With its record-setting performance at the Division I state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course, the Dublin Jerome High School boys golf team diminished the disappointment that took place the last two seasons.
The Celtics shot a 607 over two rounds, setting a course record in Division I to win the seventh championship in program history.
Jerome, whose 295 in the opening round also set a state record, had placed second at state in 2015 and third last season when the tournament was shortened to one round because of bad weather.
“It feels great,” junior Jackson Chandler said. “Last year, just coming up short having one day, it was kind of disappointing. It’s probably not going to sink in for a while.”
Olentangy Liberty, which finished runner-up with a 616, got to within four strokes of the lead during the final round before Jerome closed it out.
“It feels so great just having this accomplishment, just unreal,” senior Blake Solomon said. “(We weren’t) nervous, but (we knew) we were going to have to start playing well again. Near the end, we found out we were still leading and it was a reassuring feeling coming down the stretch.”
Solomon tied for second with a 147 to make first-team all-state, while Chandler placed sixth with a 150 to make the second team.
Also competing for the Celtics were junior Mason Wagner (tied for 11th, 153), senior Davis Root (tied for 20th, 157) and sophomore Ethan Snyder (tied for 44th, 168).
“It’s a great feeling,” first-year coach Taylor Harle said. “I give these guys a lot of credit. I’m proud of these guys and I know what they’ve put into it.”
Jerome finished 23-1 to win the four-round OCC-Cardinal Division tournament, ahead of Thomas Worthington (19-5), Scioto (18-6), Worthington Kilbourne (11-13), Hilliard Bradley (9-15), Hilliard Darby (5-19) and Delaware (0-24).
Snyder was league Player of the Year with a 73.3 average. Wagner (77.0) was second-team all-league and Root (73.3), Solomon (74.3) and Chandler (75.3) all were honorable mention all-league after playing in three rounds. Senior Will Birkholz averaged 74.0 in two rounds.
Jerome shot 280 to win a sectional Oct. 3 at Darby Creek as Chandler was medalist (65), and shot 294 to win the district tournament Oct. 10 at Apple Valley as Chandler and Root each carded a 72 to tie for third.
Tennis team earns state runner-up
The girls tennis team’s bid to win the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I state team title Oct. 22 at Reynoldsburg came up just short.
After beating Toledo Notre Dame Academy 3-0 in a state semifinal, the Celtics lost to Mason 3-1 in the final.
The first doubles team of sophomores Reagan Resor and Katherine Wang won their match 6-1, 6-2 over Sanjana Reddy and Nicole Reid, but the Celtics lost at first singles, second singles and second doubles.
Senior Jiaqi Liu was leading Megan Li 7-6, 5-1 at third singles when the match ended.
“One of the things we’re proud of is how good we are from a team aspect,” coach Ken Berlin said. “We’d love to get individual players through (to the OHSAA state tournament), but at the end of the day, we’re a team. I couldn’t be prouder of these girls. We were a team that responded when we weren’t necessarily favored.”
Jerome, which won state team titles in 2014 and ’15 and placed third last season, finished 17-2 overall and went 6-0 to win the OCC-Cardinal, ahead of Scioto (4-2), Bradley (4-2), Thomas (4-2), Darby (2-4), Delaware (1-5) and Kilbourne (0-6).
In the OTCA tournament, Jerome beat Lancaster (5-0 on Aug. 21), Bradley (5-0 on Aug. 31), Pickerington North (3-2 on Sept. 28) and Liberty (3-1 on Oct. 10) to advance to state.
Jerome had two singles players and two doubles teams advance to district Oct. 12 at Bradley. Liu won the sectional title Oct. 5 and 6 at Bradley but lost in a quarterfinal at district, and sophomore Kavya Alagappan was third at sectional and lost in the first round at district.
Senior Vicki Chang and Resor beat Wang and freshman Arya Dudipala for the sectional doubles title, with Chang and Resor losing in the first round at district and Wang and Dudipala losing in a district quarterfinal.
The only other senior along with Chang and Liu was Neha Dudipala, who teamed with junior Erin Zhao at second doubles in the state team tournament.
Freshman Izzy Seikel, who lost in the first round of the sectional in singles, and junior Katie Yao were among others in the program.
Girls golfers place fourth at state
For the seventh consecutive season, the girls golf team proved to be one of the top five in the state.
In the Division I state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 at Ohio State’s Gray Course, the Celtics shot 313 in the first round and 309 in the second for a two-round total of 622 to place fourth of 12 teams. Olentangy Orange shot a state-record 602 to win its second consecutive title.
Senior Taby Robinson shot a 148 to tie for 10th and earn second-team all-state honors.
“Obviously, my goal was to win it, but it’s a good accomplishment to end my senior season like that,” said Robinson, a Michigan State recruit who also made second-team all-state as a sophomore when the Celtics won their fifth consecutive state title.
Senior Abby Kiefer, who like Robinson played at state all four seasons, including last year when she was co-medalist as the Celtics placed fifth, tied for 12th (151). She will play for Xavier.
Sophomores Ash Abhang (tied for 30th, 161) and Caitlin Yant (tied for 34th, 164) and senior Meaghan Yant (tied for 39th, 166) also competed.
Abhang and Caitlin Yant also were among the state competitors last year.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity to be here,” said Meaghan Yant, who began competing in golf as a freshman.
Jerome has won 13 league titles in 14 seasons, including going 24-0 in this year’s four-round OCC-Cardinal tournament to place ahead of Delaware (19-5), Bradley (17-7), Scioto (10-14), Kilbourne (7-17), Darby (4-20) and Thomas (3-21).
