Things went according to plan in almost every aspect for the Dublin Coffman High School girls track and field team in the Division I regional meet May 24 and 26 at Pickerington North.
For senior Wambui Watene, things went a little better than expected.Videos •See the game-tying goal in the Coffman boys lacrosse team's 11-10 double-over win over Jerome in a regional semifinal May 24. •Check out Evan James' game-winning goal. •Watch the Coffman girls 800 relay take first in the regional track and field meet May 26.
Watene and junior Abby Steiner are expected to be busy in the state meet Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 3, at Ohio State after helping the Shamrocks place third (54 points) at regional behind Gahanna (97) and Pickerington Central (71) as 35 teams scored.
"(The regional meet) went really well," coach Greg King said. "Abby broke the regional record in the 100 (meters) and 200 and Wambui ran fantastic as well, breaking the school record in the 300 hurdles. We're just trying to get as high on that (state) podium as we can this weekend."
At regional, Steiner captured titles in the 100 (regional-record 11.71 seconds) and 200 (regional-record 23.78) and Watene won the 300 hurdles (42.47). The previous regional records in the 100 (11.72) and 200 (23.87) were set in 1999 by Brook-haven's Khalilah Carpenter.
Steiner also ran on the first-place 800 relay (1:40.15) with freshman Simone Rivard-Roberts, sophomore Isabelle Angerman and Watene and on the second-place 1,600 relay (3:51.66) with Angerman, Watene and junior Jennifer Schulze. Angerman also qualified for state in the 300 hurdles (third, 43.39).
The top four finishers in each regional event advanced to state.
"Those were my goals, to get both regional records, so I'm very happy that I got that today," Steiner said. "I'm gunning for some good times (at state). This gets me ready. There's great competition here. I'm ready to get back in that race mode of always being on my 'A' game and knowing that I have good competition to push me to run faster."
Last season, Steiner won state titles in both the 100 (11.6) and 200 (23.75) and anchored the first-place 800 relay (1:38.53) that also included Watene.
Also competing at regional were Angerman in the 100 hurdles (ninth, 15.85), junior Ellie Weber in the 3,200 (11th, 11:32.22) and senior Megan Cameron in the pole vault (no height).
Boys track team
preps for state
The boys track and field team is sending two individuals and one relay to the Division I state meet.
At regional, junior Lucas Bons was runner-up in the 1,600 (4:11.62), sophomore Derek Van Vlerah placed fourth in the high jump (6 feet, 2 inches) and the 3,200 relay of Bons, juniors Arnaldo Gonzalez Calero and Ryan Bosworth and freshman Alex Dediu was fourth (7:59.05).
"It meant a lot to make it to state in the 3,200 relay," Bons said. "I've made it in this event the past two years, but this year was special. We had a young team and had to work extremely hard to make it. I didn't expect that we'd be able to clinch a shot, but it was surreal when we did.
"The teams' goals are to have as many people qualify for states as possible and then to have them (make it onto the) podium (this) week at state."
Coffman placed 10th (22) at regional behind champion Thomas Worthington (73) as 37 teams scored.
Also scoring were the 400 relay of seniors Alex Barber, Chris Mollica and Ibn Williamson and junior Jeslord Boateng (sixth, 42.81) and the 800 relay of Boateng, Barber, Ibn Williamson and freshman Jameel Williamson (eighth, 1:30.83).
The other regional competitors were freshman Alex Dediu in the 1,600 (10th, 4:34.5), Bons in the 800 (11th, 1:59.23), the 1,600 relay of Barber, Bons, Jameel Williamson and Ibn Williamson (12th, 3:30.16) and junior Kaleb Holcomb in the shot put (13th, 44-7 3/4).
Tennis career ends
at state for Yoshino
Senior Bryan Yoshino of the boys tennis team lost to eventual state champion Paul Gota of Hunting Valley University School in the first round of the Division I state tournament May 26 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Gota didn't have a tougher match than his one against Yoshino.
