The Hilliard Darby High School boys track and field team was trailing Pickerington North by 23 points heading into the running finals of the Division I district 2 meet last Saturday at Dublin Coffman after having a disappointing showing in several of the field events.

The Hilliard Darby High School boys track and field team was trailing Pickerington North by 23 points heading into the running finals of the Division I district 2 meet last Saturday at Dublin Coffman after having a disappointing showing in several of the field events.

But the Panthers came back to win their fourth consecutive district title with 111 points ahead of runner-up North (93) and 15 others.

"This is cool for the kids because our seniors have won a district championship every year they've been a part of this team," coach Jon Agriesti said. "We were really far behind North (35-12) because we didn't do as well as we hoped in the field events, but by the time we got to the 800 relay we pulled ahead and didn't look back. We had some hiccups, such as Iko Bako pulling his hamstring (May 20) and Taylor Pierron falling during the (300-meter hurdles), but our team was still strong enough to win."

Jay McKenna won the 1,600 (program-record 4 minutes, 17.25 seconds), Jordan Rispress won the 300 hurdles (39.23) and 110 hurdles (14.82) and Nate Scales was second in the 200 (22.83) and 100 (10.9).

Scales, Tony Nop, Richard Hammons and Sam Darling won the 400 relay (42.86) and Scales, Nop, Rispress and Hammons were second in the 800 relay (1:29.75).

"We told Jordan and Nate to cruise at district, knowing they've got tougher races coming up at regional," Agriesti said. "They were still workhorses who scored enough points to help us win."

Darby is competing in the regional, which began last Wednesday and will conclude Friday at Pickerington North. The top four in each event will advance to the state meet June 5-6 at Ohio State.

The Panthers won their only regional title in 2006.

"Gahanna is going to be our best competition at regional because they've got some big-point potential from Blake Heriot in the sprints and (Herman Washington) in the hurdles," Agriesti said. "We've got some big-point potential, too, so it's going to be a dogfight."

•The Davidson girls team was first (120) in the 15-team Division I district 2 meet last Saturday at Coffman ahead of runner-up Mount Vernon (82.5) for its first district title.

"Our school has been around since the 1950s and our program has been around since 1975, and this is the first time we've ever won a district title in boys or girls track, so this is a big deal," coach Matt Beatty said. "It was a surreal feeling during the bus ride home. We were all looking at each other and smiling."

Brittany Cheese won the 100 hurdles (program-record 14.56) and 300 hurdles (program-record 43.83) and was second in the long jump (17 feet, 6 inches) and 100 (12.48).

Tori Brink won the 800 (program-record 2:16.46) and 1,600 (5:14.36), was third in the 3,200 (11:55.19) and was on the winning 3,200 relay (9:43.9).

"Tori was an iron man (last Saturday) running the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 in 80-degree temperatures with the sun beating down on the track," Beatty said. "Brittany and Tori scored a lot of points like we expected, but what helped us the most was we scored a lot of points in events where we weren't expecting to score, such as the high jump, shot put and pole vault. We also had a second person score in the 800, 3,200, long jump and 1,600 to make this a lopsided win."

The Wildcats are competing in the Division I regional, which began last Wednesday and will conclude Friday at North.

"We're hoping to give Reynoldsburg a fight, but they're loaded, and if we can't compete with them, a top-three finish at regional would be nice," Beatty said.

•The Darby girls team was sixth (64) in Division I district 2.

Shanee' Jackson won the long jump (18-6). Xerina Hughey was second in the 100 hurdles (14.68) and third in the 300 hurdles (45.89). She joined Mackenzie Gill, Jackson and Caitlyn Rack to finish third in the 800 relay (1:44.01) and Gill, Lauren McCabe and Briana Rispress to place fourth in the 1,600 relay (4:05.76).

"Xerina ran real well in the 100 hurdles and both relays, and she was tired by the time she ran the 300 hurdles," coach Thom Nees said. "Making it to regional in four events is a great accomplishment. Shanee' had one of her best jumps of the year, too."

•The Davidson boys team was sixth (56.5) in 15-team Division I district 3 behind champion Big Walnut (107).

Yoshi Shimizu stumbled to the ground during the 1,600 on the way to finishing ninth (4:35.65), but bounced back to win the 3,200 (9:48.57) ahead of Coffman's John Kieffer (9:50.74).

Shimizu, Austin Shafer, Anthony Boyd and Josh Brown were third (8:06.5) in the 3,200 relay behind Reynoldsburg (7:58.89) and Coffman (8:03.33).

"Yoshi got caught in a tight groove during the first lap and he stumbled and was pushed to the ground," coach Jim Smith said. "When that happened, we told him to save his energy for the 3,200 because that's his better race, and he jogged the rest of the way. The upside is Anthony Boyd finished fourth in the 1,600 (4:26.24) and he might not have made it if Yoshi ran a great time. For regional, the only thing that matters is finishing top four to qualify to state."

At a glance

Below are the regional qualifiers for the Darby and Davidson boys and girls track and field teams with district event, place and time/distance/height:

DARBY

Boys -- Tyler McIntosh: high jump (second, 6-7); 1,600 relay: Sam Darling, Denton Thompson, Taylor Pierron, Jordan Rispress (fourth, 3:26.36); Nate Scales: 200 (second, 22.83), 100 (second, 10.9); Thompson: 800 (fourth, 2:00.32); Rispress: 300 hurdles (first, 39.23), 110 hurdles (first, 14.82); Darling: 400 (second, 49.57); 400 relay: Tony Nop, Richard Hammons, Scales, Darling (first, 42.86); Jay McKenna: 1,600 (first, 4:17.25); 800 relay: Nop, Rispress, Hammons, Scales (second, 1:29.75); 3,200 relay: Thompson, Matt Hopke, Jean-Paul Poullet, McKenna (second, 8:13.39); Girls -- Xerina Hughey: 300 hurdles (third, 45.89), 100 hurdles (second, 14.68); Shanee' Jackson: long jump (first, 18-6); 1,600 relay: Hughey, Mackenzie Gill, Lauren McCabe, Briana Rispress (fourth, 4:05.76); Caitlyn Rack: 200 (third, 26.24); Linley Mescher: 800 (fourth, 2:21.11); Gill: 400 (fourth, 59.46); 800 relay: Hughey, Gill, Jackson, Rack (third, 1:44.01)

DAVIDSON

Boys -- Yoshi Shimizu: 3,200 (first, 9:48.57); Anthony Boyd: 1,600 (fourth, 4:26.24); 3,200 relay: Austin Shafer, Boyd, Josh Brown, Shimizu (third, 8:06.5); Brian Graham: pole vault (second, 13-6); Spencer Delande: long jump (second, 20-11 1/4); Girls -- Brittany Cheese: 100 hurdles (first, 14.56), long jump (second, 17-6), 300 hurdles (first, 43.83), 100 (second, 12.48); Jessica Hoover: 3,200 (second, 11:45.55); Tori Brink: 3,200 (third, 11:55.19), 800 (first, 2:16.46), 1,600 (first, 5:14.36); Heather Coonfare: 800 (second, 2:19.72); Bridget Onders: 1,600 (third, 5:23.37); 3,200 relay: Coonfare, Onders, Hoover, Brink (first, 9:43.9); Aida Tahiraj: pole vault (fourth, 9-6); Alex Blackmon: shot put (third, 34-9)