The Hilliard Davidson High School boys track and field team put together the best season in program history a year ago, as the Wildcats captured their first league and Division I district championships.

The Hilliard Davidson High School boys track and field team put together the best season in program history a year ago, as the Wildcats captured their first league and Division I district championships.

Coach Jim Smith said his squad is looking to do even better this season considering that the majority of its major scorers have returned.

Davidson's boys and girls teams open Saturday, March 31, by playing host to the Wildcat Premier.

"We're coming off our best outdoor season and one of our best indoor seasons, and we have more returning state qualifiers than we've ever had," said Smith, who is in his 25th season. "Our goals are to win our conference and district again, and to try for our first regional championship. We just have to get into shape and stay healthy, and our top dogs have to push harder than they did last year."

Davidson is led by senior Jack Kincade, an Ohio State recruit.

The Wildcats have a deep sprinting corps that features seniors Chris Harris and Kincade, junior Seth Dawson and sophomores Phillipie Motley, Dametrius Clark and Damarcus Nelson.

Davidson also has several strong distance and middle-distance runners, including seniors Ryan Caully and Bill Carson, junior Anthony Caviolo, sophomore Garrett Knapik and freshmen Colin Burdette and Johnny McKeown.

Senior Jordan Weatherby, a Harvard football recruit, will compete in shot put and junior Tyler Anthony will compete in discus.

Harris and Nelson are Davidson's top long jumpers, senior Jordan Reid leads in the high jump and senior Brayden Myers competes in the pole vault.

Last season, the Wildcats scored 170.5 points to win the OCC-Central Division meet at home ahead of Dublin Coffman (158.5), Thomas Worthington (129.5), Hilliard Darby (96.5), Upper Arlington (49), Central Crossing (20), Worthington Kilbourne (19) and Westland (13).

Davidson scored 109 points to win the 15-team Division I, district 2 meet at Hilliard Bradley ahead of runner-up Watkins Memorial (70).

Motley helped score 40 points, as he won the 100 meters (11.23 seconds) and 200 (22.56), anchored the first-place 400 relay (43.01) and was the lead leg of the first-place 1,600 relay (3:24.65).

Kincade helped score 28 points, as he placed second in the 400 (49.83), ran the anchor leg of the 1,600 relay, ran the third leg of the second-place 3,200 relay (8:08.94) and finished seventh in the pole vault (12 feet).

The Wildcats scored 31 points to place seventh at regional at Pickerington North behind co-champions Thomas and Westerville North (37).

Nelson, 2011 graduate Derek Cox, Harris and Motley finished second in the 400 relay (43.1), and Motley, 2011 graduate Farah Abdi, Clark and Kincade placed fourth in the 1,600 relay (3:23.98).

Davidson didn't score in the state meet at Ohio State, as its 400 relay finished 10th (42.75) and 1,600 relay placed 14th (3:23.37).

"Dublin Coffman and Thomas Worthington will be very strong because they have good sprinters and a lot of good athletes, so we'll have some good competition in the OCC, as always," Smith said.

Girls team strong in distance races

As usual, Davidson's girls team is expected to thrive in the distance and middle-distance races with seniors Lauren Hoover and Caroline Hildebrand and sophomore Catherine Hildebrand leading the way.

Juniors Cassy Catlett, Maddie Gallagher and Lizzie Litzinger are the Wildcats' strongest sprinters, while senior Alex Bauer competes in shot put and discus, senior Brianna Rambadt and Gallagher compete in high jump, sophomore McKenzie Brown pole vaults and Gallagher leads in the long jump.

"We have some individuals who are going to do real well, especially in the distance races," seventh-year coach Matt Beatty said. "We only have 62 girls, which is down 20 from what we've had in the past, but the girls who are here really want to be a part of this team and are contributing."

Last year, the Wildcats scored 131 points to finish second in the OCC-Central meet behind Coffman (164.5) and ahead of UA (100), Darby (88), Thomas (84.5), Kilbourne (55), Central Crossing (26) and Westland (10).

Davidson scored 110 points to win the Division I, district 4 meet at Hamilton Township ahead of runner-up Pickerington North (108).

The Wildcats scored 46 points at regional to place third behind Reynoldsburg (88) and Coffman (66).

Taylor Brown, a 2011 graduate, won the pole vault by clearing a program- and meet-record 11-9 1/2, and graduate Jessica Hoover won both the 1,600 (4:59.38) and 3,200 (11:05.36).

Davidson scored 12 points to tie three other teams for 17th place at state behind champion Reynoldsburg (47).

Jessica Hoover finished second in the 1,600 (program-record 4:54.6) and placed 14th in the 3,200 (11:37.55).

Caroline Hildebrand finished 13th in the 3,200 (11:36.45) and Lauren Hoover, junior Elsa Saelens, Caroline Hildebrand and Jessica Hoover finished 14th in the 3,200 relay (9:32.22).