A strong start helped the Grandview Heights High School boys and girls track and field teams to success in the Division III regional meet May 29 and 31 at Fairfield Union.
Now, the Bobcats hope to race to the podium in the state meet Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8, at Ohio State.
Grandview was second in the boys and girls 3,200-meter relays in the first regional events, qualifying both for state. The top four in each regional event advanced.
"That was really a great way to start (regional)," coach Brian Schoch said. "In the first two events on the track, 20 to 25 minutes into the meet, you know you have two events already going to state. That was definitely a great start."
The girls 3,200 relay of sophomore Ali Lachey, senior Anna Davis, junior Laura Satterthwaite and junior Halli Bair finished in 9 minutes, 53.92 seconds. As a team, Grandview placed fifth (36.5 points) behind champion Columbus Academy (63) as 43 teams scored.
Senior Chase Gage, sophomore Ryan McHugh, junior Luke Evans and junior Josh Smith ran 8:18.91 in the boys 3,200 relay. The Bobcats finished 10th (22) behind champion Academy (89) as 41 teams scored.
Two other relays advanced for the girls. The 800 relay of Bair, senior Lindsey Smith, Davis and sophomore Emily Burns was second (1:49.87) and the 1,600 relay of Bair, senior Julie Menke, Lachey and Burns was third (4:09.1).
Lachey also was second in the 1,600 (5:17.44).
"Our (1,600 relay) has been going great," Schoch said. "They have cut 10 seconds in two weeks, which is pretty incredible."
Also advancing for the boys team was Evans in the 1,600 (second, 4:27.32) and sophomore Grant Varner, who was fourth in the shot put (48 feet, 6 1/2 inches).
"We were getting points from all over the place, including the field events," Schoch said. "Grant Varner getting out in the shot put as a sophomore was great for us."
Also competing for the girls at regional were Menke in the 100 hurdles (ninth, 16.97) and 300 hurdles (10th, 49.52), sophomore Morgan Ettrich in the pole vault (fifth, 8-3) and sophomore Madison Osborne in the pole vault (tied for sixth, 8-0).
The boys 1,600 relay was 10th (3:36.69) with senior Payton Jones, senior Tyler Mosier, Josh Smith and Gage.
Gage also competed in the 800 (ninth, 2:03.08), as did Smith (12th, 2:05.24). In the 3,200, Evans was eighth (10:03.84) and McHugh was ninth (10:16.17).
Last year at state for the girls, Davis, Satterthwaite, Lachey and 2012 graduate Emily Lachey finished eighth in the 3,200 relay (9:48.52). Also competing were the 800 relay of sophomore Emma Hecker, Burns and 2012 graduates Caitlyn Sarich and Jordan Fitzgerald (14th, 1:51.32), Ali Lachey in the 1,600 (11th, 5:23.3) and Satterthwaite in the 800 (11th, 2:21.92).
For the boys, Evans and Josh Smith ran with 2012 graduates Brendan Cox and Ben Mathes on the 3,200 relay that finished 13th (8:21.4). Smith also finished 13th in the 1,600 (4:37.43).
Inconsistency plagues baseball team
The baseball team struggled this spring, finishing 7-18 overall after losing at 10th-seeded Heath 10-0 in five innings in the opening round of the Division III district tournament May 14.
The Bobcats were seeded 22nd of 23 teams.
Grandview finished sixth (5-9) in the MSL-Cardinal Division behind Liberty Union (12-2), Fisher Catholic (11-3), Licking Heights (11-3), Berne Union (7-7) and West Jefferson (7-7) and ahead of Millersport (3-11) and Harvest Prep (0-14).
"We had some bright and shining moments during certain games, and in others we looked like freshmen," said coach Chris Herring, who completed his second season. "We only had a .248 team batting average and you need to at least be in the mid- to upper-300s to be successful."
Seniors were Zach Clemens (P/OF), Alex Cochran (3B/C; 1 home run), Nick Durham (INF/OF/P), C.J. Flowers (3B), Andy McCauley (1B/P; .462 in 7 games), Nick Peck (P/1B) and Nick Perez (2B/SS/P; .297, 1 homer).
Sophomore outfielders Jon Faris (.300) and Joe Pinney (.317) lead those expected to return.
Others expected back are junior Josh Keller, a three-year starter at catcher, sophomores Ethan Graham (P/1B), Ben Kinder (C), Leo Readey (OF/P), Tristen Rose (OF), Jake Walters (3B) and Hank Wilson (INF/OF) and freshmen Jeff Arndt (INF), Jake Bush (LHP/OF), Grant Crabill (P/OF), Tom Damschroder (P/INF), Colin Elliott (3B), Andre Readey (P/OF) and Thomas Stanley (P/C/3B).
"We had seven seniors, but only three of them had much playing experience," Herring said. "We'll be young again next year, but we will have some three-year starters, which should help us."
Softball players earn postseason honors
Freshman Andi Abbruzzese (INF/P) has been named honorable mention all-district in Division III for the softball team.
In team awards, senior Aileen Evans (INF) was named Most Valuable Player and sophomore Emma Bulla (OF) was named Most Improved. Junior Natalie Webb (INF) was the top defensive player and Abbruzzese was the top offensive player.
Junior pitcher Morgan Ramey and freshman pitcher Mary Emma McLeod won the team spirit award. Evans and senior Mia Bell (OF) were four-year letterwinners.