Members of the Grandview Heights High School boys swimming and diving team are headed back to Canton, and junior Tucker Rinehart said he will be ready.
Rinehart and classmates Willy Kramer, Josh Smith and Peter Bonn finished second in the 400-yard freestyle relay (program-record 3 minutes, 26.09 seconds) in the Division II district meet Feb. 15 at Ohio State. They advanced to the state meet, which began Feb. 20 with diving and concludes Friday, Feb. 22, with the swimming finals.
The top two placers in each district swimming event automatically advanced to state. In addition, 16 at-large state berths were awarded for each swimming event based on times statewide.
"When you walk in (to Branin Natatorium), it's kind of scary," Rinehart said. "You see all of these tall, cut guys walking around, and you feel a little out of place. This year, I plan to be a little more comfortable there and know what to expect."
The 400 free relay is seeded 24th at state. Granville won the event at district and is seeded 18th (3:21.65).
Last season, the 200 free relay of 2012 graduates Evan Tillett and Jacob Smith, Rinehart and Josh Smith finished 19th (1:31.64) and the 400 free relay of Tillett, 2012 graduate Sean Oberschlake, Josh Smith and Rinehart finished 17th (3:22.4).
"I watched (state) last year and I saw some incredible swimmers," Kramer said. "It's going to be great to be part of that."
Bonn did not attend state last year, but he has an idea of what will be in store for the Bobcats.
"There will be some really excellent swimmers and we'll have to do our best," he said. "We have to make the most of the experience."
The state experience is nothing new to Josh Smith, who will be participating in his fifth consecutive state meet. He qualified in cross country, swimming and track and field in the 2011-12 school year and qualified again in cross country last fall.
The Bobcats finished fifth (121) at district behind champion Granville (332) as 36 teams scored.
"We just had another great day," coach Patti Hoch said. "We had a lot of records and both the boys and girls teams had awesome days."
Hoch said the 200 medley relay, which was fourth (1:44.64) at district with Rinehart, Kramer, senior Chad Carter and Josh Smith, set a program record by more than two seconds.
The 200 free relay of Kramer, Rinehart, junior Zak Graham and Josh Smith was fifth (1:33.31).
The girls finished 10th (69) at district behind champion Granville (457) as 36 teams scored.
The 200 free relay of junior Ellie MacLeod, junior Maddie Bills, senior Julie Menke and junior Halli Bair was fourth (1:47.4). The 400 free relay of freshman Mary MacLeod, Ellie MacLeod, Bills and Bair was eighth (4:02.17).
"The girls 400 (free) relay was only one second from the (program) record, and we don't graduate anyone from that relay," Hoch said. "They give us a lot to look forward to next season."
Girls basketball team edges East Knox
The girls basketball team won its Division III district tournament opener, beating 13th-seeded East Knox 33-32 on Feb. 16 to improve to 11-11 overall.
The 12th-seeded Bobcats play at home against 14th-seeded Galion Northmor in a second-round game at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. The Golden Knights, who are 9-13, did not play Grandview this season.
"Our players are excited about the tournament and the challenges that lie ahead," coach Michelle Chavanne said. "They are having a lot of fun and it shows."
Against East Knox, the Bobcats made 11 of 14 free throws.
Sophomore guard Megan McCauley had 14 points, sophomore forward Grace Palmer scored six and sophomore forward Ali Lachey added five.
Senior forward Connor Skeen hit a pair of free throws late to secure the victory.
"We were up three (in the final minute) and (the Bulldogs) were able to cut it to one," Chavanne said. "Connor hit a couple of free throws and Grace Palmer did a phenomenal job on the offensive boards for us."
On Feb. 12, the Bobcats defeated Millersport 32-13 to finish 3-9 in the MSL-Cardinal Division. Palmer and sophomore forward Morgan Taylor both scored eight points.
Girls bowling team advances to district
The girls bowling team advanced to district for the first time and will compete Saturday, Feb. 23, at HP Lanes.
The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to the state tournament March 1 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
The Bobcats finished eighth (2,688) in a 25-team sectional Feb. 15 at Columbus Western Bowl as the top nine teams and top nine individuals not on qualifying teams advanced. Briggs (3,757) won the sectional.
"All of our bowlers contributed to a very successful day," coach Tony Thivener said.
Senior Taylor Woodhouse was 25th (451) and junior Sarah Kaltenecker was 27th (447). Also competing were junior Josie Pommering (359), senior Anna Field (339), junior Hannah Jones (174, two games) and junior Kate Lewis (93, one game).
Pommering (166), Kaltenecker (164) and Woodhouse (160) had personal-high games. The Bobcats recorded their best Baker game score (166) and best single-game score (681), and the total score was a high for a sectional performance.
The boys team finished 15th (3,049) in a 30-team sectional Feb. 16 at Eastland Lanes behind champion Westerville South (3,766).
Sophomore Tristen Rose was 51st (468) to lead Grandview. Columbus Academy freshman Aaron Brown (527) was the final individual qualifier.
Junior Joe Sterneker (463), junior Austin Lewis (453), junior Max Pierson (378) and junior Jake Bottorf (359) also competed for the Bobcats.
Boys basketball team awaits district foe
The fifth-seeded boys basketball team has a first-round bye in the Division III district tournament.
Grandview opens the postseason at home at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, against eighth-seeded Ready or 20th-seeded Heath. The Bulldogs are 5-16 and Ready is 11-10. Neither team has played the Bobcats this season.
The winner advances to play fourth-seeded Fredericktown, 14th-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek or 18th-seeded Northmor in a district semifinal March 5 at Delaware.
Grandview finished the regular season at 16-5 overall with a 47-41 win over Harvest Prep on Feb. 15. Senior forward Andy Treasure scored 15 points, junior forward Luke Miller had 10 and senior guard Adam Cincione added seven.
The Bobcats finished second (12-2) in the MSL-Cardinal behind Licking Heights (13-1).
Wrestling team sends three to district
The wrestling team had three competitors qualify for the Division III district tournament Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, at Duncan Falls Philo. The top four in each weight advance to the state tournament Feb. 28 through March 2 at Ohio State.
Junior heavyweight A.J. Pinyerd and freshman Brendan Fitzgerald (120 pounds) both finished second in a 14-team sectional Feb. 15 and 16 at Madison Plains, and freshman Thomas Stanley (170, 2-2) placed fourth. The top four in each weight class advanced.
Pinyerd (26-9 overall) went 2-1 at sectional, losing to Ready's Patrik Garren 6-0 in a final. Fitzgerald (33-5) also went 2-1, losing to Bloom-Carroll's Chandler Minnard 10-1 in a final.
Junior Sam Callison (2-2) is a district alternate after finishing fifth at 182. Junior Anthony Sagstetter (160, 1-3) was sixth, and also failing to advance were sophomore Ben Jump (138, 0-2) and freshmen Benton Bair (126, 1-2) and Preston Robson (195, 0-2).
The Bobcats tied Johnstown for 10th (69) behind champion Amanda-Clearcreek (258).