Grove City Record

Track & Field

Grove City girls roll at Best of South-West

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Micaila Mountain and Sydney Smith's domination of the 1,600 meters and 3,200 for the Grove City High School girls track and field team is nothing new this season.

But even after earning top finishes in both of those events in the Best of the South-West meet April 17 at Central Crossing, Mountain and Smith didn't expect how thoroughly the Greyhounds would dominate the rest of the field.

Mountain, a sophomore, won the 1,600 (5 minutes, 43.98 seconds) ahead of runner-up and freshman Smith (5:45.63), then Smith won the 3,200 (12:38.51) and Mountain was third (13:39.98) to help power Grove City to 120 points and the team's first Best of the South-West championship.

The Greyhounds won nine other events and beat runner-up Central Crossing by 51 points. Westland was third (37) and Franklin Heights fourth (30).

"I knew we've been doing really well, but all of us felt like this one would be really close. We're ecstatic," said Smith, who took about a minute off her previous-best 3,200 time. "I can just say I wouldn't be doing half as good if Micaila wasn't my teammate. We push each other and it is really helpful. Even as a freshman, I feel like I can push myself and stay with the older girls."

Mountain also helped the 3,200 relay to first place (10:50.21).

"We really like to pace each other and stay with each other," Mountain said of her and Smith. "When Sydney has a goal in mind, she keeps going until she gets it. She doesn't stop. I hope that will rub off on the other girls."

Grove City's boys were second (77) to Franklin Heights (91), which won its second consecutive Best of the South-West title. Westland was third (48) and Central Crossing fourth (39).

The Greyhounds girls' other wins came from Gina Conti in the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches) and 400 (1:01.25), Carmen D'Ippolito in the 100 (12.98) and 200 (26.4), Megan Darst in the shot put (34-2), Hannah Hawkins in the discus (103-2), Danielle Shipley in the pole vault (9-0) and the 800 relay (1:54.41).

Shipley shared the meet record with Central Crossing's Julia Swallows, who finished second.

Darst was second in the discus (99-5) and Shipley was second in the high jump (4-8).

"This involves a lot of hard work and quick turnarounds," said Grove City coach Jane Taylor, clutching the championship plaque. "It's tough when there aren't a lot of teams, either. There's one heat of everything, so you just have to put it all out there. Four teams makes the score closer sometimes. I knew we had a lot more depth this year, and tonight was a great example."

Nate Boll helped Grove City's boys 800 relay to first (1:34.89) and the 400 relay to second (46.38), and he was second in the 100 (11.5) and 200 (23.45). Boll, who missed most of last football season with a calcium deposit and bone fracture in his left leg, decided to try track as a way to stay in shape and improve his speed.

"I'd never run track before," said Boll, who is a running back and safety in football. "I am really enjoying it. I am upset about being second today, but that's the first time I've been second this year. I'm not really satisfied with what I did personally, but I'm happy with the team (performance)."

Koffi Edah won the 300 hurdles (41.98) and was second in the 110 hurdles (16.14) and was on the winning 800 relay. Matt Geroski won the pole vault (10-0), and Doug McIntire was second in the 1,600 (4:57.23) and 3,200 (10:46.63).

Field competitors pace Comets

Central Crossing's Toryko Grace won the boys discus with a school-record 148-6 and was third in the shot put (45-6) to help pace the Comets.

"It wasn't a real good throw, but it still got me a place," Grace said of his shot put effort. "I got 47-1 (on April 11 at Hilliard Darby's Panther Invitational), which is a personal best for me. I just started throwing last year and I've put in a lot of extra work. I want to be a leader for this team, and I take that role seriously."

Taylor Manivanh led the girls team with a win in the long jump (15-8) and third-place finishes in the 200 (27.84), 400 (1:02.49) and high jump (4-6). Despite Manivanh having set a personal-best mark in the long jump, she said the 400 was her best event.

"I came close to PR'ing in that by a second or so. I just felt really good," Manivanh said. "We're not happy that we didn't win, but we're going to push ourselves harder because of this. We had a hiccup, but our season is really just getting going. We're going to be in good shape by the time championship season gets here."

Central Crossing got runner-up finishes from Conner Ewald in the boys pole vault (9-6), the boys 3,200 relay (8:53.35), Noelle Brown in the girls long jump (13-8), Kristina Myers in the girls 3,200 (12:50.97), Maggie Swallows in the girls shot put (30-6.5), Hannah Whitaker in the girls 100 hurdles (17.85) and Danere'a White in the girls 100 (13.45) and 200 (27.46).

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