Grandview Heights Roundup: Bobcats track and field squads show mettle in run to state

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Hannah Yochem was among 16 Grandview Heights track and field athletes who advanced to the Division III state meet. She qualified as part of the girls team's 1,600 and 3,200 relays.

The Grandview Heights boys and girls track and field teams battled the elements to advance 16 athletes to the Division III state meet June 4 and 5 at Westerville North.

The boys finished second (58 points) behind Ashland Crestview (70) in the regional meet May 26 and 28 at Chillicothe Southeastern as 43 teams scored.

“The conditions weren’t the best, especially (May 28) when it was in the lower 50s with 20 mph wind and it was raining sideways,” coach Brian Schoch said. “Those weren’t conditions that were conducive to setting any records. Everyone had to run in the same conditions but you had to stay mentally tough in order to compete at a high level. 

“Still, the boys wanted to finish in the top two and we did that. And we sent 16 total kids to state, which is something great in itself.”

The top four in each regional event advanced to state, and two at-large state berths also were awarded in each event based on times and distances statewide.

The girls finished fifth (36) behind champion Mount Gilead (82) as 38 teams scored.

The Bobcats had one at-large entry in freshman Madeline Palmisciano in the 3,200 meters. She was fifth at regional in 11 minutes, 39.43 seconds.

Palmisciano also qualified in the 1,600 (fourth, 5:21.21) and as a member of the third-place 3,200 relay (9:57.39) with Hannah Yochem, Greta Tew and Abbie Baxter.

“That was a pretty fast (3,200) race, so we thought Maddy might be able to qualify,” Schoch said. “I think Maddy making it as a freshman in the (1,600) and (3,200) and on (3,200 relay) was great. Her times really have been going down over the past few weeks.”

Also moving on to state with fourth-place finishes were Yochem, Hayley Cook, Baxter and Zoey Miller in the 1,600 relay (4:20.15), Sophie Andrew in the pole vault (8 feet, 4 inches) and Tayler Pierce in the high jump (5-0).

Derek Amicon advanced to state in four events for the boys team. He was runner-up in the 800 (1:59.54) and 1,600 (4:25.17) and was on a pair of state-qualifying relays that finished second.

“The turnaround between the 1,600 and the 800 was something I hadn’t experienced before in a meet like that,” Amicon said. “It was only 40 minutes, so it was tough. It was good to make it in both (the 1,600 and 3,200) relays because it’s fun to make those as a team.”

Amicon was on the 1,600 relay (3:37.58) with P.J. Tingler, Adam Bechtel and Tristin Pierce and the 3,200 relay with Bechtel, Denison Murphy and Riley Oller (8:17.81).

“Getting Derek out in four events was a highlight,” Schoch said. “He’s been running great and training so hard for this.”

Collin Haj Abed won the long jump (20-6) and was runner-up in the 110 hurdles (14.94), while Connor McCormick won the pole vault (13-4).

“Connor won the pole vault and Collin won the high jump right off the bat (on the first day of regional),” Schoch said. “That set the tone for things and really got us going early on.”

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