Brian Schoch raced from the posted results on Oct. 27 at Pickerington North, arms raised and screaming in jubilation.
As the Grandview Heights High School cross country coach approached the baseball dugout sheltering his runners from the elements, he started hugging and celebrating with everyone in sight.
The girls team had just qualified for the Division III state meet after the boys squad had advanced a couple of hours earlier.
It was the first time Grandview had qualified both the boys and girls teams to state.
"We train so much and put so much on the line every day," Schoch said, fighting back tears. "You put so much of yourself into the season, and you're not always guaranteed that you will be rewarded.
"This is the moment that you point toward all year, and to see these kids get the rewards for that hard work is great. To see that happen is amazing."
Each team finished fourth in its regional meet to earn the final qualifying berth for state Saturday, Nov. 3, at National Trail Raceway.
The boys returned to state by scoring 145 points, five fewer than fifth-place Caldwell in a 15-team field. Sugarcreek Garaway (53), Beverly Fort Frye (130) and Liberty Union (142) also advanced.
"There were six or seven teams battling for four spots to state, but (the boys) ran tough and were able to make it out," Schoch said. "It was so close. We were five points from not making it, but we were also only three points out of third and 15 out of second. Thanks goodness we were able to make it back."
Luke Evans was seventh in 16 minutes, 57.06 seconds to lead Grandview behind champion Logan Kettlewell (16:20.31) of Garaway.
Eli Reed (33rd, 17:55.17) was next for the Bobcats, followed by Chase Gage (35th, 18:01.68), Josh Smith (43rd, 18:410.46), Peter Mathes (65th, 18:42.26), Jon Faris (99th, 20:04.63) and Josh Clark (112th, 21:23.63).
It is the fourth consecutive sports season Smith has advanced to state. He qualified in cross country, swimming and diving and track and field last school year.
Last season, the Bobcats finished 14th (295) in the 16-team state meet behind champion McDonald (74). Evans was 21st (16:26.78) to earn all-state honors by finishing in the top 25.
The girls team scored 110 points in the 15-team regional to easily outdistance fifth-place Galion Northmor (138). Other state qualifiers were Mount Gilead (92), Garaway (101) and Columbus Academy (104).
"The girls all stepped up huge for us to (advance)," Schoch said. "It was truly a team effort and that's what it takes to advance to state."
Ali Lachey (15th, 20:02.89) led the Bobcats behind champion Tara Tollett (19:08.31) of Shadyside.
Madison Osborne (17th, 20:11.9) was next for Grandview, followed by Halli Bair (28th, 20:45.19), Emma Hecker (32nd, 21:05.26), Emma Wheeler (65th, 22:23.93) and Emma Mihocik (111th, 25:41.98).
The last time the girls advanced as a team to state was 2010, when they finished 15th (290) of 16 teams behind champion Minster (158) at Scioto Downs.
"For us, this has been a process," Schoch said. "You have to treat the process of training with respect and you have to trust your training. If you keep putting faith in the training every day and take care of the daily business then you can be rewarded. That's what makes this great."
Late goal dooms girls soccer team
The second-seeded girls soccer team lost to top-seeded Ready 1-0 in a Division III district final Oct. 27 at Gahanna.
Ready freshman midfielder Delaney Cutteridge scored with 5:54 remaining after the ball glanced off teammate Caroline Riewe. The unexpected ball movement caught Grandview goalkeeper Abby Riggs moving away from Cutteridge, who punched in the score.
"Games like this usually finish 1-0," said coach Mike Merna, whose team finished 15-3-2.
"The games are always close at this level."
Riggs had five saves.
"Usually, the winner is the one who is able to capitalize on one of their opponent's mistakes," Merna said. "We had our chances and didn't capitalize when we needed to."
Grandview reached the district final by beating sixth-seeded Fairbanks 2-0 at home Oct. 23 in a district semifinal. Mia Bell and Morgan Ettrich scored and Riggs had nine saves.
Boys soccer team falls to Academy
The third-seeded boys soccer team lost to second-seeded Academy 2-1 in a Division III district final Oct. 27 at Westerville South.
"We played the game we wanted to play," said coach Brian Neidenthal, whose team finished 15-2-2.
"We needed to create a few more opportunities for ourselves and we just didn't in the last half of the field."
Sam Claypool scored for the Bobcats and Ben Farynowski had two saves.
"Defensively, we got a little flat on that through ball and that's the difference in the game," Neidenthal said.
"I didn't think either goalie had to come up with big saves. It's one of those things where they made a couple passes to finish off a through ball down the middle."
Grandview defeated ninth-seeded West Jefferson 1-0 on Oct. 24 at home in a district semifinal. Colin Jourdan scored and Farynowski had two saves.
Football team loses season finale
The football team finished 5-5 overall, losing to Liberty Union 25-13 on Oct. 26 in an MSL-Cardinal Division game.
Licking Heights won the league at 7-0, followed by Liberty Union (6-1), West Jefferson (5-2), Harvest Prep (4-3), Grandview (3-4), Fisher Catholic (2-5), Berne Union (1-6) and Millersport (0-7).
Against Liberty Union, Nick Schopis was 11 of 28 passing for 138 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Payton Jones had a 58-yard touchdown reception and Joe Pinney had a 22-yard touchdown run.