With the return of several key runners, along with the addition of a pair of freshmen, Grove City Christian cross country coach Mindy Bankey entered the season with high hopes for the boys team.

The Eagles opened by competing in the New Albany Invitational on Aug. 19.

Freshman Luke McCoy was 86th of 203 runners in 21 minutes, 43.1 seconds. He was followed by freshman Danny Claffey (87th, 21:48.3), sophomore Dylan King (154th, 25:00.1) and senior Michael Flowers (174th, 27:00.5).

"We're extremely young on the boys side," said Bankey, who is in her sixth season. "We've got a senior, but the rest of them are sophomores and freshmen, which is great. There's a lot of opportunity there. We're really excited about that."

In the Pickerington North Classic on Aug. 24, King finished 167th (21:17.1) of 295 runners to lead the Eagles. Claffey (173rd, 21:25.9), McCoy (185th, 21:55.9) and Flowers (274th, 26:22.3) also competed.

"Danny is fast and has a huge amount of potential," Bankey said.

Sophomore Andrew Chalupa rounds out the team.

Senior Sydney King led the girls team at New Albany, finishing 120th (30:45.4) of 145 runners. Senior Rachel Mitchell was 129th (32:39.8), senior Hannah Allen was 136th (34:28.9) and senior Natalie Bankey was 143rd (36:50.7).

Mitchell led the Eagles at North, finishing 272nd of 348 runners in 29:02.3.

Coach Bankey said Mitchell has been battling a back injury.

"We don't want her pushing too hard at the beginning," coach Bankey said. "We want to save the best for last."

Rounding out the girls team are seniors Madeline Bliss and Maggie Isner.

"We're struggling a little on the girls side because we're all seniors, so we're a little top heavy this year, but we have a great group of girls," coach Bankey said. "They've been dedicated to the program since their seventh-grade year. There's good stuff happening."

The boys and girls did not have enough runners for team scores at both meets.

Coach Bankey said the program has been aided by the addition of Joe Montoya as an assistant coach.

"He's been awesome and we're excited about the future with his involvement," she said.

Boys soccer team earns first win

The boys soccer team was 1-1 before playing Ready on Aug. 29.

The Eagles opened Aug. 22 with a 1-0 win over Madison Christian. Zach Lauron scored and goalkeeper Bailey Garren had five saves.

Grove City Christian lost to Liberty Union 1-0 on Aug. 24.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

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Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City Christian cross country, boys golf, boys soccer and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 7 -- McGowan Invitational at Watkins Memorial

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 9 -- Delaware Christian at Cooks Creek

BOYS SOCCER

*Sept. 5 -- Home vs. Fisher Catholic

*Sept. 7 -- Home vs. Zanesville Rosecrans

*Sept. 11 -- At Harvest Prep

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

*Sept. 5 -- Home vs. Berne Union

Sept. 7 -- Morral Ridgedale Invitational

*Sept. 10 -- At Fairfield Christian

*League contest