Grandview Heights High School track and field coach Brian Schoch could only watch as two other schools celebrated MSL-Ohio Division championships, just as his boys and girls squads had done a year ago.
However, not all was lost in the league meet held May 8 and 11 at London. The competition his athletes faced could make a difference in the Division III, district 1 meet, which began May 15, continues Thursday, May 17, and concludes Saturday, May 19, at Watkins Memorial.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional Wednesday, May 23, and May 25 at Fairfield Union.
The girls finished third (116 points) in the league behind Bexley (128) and Columbus Academy (121) and ahead of Worthington Christian (68), London (61) and Whitehall (22). The boys were fifth (57) behind Worthington Christian (130), London (121), Academy (101) and Whitehall (63) and ahead of Bexley (48).
"Our conference is strong, strong, strong, and that level of competition can only help us in the postseason," Schoch said. "I was really happy with how our kids performed. We told them earlier (last) week that the only thing we could ask of them is to go out and compete like crazy, and they went out and did that for us."
Whitney Schaefer led the girls by winning the 100-meter hurdles (16.75 seconds) and 300 hurdles (48.19). She also was a member of the runner-up 800 relay (1:48.28) with Kacey Murphy, Hannah Yochem and Maddy Morosky and the second-place 1,600 relay (4:16.18) with Yochem, Nina Amicon and Murphy.
Morosky won the 400 (59.89) and long jump (15 feet, 8 1/4 inches). She also placed third in the 200 (27.38).
"My goal was to break 60 (seconds in the 400), so I was glad to do that," Morosky said. "I have been working to start stronger. My mind wanders and I worry about everyone around me. I need to stay focused on myself and how I am doing. You have to turn your mind off and just run and trust your practicing."
Murphy was second in the high jump (4-10), and Amelia Sturbois was runner-up in the pole vault (6-6). Liza DeVere was third in the high jump (4-10) and pole vault (6-6), and was on the third-place 3,200 relay (10:27.25) with Amicon, Yochem and Emma Hall.
Amicon was third in the 1,600 (5:32.97).
Ben Murphy won the pole vault, equaling his personal record of 11-6 to lead the boys. He also was on the third-place 800 relay (1:36.78) with Eli Evans, Jack Kessler and Nico Card.
"My PR was 11-6 and it got me the win," Ben Murphy said. "It gives me a lot of motivation going into district. It's the smallest increment in the world from making 12-0."
Kessler was runner-up in the 400 (51.65) and was a member of the second-place 1,600 relay (3:29.31) with Evans, Chris Miller and Card.
"We had a lot time drops and a lot of big races," Schoch said. "Our conference is loaded this year, some of the times across the board were just crazy. I was really happy with the way we competed."
Kinnard encouraged by boys tennis team
The boys tennis team finished 6-8 overall, two victories better than last season when it went 4-11.
Those results were pleasing to second-year coach Kathy Kinnard.
"It was really encouraging what we did this season," she said. "I thought we did really well.
"Overall, I thought we competed well and, to a player, we kept getting better and better. I thought we had good overall team camaraderie, and the kids had a good time."
The Bobcats completed their season on the first day of a Division II sectional tournament May 10 at Columbus Academy.
Senior Matt York led the Bobcats by going 2-1 in singles. Junior Brett Holcomb and sophomore Calvin Horning both went 0-1.
Junior Patrick Rowland and sophomore Bryan Gilleland were 1-1 in doubles, and the sophomore tandem of Aidan Papandria and Leighton Williams was 0-1.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district.
The Bobcats finished fifth (2-4) in the MSL-Ohio behind Wellington (6-0), Academy (5-1), Bexley (4-2) and Worthington Christian (3-3) and ahead of London (1-5) and Whitehall (0-6).
"We only had seven kids, but we didn't have to forfeit once because of illness, which was a coup," Kinnard said. "We did have kids out of town three times when we had to forfeit a court, but we won two of those three matches.
"We should have more next season. Matt did a good job as our only senior and we already had a couple of incoming freshmen come to a match or two in the last couple weeks checking into playing next season. Now if we could get a couple more than that, we'll be doing well."
Baseball team falls to Spartans
The baseball team surrendered eight runs in the final three innings and lost its Division III district tournament opener to 11th-seeded Marion Pleasant 10-4 on May 10 at home.
The 10th-seeded Bobcats finished 14-14.
"Ultimately, it came down to mistakes," coach Tyler Fitzgerald said. "We need to come through in high-pressure situations.
"There were times when we were visibly rattled. We let things that we couldn't control get to us and a young team will do that."
Grandview scored three times in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. Liam O'Connor and Luke Sterneker both had RBI singles in the inning.
Joey Bertani and O'Connor both had two singles, and Gavin Van Horn had an RBI single in the third.
The Bobcats also lost to Liberty Union 5-3 on May 7 in their regular-season finale.
Softball team loses postseason opener
The softball team lost at fifth-seeded Granville Christian 6-1 on May 7 in the first round of the Division IV district tournament.
Taylor Fultz tripled and Carolyn LaPrete, Leila Meyer and Megan Roberts all had singles for the ninth-seeded Bobcats.
Grandview finished 6-15 after defeating Briggs 11-1 in six innings May 9. Kayleigh Grindley and Meyer both doubled, and Emma Murphy had a single and four RBI.