Grove City Record

Track & Field

Perez leads Comets girls at OCC meet

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JOHN HULKENBERG/THISWEEKSPORTS
Brenda Pereyra Perez led the Central Crossing girls track and field team with third-place finishes in the long jump and the 100 and 400 meters at the OCC-Central meet, which concluded May 18 at Thomas Worthington.
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Brenda Pereyra Perez of the Central Crossing High School girls track and field team rested on the infield at Thomas Worthington for at least 30 minutes at the end of the OCC-Central Division meet May 18.

Like the rest of her team, she was shaking off a regular season that didn't end exactly how the Comets wanted and gathering energy for what she hopes is a quality postseason.

Recovering from a leg injury, Pereyra Perez placed third in the long jump (15 feet, 9 1/2 inches), 100 meters (12.95 seconds) and 400 (59.96).

"She's still a little sore," coach Doug Boggs said. "She's been hurting the past few weeks and been in a boot. This is her first real meet in two weeks, basically. It flared up on her in the long jump, but she did her best. She was in there."

Largely behind her efforts and those of senior Molly Lalonde, the Comets scored 49 points and placed sixth behind Hilliard Davidson (141.5), Dublin Coffman (140), Olentangy Liberty (110), Upper Arlington (97) and Thomas (79.5) and ahead of Marysville (36) and Westland (9).

Lalonde was fourth in the 1,600 (school-record 5:18.89) and fifth in the 3,200 (11:51.5), senior Sami Peterson was fifth in the pole vault (8-0) and freshman Taylor Manivanh was fifth in the 400 (1:01.42).

Led by junior Toryko Grace's third-place finish in the discus (school-record 137-5), Central Crossing's boys placed eighth (28) behind Davidson (204.5), Liberty (127), Thomas (75), Coffman (72.5), Upper Arlington (61), Marysville (53) and Westland (31).

Freshman Colter Bass was fifth in the long jump (19-10 3/4), sixth in the 100 (11.67) and seventh in the 200 (23.85). Classmate Ryan Peoples was fifth in the shot put (44-7 1/4).

Boggs said the biggest sticking points for his team were some issues during relay exchanges. No Comets relay finished better than sixth, marks attained by the boys 400 relay (46.39) and girls 800 (1:52.99).

"We have to clean that up before (the district meet). But that's a good thing," Boggs said. "We know where we are. We still have another meet, and hopefully more than that. We learned a little bit about some of these kids today."

Central Crossing is competing in the Division I, district 3 meet at Hilliard Darby. It began with field events May 22, running event preliminaries take place Thursday, May 23, and running finals are Saturday, May 25.

The top four finishers in each event qualify for the regional meet Wednesday, May 29, and May 31 at Pickerington North. From there, the top four finishers in each event advance to the state meet June 7 and 8 at Ohio State.

Other teams in district 3 include Coffman, Upper Arlington and New Albany, which swept the OCC-Capital boys and girls titles last weekend.

"It's a good draw for us. I like where we are," Boggs said. "It hits our strong points. Brenda can get through in all of her events. I think Molly can get through. The throwers are starting to pick it up and they have a chance to get into the finals."

Greyhounds ready for district meet

For the second consecutive year, Grove City coach Jane Taylor left the OCC-Ohio meet thinking her team would get something of a respite when it participated in the Division I district meet.

The girls finished sixth (43.5) and the boys were eighth (19) in the meet, which took place May 16 and 18 at Thomas, and combined to get only one runner into the finals. That was sophomore Koffi Edah of the boys team, who placed sixth in the 300 hurdles (41.67).

"I honestly think (at) our district meet, we'll score more there than here, which is crazy. But that's a hats off to all the other programs in our league and what they're able to accomplish," Taylor said. "Some kids were a little discouraged after (May 16). Some of them who didn't make it to finals have been placing in the top three or four at some of the invitationals, but we talked to them and told them they had to understand they were competing in something as tough as district and regionals. They've seen a lot of state qualifiers. It so happens they're in our league and it will only make us better. Then they didn't feel too bad."

The girls finished behind Gahanna (177.5), Pickerington Central (141), Pickerington North (116.5), Reynoldsburg (78) and Lancaster (46.5) and ahead of Newark (35) and Groveport (21).

North romped to the boys title, scoring 202 points to more than double runner-up Central (99). They were followed by Gahanna (98), Lancaster (70), Groveport (67), Newark (54), Reynoldsburg (26) and the Greyhounds.

Senior Gabby Rodriguez was second in the discus (102-4) and seventh in the shot put (32-8 1/4) to lead the girls. Junior Megan Darst was second in the shot put (personal-best 36-3 1/4), sophomore Hannah Hawkins was third in the discus (101-1) and junior Danielle Shipley -- who cleared a personal-best and school-record 9-6 in the pole vault earlier this season -- was fifth in that event (9-0).

The 3,200 relay was fifth (10:47.2).

Freshman Doug McIntire was fourth in the boys 3,200 (10:36.56). The 800 relay was fourth (1:35.36) and the 400 relay was fifth (46.52).

Grove City began the postseason May 21 in the district 2 meet at Darby. That continued May 22 and concludes Saturday, May 25. Gahanna and Reynoldsburg also are in district 2.

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