The Groveport Madison High School girls track and field team was shorthanded during the OCC-Capital Division meet May 10 and 12 at Olentangy Orange.
The Cruisers, who finished fourth in the league, were hoping to have junior Toni Woods back and healthy for the Division I, district 2 meet this week at Hilliard Darby. Field events were competed on May 15 and the running preliminaries were May 16. The running finals are Saturday, May 19.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional meet Wednesday, May 23, and May 25 at Pickerington North.
"Toni has a quad injury and didn't compete the last week and a half and we're hoping to have her back for the long jump and in our (400, 800 and 1,600-meter relays for the district meet)," coach Aaron Fenzel said. "So we took a hit without her in the league meet, but I was happy with what we did in general under the circumstances."
The Cruisers totaled 81 points in the league meet to finish behind Big Walnut (137), Canal Winchester (126) and New Albany (113) and ahead of Newark (50) and Franklin Heights (16).
Atanna Gunnell won the 100 in a personal-record 12.86 seconds.
Finishing second were Madi Young in the 400 (1:01.5), Melanie Torres in the 3,200 (12:47.34), Asya Mosley in both the shot put (34 feet, 10 inches) and discus (95-11), the 400 relay of Gunnell, Chenise Smith, Emily Allen and Danasha Winfield (51.64) and the 800 relay of Gunnell, Young, Allen and Smith (1:48.32).
"With Madi Young, Toni Woods and Aysa Mosley coming back next year with all of our young girls, I think we're a year away from competing for a league title and more," Fenzel said. "I have seen a lot of growth with the young girls. Aysa and Madison Newsome both scored in both of the throwing events."
Newsome placed third in the shot put (33-10 3/4) and sixth in the discus (80-1).
Placing fourth were Torres in the 1,600 (5:39.39), the 1,600 relay of Young, Victoria Williams, Smith and Allen (4:17.85) and the 3,200 relay of Young, Torres, Cherub Clarke and Williams (10:30.64).
Allen placed fifth in the 200 (personal-record 27.08), while placing sixth were Williams in the 400 (1:03.17) and Issabella Burholt in the high jump (4-6).
The boys team finished sixth (60) in the league meet behind Big Walnut (164), Canal Winchester (120), Newark (76) and New Albany (75) and ahead of Franklin Heights (26).
Winning titles were the 400 relay of Kahari Davis, Esco Davis, Tahzmere Givens and Jalil Underdown (44.43) and the 800 relay of Kahari Davis, Tyrell Ford, Esco Davis and Givens (1:32.82).
Finishing second were Rafael Soler in the 800 (2:03.99) and Underdown in the 100 (11.4), placing third were Givens in the 300 hurdles (42.74) and Peyton Baker in the 1,600 (4:46.74) and finishing fourth were the 1,600 relay of Kahari Davis, Givens, Soler and Kaylen Gabbidon (3:46.25) and the 3,200 relay of Baker, Gabbidon, Thomas Gullatt and Soler (9:00.2).
"Underdown is a freshman who was injured during football season and didn't compete in indoor season, but he's healthy now and you can see it in his times," coach Jason Brooks said. "He has a lot of potential. Soler is a sophomore who was running the 800 for the first time this season and is a big part of the distance relays, and Givens is a junior captain who I can throw in any event and he will succeed. He holds our relays together."
Jon Motton placed fifth in the long jump (19-9 1/2), while Jashawn McGraw (shot put, 42-2 3/4) and Floyd (200, 23.45) both finished sixth.
"Motton and McGraw are both freshmen who are coming on strong," Brooks said. "We've got a lot of young talent."
The Cruisers are competing in the Division I, district 1 meet this week at Darby. The running preliminaries were held May 15, the field events are Thursday, May 17, and the running finals are Saturday, May 19.
Softball team seeks to reach 'next level'
The softball team was looking to play in its third consecutive Division I district final this week.
The fourth-seeded Cruisers were 20-7 before playing sixth-seeded Gahanna in a district semifinal May 14 at Pickerington Central.
