Grandview Heights Roundup: Connor McCormick helping to boost Bobcats boys track and field team

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Grandview Heights junior Connor McCormick recently broke the program record in the pole vault with an effort of 14 feet, 7 inches. The previous record of 14-6 was set in 2019 by his brother, 2020 graduate Iain McCormick.

A pair of records fell for the Grandview Heights boys track and field team as the Bobcats tuned up for the Division III postseason.

Connor McCormick set a new standard in the pole vault and Derek Amicon earned the record in the 3,200 meters to help give the squad late-season momentum.

McCormick set his record by clearing 14 feet, 7 inches to finish second in the Logan Elm Invitational on April 30, behind Liberty Union’s Jimmy Rhoads (15-0). He eclipsed the previous mark of 14-6 set in 2019 by his brother, 2020 graduate Iain McCormick.

“After I jumped 14 feet, I got super-pumped up and wanted to do everything I could to go 14-6 to beat my brother’s record,” Connor McCormick said. “I started jumping in the seventh grade and got into it because of my brother.”

On the opening day of the MSL-Ohio Division meet May 11 at Whitehall, McCormick won the league title in the pole vault (13-0) and teammate Henry Murphy was runner-up (10-0). The meet concluded May 14.

“I watch Connor’s focus on his warm-ups and his preparation to compete, and he’s so much more confident than he was two years ago,” said assistant coach Tim Murphy, who works with the Grandview pole-vaulters. “His mental confidence and preparation is a big difference, and that sets him apart.

“His mechanics are there, and he has good form. Pole-vaulting is such a challenge for the body and the mind. Transitioning from indoor and the outdoor season is difficult. The indoor has a sheltered environment and you know what you’re dealing with. When you come outside, every day is a different day.”

In 2019, McCormick and his older brother both placed in the regional at Fairfield Union. Both cleared 12-0 but Iain finished fifth and Connor sixth because of jump attempts. Last season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“I felt bad because Iain didn’t have a chance to go last year as a senior after missing out on the top four that advanced to state in 2019,” Murphy said. “I have told Connor that he shouldn’t think of having another year because he’s a junior. After last year, you never know what can happen. You have to attack it when you get the chance.”

The Bobcats started the postseason with the district meet May 18, 19 and 22 at Granville. The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional May 26 and 28 at Chillicothe Southeastern.

Amicon set the 3,200 record with a performance of 9 minutes, 41.15 seconds in a home meet May 4 against Fairbanks and Hamilton Township. He broke the previous standard of 9:45.3 set by Luke Evans in 2014.

“That was only the second time I had run the 3,200 this spring,” said Amicon, a Cornell recruit who holds the program record in boys cross country (15:36.6). “We’ll have to wait and see what I will run in the postseason.

“I would like to run the 1,600 and 800 and the (1,600 relay), but we haven’t decided. I like the 800 because I did a lot of sprint work in the winter. I have a lot more speed.”

Jake Zimmerman and the Bobcats open the Division III district tournament May 20 with a second-round game at top-seeded Worthington Christian.

Baseball team

set for postseason

The baseball team is seeded 16th in the Division III district tournament and opens at top-seeded Worthington Christian on May 20 in the second round.

The Bobcats lost to the Warriors 6-3 on April 9 and 9-6 on April 13 in MSL-Ohio contests.

The winner advances to a district semifinal against sixth-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek or 13th-seeded Ready on May 25 at the home of the better seed. The district final is May 27.

Grandview was 7-16 before playing Ready on May 14.

Through 21 games, Jackson Larson led the Bobcats in batting average (.403), home runs (1), RBI (21), runs (25), doubles (8), on-base percentage (.494) and slugging percentage (.597). On the mound, he was 2-4 with a 3.72 ERA, 41 strikeouts and 17 walks in 26 1/3 innings.

Johnny Clark was batting .298 with 11 RBI, 15 runs and five stolen bases. As a pitcher, he was 0-2 with a 1.57 ERA, 23 strikeouts and seven walks in 17 2/3 innings.

Max Mott was batting .276 with 14 RBI and eight runs.

Jake Zimmerman was hitting .259 with 11 RBI, 12 runs and seven doubles. He also was 1-1 with a 5.18 ERA, 33 strikeouts and 23 walks in 25 2/3 innings.

Jack Greer was 1-6 with a 4.67 ERA, 28 strikeouts and 18 walks in 30 innings.

Softball team falls

in district opener

The softball team finished 7-17, losing at sixth-seeded Johnstown 16-1 in five innings May 12 in the first round of the Division III district tournament.

Emma Murphy had a run-scoring single for the 16th-seeded Bobcats. Taryn Lynaugh and Millie McNamara both had one single.

The Bobcats won three of four games entering the postseason, including 8-3 over Briggs on May 6 and 18-8 over Shekinah Christian in five innings May 7. Murphy doubled, singled twice, drove in three and scored twice against the Flames, and Lynaugh had a double, single and three runs. Simone Chordas had two singles, two RBI and three runs.

Grandview lost to Licking Valley 18-0 in five innings May 8, but Maddie Hollar combined with Murphy to toss a no-hitter against Patriot Prep in a 23-4, five-inning win May 10. Ava Cunningham had a home run, double and two singles, and Murphy had a home run and three singles.

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