The Groveport Madison High School track and field teams have just one more meet before competing in the OCC-Ohio Division meet and the Division I postseason.

The Groveport Madison High School track and field teams have just one more meet before competing in the OCC-Ohio Division meet and the Division I postseason.

The Cruisers will use the Hilliard Bradley Invitational on Friday, May 6, as a final tuneup for the league meet, which is May 12 and 14 at Big Walnut.

"For us, it's really hard to score high at an invitational because we lack depth in distance running," girls coach Aaron Fenzel said. "We currently have no one running the (3,200 meters) and two girls running the (1,600). Every meet we lose points in those events."

That said, Fenzel believes there are several members of his team who will have success in the league meet and postseason.

"Our best athlete is Imani Johnson, a junior who has tied the school record in the 200 (26.04 seconds)," he said. "I expect her to go well into the 25-second range. She made the regional in the 400 last season and I expect her to reach the 57s in that event.

"She also is a difference-maker when we put her on a relay team. She is someone that I feel will do very well (competing at the) college (level)."

Johnson was in last week's area honor roll in the 200 (26.85) and 400 (1:00.4). She also often anchors the 800 relay, which was in the area honor roll (1:47.51), and the 1,600 relay in major meets.

Cleopatria Steward, Reonna Harriston-Mitchell, Jaliyah Atkinson and Madison Young also have run on the 800 relay, while Steward, Mitchell, Young and Leah Monroe are others who have run on the 1,600 relay.

"Cleopatria is very easy to coach," Fenzel said. "She does well in the classroom, works hard during practice and has been there for us all season. She is one of our captions and I feel that she is starting to blossom right now. She is a result of our sprinting program and has been doing well in the 400.

"Madison Young is a freshman who I feel makes the 1,600 relay team solid. She is determined to get better every day. I feel her best event is the 400. She also runs the 200 and is on the (400 relay)."

Fenzel also has enjoyed watching the progress of freshman Toni Woods.

"She has amazing potential in the sprints and jumps and is starting to make a name for herself," he said. "Toni has placed at every meet this season in the long jump, and I feel that by the time she graduates, she will break the school record in the long jump, which is 16-7. She also is on our (400 and 1,600 relays)."

Softball team still riding high

The softball team had won eight consecutive OCC-Ohio contests and was 12-9 overall and 9-3 in the league before closing league action against Pickerington Central on May 2 and Reynoldsburg on May 4.

Junior catcher Jessie Rock hit a fifth-inning home run in all three games last week, as the Cruisers beat Lancaster 4-1 on April 25, Newark 7-2 on April 27 and Pickerington North 5-1 on April 28.

Rock entered the week hitting .403 with 18 runs scored, 10 home runs and 25 RBI.

The Cruisers' league winning streak began with a 7-1 victory over Newark on April 14, one day after they lost to North 3-1.

"Our confidence is soaring, but we're still playing an inning at a time rather than looking forward or backward," said coach Chris Downing, whose team entered the week having won six of its previous seven games. "Our defense has really come around and made some big plays and our pitching is giving us a chance to win every time we take the field. Sara (Gockenbach) and Chloe (Woods) are doing everything we ask of them as pitchers."

Through 21 games, Gockenbach was 9-5 with two saves, 94 strikeouts and a 3.90 ERA in 100 innings and Woods was 3-3 with a 2.63 ERA in 32 innings.

Lanie White was hitting .368 with 15 runs and 11 RBI, followed by Shyla Shirkey (.321), Gockenbach (.320, 15 runs, 10 RBI) and Carsyn Saunders (.302).

"We're getting timely hits throughout the order, which is something we didn't have earlier this season," Downing said. "We want to finish the regular season strong and carry over our play in the (Division I district tournament)."

Baseball team looking to get back on track

The baseball team had lost six consecutive games and was 7-13 overall and 3-9 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Reynoldsburg on May 2.

The Cruisers also played Reynoldsburg on May 4 in their league finale.

Groveport will be seeking to gain some momentum for the Division I district tournament when it plays Thursday, May 5, at Westerville South and Saturday, May 7, at home against Logan and Johnstown in a three-team doubleheader.

The late-season skid consisted of league losses to Pickerington North (4-1 on April 22 and 14-6 on April 25) and Pickerington Central (9-8 on April 27 and 9-5 on April 28) as well as losses to Teays Valley (7-3 and 6-5 on April 23).