The winner plays fifth-seeded Delaware or 15th-seeded Mount Vernon in a district final Friday, May 18, or Saturday, May 19, at Central. Entering their semifinal, the Pacers were 19-2 and the Yellow Jackets were 17-4.
The district champion will face Central Crossing, Reynoldsburg, Hilliard Bradley or Olentangy in a regional semifinal Wednesday, May 23, at Ohio State. The regional final is May 26 at Ohio State.
The Cruisers beat Mount Vernon 5-3 on April 21. Gockenbach pitched the final two innings in relief of Ally Maddy and earned the win, thanks to her two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth that snapped a 3-all tie.
Mount Vernon is led by junior pitcher and first baseman Hope Straight, an Ohio State commit, and junior pitcher Macee Marcum, a Cleveland State commit. Entering the postseason, Straight was batting .500 with 49 RBI and led central Ohio with 17 home runs, while Marcum was hitting .554 with five home runs and 21 RBI and was 15-4 with a 2.58 ERA.
Delaware is led by senior shortstop Amaia Daniel (.721, 10 home runs, 50 RBI) and sophomore pitcher Haley Armstrong (17-2, 1.69 ERA).
"No matter who you play the rest of the way, you're going to run into some great teams and great players," coach Chris Downing said. "We want to play to our ability, reach the district final and break through to the next level after losing in district finals the past two seasons."
Groveport beat Olentangy 6-3 on April 21, lost to Central Crossing 1-0 on March 31 and had a game with Bradley on March 29 canceled because of bad weather.
The Cruisers advanced to the district semifinal by beating 31st-seeded DeSales 19-5 in a second-round game May 9.
Through 27 games, Lanie White and MacKenzie Maddy both were hitting .484. White had 11 doubles and eight home runs with 39 runs scored and 28 RBI. Maddy had 14 doubles and 35 runs.
Other offensive standouts included Ally Maddy (.387), Sara Gockenbach (.375, 7 doubles, 3 home runs, 23 runs, 17 RBI), Macie Sporleder (.352, 4 triples, 3 home runs, 21 runs, 26 RBI), Milan Caldwell (.348), Carsyn Saunders (.342, 20 runs), Makayla Smith (.324) and Jodi Kern (.278, 26 RBI).
In the circle, Gockenbach was 19-6 with a 1.89 ERA, 208 strikeouts and 31 walks in 139 1/3 innings.
Baseball team ousted by Celtics
The 28th-seeded baseball team lost to 17th-seeded Dublin Jerome 6-4 in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 7 to finish 14-11.
"I'm proud of my team this season," coach David Eft said. "We battled hard and had our first winning season in over 14 years and we also finished with a winning record, 8-7, in the (OCC-Capital) for the first time in over 14 years.
"We scored three times in the seventh, but came up short against Jerome. We had some errors that cost us, but we played to the last pitch."
Season ends for boys tennis team
No members of the boys tennis team advanced from a Division I sectional held May 10 and 12 at Bradley.
In first-round singles matches, senior Chris Salva lost to Dublin Coffman's Alex Powell 6-0, 6-1, senior Miles Mason fell to Westerville Central's Will Arnett 6-2, 6-0 and junior Cutter Barnes lost to Hilliard Davidson's Ethan Clark 6-0, 6-0.
In doubles, senior Clayton Saunders and sophomore Dylan Uptegraft lost to Whitehall's Jacob Clark and Seth Coleman 6-3, 6-3 in the second round after a first-round bye and junior Zion King and freshman Zachary Copeland defaulted due to injury against Coffman's Grant Brooks and Coble Frank.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district Thursday, May 17, at Bradley and Saturday, May 19, at Upper Arlington.
The Cruisers finished 1-8 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Capital, placing fifth behind New Albany (5-0), Big Walnut (4-1), Newark (3-2) and Canal Winchester (2-3) and ahead of Franklin Heights (0-5).
Groveport is losing three seniors in Salva and Mason, who played the top two singles courts during the regular season, as well as Saunders, who played first doubles.