Program- and personal-best marks have been some of the highlights for the Dublin Jerome High School boys and girls track and field teams.

Program- and personal-best marks have been some of the highlights for the Dublin Jerome High School boys and girls track and field teams.

The Celtics enter the final stretch of the regular season looking to build momentum for the postseason. The boys team is coming off an impressive showing in the Freedom Relays last Friday at Olentangy Liberty as it tied Westerville Central for first with 96 points. The girls team took fifth (54) behind first-place Dublin Scioto (100).

"The kids are working really hard," girls coach Randi Stephens said. "Every week they're improving their times and distances. I really couldn't be happier with them."

The Celtics will return to action Friday in the Hilliard Darby Twilight Distance Invitational, for distance runners only.

"I think I have a deep enough distance team that it would be neat to get to a pure distance race just to see what that is all about," boys coach David Stroh said.

At Liberty, the boys team won the high jump relay (16 feet, 10 inches), 6,400-meter relay (18 minutes, 46.0 seconds), 3,200 relay (8:29.9) and distance medley relay (8:21.6).

"Track seems like such an individual sport, so when you win, especially in a close thing like that, the kids look at each other like, yes, we are a team," Stroh said. "Everybody needed to pull their weight to get the trophy. It's exciting."

The girls team's lone win came in the 1,600 relay as Kelley Appleton, Rebecca Rings, Katelyn Veltri and Amy Erdelsky finished in a season-best 4:20.4.

Another highlight for the girls team has been the contributions of Lauren Floro. She shattered her own program record in the shot put at the Dublin Coffman Classic on April 18 with an throw of 33-8. The Celtics finished 15th (11) behind first-place Brunswick (123).

"It's gone so fast, but this year has probably been the best year," said Floro, a senior. "Everyone seems like they want to work hard more."

Floro pointed to the leadership of Stephens, in her first year as coach, as a key.

"She's really been a great head coach," Floro said. "She's really encouraging and wants more team bonding experiences. She's been really good."

The boys finished 12th (26.66) behind first-place Brunswick (85).

Stroh called the effort by senior pole vaulter Collin Crowson another highlight of the season. Crowson earned his personal-best outside in the pole vault at Coffman as he cleared 13-6.

"I'm hoping to go over 14-0 and I'm hoping to advance to regional and possibly even state," Crowson said. "Our team is a lot stronger than it has been in past years and I think we definitely have a good shot of going far this year."

Stroh also pointed to the effort of distance runners Ashish Agrawal, Sean O'Leary and Nick Schneider and sprint specialists Cody Burris, Robert Carmona, Kevin Jackson, Chris Osbun and Jeff Robison as keys.

"I told the kids it's like we're making a journey up a mountain and we're progressing up there, but we're hopefully not to the top yet," Stroh said. "I'm trying to instill a lot of the same attitudes that I did with cross country for the last five years of just progressing each week and the kids seem to really be focused, calm and yet excited at the same time."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Jerome boys and girls track and field teams:

Last Friday -- Boys: Tied Westerville Central for first (96) in Freedom Relays at Olentangy Liberty; Girls: Finished fifth (54) behind champion Dublin Scioto (100)

*Last Tuesday -- Competed at Olentangy

Friday -- At Hilliard Darby Distance Twilight Invitational

*Tuesday -- At Marysville

*OCC-Cardinal meet