A second consecutive near-perfect week by the Grandview Heights High School girls track and field team has the Bobcats feeling good about their chances of getting back to the state meet.

A second consecutive near-perfect week by the Grandview Heights High School girls track and field team has the Bobcats feeling good about their chances of getting back to the state meet.

The Bobcats, who had no state qualifiers last season, won the Division III district meet at Gahanna last Saturday and advanced to the regional in 13 events. They had a strong showing at district last year in coach Brian Schoch's first season, finishing second and advancing to regional in eight events, but he pleasantly was surprised by the performances last Saturday.

"It was beyond good," Schoch said. "Everything was just crazy, top to bottom, distance, sprints, hurdles."

Grandview scored 126 points to finish first of 23 teams, beating out second-place Columbus School for Girls (81). On Friday, the Bobcats will finish the regional meet, which began last Wednesday, at Fairfield Union. Grandview was eighth with 22.33 points last season as Bellaire St. John Central (104) won.

At district, Grandview won seven events. Hannah Stefanoff won the 1,600 meters (5 minutes, 23.12 seconds) and 3,200 (11:51.96). Stefanoff, who won the 3,200 by more than 30 seconds, said she feels she has learned from her experience at regional last season, when she finished eighth (12:33.15).

"I think (the key) is just to run smarter this year because I went out way too fast," Stefanoff said. "And also I need to calm down and not be as nervous."

Sarah Meier won the 300 hurdles (46.31) and the 200 (26.29), and she also ran on the winning 1,600 relay (4:07.6) with Paige Lachey, Emily Lachey and Hilary Ells and the winning 800 relay (1:48.32) with Paige Lachey, Jessica Frank and Kelly Lewis. Both relay times were program records.

Paige Lachey also broke her own program record in winning the 100 hurdles (15.54).

•The boys track and field team finished second (84) of 14 teams behind Fredericktown (97.5).

The Bobcats reached the regional in eight events and had three event wins. Colin Hall won the 3,200 (10:17.78) and ran on the winning 3,200 relay (8:25.02) with Joseph Lamonte, Dan Shannon and Noah Reed. LaMonte won the 1,600 (4:25.93) and he qualified for regional in the 800 (second, 2:01.0) and the 3,200 (third, 10:22.28).

Shannon also was fourth in the 800 (2:02.09). The Bobcats' other two qualifiers were Ryan Schofield, who was fourth in the 300 hurdles (43.39), and David Geygan, who was fourth in the long jump (19-3 1/2).

"The boys had a great day, too," Schoch said. "Distance-wise was awesome. Joe (LaMonte) winning the mile and coming back second in the 800 was great. We got two guys out in the 800, Ryan Schofield got out in the 300 hurdles. We placed and placed high in just about everything. We're really pleased with their performance."

At regional last season, Grandview qualified two athletes to state in three events and tied Millersport for 10th (27) as Newark Catholic (53) won. Both state-qualifying athletes from last season have graduated.

•Despite a 4-2 loss to Amanda-Clearcreek in the second round of the Division III district tournament May 15, the softball team exceeded expectations in coach Jim Amato's first season. The Bobcats, who had four coaches and 16 wins over the previous three seasons, finished 14-9 overall.

"It's just miles and miles ahead of where we thought we would be," Amato said. "The girls have the talent, they have the ability, they just needed to channel it in the right direction."

Grandview went 2-12 in the MSL-Cardinal Division last season, but this year tied Berne Union for third at 9-5 behind Liberty Union (13-1) and West Jefferson (12-2). The Bobcats will lose six seniors, including four-year letterwinners Caiti Fisher, Emma Liberatore, April Elting and Elise Hooley. Fisher handled nearly all of the pitching duties this season and made first-team all-MSL and second-team all-district. Fisher had a 1.49 ERA with 137 strikeouts and six walks and she batted .407. Liberatore started at third base for a fourth season and made honorable mention all-MSL. Hooley started at shortstop this season and also started at second earlier in her career. She hit .322 and was second-team all-MSL. Elting was a key contributor at a variety of positions throughout her career, but she missed much of this season with an injury.

The Bobcats also will lose seniors Spencer Jump (OF) and Julia Berry (OF/2B). Jump, who had not played softball since middle school, took over as the starter in center field and hit .361 and made honorable mention all-MSL.

Grandview is expected to return a strong core of players, but Amato said the summer will be crucial because so many of the players will be competing in other sports during the fall and winter.

"Over the summer, we'll work on the skills, the fundamentals," Amato said. "Some girls are going to get with some pitching coaches. We want to get some girls playing in a softball program this summer in a league. There are a couple girls I'm trying to send with another team to some tournaments. There is a lot of opportunity for improvement."

Expected returnees include juniors Tamiko Hess (OF/C), Haley Cropper (2B), Lisa Mesi (OF), Emmie Turkal (OF) and Allison Grasha (C), sophomores Abby Cameron (1B/P), Olivia Hickman (C) and Bridget Readey (P) and freshman Kyleah Burton-Smiles (INF/C). Cameron had a team-best .409 average and made second-team all-MSL. Grasha made honorable mention all-MSL.

•The baseball team had to settle for a tie for first in the MSL-Cardinal as Fisher Catholic completed its league schedule last Friday with a 10-0 win over Berne Union to pull even with Grandview at 11-3.

At a glance

Below are regional qualifiers for the Grandview Heights boys and girls track and field teams with district event, place and time/distance/height:

BOYS -- Joseph LaMonte: 1,600 (first, 4:25.93), 800 (second, 2:01.0), 3,200 (third, 10:22.28); Ryan Schofield: 300 hurdles (fourth, 43.39); Dan Shannon: 800 (fourth, 2:02.09); Colin Hall: 3,200 (first, 10:17.78); David Geygan: long jump (fourth, 19-3 1/2); 3,200 relay: Shannon, LaMonte, Noah Reed, Hall (first, 8:25.02)

GIRLS -- Paige Lachey: 100 hurdles (first, 15.54), 300 hurdles (second, 47.85); Hannah Stefanoff: 1,600 (first, 5:23.12), 3,200 (first, 11:51.96); Emily Lachey: 400 (second, 1:01.04); Sarah Meier: 300 hurdles (first, 46.31), 200 (first, 26.29); Hilary Ells: 800 (third, 2:23.02); Taylor VanDeusen: high jump (second, 5-0), pole vault (second, 9-9); 3,200 relay: Elise Clemens, Emily Lachey, Ells, Stefanoff (third, 10:04.8); 800 relay: Meier, Jessica Frank, Kelly Lewis, Paige Lachey (first, 1:48.32); 1,600 relay: Paige Lachey, Meier, Emily Lachey, Ells (first, 4:07.6)