The Grove City Christian School girls track and field team enjoyed a stellar season in 2017, highlighted by qualifying two athletes for the Division III state meet.

The Eagles are looking to continue that success this spring.

"We have a few new girls, but we had a very good team last year and we're looking forward to building on that this year," second-year coach Mindy Bankey said. "We're going to have a really good team."

The Eagles again should by led by junior Calista Manns, a two-time state qualifier. Last season, she finished second in the 100-meter hurdles (14.7 seconds) and seventh in the 100 (12.72) and 300 hurdles (46.12) to account for all of the Eagles' 12 points, as they finished 16th behind champion Anna (38).

Manns again should specialize in the hurdles and 100, along with the long jump.

"She's been working extremely hard," Bankey said. "She can pretty much do so much. She's so versatile. We're definitely blessed in that area."

Sophomore pole vaulter Morgan Iverson competed in her first state meet but was unsuccessful in three attempts at 9 feet, 6 inches. She'll also compete on relays.

"We're looking forward to seeing Morgan work hard to get back to state because I know she has a lot to show," Bankey said."

Senior Dalina Phomphenchane is hoping to earn her first state berth and will compete in sprints and relays. Last season, she teamed with Iverson and sophomores Madeline Bliss (100 hurdles, 400, relays) and Zaria Jackson (100, relays) to finish fifth in the 400 relay (54.78) at district, a spot shy of a regional berth.

"I feel like I've been a leader since I was a freshman," said Phomphenchane, who is the only senior on the girls team. "When I was a freshman our seniors were a little bit easygoing and early on I was given an opportunity to be a leader."

Also back are sophomores Natalie Bankey (hurdles), Olivia Ellis (400, relays) and Rachel Mitchell (400, 800, 1,600).

Junior Gidgyt Hartman (800, 1,600) and sophomore Brooke Benson (100, relays, pole vault) are new to the team, which also includes freshmen Alaina Dawson (pole vault, jumps, 100 hurdles, 100), Abigail McDonald (throws) and Brooke O'Dell (200, 400, relays).

The boys team should be led by junior Brandon Rex (sprints, jumps) and senior Winston Linville (pole vault, 400, relays).

Rex, who missed the early part of last season with a knee injury, qualified for regional in the 400 relay with 2017 graduates Matt Bailey, James Rieser and Alec Sliemers but missed the event because of another school commitment.

"Brandon is healthy this year and he's one of those kids that has a lot of ability," coach Bankey said.

Linville finished second in the pole vault (11-0) in the MSL-Cardinal Division meet. His personal best is 11-6.

"I'd like to make state and I'd like to get at least 12 (feet)," Linville said.

Also back are seniors Quenton Blount (throws) and Logan McDonald (long jump, 400, relays), juniors Brett Baker (pole vault, relays, 400), Zion Jackson (100, relays, 110 hurdles, jumps), Will Mayhew (distance, relays) and Jacob Stoneking (throws) and sophomores Atticus Fouts (throws) and Kyle Martin (distance).

Baker missed most of last season with a leg injury.

Sophomore Seth Ortega (sprints, relays) is new to the team.

"I have a lot of confidence in the abilities of the kids and their work ethic," coach Bankey said.

Baseball team out to good start

The baseball team was 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the MSL-Cardinal before playing Harvest Prep on April 10.

Grove City Christian opened league play with wins over Zanesville Rosecrans (14-8 on March 28), Wellington (10-0 in five innings April 5) and Fairfield Christian (19-2 in five innings April 6).

Luke Spegal tossed a no-hitter against Wellington.

Cameron Downton homered twice and Caleb Sullivan also hit a homer against Fairfield Christian.

The Eagles lost to Berne Union 7-3 on April 9.

Softball team opens with loss

After dealing with inclement weather, the softball team finally opened the season April 6 with a 15-0 loss at Fairfield Christian in five innings in an MSL-Cardinal game.

The Eagles then lost to Berne Union 20-1 in five innings April 9 and played Harvest Prep on April 10 in a pair of league games. They play host to Patriot Prep on Thursday, April 12, and resume league play the next day at Fisher Catholic.

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Schedules

TRACK & FIELD

April 5 -- at Central Crossing

April 6 -- Williamsport Westfall Invitational

April 10 -- at Berne Union with Fairfield Christian and Zanesville Rosecrans

April 17 -- at Columbus Academy with Northside Christian and Patriot Prep

April 20 -- Logan Elm Invitational

April 24 -- at Grove City with Ready

April 27 -- Millersport Invitational

May 1 -- at Central Crossing with Briggs

May 5 -- Teays Valley Kiwanis Invitational

May 8, 11 -- MSL-Cardinal meet at Berne Union

Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City Christian baseball and softball teams:

BASEBALL

*April 13 -- At Fisher Catholic

April 14 -- At Westland (DH)

*April 16 -- Home vs. Millersport

SOFTBALL

April 12 -- Home vs. Patriot Prep

*April 13 -- At Fisher Catholic

April 14 -- At Shekinah Christian (DH)

*April 16 -- Home vs. Millersport

*League contest