Hilliard Davidson High School girls track and field coach Matt Beatty watched proudly from the grandstand near the finish line as his athletes competed in the Division I state meet June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
The season highlights for the Wildcats included establishing five program records and having eight athletes compete at state.
"The leadership has been awesome," Beatty said. "Our team chemistry and culture right now is at a pretty good spot. Our kids genuinely want each other to do well. They really do. They want to be there for everybody and it's been pretty fun watching them."
Freshman Lindsay Stull set the program record in the 800 meters by placing second at state in 2 minutes, 9.47 seconds.
Also competing at state were the 3,200 relay of senior Meghan Sculli, sophomore Sophia Hoersten, junior Sophie Lewis and Stull (fourth, 9:02.11), the 800 relay of juniors Klaire Kazmerzak, Sydney Ryan and Lydia Baumgartner and senior Kristina Hoefler (12th, 1:43.11), the 1,600 relay of Hoefler, Sculli, Lewis and Stull (12th, 3:58.66), Lewis in the 1,600 (16th, 5:18.77) and Sculli in the 800 (16th, 2:18.52).
Davidson scored 13 points at state to tie Westerville Central for 20th behind champion Gahanna (51) as 64 teams scored.
Setting program records at the regional meet May 23 and 25 at Pickerington North were the 3,200 relay of Sculli, Lewis, junior Ellie Tighe and Stull (second, 9:01.79), the 800 relay of Kazmerzak, Ryan, Baumgartner and Hoefler (fifth, 1:42.32) and the 1,600 relay of Hoefler, Lewis, Sculli and Stull (fourth, 3:54.73).
Junior Emilee Fecht set the program record in the shot put (39 feet, 10 inches) in the district 3 meet that concluded May 19 at Darby.
"I'm going to miss the girls," said Sculli, who has committed to competing in track and cross country for the U.S. Naval Academy. "We did everything together over the last four years, so it's going to be weird not being around them and always having them to bounce ideas off of and have them be with me every step of the way."
Also at regional, Lewis won the 1,600 (4:57.56), Stull placed fourth in the 800 (2:11.14), Sculli placed sixth in the 800 (2:15.24), the 400 relay of Baumgartner, Kazmerzak, Ryan and junior Alyssa Markarian was sixth (49.67), freshman Emma Conrad finished ninth in the 100 hurdles (15.4), sophomore Sarah Shevelow finished 10th in the discus (104-6) and Fecht was 12th in the shot put (34-2).
The Wildcats finished sixth (38) at regional behind champion Gahanna (84) as 32 teams scored after finishing third (97) of 14 teams in the district 3 meet behind champion Pickerington North (109).
Davidson won the OCC-Central Division meet May 10 and 12, scoring 201 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Upper Arlington (124) as well as host Dublin Coffman (108), Marysville (79), Westland (6) and Central Crossing (4).
"I'd like to think I made some sort of mark," said Sculli, who was one of nine seniors. "I guess we'll have to wait and find out, but being a part of it the last four years has been really special and I just hope that a lot of the things that me and the other seniors did can help the program continue."
Boys track coach pleased with season
Boys track and field coach Jim Smith said his team accomplished its major goals this season.
"Our first goal is to win the conference and from there it's focused on individuals getting through to the regional and to the state," Smith said. "We managed to have four athletes at state, which was pretty good."
The Wildcats won the OCC-Central title, scoring 159 points to finish ahead of UA (117), Coffman (105), Marysville (72), Central Crossing (53) and Westland (15).
Competing in the Division I state meet were junior Christian Gillilan in the high jump (fifth, 6-5), senior Andrew Tighe in the 1,600 (sixth, 4:13.13), junior Max LeClair in the 1,600 (11th, 4:19.21) and junior Conner Johanssen in the 3,200 (15th, 9:42.02).
Davidson scored seven points at state to tie for 34th behind champion Pickerington Central (58) as 69 teams scored.
Tighe, who was one of nine seniors and has committed to compete in track and cross country at the University of Dayton, was runner-up in the 1,600 (4:14.08) at regional, while Gillilan placed third in the high jump (6-6), LeClair finished fourth in the 1,600 (4:17.82) and Conner Johanssen was sixth in the 3,200 (9:25.6).
Also competing at regional were the 1,600 relay of LeClair, junior Jacob Bauer, Tighe and sophomore Joshua Burton (ninth, 3:26.09), Burton in the 400 (10th, 50.63), senior Andrew Taylor in the 3,200 (13th, 9:56:42), junior James Keen in the pole vault (no height) and the 3,200 relay of LeClair, Tighe, Johanssen and Taylor (disqualified).
The Wildcats finished 10th (22) at regional behind champion Pickerington Central (97) as 41 teams scored after finishing third (77) of 16 teams in the district 2 meet behind champion Gahanna (109).
"We have a great nucleus of kids coming back and we're excited for them to improve and add on to what they did this year," Smith said.
Girls lacrosse team didn't reach potential
Girls lacrosse coach Chad Smock was pleased with his team's progress, but believes there is plenty of room for improvement.
Seeded 13th, Davidson opened the Division I, Region 3 tournament with a 22-5 loss at fourth-seeded Springboro on May 15 to finish 7-8 overall.
The Wildcats went 1-5 in the OCC-Central to finish sixth, behind UA (6-0), Coffman (5-1), Gahanna (4-2), Pickerington North (3-3) and Pickerington Central (2-4) and ahead of Marysville (0-6).
Davidson beat Marysville 12-4 on May 1.
"I don't think we reached the potential that we could have reached," Smock said. "We finished the season around .500. We're in a really tough (league), but out of (league play) we were 6-2 in the regular season. We did well out of (our league)."
Sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Monturo was named first-team all-league and second-team all-region.
"That's pretty amazing as a sophomore and a goalie because there's only one spot on the first team and she got it for our (league) and our (league) is really tough with Arlington and Coffman and both Pickeringtons, so that's a huge honor for her and I'm super excited for her," Smock said.
Sophomore midfielder Sally Sell was honorable mention all-region and all-league.
Smock lauded the six seniors for their contributions to the program.
"I've worked with these six girls quite a bit, so it's always sad to see them go, but I'm excited to see what they do next year," Smock said.
Senior attacker Kelly Blevins has committed to play at Baldwin-Wallace.
Among the expected return-ees are Monturo, Sell and junior defender Nora Van Vleet.
"We have a really good nucleus coming back for next year," Smock said. "It's sad to say goodbye to this team, but I'm super excited about what's coming down the road for us."
Smock said the addition of Ohio Machine coach Bear Davis as an assistant helped the team. Davis' daughter, Sadie, was a freshman defender.
"He added a new intensity and a lot of new concepts to the team, so this year we were trying to get our feet wet trying to figure things out," Smock said. "But the foundation has been built and we're going to improve greatly over the next couple of years just based on the stuff that Bear is doing with us."