Notebook: Grove City Greyhounds track and field teams tuning up for OCC-Ohio meet

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Tyson Evans won the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and pole vault in the Best of the South-West meet April 16 at Franklin Heights, leading the Grove City boys to the team title.

The Grove City boys and girls track and field teams are gaining momentum in preparation for the OCC-Ohio Division meet and beyond. 

Both teams continued their recent domination of the Best of the South-West meet by sweeping the titles April 16 at Franklin Heights for the fourth consecutive season. 

“The kids did amazing,” coach Jane Taylor said. “We had a lot of (personal records). The whole meet was awesome.” 

Both teams will compete in the league meet May 12 and 15 at Thomas Worthington. 

“The season has gone great,” Taylor said. “You can definitely tell they’re making sure this year is worth it since they got last year taken away from them.” 

The Best of the South-West meet was not held last year after the season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

“The kids were excited about getting back to the Best of the South-West and actually being able to compete,” Taylor said. “They really stepped it up. There was a lot of excitement, a lot of good performances.” 

The boys team finished first (115) ahead of Westland (46), Central Crossing (44) and Franklin Heights (43). 

Tyson Evans led the Greyhounds by winning the 110-meter hurdles (16.7 seconds), 300 hurdles (44.77) and pole vault (11 feet), and Grove City also won all four relays. 

The girls team finished first (137) ahead of Central Crossing (45), Westland (21) and Franklin Heights (17) as Brooke Armbrust, Leah Boswell and Gracie Smith each won two events. 

Armbrust finished first in the 100 (12.81) and 200 (27.57), Boswell won the 400 (1:08.33) and discus (101-1) and Smith finished first in the 100 hurdles (16.75) and 300 hurdles (50.03). 

The girls team also won all four relays. 

In the seated division, Esther-Faith Henn won the 100 (27.07) and 400 (1:44) to earn automatic berths for the state meet. The state-qualifying time for the 100 is 45.0 and the 400 is 2:30. 

“That was exciting,” Taylor said. 

Yvonni Ferguson (left) and Janika Davis helped Central Crossing's 400 and 800 relays finish second in the Best of the South-West meet.

•The distance runners for the Central Crossing girls track team helped lead the Comets to a second-place finish in the Best of the South-West meet.

Anay Sierra won the 3,200 (13:35.34), was runner-up in the 1,600 (6:29.25) and placed third in the 800 (2:51.29).

Hannah Scoggin won the 1,600 (6:08.96) and was second in the 800 (2:48.19), and Audrey Gaines was second in the 3,200 (14:13.46).

Also placing second were Yvonni Ferguson, Iliana Men-Hartley, Victoria Kellam and Janika Davis in the 400 relay (57.67) and Ferguson, Kimberly Morales Perez, Men-Hartley and Davis in the 800 relay (2:03.8).

The boys team finished third and was led by A.J. Farmer, who was first in the 200 (24.02) and third in the 100 (11.66). Joey Taylor was runner-up in the 800 (2:10.51) and 1,600 (4:51.91), while Alec Boyd was third in the long jump (17-5 1/2).

Placing second were Joshua Codjoe, Dylan Adams, Dominique Wilkins and Farmer in the 400 relay (47.26) and 800 relay (1:36.83), and Wilkins, Adams, Taylor and Codjoe in the 1,600 relay (3:48.72).

—Scott Hennen

•Since beginning the season 4-3, the Grove City baseball team began to gain steam heading into the second half of the season. 

The Greyhounds had won five consecutive games and were 9-3 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Pickerington North on April 22.

“We’re continually trying to hunt ways to battle with two strikes,” coach Ryan Alexander said. “We have to move runners. We’re still finding things to improve on.” 

Through 12 games, Sam Roy was batting .514, followed by Ty Clifton (.500) and Dennis Ritlinger-Nirider (.459). Ritlinger-Nirider (12) and Jackson Ware (10) led in RBI. 

On the mound, Ethan Conley was 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA, 22 strikeouts and four walks in 22 2/3 innings, and Zak Sigman was 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA, 11 strikeouts and four walks in 14 1/3 innings. 

The Greyhounds play Westland on April 30 and May 3 to close out the first series of league games. 

“It’s going to be another great league for baseball,” Alexander said. “When this new alignment came out, I knew I was going to miss Pickerington Central, Lancaster and Reynoldsburg, but adding Westerville Central, New Albany and Westland, it will be a fun league to play in.” 

—Frank DiRenna 

•The Grove City Christian baseball team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 13-3, five-inning win over Corning Miller on April 19, scoring 12 runs in the second inning. 

Grove City Christian was 2-6 overall and 2-3 in the MSL-Cardinal before playing Zanesville Rosecrans on April 23.

The Eagles beat Fairfield Christian 5-3 on April 14 for their first win of the season. 

Through eight games, Connor Benson was batting .444, followed by A.J. Beard (.333). 

On the mound, Benson was 2-1 with a 3.59 ERA, 14 strikeouts and 11 walks in 13 2/3 innings. 

“We’re struggling to play consistent baseball,” coach A.J. McCampbell said. “We have potential and at times flash that potential, but lately have either had entire games where we struggle with making plays or we have one inning that we struggle to get the outs needed. We’re looking to focus on taking everything one game at a time and get back to fundamental baseball.” 

—Frank DiRenna

•The Central Crossing boys tennis team started with six players, lost one, but added three new participants to increase its roster to eight. Teams need seven to fill a varsity lineup.

Senior Jesse Nlemchi, sophomore Tre Tipton and freshman Trey Painter have joined the Comets, who were 0-4 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Reynoldsburg on April 22.

“Our experience level is relatively low on this team but that doesn’t stop the boys from coming in every day and giving their best and working hard,” coach Cody Hawkins said. “Every guy on the team wants to improve, and they give their best every single minute of practice.”

Bogdan Semchishin has played first singles, with Calvin Lim and Max Shishlo on the second and third courts, respectively. Jeremy Pauquette and Andrew Semchishin have been at first doubles, with Nlemchi and Tipton at second doubles.

“They really want to improve and they have the drive, which is great to see,” Hawkins said. “I know the wins will come as long as they keep that consistency and that work ethic.”

—Scott Hennen

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