As Conner Johanssen of the Hilliard Davidson High School boys cross country team crossed the finish line in the Division I, district 2 meet Oct. 20 at Darby, he pumped his fist in celebration of winning the race.
Johanssen and his teammates are hoping for two more similar celebrations this postseason as the Wildcats continue pursuit of the state title.
"For this course and running with the wind like that, I'm just excited," Johanssen said. "These past few weeks is just us trying to get ready for regional and state, which are the big meets. I love where the team is right now. We had all seven of our guys all-district. You couldn't ask for a better time."
The Wildcats qualified for regional Saturday, Oct. 27, at Pickerington North by winning the 16-team district 2 meet, scoring 30 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Pickerington Central (64). The top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced.
At regional, the top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to state Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway.
"It's one more week until the state meet," said coach Pat Schlecht, whose team finished second (143) at state last season behind Hudson (73). "We have to make sure that we do all the things that we have in place that we have done over the years. We have to recover (from district), we have to make sure we're hydrated and mentally focused for the next type of race, which is regional."
Johanssen won the district championship in 16 minutes, 1.8 seconds.
Max LeClair placed third (16:16.7) of 112 runners, followed by Jack Altman (sixth, 16:31.3), Nick Sauvey (ninth, 16:54.8), Mitchell Montgomery (11th, 16:55.8), Alex Hudson (12th, 16:56.3) and Xavier Gallo (15th, 17:03.5).
"My pack stayed nice and tight," Schlecht said. "I don't know if I have had seven first-team all-district runners in a while, so to have all seven in the top 15 is really special. That's a great honor for this team."
Girls runners cruise to district title
The girls cross country team won the 15-team Division I, district 3 meet Oct. 20 at Darby, totaling 25 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Lancaster (99).
Lindsay Stull finished first of 104 runners in 18:38.6 to lead the Wildcats.
Sophie Lewis was third (18:52.9), followed by Ellie Tighe (sixth, 19:07.5), Sydney Petersen (seventh, 19:17.5), Sophia Hoersten (eighth, 19:21.2), Ava Hoersten (20th, 19:55) and Justine Smith (21st, 19:55.9).
The top six teams and top 24 individuals advanced to regional.
Boys soccer team reaches semifinal
The 22nd-seeded boys soccer team was 6-10-2 before playing fifth-seeded Dublin Coffman in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 24.
The winner plays second-seeded New Albany or 11th-seeded Dublin Jerome in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at a neutral site. The district champion faces Dublin Scioto, Reynoldsburg, St. Charles or Worthington Kilbourne in a regional semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 31, at Jerome. The regional final is Nov. 3.
Davidson lost to New Albany 3-0 on Sept. 6 and St. Charles 3-1 on Sept. 27.
The Wildcats defeated 39th-seeded Whitehall 3-0 in the first round of the district tournament Oct. 17 to snap a three-game losing streak and beat 16th-seeded Olentangy Orange 3-2 in the second round Oct. 20.
Carter Ely, Daiki Matsouka and Josh Augustine scored against Whitehall and Coby Stover, Sean Carrier and Charlie Riddle scored against Orange.
Girls soccer team plays in semifinal
The girls soccer team reached a Division I district semifinal despite playing without a key contributor.
The Wildcats lost senior goalkeeper Lauren White for the season when she suffered a torn MCL in her right knee during a 6-1 win over Pickerington Central on Oct. 11, according to coach Heather Coonfare.
"It's a heartbreaking injury for a senior going into her last ever playoff run," Coonfare said. "I am immensely proud of our team and leaders who maintained a positive, driven and supportive atmosphere and attitude in the face of such diversity so late in the season. They have shown great determination and focus."
After a first-round bye, sixth-seeded Davidson opened the postseason Oct. 18 at home with a 2-1 second-round win over 13th-seeded Bradley.
Sonia Vargas and Alivia Wile both scored and freshman goalie Audrey Gibson-Zweifel had eight saves.
"Beating any good team once is a feat, let alone twice, in a playoff win-or-go-home atmosphere," said Coonfare, whose team beat the Jaguars by the same score on Aug. 17. "To beat a good team who is also a rival is an incredible accomplishment. I am so proud of our team."
Davidson was 12-3-2 before playing fifth-seeded Olentangy in a district semifinal Oct. 23. The winner plays fourth-seeded Coffman or 10th-seeded Orange in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at a neutral site to be determined.
The Wildcats lost to Coffman 2-0 on Sept. 13 but defeated Orange 2-1 on Aug. 23.
The district champion plays New Albany, Pickerington Central, Pickerington North or Westerville Central in a regional semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Westerville Central. The regional final is Nov. 3.
Girls volleyball team ousted by Jaguars
The 24th-seeded girls volleyball team lost 25-13, 25-19, 25-19 to 17th-seeded Bradley in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 15 to finish 9-14.
"We need to be more disciplined on defense and control our offense to be successful in the future," coach Betty Cameron said. "We have to stay healthy throughout the season, compete for every ball and finish the sets in order to win matches."
The Wildcats are losing three seniors in Brooke Barrington (setter), Emilee Fecht (middle hitter/outside hitter) and Malia McWherter (defensive specialist).
"Our seniors did a nice job being leaders, understanding their position and helping out the younger players," Cameron said.
Expected to return are juniors Rachel Balster (setter), Grace Fry (defensive specialist), McKenzie Heston (defensive specialist), India McCruter (right-side hitter/middle hitter), Maria Salamony (defensive specialist), Sarah Shevelow (right-side hitter) and Elyse Simensky (middle hitter), sophomores Ashley Barrington (setter) and Lindsey Buckley (outside hitter) and freshman Madelyn McMillan (outside hitter).