The Dublin Coffman High School girls cross country team already has ended a pair of droughts this season by winning its first OCC and district titles since 2007.

The Dublin Coffman High School girls cross country team already has ended a pair of droughts this season by winning its first OCC and district titles since 2007.

Coach Jim Ferguson is optimistic the Shamrocks will end another drought when they compete at the Division I regional meet on Saturday at Pickerington North by qualifying for state for the first time since 2007.

Only the top four teams and those individuals who finish in the top 16 at regional advance to the state meet on Nov. 6 at Scioto Downs. The Shamrocks qualified for state 12 consecutive years from 1996 through 2007, but have been shut out the past two seasons.

Coffman scored 154 points to finish fifth at regional last year, behind state qualifiers Sylvania Northview (61), Dublin Scioto (71), Toledo Notre Dame Academy (111) and Canal Winchester (131).

Ferguson said most coaches consider Coffman, Hilliard Davidson, New Albany, Perrysburg, Scioto, Toledo Notre Dame Academy and Upper Arlington to be the top contenders for the four state-qualifying positions.

"Winning OCC and district championships is nice, but our No. 1 goal for this season is to make it back to state," said Ferguson, whose squad won four consecutive regional titles from 1996-99. "It won't be easy for anyone this year because there are seven teams that have a legitimate shot at it, but I think we have the potential to make it if we continue to run well."

Coffman was seeded first in its district but went 1-2 against New Albany and 2-1 against UA this season.

"We're considered a contender for the regional title, but I wouldn't call us the favorite, because New Albany has beaten us twice and Mount Notre Dame is one of the top teams in the state," Ferguson said. "To contend, we'll need to run a tight pack between our No. 1 and No. 5 runners. If we can keep our split below a minute, that wouldn't allow a lot of people to get between our runners."

The Shamrocks scored 26 points to win the 12-team district 2 meet last Saturday at Watkins Memorial, ahead of runner-up Mount Vernon (78).

Rachel Bosworth won the race in 18 minutes, 23.7 seconds. Also scoring were Megan Collins (fourth, 19:10.45), Clarissa Bons (fifth, 19:17.28), Mechelle DeNoble (sixth, 19:19.45) and Rachel Weber (10th, 19:46.9).

Coffman won seven consecutive district titles from 1996-2002 and won two more district titles in 2006 and '07.

"Our kids are familiar with the history of our program, so they're excited about getting back to winning OCC and district championships," Ferguson said.

•The Scioto girls team finished second (66) at the 12-team district 1 meet, behind champion New Albany (34).

Scoring for the Irish were Sakiko Minagawa (seventh, 19:44.27), Kim Wedinger (10th, 19:54.25), Lindsay Keeran (11th, 19:57.3), Minori Minagawa (18th, 20:40.43) and Jessica Cronau (20th, 20:49.17).

"Competing well with New Albany definitely should give us some extra confidence because they're one of the teams we need to contend with to get to state," coach Matt Suttle said.

"Central Ohio's a lot deeper this year and our team doesn't have a lot of depth, so we've got to make sure we're all healthy and running well on the same day. Our girls haven't put together their best team race on the same day yet, but if we do that at regional, we'll be one of the teams in the mix for a top-four position."

•The Coffman boys team finished first (26) at the 10-team district 1 meet, ahead of runner-up Lancaster (77), to win its first district title since 1999.

Scoring for the Shamrocks were Adam Davidson (second, 15:44.98), Grant Onken (third, 16:03.24), Robbie Daulton (sixth, 16:30.62), Mark Ruf (seventh, 16:31.2) and John Sotos (eighth, 16:32.16).

"It's been a long time since we've won a district," said coach Chad Biegler, whose squad won district titles in 1994, '96, '97 and '99. "We've only won four of them in total, so it (is) nice to finally get that fifth one."

Coffman was seeded first in its district, but Biegler said Reynoldsburg and Westerville North will provide tough competition at regional.

The Shamrocks, who last won regional titles in 1992, '94 and '96, went 1-1 against North and 2-0 against Reynoldsburg during the regular season.

"We've got stronger No. 4 and 5 runners than Reynoldsburg or Westerville North, but Westerville North has two guys way up front and a solid No. 3 runner, and Reynoldsburg has three really strong runners," Biegler said. "The key for us is getting our top three guys to finish close enough to their top three guys, so that our No. 4 and 5 runners can make the difference."

Biegler emphasized that staying healthy will be a crucial element for the eventual winner.

Last year, Coffman finished fourth (147) at regional, behind Pickerington North (75), Reynoldsburg (118) and New Albany (139), edging Westerville North (161) for the final state-qualifying position, as Onken, its No. 2 runner, was hampered by a back injury and finished as the Shamrocks' No. 7 runner that day.

"It comes down to who can stay the healthiest for this meet," Biegler said. "Reynoldsburg, Westerville North and us have demonstrated that we're the three best teams in central Ohio, unless someone gets hurt, sick or falls, and then it becomes a problem. Fortunately, we have better depth than we had last year."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Coffman, Jerome and Scioto boys and girls cross country teams:

COFFMAN

Last Saturday - Boys: Finished first (26) at 10-team Division I district 1 meet, ahead of runner-up Lancaster (77); Girls: Finished first (26) at 12-team Division I district 2 meet, ahead of runner-up Mount Vernon (78)

Saturday - Boys, girls: Division I regional at Pickerington North

JEROME

Last Saturday - Boys: Finished 11th (303) at 18-team Division I district 3 meet, behind champion Westerville North (52). Chase Stewart (33rd, 17:10.64), Daniel Benson (54th, 17:30.54), Ryan Burkholder (58th, 17:34.48), Stephen Gaber (78th, 17:57.01) and John Lin (80th, 17:58.42) scored; Girls: Finished third (80) at 12-team Division I district 3 meet, behind Hilliard Davidson (44) and Upper Arlington (60). Kaitlyn Willette (fourth, 19:20.8), Audrey White (10th, 19:59.88), Brittany Berberick (15th, 20:17.21), Rebecca Rings (17th, 20:20.18) and Rachel Donnelly (34th, 20:59.46) scored.

Saturday - Girls: Division I regional at Pickerington North

SCIOTO

Last Saturday - Boys: Finished sixth (138) at 10-team Division I district 1 meet, behind champion Coffman (26). Luis Carbajal (first, 15:39.37), Tyler Bruney (29th, 17:26.62), Michael Carbajal (35th, 17:38.22), Taylor Talentino (36th, 17:39.35) and Dylan Languis (37th, 17:46.28) scored. Carbajal advanced to regional; Girls: Finished second (66) in 12-team Division I district 1 meet, behind champion New Albany (34)

Saturday - Boys, girls: Division I regional at Pickerington North