Dublin Coffman High School girls cross country coach Jim Ferguson believes his team is capable of finishing in the top two of the Division I state meet Saturday, Nov. 3, at National Trail Raceway.

Dublin Coffman High School girls cross country coach Jim Ferguson believes his team is capable of finishing in the top two of the Division I state meet Saturday, Nov. 3, at National Trail Raceway.

Five of Ferguson's top seven runners returned after helping the Shamrocks finish fifth (170) at state a year ago behind champion Brunswick (113).

Ferguson isn't sure if his squad will be able to out-run Mason for first -- the Shamrocks finished behind the Comets twice in regular-season meets -- but he's looking to the 2011 Coffman boys team for inspiration.

Last year, the Coffman boys dropped from first to 16th in the Division I state poll over the course of an inconsistent regular season before winning their first state championship.

"The girls have told me they want to be on the podium at state, and the only way to do that is to finish first or second there," Ferguson said. "Mason's the odds-on favorite to win state. They've been ranked No. 1 in the state poll all season and deservedly so because they had a fantastic season.

"Mason is going to be tough to beat, and we haven't been close to them this year, but it really depends on how everyone runs (at state). Just look at what our guys accomplished last year. Nobody thought they could be state champions, but they believed in themselves and they peaked at the right time."

Ferguson said his team will need to execute its race strategy to near perfection at state.

"The only thing we're worried about is making sure we run well because we can't control how anyone else runs," Ferguson said. "Rachel Bosworth and Rachel Weber will have to get as close to the leaders as they can, and our No. 3 through No. 7 runners will need to pack it in pretty tight and finish well, too."

The Shamrocks scored 115 points to place third in the 16-team regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North behind Hilliard Davidson (50) and Upper Arlington (113).

The top four teams and top 16 individuals from the boys and girls regional meets qualified for state.

Bosworth (10th, 19 minutes, 16.74 seconds), Weber (18th, 19:33.73), Julia Fries (27th, 19:59.51), Emily Lynch (36th, 20:14.96), Sana Qamar (38th, 20:18.76), Tess Cassidy (48th, 20:33.53) and Anna Weber (63rd, 20:52.89) competed for the Shamrocks.

The boys team placed ninth (254) in the 16-team Division I regional behind state-qualifiers Westerville North (79), Davidson (88), Olentangy Liberty (108) and New Albany (114).

John Sotos finished seventh (16:07.1) to advance to state. Also competing for the Shamrocks were Steve Riley-Popovich (58th, 17:16.46), Zach Bons (60th, 17:16.53), Sam Kieffer (78th, 17:35.7), John Graf (86th, 17:41.5), Eric Anthony (118th, 18:20.36) and Logan Siefker (119th, 18:20.39).

Scioto girls advance to state

The Scioto girls team scored 129 points to finish fourth in the Division I regional and secure the final state-qualifying position ahead of fifth-place New Albany (179).

Competing for the Irish were Jessica Cronau (15th, 19:23.98), Rebecca Groh (24th, 19:54.46), Kimberly Wedinger (28th, 20:00.28), Rachel Groh (33rd, 20:10.91), Vanessa Robinson (44th, 20:23.46) and Shayla Wigand (46th, 20:26.65).

"We didn't run particularly well as a team, but we were only 14 points out of third place and New Albany wasn't close to beating us for fourth," coach Matt Suttle said. "Jessica Cronau ran well, and Kim Wedinger was pretty solid."

Last year, the Irish finished 14th (310) at state.

"I think we should have finished higher (at regional) than we did and I think we can run much better at state," Suttle said. "Our seniors are motivated to run better at state and I think we could finish in the top five if we have a good day. Our girls need to get out quicker than they did (at regional) because nobody comes back to you at state."

In the Division I boys regional, Dylan Languis finished 59th (17:16.48).

Mandel, Stewart move on for Celtics

The Jerome boys team scored 168 points to finish sixth in the Division I regional.

Jake Mandel (third, 15:59.66) and Chase Stewart (14th, 16:11.86) qualified for state.

Also competing for Jerome were Bradley Davis (45th, 17:08.89), Brian King (62nd, 17:18.74), Stephen Gaber (67th, 17:23.42), Mitchell Leitch (74th, 17:32.87) and Nick Schleter (97th, 17:48.41).

"Mitchell is usually our No. 2 runner, but he was pretty sick and he dropped back in the race," Mandel said. "It was a slow course, but I'm pretty happy with how I ran personally. Chase is very happy, too, because he had mono last year and wasn't able to run."

In 2011, Mandel finished 16th at state in a team-record 15:47.13 to earn all-state honors for the first time.

"I'm hoping to finish in the top 15 to get on the podium this year," he said. "We just have to believe in our training at this point."

The girls team placed ninth (234) in the Division I regional.

Competing for the Celtics were Carly Davis (20th, 19:37), Kaitlyn Willette (54th, 20:42.23), Brittney Berberick (57th, 20:46.02), Ashleigh Sherman (61st, 20:51.6), Maggie Arnold (68th, 21:00.82), Erin McAuliffe (95th, 21:35.3) and Catey Midla (100th, 21:44.17).

"This wasn't a good race for us," coach Kenny Schuster said. "Our No. 1 (Willette) and No. 3 (Midla) runners both had the flu all week. They both tried to run but dropped back quite a bit. This was just bad luck."