David­son boys take 2nd at state meet

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - By Steve Black­ledge sblack­ledge@ dis­patch. com @ Black­iePreps

KIRKERSVILLE — The Hil­liard David­son boys cross coun­try team is go­ing to need to make more room in its tro­phy case.

David­son con­tin­ued its string of suc­cess Satur­day by fin­ish­ing run­ner- up to Hud­son for the sec­ond straight year in the Divi­sion I cham­pi­onship race at Na­tional Trail Race­way. The Ex­plor­ers outscored the Wild­cats 107- 153. Ma­son ( 158) was third.

Ga­hanna (244) and Pick­er­ing­ton North ( 256) took sev­enth and eighth place, re­spec­tively.

"We're real pleased to come out of here with a tro­phy again," David­son coach Pat Sch­lecht said. "Hud­son's a great na­tion­ally ranked team and we needed to run a nearper­fect race to beat them. Look­ing at the stats, our fifth scorer had to be a lit­tle closer for us to have a chance. There was a rather large dis­place­ment there."

The Wild­cats, who will run at the Nike NXN re­gional race in Terre Haute, In­di­ana, on Sun­day, were led by Con­ner Jo­hanssen ( eighth, 16: 16.2) and Max LeClair ( 29th, 16: 44.4). Their fifth run­ner, how­ever, came in 112th.

"We knew how good Hud­son was and we kept our goals real­is­tic and that was to get on the podium," said Jo­hanssen, who surged from 15th in the fi­nal 1,000 me­ters.

Since 2000, David­son has won the state once ( 2002), been run­ner-up four times and cracked the top five five ad­di­tional times.

The area's top fin­isher in the race was re­gional cham­pion Matt Du­vall of Pick­er­ing­ton North, who took sev­enth ( 16: 13) just ahead of Jo­hanssen.

"The pace went out a lit­tle too fast and I tried to draft off some other run­ners for a while un­til I was ready to make my move," Du­vall said. "I didn't do ex­actly what I wanted to do strat­egy- wise, but I was kind of hop­ing to get third or fourth coming in. All things con­sid­ered, I'm pretty happy."

El­liott Cook of Dublin Jerome took 11th ( 16: 20.5). Hil­liard David­son’s Con­ner Jo­hanssen heads to­ward an eighth­place fin­ish in the Divi­sion I race at Na­tional Trail Race­way.

In Divi­sion II, Penin­sula Woodridge cap­tured its eighth ti­tle with 109 points. Re­gional cham­pion Heath was fifth ( 200).

"Hon­estly, we did about as well as we could," Heath coach Scott Brown said. "We just wanted to make a run at it. We didn't get out quite as fast as we would have liked and that came back to bite us. But it's a young group and we hope to be back again next year."

Xavier Foehl of Heath was the area's top fin­isher, plac­ing 15th in 16: 47.2. Luke Mal­one of Jonathan Alder was 19th ( 16: 51.4).

Fort Lo­ramie won the Divi­sion III ti­tle with 127 points. Mount Gilead was fifth ( 165) and Fred­er­ick­town eighth ( 189).

Tay­lor Val­lan­geon of

Wor­thing­ton Chris­tian topped the area con­tin­gent, plac­ing ninth in 16: 52.8.

"I came in want­ing to go un­der 16 min­utes but the con­di­tions didn't co­op­er­ate," Val­lan­geon said, re­fer­ring to sub- freez­ing tem­per­a­tures and a muddy course that re­sulted in con­sid­er­ably slower times for all run­ners. "I was in the top six or seven for a while, but it feels good to make the top 10."

The in­di­vid­ual cham­pi­ons were Co­nant Smith of Mid­dle­town ( 15: 43.4) in Divi­sion I, Kyle John­ston of Lex­ing­ton ( 15: 52.9) in Divi­sion II and Noah Fisher of De­fi­ance Ay­ersville

( 16: 14.4) in Divi­sion III.

HULKENBERG/ THISWEEK NEWS­PA­PERS] [JOHN

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