Robinson was league Player of the Year with a 75.3 average, while Kiefer (76.0), Abhang (79.5), Caitlin Yant (80.5) and Meaghan Yant (85.8) rounded out the league’s top five.
The Celtics shot 314 on Oct. 3 at Mentel Memorial to win their ninth consecutive sectional title, and were runners-up (307) in the nine-team district tournament Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek behind Orange (304).
Runners prep for regional meets
The boys and girls cross country teams will compete in the Division I regional Saturday, Oct. 28, at Pickerington North.
On Oct. 21 in the 16-team district 3 meet at Watkins Memorial, the boys team scored 91 points to finish third behind Liberty (49) and Thomas (87).
Kellen Posacki placed fourth (15 minutes, 48.69 seconds), followed by Elliott Cook (seventh, 16:11.22), Arjun Dhankani (19th, 16:35.44), Alex Sanders (29th, 16:51.54), Jeremy Coad (32nd, 16:55.48), Sahil Ambardekar (59th, 17:36.27) and Andrew Reese (74th, 18:00.28).
The girls team finished fifth (192) in the 18-team district 3 meet behind champion Hilliard Davidson (25).
Jessica Blake placed 21st (19:59.9), followed by Lauren Metzger (33rd, 20:30.46), Madison Weigle (42nd, 20:52.95), Abby Lenz (46th, 20:58.08), Elizabeth Turley (50th, 21:08.82), Nithya Warrier (57th, 21:20.23) and Halle Bentley (61st, 21:23.65).
At regional, the top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to state Nov. 4 at National Trail Raceway.
Soccer teams play in district semis
The boys and girls soccer teams both competed in Division I district semifinals this week.
The third-seeded boys squad beat 30th-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley 9-0 in a second-round game Oct. 21 and was 11-1-5 before playing 16th-seeded Bradley on Oct. 25. The winner plays eighth-seeded Olentangy or ninth-seeded Pickerington North in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at a site to be announced.
The district champion plays Liberty, Orange, Canal Winchester or Westerville South in a regional semifinal, with the date and site to be announced.
The fourth-seeded girls team opened the tournament with an 18-0 win over 42nd-seeded Mifflin in a second-round game Oct. 19 and was 10-3-2 before playing 16th-seeded Marysville on Oct. 24.
The winner plays sixth-seeded Olentangy or 18th-seeded Westerville North in a district final Saturday, Oct. 28, at a site to be announced. The district champion plays Pickerington North, Scioto, Grove City or Canal Winchester in a regional semifinal, with the date and site to be announced.
Strong core coming back in field hockey
Although the field hockey team is losing seven players to graduation, freshmen Lauren Finley (goalkeeper) and Katelyn Root (midfielder) were among the starters and classmate Olivia Brooks (defender) also was a key player.
Colleen Bender, who has been the Celtics’ only coach but is stepping down after 14 seasons, believes the program has a bright future.
“I’m very happy with our season,” Bender said. “(There were) a few games I wish we could replay, but overall, this team played very well together and found ways to score. There is great chemistry that developed throughout the season.”
The 11th-seeded Celtics lost to 10th-seeded Bexley 3-2 on Oct. 16 in the first round of the district tournament to finish 6-9-2 overall.
Jerome went 2-4-1 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West Division to tie Orange for fifth, behind Thomas (7-0), Liberty (6-1), Upper Arlington (5-2) and Olentangy (4-3) and ahead of Coffman (1-6) and Scioto (0-7).
Abby Emmett (forward), Danielle Kagy (defender), Sophie Monte (defender), Mitali Singh (midfielder) and Allison Smith (midfielder) were key seniors.
Others eligible to return include juniors Jaqueline McCully (forward) and Brynne Pope (forward) and sophomore Jane Goodstein (forward).
Many key players to return in volleyball
The girls volleyball team is expected to return several key players after improving by four wins over the 2016 season under first-year coach Steven Hinds.
The 27th-seeded Celtics beat 33rd-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley 25-10, 25-16, 25-19 on Oct. 16 in the first round of the Division I district tournament but lost Oct. 18 at ninth-seeded Pickerington Central 25-15, 25-21, 14-25, 25-13 in a second-round match to finish 10-14 overall.
“They’re learning the mental part of the game and just learning how to win,” Hinds said. “We’ve had moments of greatness this season.”
The Celtics went 3-9 in the OCC-Cardinal to tie Bradley for fifth, behind Kilbourne (12-0), Darby (9-3), Delaware (7-5) and Scioto (6-6) and ahead of Thomas (2-10).
Jerome is losing six seniors, including Stephanie Cline (libero), Jessica Holtcamp (defensive specialist), Taylor King (right-side hitter), Mackenzie Mangette (middle hitter) and Maddie Prenger (setter).
Mangette was second on the team in kills (163) and blocks (53), Prenger was second in serving aces (28) and assists (263) and Cline led in digs (154).
Junior middle hitter Kendall Poach led the team in kills (172), blocks (64) and serving aces (29), and junior setter Shefali Srinivasan led in assists (273).
Freshman middle hitter Jaci Carpenter led in serves received (384) and tied Prenger for second in digs (110).
Junior Lauren Gilbert (defensive specialist/outside hitter), sophomore Tess Hollern (right-side hitter/outside hitter) and freshman Grace Schleter (outside hitter/right-side hitter) also were key contributors.