Last season, Hilliard Davidson High School girls cross country coach Jennifer Maurer knew she was cutting it close between the day she would give birth to her son, Andrew, and the final day of the season.

Last season, Hilliard Davidson High School girls cross country coach Jennifer Maurer knew she was cutting it close between the day she would give birth to her son, Andrew, and the final day of the season.

She made it through the Division I state meet Nov. 3 -- where Tori Brink and Kaci Crook competed, finishing 51st (19 minutes, 35.31 seconds) and 46th (19:28.78) -- and also the awards ceremony, which was Nov. 6.

But in the early morning of Nov. 7, she went into labor, and Feb. 28, nearly four months later, she announced her newborn son as the main reason she was stepping down as coach.

Around the same time, long-term sub Emily Holliday took a position as an assistant coach with track and field team, helping out with the distance runners, and May 29 she landed the position as the next girls cross country coach.

Maurer's initial plan was to take six weeks off and return to teaching and coaching cross country, but after spending time with Andrew and realizing the care he needed, she chose not to come back for the rest of the year. She then decided she would take the 2008-2009 school year off as well and also would not coach cross country.

"(My husband David and I) hadn't talked about it for sure," Maurer said. "But once we had (Andrew), he was a bit needy in the beginning. I felt it was important to be home, and I didn't want to miss all of his firsts."

Holliday graduated in 2007 from Huntington University, where she ran cross country and track. She set the school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time (11:31.2) that qualified her for the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Fresno, Calif. She graduated from Van Wert in 2003, helping its cross country team reach the Division II state meet in 2001 and 2002.

"I am very passionate about running and I'm definitely just ready to shift the focus off of myself," Holliday said. "For so long, I've just focused on myself and my own running. I'm ready to focus on the girls."

Holliday will be taking over a team which lost four runners who helped the team qualify to the regional.

But Brink is expected to return next season, and she has been the team's strongest runner since entering the program as a freshman. Davidson qualified to state as a team that year and then Brink competed alone at state as a sophomore.

Brink and senior Bridget Onders are the lone holdovers from the team that competed at state in 2005. Also expected to return from last year's postseason team are sophomores Aubrey Gilliland and Jessica Hoover.

Davidson was eliminated from the postseason at the regional meet Oct. 25, finishing sixth (151 points) as the top four teams advanced to state.

The Wildcats were second (81) behind Thomas Worthington (62) at district and finished third (49) in the OCC-Buckeye meet behind Dublin Coffman (32) and Upper Arlington (45).