Notebook: Groveport Madison boys runners get big win in rough season

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Kate Ratliff and the Canal Winchester girls soccer team sought to break an eight-game winless streak when they played Westerville South on Oct. 1.

As far as Groveport Madison cross country coach Nicole Schmidt is concerned, a win for her boys team Sept. 26 in the Marion and Ruth Gray Cross Invitational at Madison Christian is evidence that her runners are maximizing their potential as the postseason approaches.

Eli Jackson was second (20 minutes, 18.1 seconds), David Neal was sixth (20:40.4) and Kahari Davis seventh (21:07.8) to lead the Cruisers to 55 points and first place, two ahead of runner-up Ready in the five-team meet. Junior Nick Shelton was 15th (22:08.6) in his second meet after joining the team late.

That followed the early part of the schedule being disrupted because of a COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic quarantine.

“Our athletes were expected to train on their own so I’m obviously very proud of them,” Schmidt said. “Groveport typically has a smaller team and it got even smaller due to the pandemic. I’ve had a couple girls struggling with shin splints and hamstring issues, too.”

Led by Grace White’s ninth-place finish in 27:27.1, the girls team finished last of three teams (56) as Granville Christian won (24).

The Cruisers finish the regular season Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Marion Harding Invitational before participating in the OCC-Buckeye Division meet Oct. 17 at Pickerington Central.

Canal Winchester and Groveport’s girls tennis teams will head to Upper Arlington for a Division I sectional tournament Thursday, Oct. 8, and Saturday, Oct. 10.

For the Indians, Erin Duckworth, Maddie Remias and Aliana Runyon will play singles. Doubles teams will be Layla Fox and Maria Sims and Lauren Snider and Lydia Stek.

Cassie Salva and Ada Sayre will play singles for the Cruisers, with doubles teams consisting of Alayna Burholt and Jillian Caldwell and Liberty Edwards and Tyairah Flowers.

The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 15 and 17 at Reynoldsburg.

The Cruisers and Indians were scheduled to finish their regular seasons against each other Oct. 5 at Groveport. Canal Winchester was 2-10 before playing Watkins Memorial on Oct. 1, and Groveport took a 1-15 record into a match against Hamilton Township that same day.

•The Canal Winchester girls soccer team sought to break an eight-game winless streak when it played Westerville South on Oct. 1 and hoped to find itself offensively as the regular season winds down.

The Indians were 1-10-1 overall and 1-3-1 in the OCC-Capital before playing South, having been held to zero or one goal in eight of their first 11 games. Their only win entering the week came Sept. 8, 21-0 at home over Franklin Heights.

Earlier last week, Canal Winchester fell to 3-0 at home Sept. 29 to New Albany, the sixth-ranked team in Division I in last week’s state poll.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave