Green is the dominant color in the jerseys the Dublin Scioto High School boys track and field team will wear this season.

Green is the dominant color in the jerseys the Dublin Scioto High School boys track and field team will wear this season.

Coach Kevin Foley said the color is especially appropriate considering that his teams returns just two seniors after losing a large and successful class to graduation.

The boys and girls squads will open Saturday at the Ice Breaker Invitational at Watkins Memorial and will play host Tuesday to Westerville South.

"This is the youngest team I've had in my 14 years at Scioto, so we're definitely green," Foley said. "We don't have any returning (individual) regional qualifiers, and our most capable runner (sophomore Luis Carbajal) will miss most, if not all, of the season with a (iliotibial band) injury. (Junior) Gerald Looper is out with a knee injury and he was our leader in the hurdles who could've made an impact at the state level. We have three seniors, one of whom is a first-year track athlete, and most of the rest of our guys are freshmen and sophomores.

"We have some talented young guys, but it will take some time for them to develop."

Senior Jason Reineck, juniors Stacy Blunt and Darian Ragland and sophomore Dylan Demars are the leading sprinters, and junior Patrick Moore and Carbajal are the only proven distance runners.

Top hurdlers are Reineck and junior Anthony Salomone. Mike Shibko is a leading pole vaulter and middle-distance runner.

Juniors Grant Pleasant and Jason Tiemier are the leaders in the shot put and discus, and Demars is expected to do well in the high jump.

"We have only one experienced distance runner who is healthy and we need to find some long jumpers," Foley said. "The cupboard isn't bare in the other events. We have a good nucleus of young athletes."

The Irish finished fourth (82 points) in the OCC-Capital Division meet a year ago behind Watkins Memorial (143), Olentangy Liberty (115) and Big Walnut (97) and ahead of New Albany (46) and Franklin Heights (40).

Scioto is in the OCC-Cardinal this year with Jerome, Marysville, Olentangy, Olentangy Liberty, Westerville Central, Westerville North and Westerville South.

The Irish finished fifth (48.5) of 17 teams in the Division I district 1 meet behind champion Gahanna (142.5) as graduate Thomas Murdaugh won the 400 meters (47.79 seconds) and was second in the 200 (program-record 21.92).

Scioto was 12th (18) in the regional behind champion Gahanna (77) as Murdaugh was second (47.89) in the 400 and graduate Jimmy Bullock was fourth (14 feet) in the pole vault.

The Irish tied for 28th (8) at state with Cincinnati St. Xavier and Lakewood St. Edward behind champion Cleveland Heights (44). Murdaugh was second in the 400 (program-record 47.47) and Bullock was 10th (14-0) in the pole vault.

"When you look at competing for league and invitational titles, it's not going to happen because we don't have the depth," Foley said. "We'll have some growing pains, but we'll come out of this season stronger."

•The girls team is led by a deep distance corps which includes senior Katie Monda, juniors Shelly Diewald and Katie Papesh and freshmen Lindsay Keeran, Minori Minagawa and Sakiko Minagawa.

Sophomore Hannah Miller is the leader in the discus and shot put and junior Nicole White and sophomore Angela Roll are the leaders in the high jump and long jump.

Junior Simone Gholston is a leading sprinter, and freshmen Camaria Cannon and Liz Hart are expected to make an impact in hurdles and sprints.

"Our strength is still in the distance events, but we've got better balance this year so we won't have to rely on our distance kids as much as we have in the past," first-year coach Matt Suttle said. "Our sprinters will show up more in the results than they did last year,"

The Irish finished fourth (71) in the OCC-Capital meet last year behind New Albany (159), Liberty (106) and Watkins Memorial (98) and ahead of Franklin Heights (64) and Big Walnut (25). Scioto had two champions -- graduate Lexi Dooley in the 800 (2:25.3) and Miller in the discus (101-2).

In the Division I district 2 meet, the Irish were sixth (36.16) behind champion Lancaster (118) as Dooley was third (2:21.92) in the 800 and Miller was fourth (108-9) in the discus.

Scioto tied for 23rd (4) with Logan and Independence at regional behind champion Reynoldsburg (109). Dooley was fifth (2:22.53) in the 800 to miss qualifying to state by one spot. Miller was 11th (107-9) in the discus.

"We started a much more stringent conditioning program in the offseason, and the kids bought into the new system and have come back stronger," Suttle said. "We didn't have any state qualifiers last year, so changing that is a goal. Our focus is getting as many relays to regional and state as possible. Our 3,200 and 1,600 relays should be pretty strong this year."

At a glance

•Coach: Boys -- Kevin Foley, 14th season; Girls -- Matt Suttle, first season

•Opener: Saturday at Ice Breaker Invitational at Watkins Memorial

•Key athletes: Boys -- Stacy Blunt, Luis Carbajal, Dylan Demars, Grant Pleasant, Darian Ragland, Jason Reineck and Mike Shibko; Girls -- Simone Gholston, Hannah Miller, Minori Minagawa, Sakiko Minagawa, Katie Papesh, Angela Roll and Nicole White