The Division II state swimming and diving meet left the Grandview Heights High School boys and girls teams looking to the future.
The girls were filled with excitement. According to second-year coach Susan Ferguson, Phoebe Ferguson became the program's first freshman to reach the awards podium by earning a top-eight finish Feb. 22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
For the boys, junior Charlie Ferguson was forced to look ahead to next season after having a chest cold worsen before the competition, leaving him waiting to earn a state medal.
"We were disappointed that Charlie was sick, but he did what he wanted to do," said coach Ferguson, who is the mother of Charlie and Phoebe. "He went out fast in the first 100 (yards of the 200 individual medley on Feb. 21) and held on to make it back to the second day.
"It was exciting to have a freshman reach the podium and become our first freshman to come in (at state) with a full load of four events with two individual events and two relays. That's pretty impressive."
Phoebe Ferguson finished sixth in the 200 IM (2 minutes, 7.85 seconds) and 16th in the 500 freestyle (5:21.46). She set program records in both preliminary races, clocking 2:06.51 in the 200 IM and 5:14.98 in the 500 free.
"I went out pretty fast in the first 100 (of the 200 IM) because my breaststroke is my weakest part of the race and I have to push myself," she said. "I try to stay with people around me and then go to (butterfly) and (backstroke), and then I bring it home in the freestyle. I know that if I don't push it in the first 100, it's not going to be a good race."
Phoebe Ferguson also anchored two 12th-place relays, both of which included junior Annie Volker and seniors Martina Moncolova and Adelle Bechtel. The 200 free relay finished in 1:40.08 and the meet-closing 400 free relay set a program record of 3:40.52.
"The seniors were a little teary-eyed after the (400 free relay), but it was a great way to end the meet," coach Ferguson said. "The 400 (free) relay broke their own record (of 3:40.62) from district (Feb. 14 at Ohio State).
"They had great relay transitions and they were legal, which was a big concern. We were praying for fast turns and fast kicking. I'm really proud that every swimmer that qualified for state made it to the second day either in a relay or as an individual."
Volker also qualified in the 100 back (17th, 58.99) and 200 free (20th, 1:57.35).
Charlie Ferguson finished 15th in the 200 IM (2:00.52) after placing 16th (1:59.59) in the preliminary round to take the final spot on the second day.
He also was 20th in the 100 fly (53.39). His performances in both events were hampered by chest congestion.
"I'd say I knew I wasn't my normal self when I was practicing earlier in the week," he said. "The 200 IM was tough because of how long it is. I felt good going out in the first 100, but the second half and just being sick and the lack of proper training this week made it difficult.
"I learned that things aren't always going to go the way you want it. I think I have taken (the experience) a lot better than I thought I would have. I still have another opportunity next year. You have to put the tough races behind you and keep looking forward."
Coach Ferguson said both teams had great seasons despite limited numbers. The girls had 15 participants and the boys had six.
"For having such small teams, we came together during the last six weeks of practice to do well at sectional and district and now at state," she said. "It was well beyond what we thought would happen, and it was a successful season."
Boys basketball team enters postseason play
The sixth-seeded boys basketball team opened Division III district tournament play Feb. 25 at home against 18th-seeded Heath.
The winner plays ninth-seeded West Jefferson in the second round Saturday, March 2, at the home of the better seed, and that winner plays second-seeded Worthington Christian, 19th-seeded Northridge or 22nd-seeded Mount Gilead in a district semifinal Tuesday, March 5, at a neutral site. Grandview split with Worthington Christian in MSL-Ohio Division play, winning 62-56 on Dec. 8 and losing 43-32 on Jan. 18.
The district final is March 8 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
The Bobcats closed the regular season with a fourth consecutive victory, defeating Whitehall 69-47 on Feb. 19 to improve to 15-6 overall and finish 4-4 in the MSL-Ohio. Brian Collier scored a career-high 31 points and was 7-for-9 on 3-point attempts. Luke Lachey had 14 points and 13 rebounds and Manny Day added 10 points.
Jump leads wrestlers to district tourney
Hudson Jump continued his journey toward an unbeaten season and a second consecutive Division III state wrestling championship, as the senior won the 220-pound title in a sectional Feb. 23 at Madison Plains.
The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to district Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, at Rayland Buckeye Local, where the top four in each weight advance to state March 7-9 at Ohio State.
Jump went 3-0 at sectional, defeating North Union's Dylan Thompson 20-5 in the final to improve to 30-0. He opens district against Waterford's Colin Jackson (18-5), and other sectional champions in the bracket are Barnesville's Zach Meade (32-9), Sarahsville Shenandoah's Dalton Rice (40-7) and Liberty Union's Drew Walker (28-9).
Tazio Pintor also advanced to district for the Bobcats, finishing fourth at sectional at 120. Jack Wallace is a district alternate after finishing fifth at heavyweight, and Eli Tullis was sixth at 126.
Jump finished 41-1 last winter, winning the state title at 195.
Girls bowlers end season at district
The girls bowling team finished 12th (2,700) in the Division II district tournament Feb. 21 at HP Lanes as Jonathan Alder (3,471), Cardington (3,387) and Sparta Highland (3,353) advanced to state.
Junior Leila Meyer led with a 418 to finish 46th of 80 bowlers. Also rolling three games were juniors Paige DeNiro (400, 50th) and Emmy Davis (395, 51st) and senior Shea McHugh and junior Emily Bullock (both 393, tied for 52nd).
"We had a young team and hopefully we'll get better," first-year coach Ashley Stahurski said. "These kids haven't spent their entire lives bowling, so I learned that I had to use non-bowling terms to help them get better."
In the MSL-Ohio, Meyer was first-team all-league, Davis was second-team all-league and senior Tatianna Stryjewski was honorable mention.
Junior Luke Berlin competed for the boys team at district, rolling a 528 to finish 44th of 76 bowlers.
"I kept hitting a little light or a little heavy (on oil patterns), and I couldn't find my mark for a strike ball," Berlin said. "This should help me for next year. I got a new ball and I plan to get it re-drilled and work with it for next year."
In the MSL-Ohio, senior Noah Gangloff was first-team all-league and Berlin was second-team all-league.
Girls basketball team concludes season
The 12th-seeded girls basketball team finished 6-15 overall, losing at home to 14th-seeded Liberty Union 56-38 on Feb. 19 in the first round of the Division III district tournament.
The contest saw the return of sophomore point guard Hannah Yochem and sophomore guard Rachel Hartman, but it wasn't enough. Yochem missed five games and Hartman missed four, both with a broken wrist.
Yochem led with 15 points on five 3-pointers, and sophomore guard Tayler Pierce added eight points.
"They both got their casts off this morning (Feb. 19) and played for us, but they were a little out of sync after not playing for a while -- no shooting, no running, no anything," fifth-year coach Brian O'Mara said. "For them to come out and compete is a great thing. I would have liked to have won, but we competed with them coming back, and we have pretty much everyone back next year."
The Bobcats tied Columbus Academy for fourth (1-7) in the MSL-Ohio behind champion Worthington Christian (7-1). Yochem was first-team all-league, Pierce was second-team all-league and junior forward Emma Hall was honorable mention.
"Our top seven girls are coming back and we have a big eighth-grade class, and that will at least give us a j.v. team, which we didn't have this year," O'Mara said. "It's tough to take freshmen and throw them in the deep end of the pool right away."