Yoshino won the first set and led 5-1 in the second but couldn't convert on a match point. Gota rallied to win 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
"He really picked up his play and stopped making as many errors," said Yoshino, who has committed to play at Kenyon College. "Credit goes to him for that."
Yoshino, who was runner-up at the sectional May 11 and 13 at Upper Arlington and then placed fourth at district, was one of two seniors in the program, along with Nick Kashani Motlagh.
Kashani Motlagh and junior Ketul Patel teamed up to reach district in doubles, where they lost in the first round May 18 at Hilliard Davidson.
Junior Robby Berling, who played second singles much of the season, should be among the top returnees along with juniors Pratheek Gandhodi, Ketul Patel and Alex Powell.
Junior Grant Brooks and sophomore Cobie Frank also contributed.
Coffman finished 7-7 overall and went 3-1 in the OCC-Central to finish second, behind UA (4-0) and ahead of Davidson (2-2), Marysville (1-3) and Central Crossing (0-4).
Boys lacrosse team
falls in regional final
After snapping a 22-game losing streak against Upper Arlington with a 16-12 victory May 2, the boys lacrosse team came close to making it two in a row over the Golden Bears.
Second-seeded Coffman lost to top-seeded UA 12-11 in the Division I, Region 3 final May 26 at Olentangy to finish 18-4 overall.
"There's no quit in them," first-year coach Shane Comisford said of his players. "We almost did it. We were down 12-6 in the fourth quarter and had an opportunity to tie it."
The Shamrocks opened the postseason with a 21-3 win over 16th-seeded Beavercreek on May 17 and beat seventh-seeded Pickerington North 17-4 in a regional quarterfinal May 19 and third-seeded Jerome 11-10 in two overtimes in a regional semifinal May 24 before falling to UA.
Coffman tied Davidson and UA for the OCC-Central title at 6-1, ahead of Pickerington North (4-3), Pickerington Central (3-4), Gahanna (2-5), Marysville (1-6) and Newark (0-7).
The Shamrocks are losing 11 seniors, led by attacker Andrew Boyle, goalkeeper Roman Emig, defenders Jake Karsten and Ike Phelps and midfielder Ryan Solis.
Sophomore midfielder Nick Harris was named first-team all-league and Comisford was named league Coach of the Year.
Making second-team all-league were Karsten, Phelps, junior Cam Bowdy (midfielder) and sophomores Wyatt Bartlett (faceoff specialist), Evan James (midfielder) and Ethan Tyack (attacker).
Solis was honorable mention all-league.
Boys volleyball team
With just one key returnee from a year ago, the boys volleyball team went through a season of growth.
The Shamrocks were seeded 12th in the Division I East Region tournament and lost to eighth-seeded Pickerington Central 20-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-20 in a first-round match May 19 to finish 7-16 overall.
"Basically, we had all sophomores playing, and four of my starters played volleyball for all of 10 weeks," coach Shane Farrell said.
"Obviously, they just learned the game and adjusted to the speed. I'd say we played one of the hardest schedules. We knew it was going to be rough, but you only get better playing against the best."
Coffman went 2-8 in the OCC-Ohio to place fifth, behind Davidson (10-0), Gahanna (6-4), Pickerington North (6-4) and Pickerington Central (5-5) and ahead of UA (0-10).
The Shamrocks are losing four seniors, led by outside hitter Arijit Das.
Sophomore setter Jack Proctor, who was the only returning starter from last season, again should be one of the top returnees.
Also eligible to return are junior Rithik Boindala (middle hitter) and sophomores Tali Berzins (right-side hitter), Aaron Forbush (middle hitter/outside hitter), Sean McDerment (middle hitter), Joey Mitchell (outside hitter) and Trevor Morse (middle hitter).
According to Farrell, Mitchell led the team in kills and Boindala led in blocks.
The Shamrocks beat Jerome 25-15, 25-21 before losing to Scioto 25-12, 25-20 in the Battle of Dublin on May 12 at home.
"We're young, so it's all about just finding consistency," Farrell said.
"I never felt that we were blown out in any game we played in."