As Hilliard Davidson High School senior distance runner India Johnson awaited the awards presentation in the Division I state meet June 3 at Ohio State, she reflected on her stellar prep career.
She capped that career by defending her title in the 3,200 meters.
Johnson took the lead on the fifth of eight laps and built a sizable advantage, winning in a program-record 10 minutes, 23.84 seconds to finish almost eight seconds ahead of runner-up Sophie Carrier of Shaker Heights (10:31.23).
"I'm proud to wear the Davidson jersey and I'm glad to come away with another title in the Davidson jersey," Johnson said. "Last race being a Wildcat means a lot and I couldn't ask for a better program and the opportunities that they have given me."
"That's a good way for her to end her high school career in the last race she'll ever run at Davidson," coach Matt Beatty said. "That's an outstanding accomplishment for her."
Johnson also qualified for state in the 1,600, but opted to sit out that race to focus on the 3,200. She faced the same scenario last season and also decided to concentrate on the 3,200, which she won in a then-program-record 10:29.8.
"I knew there were a lot of girls who were doubling the mile and two (mile) and it was a guessing game on what they were going to do, just as it was for me," said Johnson, who will continue competing this summer in preparation for her freshman cross country season at Michigan State. "I definitely expected all these girls who were out here and I knew anything could happen."
Johnson, sophomores Sophie Lewis and Ellie Tighe and freshman Sydney Petersen opened the state meet June 2 by finishing seventh in the 3,200 relay (9:12.33).
"We really just wanted to get on the podium. That was our goal and we exceeded that," Petersen said. "There were a lot more people than I expected, and it was very loud. I really want to get back here next year."
Davidson scored 12 points at state to tie Findlay and Medina for 16th behind champion Cincinnati Withrow (58) as 62 teams scored.
In the regional meet May 24 and 26 at Pickerington North, Johnson won the 3,200 (10:46.23) and 1,600 (4:52.64) as Davidson finished eighth (29) behind champion Gahanna (97) as 35 teams scored.
Johnson won both the 1,600 (program-record 4:52.24) and 3,200 (11:08.44) and teamed with Lewis, Tighe and junior Megan Sculli to win the 3,200 relay (9:27.58) in the district 3 meet that concluded May 20 at Darby, as the Wildcats finished third (80) of 16 teams, behind Pickerington Central (161) and Darby (130).
In the OCC-Central Division meet May 10 and 13 at Dublin Coffman, Johnson won the 800 (2:17.87), 1,600 (5:18.3) and 3,200 (11:47.99) to lead Davidson to the league title. The Wildcats scored 156 points to finish ahead of Coffman (146.5), Marysville (100.5), Upper Arlington (80), Central Crossing (28) and Westland (10).
boys team at state
Competing in the seated events, Corey Chiou represented the boys track and field team at state.
The sophomore, who also competed at state last season, finished second in the shot put (20 feet, 4 inches), fifth in the 100 (20.17) and seventh in both the 400 (1:23.34) and 800 (3:12.06).
The seated competition does not count in the team standings.
Davidson finished 20th (8.5) in the Division I regional meet behind champion Thomas Worthington (73) as 37 teams scored.
Junior Andrew Tighe placed fifth in the 1,600 (4:18.81) to fall one spot shy of qualifying for state.
Also scoring at regional were senior Matthew Johns, who placed seventh in the pole vault (12-6), and the eighth-place 3,200 relay of Tighe, seniors Ian Cook and Reed Farmer and sophomore Max LeClair (8:04.2).
The Wildcats finished fourth (74.5) of 15 teams in the district 4 meet that concluded May 20 at Westerville South, behind champion Thomas (136), and placed second (133) in the OCC-Central meet, behind Coffman (160) and ahead of Marysville (80), UA (69), Central Crossing (44) and Westland (35).
"For us to end up second in the conference, that was really a plus for us," coach Jim Smith said. "At the end of the season, we started to come on strong. ... The seniors are a great group. We weren't real good, but we got progressively better and we got real good at the end."
OCC title highlights
The baseball team's season was highlighted by the OCC-Central title.
Davidson finished 15-9 overall and went 11-4 in the league to finish ahead of Marysville (10-5), Coffman and UA (both 9-5), Central Crossing (5-10) and Westland (0-15).
Seeded 12th of 46 teams, the Wildcats lost to 23rd-seeded Westerville North 7-5 in the second round of the Division I district tournament May 10 after a first-round bye.
"Obviously, the goals were to go much further," coach Justin Swallie said. "It was tough, but we keep looking back on it and say we're still OCC champs. We accomplished a goal of what we wanted to do, and that's a memory those guys will always have, especially the way (the season) ended."
