Led by senior Garrett Knapik and junior Colin Burdette, the Hilliard Davidson High School boys cross country team finished third in the 16-team Division I state meet Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway.
The Wildcats scored 154 points to finish behind Cincinnati St. Xavier (46) and Dublin Jerome (105). St. Xavier also won the title in 2012.
"It turned out almost exactly how everyone thought it would," coach Pat Schlecht said. "St. X is just a great team, no two ways about it. Jerome had been ahead of us all season, so we were in good company. We did about what we thought we would."
Knapik finished 15th of 145 runners in 15 minutes, 49.78 seconds and Burdette was 18th (15:57.86), as the top 25 earned all-state honors. Boardman's Mark Hadley won the state title in 15:10.63.
Also competing for the Wildcats were juniors Luke Hoover (59th, 16:32.29), Ryan Whitney (76th, 16:39.47) and Johnny McKeown (93rd, 16:51.18), sophomore Adam Hoover (121st, 17:25.59) and senior Spencer Schlecht (139th, 17:43.98).
It was the third consecutive state appearance for Davidson as a team. The Wildcats placed fourth in 2011 and fifth last season.
"Last year, we went out fast and faded so we got fifth place," coach Schlecht said. "This time, we tried to hold back a bit and then bring it on. We did that. There's a couple of places where we could've done better, but we're pretty OK with taking third."
Also competing at state were Bradley senior Eric McCabe, who finished 24th (16:05.07) to earn all-state honors, and Darby sophomore Danny Reynolds, who finished 64th (16:34.5).
McCabe bettered his ninth-place finish at regional Oct. 26 at Pickerington North by more than four seconds.
"He was on track to where he wanted to be throughout the race but just didn't have any closing speed," Bradley coach Jon Agriesti said. "He went 4:56 in the first mile and our goal was 4:55. He was in the top 30 at the mile and moved up to 23rd at the two-mile. He was all-state and we're happy about that and happy for him."
Davidson girls team finishes 10th at state
The Division I girls state meet didn't go as well as the local competitors had hoped.
Davidson finished 10th (240) of 16 teams and did not have anyone finish in the top 25 to make all-state and Bradley junior Tes Corea's time was significantly slower than her regional time.
Junior Lilly Saniel-Banrey led the Wildcats, finishing 32nd of 154 runners in 19:13.46, which was almost 11 seconds slower than what she ran at regional, where she placed fifth (19:02.89).
"I'm not happy about my race at all," Saniel-Banrey said.
"I wanted to be on the podium, but I just didn't run well. It was a combination of several small choices I made during the race that added up. I didn't compete when I should have, when girls I knew I had to run with were going past me. I got behind and it happened over and over again and I got too far back."
Also competing for the Wildcats were sophomores Jane Onders (57th, 19:29.69) and Lauren Erdman (100th, 20:06.18), senior Catherine Hildebrand (108th, 20:12.65), freshman India Johnson (111th, 20:15.81), junior Lindsey Ruff (145th, 21:03.84) and senior Jane Haines (154th, 22:20.52).
Mason (76) won the team title, well ahead of runner-up Beavercreek (107).
Entering state, Davidson coach Nathan King figured his team would finish anywhere between fifth and 10th. The Wildcats finished within five points of seventh-place Gahanna (235), eighth-place Oregon Clay (236) and ninth-place Macedonia Nordonia (238).
Canton GlenOak (244) was 11th.
"Four of our five scorers moved up from the two-mile mark to the finish, but our front end went out a little too fast," King said. "We competed well, but a No. 7 in front of your name looks a whole lot better than a No. 10, which is why we tell the girls even if they don't feel like they can win, if they all passed just one more runner, it matters in the end."
Corea finished 140th (20:44.87), well off the time she ran at regional when she placed 12th (19:27.34).
Darby did not have any state qualifiers.