Taking fourth place at a Division I district track and field meet might not seem like a highlight for many people, but Jay Mathy was overjoyed.

Taking fourth place at a Division I district track and field meet might not seem like a highlight for many people, but Jay Mathy was overjoyed.

The Dublin Scioto High School girls coach believed it was a groundbreaking event when his 400-meter relay of Charity Mack, Candace Green, Monica Gause and Kalia Johnson finished fourth in 50.95 seconds last Saturday in the district 2 meet at Dublin Coffman. The effort qualified the relay for the regional meet, which began last Wednesday and will be completed Friday at Hilliard Davidson. According to Mathy, the program had not sent a 400 relay to regional in quite some time.

"Best I can figure (from talking with several people) is that the last time we sent a (400 relay) to regional was 2000, 2001 at the latest," said Mathy, whose team finished sixth of 14 teams with 36.16 points behind champion Lancaster (118). "This might be the happiest I've ever been as a coach because I didn't really expect (the 400 relay) to make it out. They needed a perfect race to get out and they were better than perfect."

Mathy's grin became even wider after a personal-best effort by Lexi Dooley in the 800. The senior finished third in 2:21.92 to advance to regional. The program record is 2:20.6, set in 1997 by Jamie Gentile.

"Lexi came out performed like a senior is supposed to do," Mathy said. "She came out and had a PR in the most competitive race in the area. Around here, people really take the 800 seriously and she came out with her best effort. She ran her first 400 in 65 seconds. That's cooking."

Also advancing was Hannah Miller, who was fourth in the discus with a throw of 108 feet, 9 inches. The 3,200 relay of Dooley, Shelley Diewald, Katie Monda and Danielle Scoliere was fourth in 9:57.54.

The top four in every event at regional will advance to the state meet June 6-7 at Ohio State.

"Last year, we didn't have an individual qualify from (the second-day of district) and this year we have a couple of big surprises," Mathy said. "I couldn't be happier."

Last year, the Irish finished 27th of 39 teams scoring with 4.5 points the regional at Davidson as Gahanna (65.5) won. They had no state qualifiers.

•The boys team finished fifth (48.5) of 17 teams behind champion Gahanna (142.5) in the Division I district 1 meet.

"Just like any other district, there were some disappointments and some pleasant surprises," coach Kevin Foley said. "You have someone like sophomore Mike Shibko, who was probably out fourth runner in the 400 and our third pole-vaulter for us. We rewarded his hard work by entering him in the 800 and he comes in and makes the finals (finishing with the final qualifying time of 2:12.17). Imagine what he could have done if had trained for the event all season."

Another surprise was the emergence of junior Jason Reineck in the 300 hurdles. He finished eighth (42.06), but the final was only the fourth time he had run the event this season.

"(My teammates) laugh at me and tell me I look like Huckleberry Finn when I go over the hurdles, but the coaches tell me I look really good on the ground," said Reineck, who was third (42.5) in the 300 hurdles at the OCC-Capital Division meet May 17 at Franklin Heights. "It was kind of rough because I had only done it a couple of times before the (league) meet."

"He looks like somebody who needs to iron things out a little bit, but he looks good for someone just picking up the event," Foley said. "When he gets some proficiency in the event, he'll only get better."

Reineck joined Justin Renaldi, Ayodeji Olatoye, Thomas Murdaugh on the 800 relay, which qualified for regional by finishing second in 1:31.42. Olentangy won the event (1:31.28) with Gahanna taking third (1:31.54).

"We had some nice handoffs, but we'll be better with blind exchanges," said Olatoye, who also qualified for regional in the high jump (fourth, 6-3). "(Last Saturday) we were using the open exchange -- turning around to get the baton. We'll be even faster after we practice the blind exchange."

Olatoye ran the 800 relay for only the second time this season, both coming at district. He was a substitute for senior Josh Richardson, who had a hamstring injury.

Murdaugh broke his own school record in the 400 in 47.79 to win the event with Westerville North's Josh Brewton taking second (49.86). He was also second in the 200 (21.92), breaking the school record of 21.93 set by Rolland Steele in 1996. Gahanna's Blake Heriot won the event in 21.57 and Tyler Stevenson of Westerville Central was third (22.21).

The Irish had two more qualifiers in the field events, Adam Morris was third (48-10 1/2) in the shot put and Jimmy Bullock was fourth (13-6).

At regional last year, the Irish were 19th (17) behind champion Gahanna (59.5). Murdaugh finished second (48.45) in the 400 to qualify for state and graduate Matthews Ruff qualified for state by finishing fourth in the 100 (11.05).

At a glance

Below are the regional qualifiers for the Scioto boys and girls track and field teams with district event, place and time/distance/height:

BOYS -- Jimmy Bullock: pole vault (fourth, 13-6); Adam Morris: shot put (third, 48-10 1/2); Thomas Murdaugh: 400 (first, 47.79), 200 (second, 21.92); Ayodeji Olatoye: high jump (fourth, 6-3); 800 relay: Jason Reineck, Justin Renaldi, Olatoye, Murdaugh (second, 1:31.42)

GIRLS -- Lexi Dooley: 800 (third, 2:21.92); Hannah Miller: discus (fourth, 108-9); 400 relay: Charity Mack, Candace Green, Monica Gause, Kalia Johnson (fourth, 50.95); 3,200 relay: Dooley, Shelley Diewald, Katie Monda, Danielle Scoliere (fourth, 9:57.54)