Despite battling an early season illness, Andrew Tighe of the Hilliard Davidson High School boys cross country team appears to be in position for a strong postseason.
The senior missed a good part of the season with mononucleosis, but believes he's getting close to 100 percent as he prepares to compete for a berth in the Division I state meet.
"The season started a little rough, but it's picking up now," Tighe said. "We're looking really good as a team, so it's exciting. I missed one of the biggest meets of the season (the Trinity Invitational on Sept. 16 in Louisville, Kentucky), so that was disappointing, but I had to be cautious with (my health) and I didn't want to ruin the rest of my season."
Last season, Tighe led the Wildcats at state, finishing 35th of 186 runners in 15 minutes, 58 seconds.
Davidson is looking to get back to state this season and improve on last season's ninth-place finish (283 points). As a freshman, Tighe helped the Wildcats finish second (124) at state behind Mason (121).
"Our goals haven't changed," Tighe said. "We're tuning it in and really focusing on what our end goals are. It should be a fun month leading up to the state championship and, hopefully, we can achieve some of those goals."
Davidson was ranked fourth in the state poll released Oct. 5, behind No. 1 Cincinnati St. Xavier. The Wildcats were the highest ranked Central District team.
Since returning to the lineup, Tighe has remained one of the team's top runners. He finished 25th (15:39.7) of 105 runners in the McQuaid Invitational on Sept. 30 in Rochester, New York, helping Davidson finish fourth (128) of 25 teams behind champion Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake of New York (78).
Junior Max LeClair placed 17th (15:23.5) at the event to lead the Wildcats.
Davidson finished fifth (225) of 49 teams in the Portage (Michigan) Invitational on Oct. 7 behind champion Ann Arbor (Michigan) Pioneer (88).
Tighe placed 13th (16:18) of 111 runners to lead the Wildcats, followed by Andrew Taylor (37th, 16:48) and Jack Altman (54th, 17:06).
LeClair missed the meet with a leg injury, but was expected to be ready for the OCC-Central Division meet Saturday, Oct. 14, at Darby.
Davidson is looking to defend its league title after finishing first (29) ahead of runner-up Dublin Coffman (36) last season.
Coach Pat Schlecht has been impressed with Tighe's determination.
"He's been wonderful," Schlecht said. "After realizing his mistake of not committing to running his first two years, he's committed completely and been able to overcome his adversity of the mono. He was very patient coming back and he's on a roll. He'll be back full-go of what I expected at the beginning of the season. He's a great leader."
Tighe, who would like to run in college, also runs the distance events for the Wildcats' track and field team.
"Cross country and track are different," Tighe said. "I like racing in cross country a little more. It's a little more entertaining to run and it's a lot more team-based, which is fun, where in track you're mostly an individual. Sometimes you're on a relay, but in cross country, you're always depending on your teammates."
Doubles team advances to district
Josie Paazig and Grace Wilson of the girls tennis team advanced to the Division I district tournament Thursday, Oct. 12, at Bradley and Saturday, Oct. 14, at Upper Arlington by finishing third at sectional Oct. 6 and 7 at Bradley.
Paazig and Wilson defeated Bradley's Corinne Dixon and Nina Kisin 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the third-place match.
At district, the top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
"Everyone at district will be good," coach Steve De Dent said. "We are going to have to be at the top of our game in order to advance. We just have to play aggressive and not back down from our opponents and see what happens. They are capable of getting through, but we are going to have to cut down on unforced errors."
Also in doubles at sectional, Katherine Sarkel and Hannah McGivern went 1-1. In singles, Kaitlyn Quinn went 2-1, Emma Wood went 1-1 and Sophia Persad went 0-1.
Boys golf team reaches district
The boys golf team competed in the Division I district tournament Oct. 10 at Apple Valley after finishing third (319) in a 13-team sectional Oct. 3 at Darby Creek, behind Dublin Jerome (280) and Westerville Central (314).
Caleb Stimmel led Davidson with a 77, followed by Zach Welch (79), Jack Brown (81), Cole Kazmerzak (82) and Jacob Drees (85).
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to the state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Lee earns district berth in girls golf
Amelia Lee of the girls golf team competed in the Division I district tournament Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek after advancing from a sectional Oct. 3 at Mentel Memorial.
Lee shot a 77 at sectional to finish fifth of 62 golfers.
Davidson finished fourth (364) behind district-qualifiers Jerome (314), Gahanna (339) and Coffman (346).
Also competing for the Wildcats were Eleni Monroe (89), Morgan Conley (97), Kacy Harsh (101) and Kelsey Rader (110).
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advance to the state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
Below are the coming schedules for the Davidson boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 12 -- Home vs. St. Charles
Oct. 18 -- Home vs. 22nd-seeded Reynoldsburg in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays 18th-seeded Gahanna in second round Oct. 21. The Wildcats are seeded 12th.
Oct. 12 -- At DeSales
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 23rd-seeded Westerville Central in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays at 10th-seeded Canal Winchester in second round Oct. 19. The Wildcats are seeded 14th.
Oct. 16 -- At 19th-seeded Lancaster in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays at 18th-seeded New Albany in second round Oct. 18. The Wildcats are seeded 26th.