Grove City High School track and field coach Jane Taylor pointed to numerous personal-best performances as some of the many highlights for the boys and girls teams this season.

"It was a good season," Taylor said. "I'm sure they would have liked things to pan out a little bit different at the end, but at least they were able to reach a lot of the goals that they had set earlier in the year. It's hard when they're seniors. Everyone pretty much had personal records at the end, which is what we all shoot for. The kids were pretty happy about that."

Those personal-best efforts included a program-record performance by senior Morgan Lemponen in the pole vault. In her third season in the event, she eclipsed her own record with an effort of 11 feet, 3 inches in a home meet April 23.

Lemponen was the Greyhounds' lone regional qualifier. She finished seventh in the pole vault (10-8) to account for the girls team's two points in the meet held May 22 and 24 at Pickerington North.

"She had a great year," Taylor said. "She was trying out some different poles at the regional meet and she was having a tough time getting adjusted to those. The competition was really tough. She was a regional qualifier, so that was a good way to go out."

Lemponen earned the regional berth by tying Westerville Central's Gianna Brooks for second (11-0) in the district 1 meet that concluded May 18 at Hilliard Darby.

Lemponen will compete at High Point University in North Carolina.

Junior Neveah Whittier finished sixth in the pole vault (9-6), freshman Morgan Waterman was sixth in the high jump (4-10) and junior Lexie Tatum tied for seventh in the high jump (4-8) to account for the Greyhounds' other points at district.

Lemponen led Grove City in the OCC-Ohio Division meet held May 9 and 11 at Groveport by finishing third in the pole vault (9-6). Senior Sumer McWilliams was fourth in the 800 meters (2 minutes, 30.07 seconds), and Lemponen, Tatum, junior Gracie Yates and sophomore Brooke Armbrust were fourth in the 400 relay (52.7).

Other key athletes eligible to return include juniors Lindsay Donaldson (middle distance) and Olivia Reed (throws) and sophomores Laney Hoyt (distance) and Jenna Slabaugh (sprints, hurdles).

Senior Kingston McKinstry led the boys team at regional, finishing sixth in the long jump (21-11) to account for the Greyhounds' three points.

Senior Adam Meister was 12th in the 800 (1:59.01).

McKinstry earned the regional berth by finishing second (22-1) in the district 1 meet. Meister was third in the 800 (1:56.23).

In the league meet, McKinstry was second in the long jump (22-3 3/4) and Meister was second in the 800 (1:57.03).

Other key athletes eligible to return include juniors Spencer Markham (distance), Ben Rutledge (distance), Nate Smith (throws) and Nate White (sprints) and sophomores Aaron Francis (hurdles) and Caden Gordon (sprints).

Another highlight was both teams winning the Best of the South-West meet for the third consecutive season April 12 at Franklin Heights.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

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