A fast start helped the Grandview Heights High School boys track and field team win its first district championship since 1989.

A fast start helped the Grandview Heights High School boys track and field team win its first district championship since 1989.

Joe Anderson won both the shot put and discus and the 3,200-meter relay finished first on the opening days of the Division III, district 2 meet that concluded May 19 at Gahanna. The boost helped Grandview total 125 points to win the 17-team meet ahead of runner-up Galion Northmor (87).

"We started strong and had a really solid day all-around (in the finals)," coach Brian Schoch said. "It all started (May 15) when Joe won both the shot and discus and then went on into the running preliminaries (May 16). We qualified someone in every event (of the running finals)."

Anderson won the shot put with a throw of 44 feet, 1 inch and was first in the discus (141-0) to advance in both to regional, which began May 23 and concludes Friday, May 25, at Fairfield Union.

The top four in each district event advanced to regional. The top four in each regional event qualify for the state meet June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.

The 3,200 relay of Ben Mathes, Luke Evans, Josh Smith and Brendan Cox won in 8 minutes, 33.02 seconds.

As usual, the Bobcats excelled in the distance events, finishing in the top two in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Mathes (2:03.68) won the 800 with Cox (2:05.25) taking second, while Smith (4:35.82) won the 1,600 with Evans (4:38.67) as runner-up. Evans (10:33.94) won the 3,200 and Chase Gage (10:51.75) was second.

"We really had some good all-around performances, especially in the distance events," Schoch said. "Ben Mathes had a (personal record) in the 800 and Josh Smith ran a 4:35 in the mile to run two seconds better than he has before."

The 800 relay of Payton Jones, Phil Readey, Tyler Mosier and Evan Tillett finished third in a season-best 1:34.89.

Last season in the regional at Fairfield Union, the Bobcats tied Fredericktown for sixth (30) behind champion Columbus Academy (71) as 46 teams scored.

Girls track team takes 2nd at district

The girls track team finished second (77) in the 29-team Division III district meet that concluded May 19 at Gahanna. Academy (83) won the title.

The Bobcats had three first-place relays - the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Emma Hecker, Emily Burns, Caitlyn Sarich and Jordan Fitzgerald won the 800 relay in 1:50.15 and Fitzgerald, Sarich, Hecker and Emily Lachey won the 1,600 relay in 4:14.74. The 3,200 relay of Ali Lachey, Emily Lachey, Anna Davis and Laura Satterthwaite was first in 9:47.97.

"(District) was a really good meet with four teams within four points going into the (1,600 relay)," Schoch said. "It was definitely a tight race and we had a lot of good things happen, but we couldn't get the win."

The Bobcats' top distance runner, Halli Bair, was bothered by a pulled muscle in her left thigh and did not advance.

"We held Halli out of the (1,600) and then she tried to run the (3,200), but we had to shut her down," Schoch said. "Can she run in one of the relays at regional? I really don't know, but she wasn't able to run (at district)."

Satterthwaite set the program record in the 800 (2:20.23) while finishing second.

Last year in the regional at Fairfield Union, Grandview was runner-up (57) as 47 teams scored and Waynesfield-Goshen (71) won the title.

Softball team sets standard for future

The softball team finished 12-12 overall, losing to eighth-seeded Heath 10-0 in five innings in the opening round of the Division III district tournament May 8.

"It might only be a .500 record, but it is one more win than we had in the last two years combined," said coach Jim Amato, whose teams finished 5-15 last season and 6-16 in 2010. "And we also had four girls batting over .400 and one over .500. I can't recall any player at Grandview hitting better than .500 before."

Sophomore third baseman Natalie Webb batted .534 and senior Kelly Berlin (OF/INF) hit .423. Senior shortstop Kyleah Burton-Smiles, who signed to play at Lake Erie College in Painesville, had a .417 batting average and junior Aileen Evans (INF/OF) hit .412.

The Bobcats finished 6-8 in the MSL-Cardinal Division behind champion Liberty Union (14-0).

Seniors for the Bobcats included Claire Artrup (P), Berlin (honorable mention all-league), Burton-Smiles (first-team all-league), Brenna McLaughlin (INF/OF), Olivia Reed (C/INF/OF) and Kelsey Senter (OF).

"Kyleah Burton-Smiles lettered all four years for us and the rest of the seniors all won three letters," said Amato, who completed his fourth season leading the program. "They did a great job providing us with a lot of experience and leadership."

Expected to return next season are juniors Mia Bell (OF) and Evans (honorable mention all-league) as well as sophomores Sierra Dobbs-Brown (INF/OF), Brooke Berning (INF/OF), Morgan Ramey (P), Grace VanFossen (INF) and Webb (second-team all-district, first-team all-league).

Freshmen included Emma Bulla (OF), Mary Guida (C), Morgan Taylor (OF/1B) and Allison Voelker (OF/1B).

"Natalie Webb and Aileen Evans hit for power and Mia Bell batted around .300," Amato said. "We lose a lot of experience, but we can gain some experience playing in the offseason."

Baseball team had growing pains

The baseball team finished 7-21 overall, losing to top-seeded Bloom-Carroll 9-1 on May 10 in the second round of the Division III district tournament after a first-round bye.

"We got some momentum going late in the season," first-year coach Chris Herring said. "We beat Harvest Prep (8-0 on April 30), Tree of Life (2-1 on May 2) and Ready (14-13 on May 9) to win three of our last four games. We were down 6-0 early against Ready and rallied to win, so that was a big win and helps give us confidence to build on for next year."

The Bobcats went 4-10 in the MSL-Cardinal to finish behind champion Licking Heights (13-1).

Grandview had two seniors in Ethan Calvert (OF/P) and Oliver Rouch (OF/SS/P).

"Oliver did a fantastic job in center field for us and was a good heads-up player and a great leader," Herring said. "Ethan came on strong for us at the end of the year and really helped us out, especially on the mound. He gave us some good innings late in the season."

Expected back are juniors Alex Cochran (3B/C), Nick Durham (utility/P), C.J. Flowers (3B; honorable mention all-league), Peyton Jones (P/OF), Max Joseph (OF), Andy McCauley (1B/P), Tyler Mosier (RF), Nick Peck (P/1B; honorable mention all-league) and Nick Perez (2B). Marco Stroppa (2B/OF) was a junior exchange student from Italy.

Josh Keller (C/P) and A.J. Pinyerd (1B/3B/P) are sophomores. Freshmen included Jon Faris (OF/2B/P), Joe Pinney (SS) and Leo Ready (OF/P; first-team all-league).

"We have 23 on the roster and only lose three," Herring said. "We look to have 11 or 13 freshmen coming in next year, depending on who comes out from the junior high. We should have decent numbers."