Looking for a return trip to the Division III state track and field meet, Grove City Christian School sophomore Calista Manns put herself in a favorable position by advancing to regional in four events.
The regional meet began May 24 and concludes Friday, May 26, at Fairfield Union. The top four finishers in each event advance to state June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
Last season, as the school's only state qualifier, Manns finished fifth in the 100-meter hurdles (15.37 seconds).
This season, she started the postseason by leading the girls team to a sixth-place finish (50 points) behind champion Mount Gilead (108) in the 15-team district 2 meet that concluded May 20 at Watkins Memorial.
Manns won the 100 hurdles (15.3), was second in the 100 (12.89) and 200 (26.85) and placed third in the 300 hurdles (49.63).
The top four finishers in each event advanced to regional.
"(Manns) did well," coach Mindy Bankey said. "She was a little tired at the end, but she looked good. She pushed herself hard. She's so competitive, so it was good seeing her perform well."
Morgan Iverson also qualified for regional by finishing second in the pole vault (9 feet, 4 inches).
Madeline Bliss, Iverson, Dalina Phomphenchane and Zaria Jackson just missed earning a regional berth in the 400 relay, finishing fifth (54.78).
The boys 400 relay qualified for regional, as Matt Bailey, James Rieser, Alec Sliemers and Brandon Rex finished fourth (47.06) in the district 2 meet.
Bailey, who is in his first year in the sport, was fifth in the long jump (program-record 19-1 1/2).
The Eagles finished ninth (19) of 13 teams behind champion Grandview (186).
"We're limited in numbers, but yet we did extremely well," Bankey said of the boys and girls teams. "Each of them pushed hard."
Baseball team closes
The baseball team finished 11-10 overall, losing to second-seeded East Knox 6-3 in a Division IV district semifinal May 16 at Marysville.
After a first-round bye, the eighth-seeded Eagles won at ninth-seeded Millersport 3-0 in the second round May 11.
"It was a huge improvement from the last two years," coach A.J. McCampbell said. "Getting to double-digit wins and having a winning season was definitely a step in the right direction."
The Eagles finished 6-16 last season and 7-14 in 2015.
Senior Dane Long (P/3B) batted .322 and was named first-team all-league. Juniors Kendrick Beard (1B/P), Alex Moore (.338; OF/C/P) and Luke Spegal (P/SS) were second-team all-league, and sophomore Gavin Robbins (C/P/INF) was honorable mention all-league.
Zachary Strawser (C/OF), the team's other senior, batted a team-high .375, and Moore led in RBI with 15.
Grove City Christian went 6-4 in the MSL-Cardinal to finish third behind Berne Union (9-1) and Fisher Catholic (7-3) and ahead of Fairfield Christian (4-6), Millersport (4-6) and Harvest Prep (0-10).
Other players eligible to return are juniors Cristian Gilkerson (OF) and Caleb Sullivan (3B/OF/P), sophomores Brett Baker (2B/C), Ethan Metsker (3B/OF) and Samuel Woods (1B/P/OF) and freshmen Nolan Creasap (INF/P), Jake Spegal (2B), Aaron Wickham (OF) and Andrew Wilson (1B/P).
"It's going to be hard to replace Dane, who was a four-year starter and made a huge contribution on the mound this season, but I love the foundation that's coming back when it comes to key guys who have been in the program and contributed for a while," McCampbell said.