Moments after capturing the Division I regional title Oct. 27 at Pickerington North, the Hilliard Davidson High School boys cross country team shifted its focus on attaining the top prize.
The Wildcats will be seeking the state championship when they compete Saturday, Nov. 3, at National Trail Raceway.
Last season, Davidson finished second (143 points) at state behind Hudson (73).
"It's all about beating Hudson," coach Pat Schlecht said. "We were runner-up last year and we're trying to work towards having that good race next week. We're certainly holding back on letting them go and have their legs for the finish. It was a good, solid run (at regional). They were a little more aggressive.
"There's a lot more room to grow, especially (this) week as we freshen up and get ready to run in the state championship (meet)."
At regional, Davidson finished first (95) of 16 teams, well ahead of runner-up Gahanna (134), as the top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced to state.
Conner Johanssen finished third of 127 runners in 16 minutes, 2 seconds to lead the Wildcats.
"We've been planning for this ever since last year at state," Johanssen said. "We're mentally trying to prepare ourselves and get ready for (this) week. It should be a good time. We're going try to stay up there with all the other guys and see what can happen."
Max LeClair was eighth (16:19.2) at regional, followed by Jack Altman (28th, 16:57.9), Xavier Gallo (35th, 17:07.5), Alex Hudson (43rd, 17:10.8), Nick Sauvey (53rd, 17:16.9) and Mitchell Montgomery (67th, 17:25.5).
Girls runners also advance to state
The girls cross country team also advanced to the Division I state meet by winning the regional title.
The Wildcats scored 38 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Granville (68) in the 17-team field.
"This is our ninth consecutive trip to state and it is always special," coach Nate King said. "The team is well-prepared and looks forward to racing in bigger competition as the postseason continues. We treat each race as important, so the regional and state meets are just like any other competition we run. Being joint champions at regional with the boys is empowering to both programs as we feed off of the success of one another."
The last time both the boys and girls teams won regional titles in the same year was 2002.
Last season at state, Davidson finished sixth (204) of 20 teams, behind champion Centerville (122).
At regional, Sophie Lewis placed third (18:53.1) of 133 runners to lead the Wildcats.
Lindsay Stull was fifth (18:55.9), followed by Sydney Petersen (ninth, 19:11.5), Sophia Hoersten (10th, 19:13.1), Ellie Tighe (19th, 19:39.3), Ava Hoersten (46th, 20:41.7) and Justine Smith (53rd, 20:46.4).
Girls soccer team ousted by Braves
The sixth-seeded girls soccer team lost to fifth-seeded Olentangy 3-1 in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 23 to finish 12-4-2 overall.
Davidson went 4-1 in the OCC-Central to finish second, behind Dublin Coffman (4-0-1).
Midfielder/forward Sydney Brown, who was one of six seniors, and junior forward Sonia Vargas were named first-team all-league.
Seniors Audrey Kaufman (defender) and Lauren White (goalkeeper) and junior Alivia Wile (forward) were second-team all-league, freshman Sydney Thompson (midfielder) was special mention all-league and junior Ellie Brorein (defender/midfielder) was honorable mention all-league.
Vargas and White both missed the latter part of the season with knee injuries.
Others eligible to return include juniors Aidan Everett (midfielder), Erin Kodger (defender), Emily Sculli (defender) and Gretta Syrett (midfielder), sophomores Grace Royer (forward), Kayla Stischok (midfielder) and Sydney Stover (defender/midfielder) and freshmen Audrey Gibson-Zweifel (goalie), Whitney Ho (goalie), Kate Kodger (midfielder/forward/defender), Khadija Seck (midfielder/forward), Sydney Thompson (midfielder) and Elizabeth Wile (defender/midfielder).
Boys soccer team falls to Shamrocks
The 22nd-seeded boys soccer team lost 4-0 to fourth-seeded Coffman in a Division I district semifinal Oct. 24 to finish 6-11-2.
Midfielder Coby Stover, who was one of 12 seniors, had six goals and three assists and was named first-team all-OCC-Central. Junior forward Charlie Riddle had a team-high seven goals and two assists and was first-team all-league, and junior defender Carter Ely had six goals and five assists and was second-team all-league.
Senior forward Radames Rosales had five goals, while junior defender Josh Burton was special mention all-league and junior defender Sean Carrier was honorable mention all-league.
Others eligible to return include junior Josh Augustine (forward), Avery Book (defender), Cole Donnellon (forward), Jackson Lightfoot (forward), Daiki Matsouka (forward) and Jacob Wells (defender) and sophomores Peter Nash (midfielder) and Lorenzo Nieves (goalie).