Grandview Heights Roundup: Bobcats' Phoebe Ferguson reaches podium twice at state swim meet

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Grandview's Sam Schaefer, Phoebe Ferguson, Lucia Mastroianni and Jada Heren get ready to swim in the 200 freestyle relay in the Division II state meet Feb. 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In individual events, Ferguson placed third in the 200 individual medley and fifth in the 100 butterfly.

Phoebe Ferguson had problems with her turns, but the junior from the Grandview Heights girls swimming and diving team was able to stand on the awards podium in two individual events during the Division II state meet Feb. 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Ferguson placed third in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 6.65 seconds) and fifth in the 100 butterfly (57.16) as the top eight reached the podium.

It was her best performance at state after placing in the 200 IM in her first two prep seasons. She was seventh last season in 2:06.69 and sixth as a freshman in 2:07.85.

“I think I did pretty well even though I had trouble with my turns,” she said. “I was happy with my IM because I went faster than in district. I had some problems with my turns a little bit, but it doesn’t matter. I’m happy with my time and placement.

“In the fly, I was a little unhappy because I had a little trouble with the wall and still was able to make the top eight. I still didn’t do badly with that happening.”

Ferguson also competed on a pair of relays at state. She joined junior Sam Schaefer and sophomores Jada Heren and Lucia Mastroianni on the 13th-place 200 freestyle relay (1:42.05) and the 15th-place 400 free relay (3:43.96).

“I was really happy with our relays,” Ferguson said. “They got me excited to do well because I usually don’t swim the freestyle. We dropped a lot of time, so I was happy with that.”

The Bobcats finished 14th (42 points) behind champion Gates Mills Hawken (387) as 59 teams scored. The Hawks won their 23rd consecutive title.

Fourth-year coach Susan Ferguson said her athletes did a great job despite the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“It went better than expected despite the season of unknowns, like finding pools for practice and having fewer meets,” said coach Ferguson, who is Phoebe’s mother. “We didn’t have experience of racing in a big meet this year (until the MSL-Ohio Division meet Jan. 30). 

“It’s amazing for them to come here and be composed and be ready for this meet. We’ve been in the pool every day since sectionals (Feb. 13). I’m so proud of the kids.”

The Bobcats did not have any boys participating at state.

Phoebe Ferguson won the 200 IM (2:06.96) and was runner-up in the 100 fly (program-record 57.06) at district Feb. 18 at Bowling Green. The girls finished eighth (116) behind champion Columbus School for Girls (403) as 35 teams scored.

For the boys team at district, sophomore Blake Yates was third in the 100 fly (53.97) and fourth in the 200 free (1:49.27), and junior Marco Brunette was fourth in the 500 free (5:02.03) and fifth in the 200 free (1:49.44). 

The boys finished 11th (84) behind champion Dover (218.5) as 34 teams scored.

“We had eight boys this year and five of them moved on to district, and they did well,” coach Ferguson said. “Blake and Marco will be in the same events next year, and we look forward to getting some relays to state next year. We have a good eighth-grade group coming up. The same with girls. We have a couple good girls coming up.”

Phoebe Ferguson was happy she and her teammates were able to finish the season despite the shadow of the pandemic.

“It was a challenge with COVID and having less meets, but I feel like we worked through it,” she said. “I had to trust the process and keep going. ... I was happy things turned out the way it did.”

The Bobcats' Hannah Yochem surpassed 1,000 career points on Feb. 16

Yochem reaches career

milestone for girls

Hannah Yochem surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career with the girls basketball team Feb. 16 in a 45-24 loss to Columbus Academy in MSL-Ohio play.

Needing 11 points to reach the milestone, the senior guard scored 12.

“Hannah has had to overcome injuries, a change in coaches and even COVID,” coach Kalee Seagle said. “At times, it didn’t seem like she’d make it, but she kept her head down and did it.

“Scoring 1,000 points takes all four years and it takes time and effort. Hannah is a student of the game and is always trying to learn. You’re seeing that pay off for her.”

Yochem is the program’s third player to reach the milestone. The others are 1993 graduate Michelle Chavanne (1,341) and 1992 graduate Heather Abbot (1,142).

Chavanne was the head coach of the girls program from 2012-14.

The 17th-seeded Bobcats lost 48-34 at fifth-seeded Mount Gilead on Feb. 20 in the second round of the Division III district tournament. Rachel Hartman led with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Yochem added 12 points.

The Bobcats were 6-12 after defeating Franklin Heights 67-36 on Feb. 22 as Yochem scored 25 points to increase her career total to 1,039.

Boys basketball team

begins district play

The players on the fourth-seeded boys basketball team were in quarantine for the coronavirus prior to the Bobcats’ Division IV district opener Feb. 27 against 16th-seeded Fairfield Christian in the second round.

Grandview last suited up for a 61-46 loss to Buckeye Valley on Feb. 12 in the third round of the MSL-Ohio tournament. Aiden Leslie had 24 points for the Bobcats, who were 6-9 before playing Fairfield Christian.  

“We had individual workouts starting (Feb. 23) with one player to a basket,” coach Ray Corbett said. “We’re back (Feb. 27) as a team, as far as we know. We’ll see what happens. It’s unfair to have any expectations other than going in and playing hard.”

With a victory, the Bobcats would play host to sixth-seeded Millersport or 13th-seeded Grove City Christian in a district semifinal March 2.

The district final is March 5 on the home court of the highest-seeded team remaining in the bracket. Possible opponents include second-seeded Patriot Prep and ninth-seeded Tree of Life.

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SWIMMING & DIVING

MSL-Ohio standings: Boys — Columbus Academy (337), Bexley (208), Wellington (175), Buckeye Valley (189), Grandview (180), Worthington Christian (21); Girls — Columbus School for Girls (394), Academy (241), Grandview (164), Bexley (157), Buckeye Valley (76), Wellington (64), Liberty Union (24), Worthington Christian (23)

Seniors lost: Boys — Ethan Deis and Adam Ellis; Girls — Katherine Stephens

Key returnees: Boys — Marco Brunette and Blake Yates; Girls — Phoebe Ferguson, Jada Heren, Lucia Mastroianni and Sam Schaefer

Postseason: Boys — First (318) at sectional, 11th (84) at district behind champion Dover (218.5); Girls — First (299) at sectional, eighth (116) at district behind champion CSG (308), 14th (42) at state behind champion Gates Mills Hawken (387)