Grandview Heights Roundup: Bobcats boys track and field team getting newcomers up to speed

Scott Hennen
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Grandview Heights senior P.J. Tingler runs the final leg of the 400-meter relay during a meet at Thomas Worthington on April 6. Tingler is among the competitors who also contributed for the boys team in 2019.

Grandview Heights track and field coach Brian Schoch is trying to put the feeling of what could have been behind him.

The boys team was graced with “ridiculously talented” athletes last spring, but the season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. That dashed any hopes of winning MSL-Ohio Division, district, regional or even state titles.

Schoch does have talented performers this season, but few will be in the class of 2020 graduates Ravi Kumar (middle distance), Luke Lachey (sprints, high jump), Iain McCormick (pole vault, sprints), Chris Miller (distance) and Luke Wallace (high jump, 100-800 meters).

“We’re trying not to dwell on last year, but we’re still mindful of the high, high-caliber kids that we had,” said Schoch, who is in his fourth season. “We had tremendous kids and tremendous performers.

“We won’t have ridiculously talented kids like last season, but we will have some really, really good kids. We definitely will have some depth.”

Senior distance runner Derek Amicon is back after placing fifth in the 1,600 (4 minutes, 25.18 seconds) in the 2019 Division III state meet. Since then, he won the Division III state cross country title as a junior and was third last fall.

“I think this season I’m in better shape for the lower distances,” Amicon said. “I’m looking for a good (3,200) time and would like to have a better (1,600) time. I don’t typically run the open 800, but I would like to run well in that as well.

“Coach has us doing a lot of speed work. He always says that speed will always help no matter what the distance. Whether you are preparing for the 400 or a 5K, having sprinting speed will help you.”

Henry Murphy (pole vault, sprints), Matthew Taylor (throws) and P.J. Tingler (sprints, hurdles) are other seniors who contributed as sophomores. Juniors Collin Haj Abed (hurdles, relays) and Connor McCormick (sprints, pole vault) also contributed in 2019.

Senior Connor Dobies (hurdles), sophomore Tristin Pierce (sprints) and freshman distance runners Noah Curfman and Dennison Murphy also are expected to be solid scorers for the Bobcats.

“We still have a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things,” Schoch said. “We’re fully anticipating having a good squad.

“We have a lot of new kids — the freshmen and sophomores — that are out for track for the first time. It always takes a couple of meets to help you figure out who goes in what events. As coaches, it’s up to us to figure out who fits best where.”

Freshman Madeline Palmisciano is expected to be one of the top distance runners for the Bobcats girls team.

Girls team filled

with young talent

The girls track team has a lot of new faces but still expects to be one of the top Division III squads in the area.

Seniors Tayler Pierce (sprints, high jump) and Hannah Yochem (200-800, relays) have the most varsity experience.

“Hannah and Tayler are known quantities,” Schoch said. “They have been to state (on relays) and know what’s going on.

“We have lots of girls that are new to track. We are raw, but we’re raw with good talent. I think we will have a deep team, but it could take awhile.”

Juniors Abbie Baxter and Zoey Miller and freshman Charlotte Tucker should help in the sprints, and junior Maya Burchfield is competing in hurdles. Senior Tia Thomas will compete in the 800, while sophomore Greta Tew and freshmen Jillian Curfman and Madeline Palmisciano will lead the distance corps.

Sophomore Chai Dobbs-Euans will compete in the throws, with Tucker, junior Sasha Pomerants and freshmen Elizabeth Smith and Natalie Smith trying the pole vault.

“Both the boys and girls teams will be deep with lots of talent, but we have more kids coming back on the boys side so we have a better idea of where they fit on the team,” Schoch said. “I would say 90 percent of the girls have never been in a track meet before this year. We’ll have to figure out what events the girls excel in and how to put together a team.”

INSIDE THE BOBCATS

Coach: Brian Schoch, fourth season 

Next meet: April 16 at Russ Owen-Bexley Relays

Key athletes: Boys — Derek Amicon, Collin Haj Abed, Connor McCormick, Henry Murphy, Tristen Pierce, Matthew Taylor and P.J. Tingler; Girls — Abbie Baxter, Maya Burchfield, Zoey Miller, Madeline Palmisciano, Tayler Pierce, Tia Thomas, Greta Tew, Charlotte Tucker and Hannah Yochem

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