Scioto girls expect success
Minori Minagawa and Sakiko Minagawa were among the top runners for the Dublin Scioto High School girls cross country team while helping the Irish win OCC-Cardinal Division championships each of the past four seasons.
Tenth-year coach Matt Suttle said the Ohio State recruits will be missed, but he doesn't believe their departure will bring an end to his team's good fortunes.
The Irish opened Aug. 25 by finishing second (81 points) in the 21-team Finishtiming Classic at Wilmington College behind champion Mason (23).
"I don't think many other teams are expecting much from us this year because the twins are gone after being the identity of our team for so long," Suttle said. "But the rest of our girls are excited to have the opportunity to make a name for themselves this year, and I think they're carrying a chip on their shoulder because they want to prove their doubters wrong."
Seven letterwinners have returned in seniors Jessica Cronau, Rachel Groh and Kim Wedinger and sophomores Rebecca Groh, Vanessa Robinson, Emily Trzeciak and Shayla Wigand.
"Most of the girls have never been counted on to be frontrunners like this before, but they're all eager to step up and do their part to help the team," Suttle said.
Last fall, the Irish scored 34 points to easily win the OCC-Cardinal meet ahead of Olentangy Liberty (63), Westerville North (99), Jerome (100), Westerville Central (125), Marysville (127), Olentangy (194) and Westerville South (217).
Scioto will compete in a realigned OCC-Cardinal this season with Jerome, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby, Westerville Central, Westerville North, Westerville South and Worthington Kilbourne.
Scioto scored 29 points to win the Division I, district 2 meet at Watkins Memorial ahead of runner-up Liberty (80).
The Irish then finished third (100) in the Pickerington North regional behind champion Hilliard Davidson (74) before finishing 14th (310) in the 16-team state meet at National Trail Raceway behind champion Brunswick (113).
Competing for Scioto at state were Cronau (88th, 19 minutes, 56.91 seconds), Rebecca Groh (89th, 19:58.09), 2012 graduate Lindsay Keeran (100th, 20:05.97), Sakiko Minagawa (109th, 20:12.66), Minori Minagawa (111th, 10:14.27), Trzeciak (136th, 20:47.25) and Rachel Groh (138th, 20:53.22).
"Our seniors want to make it to state for the third time in four seasons and keep our streak of winning the OCC alive," Suttle said. "I think we're going to fly under the radar and surprise some teams."
Shamrocks feature talented roster
Coffman opened Aug. 25 by scoring 42 points to win the Panther division of the Pickerington Classic at Pickerington North ahead of runner-up Olentangy Orange (114).
Junior Rachel Bosworth (second, 19:30.5), senior Rachel Weber (fifth, 19:50.9), junior Julia Fries (eighth, 20:49), junior Emily Lynch (ninth, 20:50.6) and freshman Sana Qamar (18th, 21:24.2) scored.
"This is as deep of a team as we've had," 18th-year coach Jim Ferguson said. "We have 14 returning letterwinners based on the times they ran last year, and we have a whole crew of kids who aren't far behind those girls."
Last season, Coffman scored 38 points to win the OCC-Central meet ahead of Davidson (48), Upper Arlington (60), Thomas Worthington (101), Darby (121), Kilbourne (179) and Central Crossing (218).
Liberty and Marysville have replaced Darby and Kilbourne in the OCC-Central this season.
The Shamrocks scored 41 points to win the Division I, district 1 meet at Watkins Memorial ahead of runner-up Orange (84).
Coffman then finished second (82) at regional and fifth (170) at state, as Bosworth finished ninth (18:26.42) to earn all-state honors for the second consecutive season.
Clarissa Bons, a 2012 graduate, finished 18th (18:41.31) to earn all-state honors for the first time.
Also competing for Coffman were Fries (81st, 19:48.92), Rachel Weber (94th, 20:00.59), 2012 graduate Meche DeNoble (97th, 20:03.31), sophomore Anna Weber (123rd, 20:32.83) and senior Riley Daulton (140th, 20:55.74).
"Our division of the OCC is going to be loaded this year," Ferguson said. "Davidson has most of their kids back. UA has a lot back from a tough team, and Liberty and Thomas Worthington always have good teams, so it's going to be competitive.
"Our ultimate goal is to get back to the state meet because we've been there 14 of the last 16 years. To challenge for a state title, you need seven running under 19:30, so we'll need to get a lot better to be in the mix there."
Celtics shooting for best season
Jerome opened Aug. 25 by scoring 246 points to place seventh in the 21-team Saturday Night Lights Invitational behind champion and host Centerville (40).
The top seven finishers for the Celtics were sophomore Maggie Arnold (39th, 21:38.72), freshman Carly Davis (40th, 21:39), senior Ashleigh Sherman (42nd, 21:44.94), junior Brittney Berberick (61st, 22:17.45), junior Erin McAuliffe (75th, 22:45.16), senior Rachael Donnelly (76th, 22:48.11) and senior Aleeya Ossoli (80th, 22:54.34).
After finishing fourth in the OCC-Cardinal meet last year, Jerome scored 128 points to place fifth in the Division I, district 3 meet behind champion Davidson (43).
The Celtics then scored 222 points to finish seventh at regional, as senior Kaitlyn Willette (seventh, 19:22.58), Arnold (47th, 21:16.73), 2012 graduate Rebecca Rings (51st, 21:17.18), Berberick (52nd, 21:17.21), 2012 graduate Carly Watts (98th, 22:21.35), senior Ariel Henley (99th, 22:23.06) and 2012 graduate Emily Lesnansky (103rd, 22:32.78) competed.
At state, Willette finished 20th in 18:44.1 to become the first member of her team to earn all-state honors.
"We have our No. 1 runner back and we have a lot of younger kids who have been a nice surprise," ninth-year coach Kenny Schuster said. "The OCC-Cardinal is still going to be tough, but I think we have a chance to be a really competitive team this year.
"Our hope is to improve upon our finish at regional and finish somewhere in the top five."