The Grandview Heights High School girls track and field team was able to do more with less.
The Bobcats carried a roster of 15 into the Division III, district 1 meet that concluded May 19 at Watkins Memorial. Despite those limited resources, they were able to compile the necessary points to win a district championship.
Grandview finished first of 16 teams with 89 points, ahead of runner-up Northridge (82.5).
"It was a big surprise, honestly," said Whitney Schaefer, who advanced to regional in both hurdles events and two relays. "We don't have any people on our teams anymore. We had a lot of people graduate and this is the smallest team that we have had in a long time."
Schaefer was third in the 300-meter hurdles (personal-record 46.14 seconds) and fourth in the 100 hurdles (personal-record 16.6) as the top four finishers in each event qualified for regional May 23 and Friday, May 25, at Fairfield Union.
The top four in each regional event advance to state June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
Schaefer, Hannah Yochem, Kacey Murphy and Maddy Morosky ran on the first-place 1,600 relay (4:14.77) and the second-place 800 relay (1:48.36).
"(The smaller roster) has been a challenge for us, but obviously we have a lot of competitive girls that can run," coach Brian Schoch said. "We were able to score enough in a number of different events. We got a little bit here and a little bit there and it all added up for us."
Nina Amicon finished second in the 800 (2:32.1) and third in the 1,600 (5:27.02). Liza DeVere was third in the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches) and fourth in the 800 (2:32.57), and Murphy was fourth in the high jump (4-9).
"We had harder competition at district (in the high jump) and the weather wasn't steaming hot, which also really helped," DeVere said. "It also was good to have Kacey there competing with me because we push each other to do better."
Morosky won the 400 (1:02.24) and Yochem was third (1:04.27). Emma Hall was fourth in the 3,200 (12:49.19).
The boys finished fourth (70.5) of 16 teams in district 1 behind champion Worthington Christian (135).
Chris Miller was runner-up in the 1,600 (4:32.67) and Derek Amicon was third (4:42.1). They also were part of the second-place 3,200 relay (8:19.09) with Liam Kerr and Eli Evans.
Evans joined Jack Kessler, Miller and Nico Card on the runner-up 1,600 relay (3:33.87), and he also finished third in the 400 (52.58). Eli Hall was third in the 800 (2:04.93), and Ben Murphy placed third in the pole vault (10-8).
"We had a lot of kids get through and it was one of our better meets from the boys side," Schoch said. "We had lot of time drops (in the finals) and did well enough to gain some good momentum going into regional."
Baseball team expects strong nucleus back
The baseball team finished 14-14 overall, falling short of its first winning season since 2009 when it went 20-8.
However, the Bobcats had only three seniors and expect most of their lineup to return.
"We put ourselves in position to win and that was the next level that we needed to go," fourth-year coach Tyler Fitzgerald said. "To keep climbing that mountain, we need to come through in high-pressure situations in how we pitch and how we play."
In the Division III district tournament, the 10th-seeded Bobcats had a first-round bye and lost a second-round home game to 11th-seeded Marion Pleasant 10-4 on May 10.
Grandview tied Bexley and Worthington Christian for third (5-5) in the MSL-Ohio Division behind London (8-2) and Academy (6-4) and ahead of Whitehall (1-9).
The Bobcats lose Cam Richards (OF; .308, 12 RBI, 14 runs), Isaac Smith (INF) and Luke Sterneker (P/INF; honorable mention all-league; .333, 15 RBI, 15 runs) to graduation.
"This senior class will be missed," Fitzgerald said. "They are proud to be from Grandview and to be helping us go in the right direction."
Leading the expected returnees are junior Jake Hollar (OF) and sophomore Joey Bertani (1B/P).
Bertani was named second-team all-district and MSL-Ohio Player of the Year, putting up impressive numbers at the plate and on the mound. He led the Bobcats in batting average (.443), home runs (3), RBI (23), doubles (14) and on-base percentage (.510) and scored 23 runs. He also was 1-3 with a 1.09 ERA, 20 strikeouts and 13 walk in 32 innings.
Hollar was second-team all-district and first-team all-league. He batted .376 with 17 RBI, a .467 on-base percentage and team highs in runs (33) and stolen bases (16).
Junior Gavin Van Horn (P/SS) was honorable mention all-district and second-team all-league. He was 3-4 with a 4.85 ERA, 30 strikeouts and 24 walks in 21 2/3 innings and batted .295 with 21 RBI, 27 runs and 11 stolen bases.
Two pitchers also received all-league honors. Junior Jon Vetter (second team) was 4-1 with a 3.26 ERA, 20 strikeouts and 13 walks in 49 1/3 innings, and sophomore Luke Berlin (honorable mention) was 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA, 24 strikeouts and five walks in 39 2/3 innings.
Sophomore Sam Amurgis (2B) hit .375 with 19 RBI and 22 runs.
"The next step for us is to compete, get timely hitting and handle the ball better," Fitzgerald said. "To win tight ballgames against good teams, you have to make fewer mistakes, and that's something we need to work on."
Young softball team continued to improve
Second-year softball coach Tori Lynch was pleased with the improvement shown by her young team, which finished 6-15 overall.
In the MSL-Ohio, the Bobcats placed fourth (2-6) behind co-champions London and Whitehall (both 7-1) and Bexley (3-5) and ahead of Worthington Christian (1-7).
"The biggest improvements came from learning to play and work together in this new (system) and learning how to execute critical plays at a high level," Lynch said. "I want them playing high-level softball, even if that means our record doesn't always show a winning season. A winning season for me is seeing this team and this program develop skills that were previously lacking at Grandview. The wins will come."
The Bobcats lose four players to graduation in Jayla Coplan (P/INF; first-team all-league; .377, 3 home runs, 18 RBI, 21 runs, 12 stolen bases), Kayleigh Grindley (OF; .327, 12 RBI, 12 runs), Carolyn LaPrete (C; honorable mention all-league; .306, 12 RBI, 14 runs) and Megan Roberts (P/2B/OF; .262, 6 RBI, 13 runs).
"This group of seniors holds a special place to me as they were part of the first group I ever coached when I started coaching middle school at Grandview," Lynch said. "They were true leaders and executed plays when needed just like every coach expects of a senior class."
Sophomore Claire Bower (honorable mention all-league) led Grandview at the plate and in the circle. She batted .459 with one homer, 17 RBI, 27 runs, a .554 on-base percentage and 11 stolen bases. She also was 5-9 with a 5.71 ERA, 47 strikeouts and 37 walks in 88 1/3 innings.
Sophomore outfielder Jenna Richards (second-team all-league) batted .354 with 12 RBI, 20 runs and 18 stolen bases. Sophomore Marissa Tose (3B) hit .288 with 12 RBI and 17 runs, and sophomore Leila Meyer (SS) batted .270 with nine RBI and 17 runs.