Local teams set for district
The Hilliard Davidson High School girls cross country team appears to be closing the gap between itself and Dublin Coffman.
The Wildcats scored 51 points in the OCC-Central Division meet Oct. 13 at Darby to finish second behind Coffman (43). Upper Arlington also scored 51 points but placed third as the Wildcats won the sixth-runner tiebreaker.
Olentangy Liberty (102) was fourth, followed by Thomas Worthington (107), Marysville (188) and Central Crossing (196). Westland did not have a team score.
"We beat (Coffman) in the Hot Summer Bash (on Sept. 1), but they got us at the Midwest Meet of Champions (Sept. 29)," coach Nathan King said. "But you don't put much stock in an early-season meet. We closed a bit in the OCC meet from the Midwest Meet of Champions. We're pleased with that, but we want to look at the big picture.
"You want to peak for the regional and state meet. That's when you want to be at full force and be ready to run your best. That's when all the training is in place."
In the Division I state poll last week, Coffman and Davidson were fifth and sixth, respectively, behind top-ranked Mason. The Shamrocks are the top seed in the district and the Wildcats are seeded second.
Davidson will compete in district 1 meet on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Watkins Memorial. Last season, the Wildcats won the district 3 and regional championships before finishing eighth at state.
The Bradley girls will compete in district 2 with Coffman, and the Darby girls will compete in district 3.
The top five teams and top 20 individuals in district 1 and 2 advance to the regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North. The top six teams and top 24 individuals in district 3 advance to regional.
Scoring for Davidson in the OCC-Central meet were Lauren Hoover (fourth, 18 minutes, 31.94 seconds), Lilly Saniel-Banrey (sixth, 18:32.3), Jane Onders (10th, 19:01.18), Elsa Saelens (11th, 19:11.3) and Catherine Hildebrand (20th, 19:54.12).
The Wildcats' sixth and seventh runners, Lindsey Ruff (24th, 19:59.76) and Jane Haines (25th, 20:00.01), finished ahead of UA's sixth runner, Kristen Seely (26th, 20:00.77).
"Lindsey Ruff and Jane Haines both ran tremendous races to help us beat UA," King said. "Six of our top seven (runners) had (personal records). It was our fastest team average by far this season. What we're seeing now is the youth on the team making big jumps."
Onders lowered her personal-best time by 30 seconds, according to King.
"She is a freshman who is progressing nicely," King said. "She's really starting to bridge the gap and give us a 1-2-3 punch instead of just a 1-2 punch with Hoover and Saniel-Banrey at the top. She just needs some confidence and she's starting to get more and more of it.
"We're starting to find that consistency that we haven't had in the past at the top of our lineup. We have two seniors (Hoover and Saelens) who used to pop a great time one week and then drop off the next week, but they've been more consistent and have been our backbone. Then there's (Saniel)-Banrey, who has gone from 19:30 last season to 18:30 this season."
Davidson captured the championship in the OCC-Central boys meet Oct. 13, scoring 26 points by posting five of the top-nine times. Liberty (39) was the runner-up, followed by Coffman (86), Thomas (128), UA (141), Marysville (142), Central Crossing (210) and Westland (226).
Colin Burdette finished first (15:18.44) to lead the Wildcats. Also scoring were Garrett Knapik (fourth, 15:39.37), Anthony Caviolo (sixth, 15:51.53), Johnny McKeown (eighth, 16:00.92) and Spencer Schlecht (ninth, 16:04.64).
The boys teams for Bradley, Darby and Davidson will compete in the Division I, district 2 meet on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Watkins Memorial. The top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to regional Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.
Last season, the Wildcats won the district 1 title, finished third at regional and placed fourth at state.