Notes: Connor Ackley runs fastest times in Wildcats boys history

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Junior Justine Smith placed second to help the Davidson girls cross country team win the Central Ohio Invitational on Sept. 19 at Three Creeks Metro Park.

Connor Ackley is only a sophomore, but he already has rewritten the record book twice for the Hilliard Davidson boys cross country team. 

Ackley set the program record of 15 minutes, 9.68 seconds while winning the Central Ohio Invitational on Sept. 19 at Three Creeks Metro Park, and then he lowered the record to 14:59.67 while winning the Celtic Clash on Sept. 26 at Dublin Jerome. 

Colin Burdette established the previous record of 15:12.91 in 2012. 

“Connor and Davidson are just getting started in the process of racing,” coach Pat Schlecht said. “The more races we run, the better we will be.” 

Davidson finished first (28 points) of 11 teams at Three Creeks, ahead of second-place Marysville (60). 

The Wildcats then finished first (51) of 15 teams at Jerome, ahead of second-place Upper Arlington (97). 

*The Davidson girls cross country team finished first (57) of 15 teams in the Celtic Clash, ahead of second-place UA (105). 

Dillon Sweetman finished second (18:33.3) to lead the Wildcats. 

Senior Lindsay Stull, who missed the early part of the year with a right foot injury, made her season debut and finished first (20:07.2) in the junior varsity race. She has committed to compete in cross country and track and field at Penn State. 

The Wildcats also won the Central Ohio Invitational in an eight-team field, scoring 17 points to outdistance runner-up Waynesville (58). 

Caitlyn Jones finished first (18:28.08), Justine Smith was second (19:04.29) and Alyssa Mason placed third (19:12.85). 

–Frank DiRenna   

*Adam Beasley took pride in returning to his alma mater to guide the Davidson boys lacrosse program. 

Citing personal reasons, he stepped down Sept. 25 after coaching the Wildcats since 2017. The 2020 season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

Beasley, a 1997 graduate who played midfielder for the Wildcats, informed his players of his decision during a Zoom meeting.  

“After recent conversations, I realize that I cannot coach this program that I love to its full potential and it is time for me to step away and allow someone to come in that can,” Beasley said in a statement. “I want to thank everyone for all the support and trust over the years.” 

Under Beasley, the Wildcats went 36-25 overall and 16-5 in OCC-Central Division play. They shared the league title with Dublin Coffman and UA at 6-1 in his first season. 

–Frank DiRenna 

*The Darby football team defeated Thomas Worthington 35-14 on Sept. 25 to improve to 2-3 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal, but the Panthers could be a pair of defensive stops away from having only one loss, as two of their setbacks were by one possession.  

The Panthers opened with a 17-13 loss to Davidson on Aug. 27, when the Wildcats’ Leo Nixon scored the winning touchdown from 3 yards out with under 2 minutes remaining. 

The Panthers also surrendered a game-winning touchdown pass to Olentangy Berlin’s Jacob Moeller with 6:38 left in the fourth quarter of a 48-41 loss Sept. 11.  

“There’s just mistakes being made that are very costly,” coach John Santagata said.. “Things that I think we would typically avoid but that we’re just not this year.”    

Other than a 37-6 setback to Olentangy on Sept. 18, a game in which the Panthers were limited to 189 yards of total offense, the Panthers have moved the ball effectively with their wing-T attack.   

Darby finished with 268 yards of total offense against Davidson, 289 yards in a 31-28 win over visiting Marysville on Sept. 4, 480 yards at Berlin and 398 yards against Thomas. 

The Panthers are the only team to beat Marysville, which is 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the league and will face Olentangy on Friday with the OCC-Cardinal title on the line.  

The Braves lost 27-16 to Dublin Jerome on Sept. 25 to also drop to 3-1 in the league 

Against Thomas, quarterback Blake Horvath ran 16 times for 191 yards and four touchdowns and completed six of eight passes for 35 yards and another score. James Hakes carried 16 times for 66 yards.  

–Stephen Borgna  

*Entering this week, the Darby girls volleyball team was 6-8 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Cardinal. 

The Panthers’ two league victories were over Jerome (25-19, 29-27, 16-25, 20-25, 15-10 on Sept. 24) and Marysville (25-21, 25-27, 26-28, 25-19, 15-6 on Sept. 10). 

Darby, which ended a three-match losing streak in league play against Jerome, also had wins over Davidson (21-25, 26-24, 25-20 and 25-18, 23-25, 25-18 in a doubleheader Aug. 29), Central Crossing (25-22, 25-23, 25-20 on Sept. 3) and Newark (25-16, 17-25, 25-23, 25-19 on Sept. 8). 

Through 14 matches, Lexi Capka had 92 kills and 41 digs, Rachel Hopkins had 27 blocks and 33 kills, Reece Ludwig had 18 aces and 22 kills, Sophia Iosue had 188 digs and 229 receptions and Amanda Cowen had 159 assists and 55 digs.   

–Stephen Borgna  

*The Bradley boys soccer team was looking for more offense after its first eight games. 

Brian Kitchen scored off an assist from Elijah Solokha as the Jaguars snapped a four-game scoreless streak in a 2-1 loss to Berlin on Sept. 24. 

Bradley was 1-6-1 overall before playing Grandview on Sept. 28 and had scored only six goals this season. The Jaguars were shut out five times and scored once in a 2-1 loss to New Albany on Sept. 3. The other four goals came in a 4-0 win over Pickerington Central on Aug. 27. 

They played Davidson to a scoreless tie Sept. 22 to move to 0-1-1 in the OCC-Central. 

–Scott Hennen   

*The Bradley girls tennis team had won four consecutive matches and was 11-6 overall before playing Jerome on Sept. 30. 

The Jaguars finished 1-4 in the OCC-Central, behind champion UA (5-0). The Golden Bears have won 31 league championships in the last 32 years. 

Bradley defeated Dublin Scioto 4-1 on Sept. 23 behind victories from Anh Thi Thai (first singles), Nina Kisin (second singles), Reyann Askar and Madison Kennedy (first doubles) and Grace Hurley and Dhriti Sanyasi (second doubles). 

–Scott Hennen   

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