With the OCC-Ohio Division meet and the postseason approaching, the Grove City High School boys and girls track and field teams are nearing their peak performances at the perfect time.
The Greyhounds will compete in the league meet May 9 and 11 at Groveport in preparation of the Division I district meet beginning May 14 at Hilliard Darby.
"They're all peaking at the right time," coach Jane Taylor said. "Everybody each week is getting a little bit better and competing really well. You can only get better by running against the best. The kids have done great. Everybody is contributing to where we need them to be going into the end of the season."
A highlight for the girls this season is Morgan Lemponen setting the program record in the pole vault during a home meet April 23 against Grove City Christian and Ready. Lemponen, who finished second behind Grove City Christian's Morgan Iverson (11 feet, 9 inches), bettered her own program record of 10-7 with an 11-3.
Taylor said the 11-3 puts Lemponen in position to be a regional qualifier.
The girls won the Anthony Wilson Invitational on April 27 at Franklin Heights for the third consecutive season, collecting 149 points to finish ahead of runner-up Ready (109) as 11 teams scored.
Madeline Zezuto helped lead the Greyhounds by winning the 1,600 meters (6 minutes, 7.57 seconds) and finishing third in the 3,200 (13:34.56).
Sumer McWilliams won the 800 (2:40.13) and Laney Hoyt was second (2:46.27).
Gwen Sebring won the discus (83-8) and was third in the shot put (30-1 3/4). Morgan Waterman won the high jump (4-10), and Olivia Reed was second in the shot put (31-6 1/2) and third in the discus (81-6).
McWilliams, Hoyt, Zezuto and Lindsay Donaldson won the 3,200 relay (10:53.73), and McWilliams, Hoyt, Donaldson and Jenna Slabaugh won the 1,600 relay (4:22.16).
"We're very happy," McWilliams said. "I wanted to make sure we had the confidence to actually believe that we could stay at the top."
Adam Meister led the boys by winning the 800 (2:02.31). Nate Smith was second in the discus (124-6) and shot put (43-2 1/4).
The boys finished fourth (68) behind champion St. Charles (129) as 13 teams scored.
"We ran very well against some really tough competition for the boys," distance runner Jared Ellis said. "There were a lot of really good runners here and we did really well as a team."
Grove City will prepare for the league meet by competing in the Westerville Central Warhawk Invitational on Friday, May 3, at Otterbein.
"I love that meet," Taylor said. "It's great because the kids get an opportunity to run on a college track. It will be good to run against Westerville Central, which will eventually be in our OCC (division). The kids love it. Pole vault gets to be inside. The weather in the past there hasn't been the greatest, but we've done really well there, so the kids are excited about that."
Softball team looks to continue success
The softball team entered its contest against Pickerington Central on April 29 looking to extend its three-game winning streak.
The Greyhounds were 14-5 overall and 4-3 in the OCC-Ohio.
Grove City defeated Mayfield 11-1 and Worthington Kilbourne 14-0, both in five innings, April 27 at home. The Greyhounds collected 23 hits on the day.
Sydney Sharron hit a two-run home run in the first inning against Mayfield, and Maddie Wilcox had a two-run homer in the first against Kilbourne.
Baseball coach likes squad's progress
Baseball coach Ryan Alex-ander was happy with his team's progress heading into the latter stages of the regular season.
Grove City was 8-11 overall and 4-4 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Pickerington North on April 29.
"We're making progress," Alexander said. "We have to win the first-out battle offensively and defensively. We're getting closer. We have two big weeks left (as of April 29) to get where we want to be heading into the (Division I) district tournament."
The Greyhounds scored nine runs in the sixth inning in a 16-6 win over Pickerington Central on April 24, avenging a 5-4 loss to the Tigers on April 22.
Grove City lost to defending state champion Olentangy Liberty 4-1 on April 27.
Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City baseball, softball, boys tennis and track & field teams:
*May 3 -- Home vs. Reynoldsburg. The Greyhounds lost to the Raiders 7-3 on April 10 and won 11-8 on April 12.
*May 6 -- Home vs. Gahanna. The Greyhounds defeated the Lions 7-1 on April 15 and 5-0 on April 17.
*May 8 -- At Pickerington Central. The Greyhounds lost to the Tigers 5-4 on April 22 and won 16-6 in six innings April 24.
May 2 -- Home vs. Olentangy Orange
May 6 -- Home vs. 42nd-seeded Licking Heights in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays 21st-seeded Canal Winchester in second round May 8 at home of better seed. The Greyhounds are seeded 12th.
May 2 -- At Franklin Heights
May 3 -- At Worthington Christian
May 4 -- Viking Invitational at Teays Valley
May 6 -- At Whitehall
May 7 -- At Hilliard Bradley
TRACK & FIELD
May 3 -- Warhawk Invitational at Otterbein