winner.
Maumee Bay State Park is the location for the Toledo Area Athletic Conference meet, at which Toledo Christian’s boys and girls look to defend their crowns.
The Eagles boys beat runner-up Cardinal Stritch 37-55 in 2012, and the TC girls topped second-place Gibsonburg 28-44, paced. The girls race will begin at 11 a.m., and the boys run at 11:40 a.m.
The Northwest Ohio Athletic League meet will be held at Evergreen, where the Bryan boys and Liberty Center girls look to defend.
Wauseon’s Quintin Reiser was the 2012 boys winner, and Liberty Center’s Brittany Atkinson placed first in the girls race before leading the Tigers to their second straight Division III state championship.
The girls race is at 10 a.m., and the boys follow at 10:40.
Green Bears aim for state title
Since Ben Silverman joined the Ottawa Hills golf team as a freshman in 2010, either he or the Green Bears, or both, have been knocking on the door of a Division III state championship.
Friday and Saturday, Silverman and his teammates will have another shot at team and individual titles as the Green Bears compete in the D-III state tournament at the Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course in Columbus.
Coach Jim McGill’s Ottawa Hills team appears to have a solid shot at contending.
“We are more concerned with the process and what we have to do to get it done,” McGill said. “Beyond that, hopefully the rest will take care of itself. We’d like to bring back a title for northwest Ohio, the Ottawa Hills community, and particularly these kids.”
The Bears’ winning score of 312 from last week’s district at Stone Ridge in Bowling Green was the lowest qualifying score of the 12 teams who earned berths in the D-III state field.
Silverman, whose nine-hole average is below 35 on the season, led the Green Bears in district play with a 72, followed by junior Matt Abendroth (74), sophomore Michael Denner (81), and senior R.J. Coil (82). Senior Ben Dayton’s 86 was not counted in the team scoring, but reflected Ottawa Hills’ balance and depth.
In 2010, Ottawa Hills was the state team runner-up, and Silverman’s team-low, two-round total of 164, placed him 13th individually at state. In 2011, the Green Bears did not qualify as a team, but Silverman gained an individual berth and shot 160 to place fourth.
Last year, Ottawa Hills was fourth in the state team standings, led by Silverman’s seventh-place score (154).
Ottawa Hills won state team titles in 1974 and 1982 (both Class A), and twice has had an individual state medalist.
The first was Silverman’s father, Judd, the longtime director of the LPGA’s Jamie Farr Toledo Classic (now Marathon Classic), who shot 155 in 1973. The other was Justin Kruse, who shot 139 to earn Division III medal honors in 2000.
Van Buren also made the D-III state field. The Black Knights, who shot 330 at district, won a Class A state team title in 1984, and a Division III crown in 1990.
This year’s Van Buren lineup includes seniors Sawyer Junge, Jimmy Irving, Zach Hiris, and Mac Williams, and sophomore Cole Ohlrich.
Woodmore junior Alex Gedert, who shot 77 at district, qualified for the D-III state tourney as an individual.
Qualifying for the girls Division II state tournament as an individual was Lakota junior Makayla Dull, who shot a 72 at district. She will compete at the OSU Gray Course.
Liberty-Benton’s Jared Neiling qualified for the Division II boys tournament at the North Star Resort in Sunbury.
Berths in next week’s state singles and doubles tournaments in Columbus and Hilliard will be up for grabs Saturday at the Division I and II district tennis tournaments at Bowling Green State University’s Keefe Courts.
In D-I, which begins today at BGSU, sectional champions Megan Miller, a senior from Northview, and Nina Eid, a junior from Notre Dame, are in separate brackets and would not meet until Saturday’s championship match, if both advance.
Where Miller has remained in No. 1 singles all season for the Wildcats, Eid was a No. 3 player for the Eagles. Notre Dame’s regular No. 1 and 2 singles players — junior Teagan McNamara and sophomore Alicia Nahhas — entered the tournament in doubles, advanceing to the district as sectional champions.
The other D-I district doubles teams who won sectional titles include Clay seniors Jennifer Belkofer and Emilie Roman, Perrysburg junior Erica Fastnacht and sophomore Sarah Fastnacht, and Anthony Wayne seniors McKenzie Krieg and Madison Smith.
In Division II, which began with first-round and quarterfinal matches Wednesday, Maumee Valley senior entered as a sectional singles champion, as did the Ottawa Hills doubles team of junior Megan Healy and sophomore Kelsy Berry.
St. Ursula and Notre Dame will meet for the Three Rivers Athletic Conference volleyball championship at about 8 p.m. today at St. Ursula. Their match will begin 20 minutes following the conclusion of the 6 p.m. third-place match between Findlay and Clay.
The Arrows (20-0), Ohio’s top-ranked Division I team, advanced with a 3-0 victory over Clay in Monday’s semifinals, and Notre Dame got there with a 3-0 win over Findlay.
During the regular-season, the Arrows beat the host Eagles 19-25, 25-14, 25-21, 25-12. That Game 1 loss to Notre Dame was one of only five games St. Ursula has dropped all season in the 61 games played in its 20 matches.
TRAC, NLL boys titles decided
With its 5-0 victory Tuesday over St. Francis, St. John’s won an outright Three Rivers Athletic Conference boys soccer championship. The Titans (11-2-2 overall, 7-0-0 TRAC) have a nonconference game remaining at Southview tonight, and open Division I sectional play Oct. 17 against Start. St. Francis (8-3-2, 6-1-0) has concluded its regular season, and the Knights play Waite Tuesday in the sectional.
The Northern Lakes League will have co-champions after Northview closed league play with a 3-0 win Tuesday over Napoleon, and Anthony Wayne defeated Southview 5-0. Northview (11-3-2) ended with a 6-1-0 NLL record to tie the Generals (13-0-3), who closed at 5-0-2 in league play. Northview’s lone league loss was at AW, 2-1, on Oct. 1. The Generals’ NLL ties were 1-1 at Perrysburg and 0-0 at Springfield.
Northview concludes the regular season today at Findlay, and AW looks to complete an unbeaten regular season Saturday at home against Westerville North. The Wildcats play Oct. 17 against the winner of the Whitmer/Southview sectional semifinal. Anthony Wayne opens sectional play Oct. 17 against Clay.