Neither rain nor blustery winds nor a muddy course would deter the Hilliard Davidson girls in the Division I regional cross country meet Oct. 26 at Pickerington North.
With its top five runners all placing in the top 15, Davidson compiled 36 points to crush the field in record-setting fashion. Runner-up Thomas Worthington finished some 113 points behind.
"We’ve run all over Ohio against all of the best teams, but this is the first time we’ve encountered these kinds of conditions," Wildcats coach Nathan King said. "But the weather’s not going to faze us. We talked about running tight in proximity to their teammates and they certainly did that. I wouldn’t say this was our best race. Hopefully, we’re saving that for next week."
Entering the state meet Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway, the Wildcats are ranked No. 2 in the state behind nationally ranked Beavercreek.
Led by second-place Lindsay Stull and fifth-place Sophia Hoersten, Davidson compiled a spread of just 59 seconds among its five scorers.
The individual winner was Daniella Santos of Hilliard Darby, who finished in 17:48.7. She beat Stull by more than 22 seconds.
"My goal was definitely to come in and win, but I wasn’t too worried about my time," said Santos, who was runner-up in 2018. "As long as it’s not hot, the weather doesn’t bother."
Darby coach Jon Agriesti said Santos’ game plan was simple.
"We didn’t want to mess around," he said. "Daniella just went out and got it. … We really liked that time. That should put her among the top girls next week."
Gahanna’s boys made history, taking their first regional title with 100 points. The Lions beat two-time defending champion Davidson by 30 points.
Riley Jackson placed 10th and Benjamin Towler 14th to pace Gahanna.
"We think we have the best team in our school history, and we came out and proved it," Jackson said.
Coach Ryan Beck projected a tight race with Davidson.
"Top to bottom, I was really pleased with how we ran," Beck said. "Based on the trend of our season, we’ve been getting better every week and that’s what you shoot for."
Matt Duvall of Pickerington North repeated as individual champion (15:33.8), winning by some 15.8 seconds over Elliott Cook of Dublin Jerome.
"There were about five of us together going into the woods, but at the hill (at 1.8 miles), I threw in a surge that separated us," Duvall said. "Elliott beat me last week and I was eager to bounce back and prove something today."
In Division II, Chillicothe Unioto outscored Heath 65-99 for the title. Xavier Foehl of Heath was the top individual (15:46.2).
Led by winner Reilly Zink (18:25.2), Granville easily won the girls title with 50 points.
Mount Gilead made it a clean sweep in the Division III competition, with the boys scoring 54 points and the girls 57.
Derek Amicon of Grandview was the boys winner (15:50.2).
"I had a sinus infection last year and didn’t do as well as I wanted," he said. "I came in thinking I had a good chance to win."
In the girls race, Mount Gilead teammates Allison Johnson (19:02.7) and Baylee Hack (19:05.7) went one-two for the second year in a row.