In a program that features several talented upperclassmen, a freshman emerged as the Hilliard Davidson High School girls track and field team's top performer in the Division I state meet June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
The Wildcats turned in a strong performance, led by freshman Lindsay Stull, who was runner-up in the 800 meters in a program-record 2 minutes, 9.47 seconds.
"You can't be mad with second in the state," Stull said. "It's really exciting. ... I'm really honored. I've had a lot of great coaches and people help me get here. I really hope that I can keep coming back and keep doing this well."
Stull, Sophia Hoersten, Sophie Lewis and Meghan Sculli opened the meet by finishing a program-best fourth in the 3,200 relay (program-record 9:02.11).
"We're not upset with fourth place," Sculli said. "We knew there would be a lot of teams all in the running for the win, so we wanted to put ourselves as far as we could up there and we gave it all we had. Every time you get on the line here at the state meet, anything can happen. Every team out there is good, so to be able to get on the podium is special."
Also at state, the 800 relay of Lydia Baumgartner, Kristina Hoefler, Klaire Kazmerzak and Sydney Ryan (1:43.11) and the 1,600 relay of Hoefler, Lewis, Sculli and Stull (3:58.66) both finished 12th, and finishing 16th were Lewis in the 1,600 (5:18.77) and Sculli in the 800 (2:18.52).
"Lindsay is going to be really special," coach Matt Beatty said. "As a freshman taking second against that field and after running three races (June 1), coming back (June 2) to run this one (800), that's pretty special."
Davidson scored 13 points to tie Westerville Central for 20th behind champion Gahanna (51) as 64 teams scored.
Tighe, Gillilan lead boys team at state
Senior Andrew Tighe and junior Christian Gillilan led the boys track and field team in the Division I state meet.
Gillilan, who was making his first state appearance, placed fifth in the high jump in 6 feet, 5 inches despite having missed part of the season with an ankle injury, while Tighe finished sixth in the 1,600 (4:13.13).
"I wasn't exactly sure how this race was going to play out," Tighe said. "It went out pretty hot, I knew it would. I kind of got lost a little bit on the third lap. That cost me a few places, but you can't be too mad about it."
Also at state, Max LeClair finished 11th in the 1,600 (4:19.21) and Conner Johanssen was 15th in the 3,200 (9:42.02).
Davidson scored seven points to tie for 34th behind champion Pickerington Central (58) as 69 teams scored.
Boys lacrosse team has winning season
The boys lacrosse team posted its second consecutive winning season under second-year coach Adam Beasley, finishing 12-9 overall.
Davidson's season ended at the hands of Upper Arlington for the second consecutive year, as the fifth-seeded Wildcats lost to the top-seeded Golden Bears 9-8 in two overtimes in a Division I, Region 3 semifinal May 22.
Last season, Davidson lost to UA 9-3 in a semifinal to finish 16-5.
"The weeks leading up to the postseason, we really changed our mentality," said goalkeeper Sam Backenstoe, who had 161 saves on the season and was named honorable mention all-region. "(Beasley) is trying to take (the program) into the direction of a football culture, just grinding your nose every day and just going hard all the time."
Davidson opened the regional tournament by defeating 19th-seeded Newark 17-2 in the second round May 15 and beat seventh-seeded Darby 7-5 in a quarterfinal May 18 before losing to the Bears.
The Wildcats went 5-2 in the OCC-Central Division to finish third, behind Dublin Coffman (7-0) and UA (6-1) and ahead of Pickerington Central (4-3), Pickerington North (3-4), Gahanna (2-5), Marysville (1-6) and Newark (0-7).
Davidson is losing 10 seniors, including Backenstoe and attacker A.J. Van Voorhis, who was named Attacker of the Year in the region, first-team all-league and second-team all-state after leading the team in scoring with 58 goals and 14 assists.
Sophomore Jake Blevins was named faceoff Specialist of the Year in the region, first-team all-league and second-team all-state, while senior defender Davis Sell, junior defender Evan Annis and sophomore attacker Alex Van Voorhis (35 goals, 21 assists) all were second-team all-region and all-league and senior midfielder Logan Sauer (14 goals, 5 assists) was honorable mention all-region and all-league.
Sophomore attacker Trent Nuccetelli had 22 goals and 18 assists.
"These seniors have built a path for these guys to see what it takes to win," Beasley said.