One of eight seniors, shortstop Jake Shier, who missed last season with an ankle injury, was named first-team all-league and second-team all-district after batting .359. He has committed to play at Tiffin.
Junior pitcher Carson Curnutte was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district after going 5-1 with a 1.39 ERA, 17 strikeouts and two walks in 45 innings.
Senior Kyle Neimeister (1B/OF/P), junior Andrew Steele (OF) and sophomore Christian Sweet (C) all were second-team all-league, senior Nick Summers (OF/3B/P) was special mention all-league and junior Ben Wright (OF) was honorable mention all-league.
Neimeister hit a game-winning two-run home run in a 3-1 win over Marysville on May 6 to clinch the league title.
Others eligible to return are juniors Alex Gonzalez (P), Jordan Hall (P), Brett Kodger (OF/P), Jackson Jacobs (2B/P), Nathan Mix (2B), Bryce Stein (P), Jon Suarez (OF) and Keegan Wolfinger (INF).
"It was a big group of seniors and it was a fun group to be around," Swallie said. "... They were the first group I had for four years ... and I couldn't be more proud of what they did to get our program to the next level."
Softball team had
The softball team is losing six seniors after finishing 20-5 overall and placing second in the OCC-Central.
Seeded seventh of 45 teams, Davidson opened the Division I district tournament May 10 with a 13-3, five-inning win over 23rd-seeded Pickerington North in a second-round game before losing to 10th-seeded Marysville 7-1 in a semifinal May 15.
The Wildcats went 8-2 in the league to finish behind Central Crossing (9-1) and ahead of Marysville (7-3), Coffman and UA (both 3-7) and Westland (0-10).
"When you look back at the whole season as one entity, it was an outstanding season," coach Katie Speakman said. "We're happy with that."
Senior pitcher Erica Buchanan was named first-team all-district and all-league and second-team all-state after going 20-5 in the circle with a 1.72 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 150 1/3 innings.
She will play at Ohio Wesleyan.
Senior shortstop Morgan Coleman was first-team all-league and second-team all-district after batting .412 with 27 runs scored and 21 RBI.
Senior outfielder Aubrey Rolon was second-team all-district and all-league after batting .469 with 33 runs and 15 RBI. Junior third baseman Leah Belgar was second team all-league after hitting .355 with 26 RBI, 23 runs and three home runs, junior second baseman Abby Sheets (.381, 17 RBI, 3 home runs) was special mention all-league and senior catcher Lauren Moritz (18 RBI, 3 home runs) was honorable mention all-league.
Senior Haley Goodburn (1B) batted .306 with 23 runs and 22 RBI, junior Brooke Sommers (OF/designated player) hit .333 with 14 RBI, junior Sydney George (OF) batted .300 and senior Kelly Heck (OF) scored 22 runs.
Goodburn has committed to play for Ohio Dominican.
Juniors Makayla Cordle (1B) and Mikel Tatman (3B) also are eligible to return.
"The seniors were integral parts of Davidson softball, many of them for three years, some for two and Erica for all four," Speakman said. "A lot of career varsity letters in that group."
Girls lacrosse team
losing eight seniors
Among the eight seniors the girls lacrosse team must replace next year is midfielder Lauren Wehner, a University of Hartford commit who had 60 goals and seven assists this season and was named first-team all-region and honorable mention all-league.
Another key loss is senior defender Maddie Pelle, who was second-team all-league.
Seeded 13th, Davidson lost at 10th-seeded Dublin Scioto 19-14 in the first round of the Division I, Region 3 tournament May 15 to finish 6-11 overall.
The Wildcats went 2-4 in the OCC-Ohio/Central to finish fifth, behind UA (6-0), Pickerington Central (5-1), Coffman (4-2) and Gahanna (3-3) and ahead of Pickerington North (1-5) and Marysville (0-6).
"I truly enjoyed coaching the girls this season," said coach Chad Smock, who was named league Coach of the Year. "This year I had to coach both varsity and junior varsity, as well as help with Weaver (Middle School). It was a lot of work, but I think it will pay off for future teams as everyone is on the same page."
Players eligible to return include juniors Kelley Blevins (midfielder), Juliana Burdette (defender), McKenna Cowman (attacker), Maya Fisher (defender), Cera Grieble (defender), Mychael Lutz (midfielder), Paige Martin (midfielder), Kelsey Rader (attacker) and Rachel Ruland (goalkeeper), sophomores Audrey Clifford (midfielder), Quinn Kazmerzak (attacker), Taylor Hsu-King (attacker) and Nora Van Vleet (defender) and freshmen Taylor Monturo (goalie) and Sally Sell (midfielder).