Josh Smith feels at home in the Division III regional track and field meet. He also is getting comfortable with trips to state.

Josh Smith feels at home in the Division III regional track and field meet. He also is getting comfortable with trips to state.

The junior for the Grandview Heights High School boys team said he likes running on the track at Fairfield Union, which is playing host to the regional that began May 29 and concludes Friday, May 31.

The top four in each event advance to the state meet June 7 and 8 at Ohio State. Smith is trying for his second consecutive state track berth and his sixth consecutive sports season at state.

"I really like that track (at Fairfield Union)," said Smith, who also has reached state in cross country and swimming and diving. "It really feels like a big-time meet and the crowd is big and loud. Nothing compares to state, but it's a pretty great meet."

Smith was a member of the 3,200-meter relay that captured the title in the district 2 meet held May 21, 22 and 25 at Hamilton Township. He joined senior Chase Gage, sophomore Ryan McHugh and junior Luke Evans to win in 8 minutes, 23.77 seconds as the top four in each event advanced to regional.

The boys finished second (90 points) behind Fairbanks (134) as 16 teams scored.

"The (MSL-Cardinal Division) was really good this year and that really helped prepare us for (district)," coach Brian Schoch said.

In the 800, Smith was third (2:03.73) and Gage was fourth (2:04.31).

In the 1,600, Evans won (4:34.14) and Gage was third (4:40.57).

Evans also won the 3,200 (10:19.09) and McHugh was third (10:23.4).

"Ryan McHugh did a great job for us," Schoch said. "He didn't know that he was running the 3,200 until the day before the race and he really came out and did a great job."

Sophomore Grant Varner won the shot put (47 feet, 7 inches).

The 1,600 relay of senior Payton Jones, Smith, Tyler Mosier and Gage was third (3:32.89).

Last year at state, Evans and Smith joined 2012 graduates Brendan Cox and Ben Mathes on the 3,200 relay that finished 13th (8:21.4). Smith also finished 13th in the 1,600 (4:37.43).

Girls teams competed at Hamilton Township in a single district meet, and the Bobcats placed second (66.5) behind Columbus Academy (96.5) as 24 teams scored.

"There were 32 teams in the district, so that made it tough," Schoch said. "But this is the sixth consecutive year that we have finished first or second in the district. I don't know if the girls realize how difficult that is to do."

The girls clinched second place ahead of Galion Northmor (64) by finishing fourth in the 1,600 relay (4:13.32) with junior Halli Bair, senior Julie Menke, sophomore Emily Burns and senior Anna Davis.

"Everybody went all out," Burns said. "I don't always get the chance to run the (1,600 relay) and I ran a (1:02.6), which is my best split."

The 800 relay of senior Lindsey Smith, Davis, Burns and Bair won in 1:49.98.

Menke finished second in the 100 hurdles (16.77) and third in the 300 hurdles (48.83). In the pole vault, sophomore Morgan Ettrich was second (8-9) and sophomore Madison Osborne tied for third (8-0).

The 3,200 relay of sophomore Emma Hecker, Davis, sophomore Ali Lachey and Bair was third (10:07.53).

Lachey was fourth in the 1,600 (5:17.04).

"We had (personal records) all over the place," Schoch said. "We had a lot of gutsy performances."

Offseason crucialfor softball team

The softball team finished 6-17 overall, losing at second-seeded Heath 7-0 on May 15 in the second round of the Division III district tournament. Grandview was seeded 17th of 20 teams and had a first-round bye.

The Bobcats finished sixth (4-10) in the MSL-Cardinal behind co-champions Liberty Union and West Jefferson (13-1).

"We have good kids, but to get to the next level they have to play softball more than just in the spring," said Joe Abbruzzese, an assistant to first-year coach Ron Cameron. "We play in a tough league, and those girls play softball throughout the year. The more softball our girls play, the better they will become."

Freshman pitcher/infielder Andi Abbruzzese (first-team all-league) led the team with a .524 batting average to go with a .565 on-base percentage, 21 runs, 17 RBI and 30 stolen bases. Junior third base-man/catcher Natalie Webb (second-team all-league) hit .481 with a .550 on-base percentage, one home run, 14 runs and 27 RBI. Senior infielder Aileen Evans (honorable mention all-league) batted .474 with a .538 on-base percentage, 15 runs and 19 RBI.

Sophomore outfielder Emma Bulla hit .441 with a .479 on-base percentage, 15 runs and 20 stolen bases, and freshman pitcher Mary Emma McLeod batted .391 with .429 on-base percentage and 10 RBI.

Sophomore Riley Cochran (INF/OF) batted .306, and sophomore Allison Voelker (OF/1B) batted .302.

Also expected to return are juniors Brooke Berning (INF/OF) and Grace VanFossen (INF), sophomores Mary Guida (C) and Morgan Taylor (OF/1B) and freshman infielder Sophia Hallum.

Doubles team falls in1st round at district

The doubles team of seniors Luke Snider and Trevor Voelker lost to Bexley's Will Gingery and Max Knox-Kelly 6-0, 6-1 in the first round of the Division II district boys tennis tournament May 24 at Columbus Academy.

The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state.