The Hilliard Davidson High School boys cross country team ran the race it wanted in the Division I state meet Nov. 4 at National Trail Raceway, but it wasn't enough to achieve its ultimate goal.
The Wildcats totaled 143 points to place second of 20 teams, behind Hudson (73). Medina was third (159).
"Hudson was dominant, but we were solid," coach Pat Schlecht said. "We did our race plan, flowed through the race. We had decent finishes. There were some great teams. Medina was right on our butts. We were bummed, of course. The grand goal is to compete for a state title, but to get on the podium is a special honor."
The top two teams reach the podium at state.
Senior Andrew Tighe led Davidson, finishing 21st of 183 runners in 16 minutes, 2.9 seconds.
"It's always great getting up on the podium," said Tighe, who as a freshman helped the Wildcats finish second (124) at state behind Mason (121). "That's my second time up there. It's always special. It was a great group of guys. It was an unbelievable run, so I'm very happy."
Junior Max LeClair finished 22nd (16:03.2) at state, followed by juniors Conner Johanssen (37th, 16:14) and Jack Altman (73rd, 16:41.4), senior Andrew Taylor (89th, 16:46.3), sophomore Mitchell Montgomery (139th, 17:19.1) and junior Nick Sauvey (154th, 17:26.1).
The Wildcats won the 16-team regional meet Oct. 28 at Pickerington North, scoring 91 points as Thomas Worthington was runner-up (115). The top five teams advanced to state.
Tighe finished seventh (16:04.73) of 129 runners, followed by Johanssen (13th, 16:13.28) and LeClair (14th, 16:17.04).
Davidson also won the 16-team district 1 meet Oct. 21 at Watkins Memorial, scoring 45 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Lancaster (78). Tighe led the Wildcats, placing second (15:44.33) of 115 runners.
The Wildcats cruised to the OCC-Central Division title Oct. 14 at Darby, scoring 24 points to finish ahead of Dublin Coffman (60), Upper Arlington (68), Marysville (99), Central Crossing (130) and Westland (189).
Tighe, who was league runner-up (16:05.34), is one of seven seniors whom Davidson must replace next season.
"We had excellent leadership this year (from) all the seniors, whether they were on the varsity or not," Schlecht said. "They were able to help guide the young kids, so they know what's up and how we're going to get to that next placement for next year's team."
Sophomore Mitchell Messer is another key runner eligible to return.
Davidson will compete in the NXR Midwest Regional Championships on Sunday, Nov. 12, in Terre Haute, Indiana.
"It will be nice to see if we can fare well there," Schlecht said. "We'd like to get a top-10 performance at least and see how that works out with the Midwest teams."
Girls place sixth at state meet
The girls team also capped a strong season in the Division I state meet, where it finished sixth (204) of 20 teams, behind champion Centerville (122).
Junior Sophie Lewis placed 25th (18:33.5) of 173 runners to lead the Wildcats.
Freshman Lindsay Stull (30th, 18:37.5) was next, followed by junior Ellie Tighe (54th, 19:11.5), sophomore Sydney Petersen (75th, 19:32.8), seniors Meghan Sculli (90th, 19:47.9) and Lauren Alsko (101st, 20:00.4) and freshman Justine Smith (131st, 20:26.6).
Davidson had finished 14th at state last season when it was led by 2017 graduate India Johnson, who now runs at Michigan State.
"We graduated the state champ from last year (Johnson) and we were 14th, so moving up to sixth feels really good," coach Nathan King said. "We had our sights set a little higher, but we got somewhat of a mixed bag of performances out of individuals, so I think sixth is a great spot for us. That reflects our race. ... (The girls) really wanted to be on the podium, which is really hard to do."
Davidson finished second (81) of 17 teams at regional, behind champion Granville (63), as the top five teams advanced to state.
Lewis placed fifth (18:41.42) of 129 runners, followed by Stull (seventh, 18:45.12) and Tighe (21st, 19:12.23).
The Wildcats won the district 3 meet Oct. 21 at Watkins Memorial, scoring 25 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Lancaster (76) as Stull placed second (18:45.55) of 125 runners and Tighe was third (18:49.53).
Davidson also cruised to the OCC-Central title, scoring 22 points to finish ahead of UA (53), Marysville (77), Coffman (88) and Central Crossing (155). Westland did not have enough runners for a team score.
Lewis won the league title in 18:35.46.
The Wildcats will join the boys team at the NXR Midwest Regional Championships this weekend in Indiana.