Cross Country: Rugged league competition prepared Grove City Greyhounds for postseason
Although the OCC realigned its divisions for the start of the fall season, Grove City cross country coach Joe Dollins believes his teams remain in one of the more competitive leagues.
The Greyhounds competed in the OCC-Ohio Division meet Oct. 17 at Pickerington Central in preparation for the Division I district meet.
“(The league meet) was highly competitive,” Dollins said. “We’re in one of the toughest OCC divisions. We’re running against some of the best runners in the state of Ohio. They did everything that I asked. Run the best that you can run individually and as a team and give it everything you’ve got to the finish line. It was a very tough OCC championship, but I’m proud of everyone’s effort.”
David Shapolaf finished 31st of 55 runners in 18 minutes, 23.95 seconds to lead the boys team.
“David had a really great race,” Dollins said. “He ran his fastest time of the season, so I was extremely proud with his running performance.”
Senior Dylan Boso was 34th (18:33.6) as he looks to wind down his prep career on a positive note.
“It’s an extremely tough division,” Boso said. “Even with the change that we had, it’s still extremely tough, maybe even tougher than before with the addition of New Albany.”
Boso credited Dollins for his development in the sport.
“I played basketball for Grove City for two years, and I (competed) in cross country for two years,” Boso said. (Dollins’) passion for it pushed me to do as much as I can do and be the best that I can. I pushed myself more than anything for cross country. I ran every day during the summer to try to get up to 50-, 60-mile weeks just to be the best that I can.”
Bryan Ransburgh was 38th (18:53.18), followed by Devin Dawson (42nd, 19:13.12), Michael Javorsky (44th, 19:30.49) and Cody Hyde (45th, 19:50.08).
The Greyhounds finished fifth (152) of six teams behind champion New Albany (35).
In the girls race, Lily Tyler finished 25th (21:45.2) of 48 runners to lead Grove City.
Also competing for the Greyhounds – who were fifth (150) of five teams behind champion North (49) – were Laney Hoyt (39th, 23:49.37), Peyton Zelenak (41st, 24:30.35), Ella Moscinski (42nd, 24:33.52), Sami Steinhauser (43rd, 24:46.74) and Natalie Smith (44th, 24:57.79).
“No matter what the weather condition, rain, snow, heavy winds, we just like logging and jogging and being around our teammates,” Dollins said.
The Greyhounds looked to carry the momentum from the league meet into the district meet Oct. 24 at Hilliard Darby.
The boys team competed in the section 2 race and the girls team in the section 1 race, with the top five teams and top 20 runners in both advancing to the regional meet Saturday, Oct. 31, at Pickerington North.