In a season filled with injuries and illness, the Dublin Coffman High School girls track and field teams finished with two record-breaking performances.
Senior Rachel Weber, an Ohio State signee, placed third in the 800 meters in a program-record 2 minutes, 11.9 seconds in the Division I state meet held June 7 and 8 at Ohio State and sophomore Oyesade Olatoye placed second in the shot put in a program-record 44 feet, 10 inches.
Olentangy Orange senior Katelyn Daniels won the shot put in a state-record 51-2.
"This was a rough year with a lot of good athletes getting sick and hurt, but the kids fought through it," coach Greg King said. "And it was great to have those breakthrough performances from Rachel and Sade at state. It was a great way to end the season."
Also at state, Olatoye placed eighth in the discus (133-9) and the 1,600 relay of Weber and seniors Rylee Axner, McKenzie Bailey and Kaylee Taylor finished eighth (3:57.09), as the Shamrocks totaled 16 points in the four events to finish 12th behind champion Solon (47) as 74 teams scored.
In the regional meet May 29 and 31 at Pickerington North, Olatoye placed second in the shot put (43-6 1/4) and third in the discus (139-0), Weber finished third in the 800 (2:13.22) and the 1,600 relay finished fourth (3:56.07).
Also competing at regional were the 800 relay of Axner, senior Emily Mangelson, Taylor and Bailey (fifth, 1:44.48), the 3,200 relay of freshman Sana Qamar, sophomore Anna Weber, Rachel Weber and sophomore Kaylen Chang (sixth, 9:46.13), the 400 relay of freshman Shannon Downie, senior Emily Barber, junior Sarah Handy and Bailey (11th, 50.41), Mangelson in the 300 hurdles (11th, 16.27), Qamar in the 3,200 (eighth, 11:36.02), Taylor in the 400 (seventh, 59.65) and senior Bridgette Widmyer in the high jump (13th, 4-10).
The top four finishers in each regional event advanced to state.
Junior Beatrice Hannan advanced to regional after winning district titles in the 100 and 200 and qualifying with the 800 relay, but she did not compete at regional because of hamstring problems.
Coffman scored 35 points at regional to tie Big Walnut for fourth behind co-champions Gahanna (55) and Pickerington Central (55) and third-place Hilliard Davidson (52) as 39 teams scored.
The Shamrocks won their third consecutive district championship, scoring 141 points in the 16-team district 3 meet that concluded May 25 at Hilliard Darby to finish well ahead of runner-up New Albany (86).
Coffman was runner-up in the OCC-Central Division meet May 16 and 18 with 140 points, behind Davidson (141.5) and ahead of Olentangy Liberty (110), Upper Arlington (97), host Thomas Worthington (79.5), Central Crossing (49), Marysville (36) and Westland (9).
The Shamrocks lose 12 seniors, including Rachel Weber, Axner, Bailey, Barber, Mangelson, Taylor and Widmyer.
"The seniors were an amazing group," King said. "They had 38 OCC honors over their careers, including 10 this season. They were just fantastic athletes who scored 420 points for us this year and they were only a small portion of the team (in terms of numbers)."
The Shamrocks expect to return four state qualifiers in Olatoye, Hannan and juniors Rachel Bosworth and Julia Fries and five regional qualifiers in Chang, Downie, Handy, Qamar and Anna Weber.
Bosworth and Fries were state qualifiers in 2012, but both missed all of this season because of injuries. At state a year ago, Bosworth placed fourth in the 3,200 (10:55.15) and Fries finished eighth in the 800 (2:15.86). Also at state in 2012, Hannan placed seventh in the 200 (25.09) and was a member of the third-place 800 relay (1:42.23) and sixth-place 400 relay (48.84).
"With Beatrice Hannan healthy and having both Julia Fries and Rachel Bosworth should help, but we also have a lot of good kids coming back ... kids who have scored in every event," King said. "We definitely should be a balanced team with talent in the field, sprints, distance and hurdles coming back."
Young Irish gained valuable experience
Scioto was represented in the Division I state meet by its 400 relay of freshman Nykee Scruggs, seniors Aysia Prewitt and Charissa Newkirk and junior Madison Scurlock. The relay finished 11th (49.26).
The top nine teams reached the final, and Lorain (49.19) and Mansfield Senior (49.24) finished ninth and 10th, respectively, in the preliminaries.
"They ran all right and it was a pretty big scene (at state)," coach Matt Suttle said. "I think our freshman (Scruggs) was a little nervous and it wasn't their best time of the year. They were so close that just any little adjustment, whether on a handoff or whatever, would have helped them reach the final."
The Irish did not score at state. They scored six points at regional to tie Darby, Walnut Ridge and Whetstone for 28th and scored 40 points in the 17-team district 1 meet to tie Hilliard Bradley for eighth behind champion Davidson (90).
Also competing at regional were junior Mya Hodge in the 100 hurdles (eighth, 15.38) and freshman Carolyn Hayes in the high jump (ninth, 5-1).
In the OCC-Cardinal meet May 16 and 18, Scioto finished third (88.5) behind Westerville South (123) and Westerville North (121) and ahead of Westerville Central (87), host Bradley (78), Darby (59.5), Jerome (53) and Worthington Kilbourne (53). The Irish had won three consecutive league titles from 2010-12.
Scioto loses five seniors, including Newkirk and Prewitt.
"Charissa and Aysia helped us out at state because they have had so much experience there," Suttle said. "It was the third time Charissa had been at state and the second time for Aysia. They were steady and consistent for us all year."
Among those expected to return are two state qualifiers in Scruggs and Scurlock and two regional qualifiers in Hayes and Hodge.
"We had some injury problems and had to throw in some younger girls than we expected," Suttle said. "We weren't the team we expected, but we gained a lot of great experience."
Celtics losing only state qualifier
Jerome had only one Division I state qualifier in senior Kaitlyn Willette, an Ohio State signee who placed fourth in the 800 (personal-record 2:12.64).
With the five points that Willette scored, the Celtics tied five teams for 42nd.
Jerome finished 21st (11) at regional and placed fifth (59) in the 17-team district 2 meet behind champion Gahanna (141.5).
Willette placed second in the 800 (2:12.9) at regional.
Also competing at regional were freshman Carly Davis in the 3,200 (seventh, 11:28.45), senior Ashleigh Sherman in the 1,600 (eighth, 5:18.67), freshman Tiffany Hill in the 1,600 (ninth, 5:19.94), the 1,600 relay of sophomore Devin Sadler, freshman Casey Nitschke and juniors Taylor Elder and Hannah Kayuha (12th, 4:11.52) and the 3,200 relay of senior Brooke Boyle, Sherman, Davis and Willette (disqualified).
The 3,200 relay crossed the finish line in second place but was disqualified because of a lane violation.
Jerome, which tied Kilbourne for seventh in the OCC-Cardinal meet, loses six seniors, including Boyle, Sherman and Willette.
The Celtics expect to return seven regional qualifiers in Davis, Elder, Hill, Kayuha, Nitschke, Sadler and junior Erin McAuliffe, who had qualified for regional on the 3,200 relay but was replaced by Davis.