Grandview Heights athletes had a banner day Oct. 26 despite rainy, blustery conditions.
Derek Amicon won a Division III regional title for the boys cross country team at Pickerington North, and the boys soccer team captured its sixth consecutive Division III district championship by defeating MSL-Ohio Division rival Worthington Christian at Olentangy Orange.
Also, the girls soccer team played in a Division III district final at New Albany, but lost to league-foe Columbus Academy.
Amicon races to first regional championship
Amicon won his first regional title in 15 minutes, 50.2 seconds, well ahead of runner-up Liam Dennis (16:04.8) of Mount Gilead.
The junior advanced to state Saturday, Nov. 2, at National Trail Raceway along with senior Chris Miller, who finished ninth in 16:40.3. The top five teams and top 20 individuals qualified for state.
"I knew I had a chance and regional is always crazy with this weather," Amicon said. "I was glad to pull it off.
"Liam Kerr, (a 2018 graduate), won it my freshman year (in 16:25.0) and I loved seeing him standing up there on the podium with a gold medal. Now, I get to do that."
Amicon and Miller also advanced to state last fall, with Amicon finishing 22nd in 17:04.8 and Miller placing 51st in 17:35.5.
"Last year, I learned that you can't let the front pack leave you," Amicon said. "You don't want to let a gap occur. You always have to be the one moving. You can't let other people come up on you. You can't have other people passing you. You always have to be the one pushing forward."
The girls team finished seventh (204 points) in the Division III regional behind champion Mount Gilead (57), ending its season. Senior Liza DeVere finished 25th (20:44.1), followed by freshman Greta Tew (60th, 21:42.6), sophomore Nina Brown (63rd, 21:46.2), seniors Amelia Sturbois (75th, 22:06.0) and Emmalyn Kukura (82nd, 22:25.6), freshman Sosi Mahdashian (107th, 24:24.1) and senior Jenna Richards (121st, 25:36.5).
"The girls team did really awesome," coach Chris Szabo said. "They were sixth last week (at district) and we didn't think we would make it (to regional) and we were seventh this week.
"Liza was bummed that she didn't make it to state but she went out like we wanted, fast and staying in the middle of the pack. She ran a good race."
Late surge helps boys soccer team
The fourth-seeded boys soccer team trailed by two goals for much of its district final against top-seeded Worthington Christian, but scored twice in the final 10 minutes of regulation to force overtime.
Lance Trares then scored with 10:36 left in the second overtime for a 3-2 victory.
The Bobcats improved to 10-5-4 and advanced to play Cincinnati Seven Hills in a regional semifinal Oct. 30 at Xenia.
"We had won (district) five times in a row and now six so there is always pressure (to win)," Trares said. "Something just clicked. We just got mad and we started going for every ball and started passing the ball better."
The Warriors scored twice in the first 12 minutes of the game before the Grandview defense tightened up. Adam Bechtel scored with 9:20 left in the second half and Kai Iisaka tied the game with 1:30 remaining in regulation.
Trares scored the game-winner off a pass from Iisaka.
"It was a great knock down by Iisaka with his shoulder, and I wound up and kicked it from about 30 yards out," Trares said. "You work on things like that for fun before practice, but when you get in a game you usually don't get to do them. I was surprised it went in."
Coach James Gerdes said his team remained calm despite its early deficit.
"It took a while for us to adjust to the tempo and the conditions," he said. "We knew they were a big, strong, physical, direct team, and they caught us sleeping. We adjusted and counteracted them and kept going until the end."
Goalkeeper Owen Carter had nine saves.
The regional-semifinal winner plays Botkins or Cincinnati Mariemont in a regional final Saturday, Nov. 2, at a neutral site.
The regional champion plays Berlin Hiland, Lynchburg-Clay, South Webster or Wellington in a state semifinal Wednesday, Nov. 6, at a neutral site.
The Bobcats defeated 20th-seeded and visiting Harvest Prep 15-1 on Oct. 21 as Trares had three goals and Ross Day added two goals and two assists. They then defeated third-seeded and host Liberty Union 4-1 on Oct. 23 in a district semifinal as Trares had two goals and Day added one goal and one assist.
Girls team falls in district final
The top-seeded girls soccer team fell short in a district final, losing to second-seeded Academy 1-0.
The Bobcats finished 14-4-1 overall and tied Bexley for second (6-2) in the MSL-Ohio behind the Vikings (8-0), who won the league meeting 2-1 on Sept. 4.
"These games are always going to be competitive, always (going) to the final seconds," coach Bre Dominach said. "Every time we play them, it's always a nail-biter."
Senior goalie Addi Holcomb (honorable mention all-league) had four saves.
Senior midfielder Emma Hall (honorable mention all-league), junior forward Tayler Pierce (first-team all-league) and junior midfielder Tia Thomas (first-team all-league) scored in a 3-0 win over third-seeded Worthington Christian on Oct. 22 in a district semifinal.
Midfielder Izzy Evans, defender Hallie Georskey (second-team all-league), Hall (2 goals, 4 assists), Holcomb (72 saves) and defenders Claudette Moul and Georgia Ryan comprised the senior class.
"The seniors have been the heart and soul of the team and they've been an important part of the program their entire four years," Dominach said. "It's tough for them to go out like this, but they're still a good group."
The Bobcats expect to return their top six scorers in Pierce (15 goals, 6 assists), sophomore forward Zoey Miller (second-team all-league; 15 goals, 5 assists), Thomas (9 goals, 9 assists), junior midfielder Lindsey Bertani (second-team all-league; 3 goals, 6 assists), freshman forward Lucia Mastroianni (4 goals, 3 assists) and freshman midfielder Maggie Herlihy (3 goals, 5 assists).
Sophomore defender Maggie Baxter (second-team all-league) also is expected to return.