Ever the numbers-crunching perfectionist, Hilliard Davidson High School boys cross country coach Pat Schlecht couldn't contain his satisfaction after the Division I, district 1 district meet Oct. 22 at Watkins Memorial.

Ever the numbers-crunching perfectionist, Hilliard Davidson High School boys cross country coach Pat Schlecht couldn't contain his satisfaction after the Division I, district 1 district meet Oct. 22 at Watkins Memorial.

After a two-year absence, the Wildcats were back in trophy territory. They used a strategy Schlecht wasn't sure would pay off - and still isn't completely sure of - to score 42 points, beating runner-up Dublin Jerome by 16 points.

Davidson took two extra weekends off during the regular season in hopes of saving energy for the postseason and cutting down on injuries. Ryan Caulley placed third (16 minutes, 11.69 seconds) in district 1 to lead the Wildcats, with Garrett Knapik (seventh, 16:49.53) and Collin Burdette (eighth, 16:52.76) also placing in the top 10.

"We haven't raced very much," Schlecht said. "We were running real well early (in the season) and wanted to train and save (for the postseason). We're not sure how this experiment is going to work out yet, but we've taken steps in the right direction two weeks in a row. We're getting better. We'll see what happens next week and the rest of the fall."

Davidson placed second (38) to Dublin Coffman (31) in the OCC-Central Division meet Oct. 15 at Westerville North.

The top five teams and top 20 individuals in districts 1 and 2 and the top six teams and top 24 individuals in district 3 advanced to the regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Pickerington North.

The top four teams and top 16 individuals at regional advance to the state meet Nov. 5 at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.

In addition to Davidson and Jerome, also advancing to regional in district 1 were Central Crossing (92), Reynoldsburg (101) and Pickerington Central (124).

New Albany won its third consecutive district title, scoring 64 points in district 2 to edge Hilliard Bradley (72). Also advancing to regional from district 2 were Pickerington North (74), Westerville Central (80) and St. Charles (136).

In district 3, Coffman (58) held off runner-up Olentangy Liberty (61) for the title, with Westerville North (118), Watkins Memorial (136), Lancaster (141) and Marietta (142) also advancing to regional.

Reynoldsburg senior Tsehaye Hiluf won his third consecutive district title, finishing the district 1 race in 15:53.95, almost 17 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Jerome's Jake Mandel (16:10.25). Hiluf, who was 15th at state last year, admitted he simply hoped to get through the district race unscathed.

"(The course) was muddy for some of it," Hiluf said. "I just ran as hard as I could and hoped it was enough. I just wanted to prepare and stay healthy for next week. I thought I would win. I just took it easy for next week."

New Albany's top runners, Austin Bach and Sebastian Matt, were fourth (16:17.62) and fifth (16:29.65), respectively, in district 2, but Eagles coach Chad Olinger lauded the effort of his team's fifth runner, David Stanislav, who finished 24th (17:34.36), one place and .69 seconds ahead of Bradley's fifth runner, Richie Gopel (17:35.05).

"We don't do what we did (at district) without (Stanislav)," Olinger said. "It's a cumulative effort, but it's because David was where he was (at district) in the race."

Olentangy Orange's Danny Meyung finished first in district 2 in 16:01.26, with Westerville Central's Brandon Shirey (16:06.9) and Bradley's Troy Kelleher (16:13.33) rounding out the top three.

Coffman senior John Sotos ran a personal-best 15:53.63 to finish first in district 3 and lead the Shamrocks, who placed five runners in the top 21. Liberty's Andrew Johnston was runner-up (15:58.39) and Coffman's Adam Davidson was third (16:01.05).

"Our goal as a team was to go out fast with the mud (that was on the course)," Sotos said. "We figured it would be hard for other teams to catch up and I just kind of hung on and stuck in there. I felt good, so I just took off and went."