High school cross country runners love this time of the season, and Grove City's Zach Elliott is no different.
The Greyhounds competed in the OCC-Ohio Division meet Oct. 13 at Lancaster in their final tune-up for the postseason.
"In cross country, it's everybody's favorite time of the year," Elliott said. "Everybody has a blast and just out there having fun."
The boys team finished sixth (189 points) behind Gahanna (41), Pickerington Central (54), Pickerington North (56), Lancaster (68) and Reynoldsburg (147). Spencer Markham was 41st of 55 runners in 19 minutes, 2.1 seconds, followed by Brayden Smith (45th, 19:21.3), Elliott (46th, 19:50.4), Adam Meister (47th, 19:56.9) and Bryan Ransburgh (48th, 19:58.5).
"For me, the league meet is the warm-up for district," said Elliott, who is seventh (16:40) on the program's top 10 list. "It doesn't really have the same values as district and I just (did it) to get a good run in before district and stay in shape."
The boys will compete in the Division I, district 3 race Saturday, Oct. 20, at Hilliard Darby. The top six teams and top 24 individuals advance to the regional Oct. 27 at Pickerington North.
"The boys team has a shot if we run a smart, clean, fast race," coach Joe Dollins said. "It will be a fast course. They're going to have to run their best race of the season to get the best possible individual score, which will help the team score. I like our chances."
The girls team finished sixth (159) in the league meet behind Lancaster (42), Gahanna (49), Central (67), North (98) and Reynoldsburg (126). Madeline Zezuto was 17th (21:17.9) of 57 runners, followed by Lindsay Donaldson (27th, 22:08.3), Laney Hoyt (46th, 24:11.6) and Sumer McWilliams (49th, 24:40.2).
Zezuto is seventh (20:45) and Donaldson is ninth (20:42) on the program's top 10 list.
The girls will compete in the district 1 race. The top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to regional.
"The kids and I are always excited (for the postseason)," Dollins said. "Typically, the weather starts getting a little cooler and it's a little more conducive running conditions even though it's probably been the hottest fall in a long time. The kids are enthusiastic. They've been working hard, practicing hard. The seniors want to finish the season strong."
Girls volleyball team earns share of title
The girls volleyball team earned a share of the OCC-Ohio title with Pickerington Central at 8-2.
"Being able to complete the regular season with a league title is always huge, but this one meant a lot in many ways," coach Alan Pham said. "It helped us get out of a funk we've been in for the past couple of weeks."
The seventh-seeded Greyhounds were 16-4 overall before playing 42nd-seeded Columbus West in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 16. The winner plays 20th-seeded Westerville Central in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18, at the home of the better seed, and that winner plays in a district semifinal Oct. 25.
Boys soccer team opens postseason
The 19th-seeded boys soccer team was 6-4-6 before playing 14th-seeded Canal Winchester in the first round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 17.
The winner plays host to 31st-seeded Westerville North in the second round Saturday, Oct. 20, with that winner playing fourth-seeded Pickerington North, 29th-seeded Chillicothe or 39th-seeded Licking Heights in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the home of the better seed.
Grove City defeated Westerville North 1-0 on Aug. 17 and lost to Pickerington North 4-0 on Oct. 9.
The Greyhounds closed the regular season with an 11-1 win over Briggs on Oct. 11. Jordan Gray, Will Issac and Randy Ith each scored two goals.
Girls soccer team ready for postseason
The girls soccer team is 7-6-3 as it prepares for the Division I district tournament.
The 19th-seeded Greyhounds had a first-round bye and play 17th-seeded Pickerington Central or 28th-seeded Lancaster in the second round Thursday, Oct. 18, at the home of the better seed.
Grove City lost to Central 4-1 on Oct. 2 and tied Lancaster at 1 on Sept. 13.
The second-round winner plays second-seeded Pickerington North, 18th-seeded Dublin Scioto or 40th-seeded Marion Harding in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the home of the better seed.
The Greyhounds lost to North 4-0 on Oct. 9 and defeated Scioto 3-2 on Aug. 21.
Grove City closed the regular season with a 4-2 win over DeSales on Oct. 11 as Sofie Galiffo scored two goals.
Bane, Johnston compete at district tournament
Junior Ian Johnston and sophomore Jeremiah Bane closed their season by competing in the Division I boys golf district tournament Oct. 9 at Apple Valley.
Both tied for 23rd with a 79.
Grove City went 7-13 in the OCC-Ohio to finish fourth behind champion Gahanna (20-0).
Bane finished with a 78 league average and was first-team all-league. Johnston was honorable mention all-league with an 81.5 average.
Nathan Eberle, who was the team's only senior, had an 83.25 league average.
Junior Connor Estep, sophomore Thatcher Wilson and freshmen Nash Linder, Trent Ruffing and Jackson Ware also are eligible to return.
Saur caps season at district tourney
Playing in her second Division I girls golf district tournament, Lizzie Saur tied for 23rd (84) on Oct. 9 at Cooks Creek to close her sophomore season.
Last season, Saur tied for 33rd (85).
Grove City went 9-11 in the OCC-Ohio to finish fourth behind champion Pickerington North (20-0).
Saur (81.5 league average) was first-team all-league, junior Abby Jones (88) was second-team all-league and freshman Katie Thrun (96.8) was honorable mention all-league.
Junior Alexis Hyder, sophomore Ysabel Gomez and freshman Samantha Paduchik also are eligible to return.