For the second consecutive season, Phoebe Ferguson reached the awards podium at the Division II state swimming and diving meet.
The sophomore for the Grandview Heights girls team finished seventh in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 6.69 seconds) on Feb. 21 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. Last season, she finished sixth in 2:07.85.
"It was really cool to finish in the top eight again this year," said Ferguson, who swam 2:07.42 in the 200 IM preliminary a day earlier. "Every year, the events get faster, so it was great to make it back there and beat my time from last year."
Ferguson was joined at state by her brother, senior Charlie Ferguson, and both won the consolation final in the 100 butterfly to place ninth overall. Charlie finished in 52.25 after going 52.06 in the preliminary, and Phoebe finished in 57.2 after setting a program record of 57.13 in the preliminary.
"Ninth is the highest I have ever placed at state, so that was good," Charlie said. "It also was pretty cool to finish in the same place as my sister in the final."
Charlie also placed 20th in the 100 breaststroke in a program-record 1:00.78.
"Even though my times weren't where I wanted, I still got up and gave it my all," he said. "Just knowing I gave it my all, I can walk away and feel satisfied with the meet and my high school swimming career."
Charlie was the lone competitor at state for the boys team, scoring nine points. That tied the Bobcats for 47th behind champion Cincinnati Indian Hill (224) as 66 teams scored.
The girls finished 13th (45) behind champion Gates Mills Hawken (399) as 59 teams scored. Hawken won its 21st consecutive title.
Phoebe also was on a pair of relays that reached the second day of competition. She joined senior Annie Volker, freshman Jada Heren and sophomore Sam Schaefer on the 11th-place 400 freestyle relay (3:41.67) and the 14th-place 200 free relay (1:41.86).
"It's always tough coming off of district and getting in the crazy atmosphere at state," third-year coach Susan Ferguson said. "The bodies were rested, but they were nervous.
"One of most memorable moments in the final day was that the pressure was off and they all had fun racing. That's what you want. You want the swimmers to just have fun and compete. Everyone was in great spirits."
Volker also was 23rd in the 200 free (1:58.56) and reached the final in the 100 backstroke, finishing 11th in 59.6.
"I was happy to see that Annie was able to compete in the (consolation) final of the (100) back," coach Ferguson said. "It was her first time coming back for an individual event, and she did well.
"I was super happy for the seniors. Charlie and Annie have kept a positive attitude and outlook with the younger swimmers. They were great leaders at practice and in meets. They have a lot of experience in big meets, and that helped the younger kids a lot."
Coach Ferguson said the program has a lot to look forward to with a bounty of young talent.
"We have some kids who have really grown with the training and that showed up at sectional and district," she said. "We also have some freshmen coming up who are promising. I'm excited to see what everyone can do when they come back."
Meyer to bowl at state tourney
Leila Meyer made history Feb. 20 by becoming the first state qualifier for the girls bowling team.
The senior rolled a 558 three-game series to finish second of 75 bowlers behind Maddie Hoverland (577) of Galion Northmor in the Division II district tournament at HP Lanes.
"No one from Grandview for the girls has made it to state, so it's really exciting," Meyer said. "I really just think our relationships with the other teams, having fun with them and making a lot of spares today was what kept me going. Spares win games."
The top two teams and top two individuals not on those teams advanced to state Saturday, Feb. 29, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
The Bobcats finished eighth (2,915) as Emily Bullock (427, 30th), Paige DeNiro (418, 33rd) and Maddie Hollar (355, tied for 52nd) also rolled three games.
Worthington Christian (3,429) and Northmor (3,315) were the team qualifiers, and Fredericktown's Hannah Vaughn (549, third) was the other individual qualifier.
"I'm beyond proud of the girls because last year we were last (12th) when we came here as a team," coach Ashley Stahurski said. "To go from last to eighth, I'm ecstatic."
Luke Berlin and Adam Narcelles competed for the boys team but did not advance to state. Berlin was fourth of 78 bowlers with a 593 as medalist Drake Davis (662) of Marion Elgin and runner-up Joey Henson (654) of Morral Ridgedale earned the two individual-qualifying spots.
"Luke did a great job," Stahurski said. "I mean, shooting 593, what more can you say? It's tough when only two (individuals) make it out."
Narcelles was 37th with a 466.
Boys team cruises in district opener
The top-seeded boys basketball team took its first step in its attempt to win a second consecutive district title, defeating 19th-seeded and visiting Danville 72-32 on Feb. 20 in the first round of the Division IV district tournament.
Brian Collier scored 19 points with three 3-pointers to lead the Bobcats, who improved to 18-5. Charlie James and Luke Lachey both added 10 points.
The Bobcats played 17th-seeded Fairfield Christian on Feb. 25 in the second round, and with a win they'll face seventh-seeded Shekinah Christian or 14th-seeded Tree of Life in a district semifinal Friday, Feb. 28, at a neutral site to be determined.
The district final is March 5 at Ohio Dominican.
Coach Ray Corbett chose the district bracket necessary for a chance to play in the regional at Ohio University instead of traveling to Dayton.
"We chose the bracket that has the champions going to Athens, but I'm not sure it isn't as tough as the Dayton region," said Corbett, whose team won a Division III district title last season. "You have New Boston (Glenwood) down there that's (third) in the state and you have (fourth-ranked) Peebles, which is the only team to beat New Boston.
Then you also have (sixth-ranked Zanesville) Rosecrans, (eighth-ranked) Berlin Hiland and Malvern. It's going to be tough for whoever wins district."