Led by Jake Mandel and Mitchell Leitch, the Dublin Jerome High School boys cross country team cruised to its first Division I regional championship.

Led by Jake Mandel and Mitchell Leitch, the Dublin Jerome High School boys cross country team cruised to its first Division I regional championship.

The Celtics will be making their first state appearance as a team after finishing first (66 points) in the 16-team regional meet Oct. 26 at Pickerington North, well ahead of runner-up Hilliard Davidson (100).

The top four teams and top 16 individuals from each regional site advanced to the state meet Saturday, Nov. 2, at National Trail Raceway.

Mandel paced the Celtics, placing second of 122 runners in 15 minutes, 48.24 seconds, and Leitch finished sixth (16:02.46). Also scoring were Chase Stewart (11th, 16:12.69), Bradley Davis (15th, 16:17.75) and Nick Schleter (38th, 16:56.96).

"I felt like the team ran well at regional," coach Dave Wadenstierna said. "Coming in, we knew that we were going to encounter stiff competition, but we felt confident that we had what it took to capture the regional title.

"Despite windy conditions, Jake Mandel, Mitchell Leitch, Chase Stewart and Bradley Davis ran smart yet aggressive races and all battled their way to top 15 finishes."

Mandel and Stewart competed at state last year as individuals, finishing 15th (program-record 15:42.93) and 27th (15:53.51), respectively.

"Now that the team has qualified for the state meet, my goal as a coach is to keep them physically and mentally sharp," Wadenstierna said.

"Plenty of attention will be given to proper nutrition and rest, and strategy will certainly be discussed. When the team approaches the starting line at 3 p.m. Saturday, I want them to be primed to compete for the state title, and there's no doubt in my mind that they can do just that."

Coffman also competed at regional, finishing sixth (145).

Steve Riley-Popovic led the Shamrocks, finishing 18th (16:23.16).

Also scoring were Zach Bons (23rd, 16:42.51), Simon Alford (24th, 16:43.56), John Graf (31st, 16:52.41) and Eric Anthony (65th, 17:23.22).

Representing Scioto at regional was Dylan Languis, who finished 71st (17:31.95).

Davis reaches statefor Jerome girls

The Jerome girls team placed fifth (202) in the 16-team Division I regional Oct. 26 at Pickerington North behind state-qualifiers Gahanna (90), Upper Arlington (104), Davidson (118) and Thomas Worthington (143).

Qualifying for state as an individual for the Celtics was Carly Davis, who placed third (18:59.98) of 123 runners.

Also scoring for Jerome were Tiffany Hill (37th, 20:17.98), Brittney Barberick (39th, 20:21.31), Erin McAuliffe (52nd, 20:33.98) and Catey Midla (99th, 21:52.64).

Scioto and Coffman also competed at regional, finishing 13th (272) and 14th (289), respectively.

Vanessa Robinson led the Irish, placing 17th (19:39.19) to fall one spot shy of advancing to state. She finished .13 of a second behind the final state qualifier, Dresden Tri-Valley's Alaina Spears (19:39.06).

Also scoring for the Irish were Bruna Pinto (63rd, 20:45.54), Rebecca Groh (72nd, 20:57.57), Kayla Rowand (74th, 20:58.8) and Ariel Arellano (85th, 21:20.47).

Coffman was led by Sana Qamar, who finished 25th (19:58.75).

Also scoring for the Shamrocks were Saydi Mangelson (64th, 20:46.32), Emily Lynch (66th, 20:48.25), Piper Hayward (76th, 21:03.4) and Kaylen Chang (97th, 21:47.06).