Donning her cap and gown and a championship medal around her neck, Hilliard Davidson High School girls track and field standout India Johnson proudly stood atop the podium after winning the 3,200 meters at the Division I regional meet May 26 at Pickerington North.
Moments afterward, the senior made her way to Ohio State's Schottenstein Center for Davidson's graduation.Video •Davidson senior India Johnson receives her diploma after winning the 3,200 meters in the Division I regional meet May 26 at Pickerington North.
Johnson won the 3,200 in 10 minutes, 46.23 seconds, pulling away from the field in the final two laps to qualify for the state meet Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 3, at Ohio State.
Earlier in the day, Johnson won the 1,600 (4:52.64), as the top four finishers in each regional event advanced to state.
"I was looking forward to this," Johnson said of the regional meet. "I haven't really been able to have some really great competition and I'm glad that I finally got that opportunity. I'm really looking forward to having that (this) week, too."
On May 24 at regional, Johnson teamed with Sophie Lewis, Sydney Petersen and Ellie Tighe to finish third in the 3,200 relay (9:20).
"This is her world and I'm just a part of it," coach Matt Beatty said of Johnson. "I'm just grateful for the opportunity to live in it."
Johnson also qualified for state in both the 3,200 and 1,600 last season but opted to compete only in the 3,200, winning the state title in a program-record 10:29.8. She said she would decide this week which event she would run this year, but Beatty indicated there was a chance she would compete in both.
"Nothing would surprise me," Beatty said. "We'll look at the odds and see what happens in the other regions, who goes where and what our options are. She accomplished something in the two-mile last year and now she has an opportunity to end her season and maybe go for a double."
Lewis, a sophomore, shaved 16 seconds off her personal-best time in the 3,200 to finish sixth (11:12.07).
Also competing at regional were the 800 relay of Lydia Baumgartner, Klaire Kazmer-zak, Sydney Ryan and Sam Schonhardt (ninth, 1:44.99), Sarah Teater in the pole vault (10th, 10 feet, 8 inches), Kristina Hoefler in the 400 (11th, 1:00.86) and Emilee Fecht in the shot put (14th, 33-3 1/4).
The Wildcats scored 29 points to finish eighth (behind champion Gahanna (97) as 35 teams scored.
The boys team was led at regional by Andrew Tighe, who placed fifth in the 1,600 (4:18.81) to miss qualifying for state by one spot.
"It's going to hurt a little bit coming in fifth, being able to see that spot that qualifies (for state) and not being able to get it, but that's a (personal record) and you can't be too mad when you PR and give it everything you have and just come up a little bit short," Tighe said.
Also at regional, Matthew Johns placed seventh in the pole vault (12-6), the 3,200 relay of Tighe, Ian Cook, Reed Farmer and Max LeClair was eighth (8:04.2), Andrew Taylor was ninth in the 3,200 (9:48.85), Christian Gillilan was 11th in the high jump (5-10), the 400 relay of Joshua Burton, Cole Kazmerzak, Eddie Lambert and Michael Seidle was 14th (44.65), the 1,600 relay of Burton, Cook, Farmer and Tighe was 15th (3:35), Sam Backenstoe fouled on all three attempts in the shot put and James Keen did not clear the opening height in the pole vault.
The Wildcats finished 20th (8.5) behind champion Thomas Worthington (73) as 37 teams scored.
Boys lacrosse team
falls to Golden Bears
The boys lacrosse team challenged defending state champion Upper Arlington in a Division I, Region 3 semifinal before losing 9-3 on May 24 to finish 16-5 overall.
The game was tied at 3 in the third quarter before the host Golden Bears scored the game's final six goals.
"At the end of the day, I'm proud of our guys," first-year coach Adam Beasley said. "We fight for each other. That's what we came out here to do. Going from 7-13 (last season) to 16-5, that's a fun thing to say. ... The team is broken up over this, and that means they care."
The fourth-seeded Wildcats defeated fifth-seeded New Albany 8-6 in a regional quarterfinal May 20 at Bradley before losing to UA.
Davidson went 6-1 in the OCC-Central Division to share the league title with UA and Dublin Coffman, ahead of Pickerington North (4-3), Pickerington Central (3-4), Gahanna (2-5), Marysville (1-6) and Newark (0-7).
Midfielder David St. Clair, who was one of seven seniors, led the team in scoring with 61 goals and 29 assists and was named first-team all-region and all-league.
Freshman midfielder and faceoff specialist Jake Blevins was first-team all-region and all-league, senior defender Bosston Nolty was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-region, junior attacker A.J. VanVoorhis (31 goals, 18 assists) was second-team all-region and all-league and senior midfielder Matt Blevins (30 goals, 13 assists) was second-team all-region.
Sophomore midfielder Evan Annis was second-team all-league and senior defender Kent Hummell was honorable mention all-region and all-league.
Senior goalkeeper Archie West had 151 saves.
Other eligible returnees are juniors Colson Barnett (defender), Max Chapin (midfielder), Owen Connolly (defender), Jarad DiPonio (midfielder), Brady Leiendecker (defender), Connor Lucy (midfielder), Weston Martone (defender), Michael Roth (midfielder), Nick Sabo (midfielder), Logan Sauer (midfielder), Davis Sell (defender) and Kole VanHonenstein (defender), sophomores Hayden Fetty (midfielder), Kalib O'Connor (midfielder), Matt Ryan (midfielder) and Riley Ruland (attacker) and freshmen Adam Gilligan (defender), Trent Nuccetelli (attacker), Rishi Patel (goalie) and Alex VanVoorhis (attacker).
Season ends for
boys volleyball team
The fourth-seeded boys volleyball team lost at second-seeded Westerville South 25-20, 26-24, 25-20 in a Division I East Region semifinal May 23 to finish 16-8 overall.
The Wildcats opened the tournament with a 25-17, 25-9, 25-21 win over Thomas Worthington on May 19.
Davidson won the OCC-Ohio championship, going 10-0 to finish ahead of Gahanna and Pickerington North (both 6-4), Pickerington Central (5-5), Coffman (2-8) and UA (1-9).
Junior middle blocker D'Angelo Boehner finished the season with 148 kills and 49 blocks and was named league Player of the Year and first-team all-region.
Senior Alex Petersen (defensive specialist/libero) was first-team all-league and second-team all-region, junior Nathan Cassell (outside hitter) had 118 kills and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-region and senior Mo Rasul (setter) had 264 assists and was second-team all-league.
Senior Justin English (outside hitter) was special mention all-league and senior Cory Dixon (middle blocker) was honorable mention all-league.
Junior Owen Fetty (setter, opposite hitter) had 289 assists.
Other eligible returnees include juniors Ataa Carroll (opposite hitter), Cole McCandless (defensive specialist), Luke Petersen (defensive specialist) and Brenden Yoder (opposite hitter).