Dublin Scioto High School boys distance runner Cesar Arellano is heading back to the Division I regional track and field meet, where he hopes to atone for a disappointing finish in the 3,200 meters a year ago.
The senior qualified for regional in the event by placing fourth (9 minutes, 45.6 seconds) in the district 1 meet that concluded May 19 at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each district event advanced to regional, which began May 23 and concludes Friday, May 25, at Pickerington North.
"You just want to qualify, make it in safely and not really kill yourself for the bigger races," Arellano said. "The point is to always qualify. We had in mind who the four qualifiers were going to be, so we went along with who we knew was going to make it and just ran as fast as we needed to."
At regional, the top four finishers in each event advance to state June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
"He was instructed not to get into a shootout (May 19)," coach Kevin Foley said. "(At district), you have to get onto the next level."
Last season, Arellano qualified for regional for the first time and was running in the top 10 of the 3,200 before having to withdraw because of a leg injury. He was a two-time state qualifier in cross country, having finished 21st (15:43.7) as a junior and 78th (16:42.6) as a senior.
Arellano also earned a regional berth in the 3,200 relay with Trevor Page, Sam Thomas and Tyler Mielke as the foursome placed second (8:03.99) at district.
Also qualifying for regional were Max Eveland in the pole vault (second, 12 feet, 4 inches) and Eric Holsinger in the 100 (third, 11.53).
Eugene Choi just missed qualifying for regional in two events, as he finished fifth in both the 110 hurdles (16.04) and long jump (20-1 3/4). Nick Wolfe was fifth in the shot put (44-11 1/2).
Scioto scored 43.33 points at district to place fifth of 16 teams, behind champion Pickerington Central (158).
Folake Olujide-Ajibade led the girls team in the district 1 meet, winning the 100 hurdles (15.5) and placing second in the 300 hurdles (46.41).
She also was on the third-place 800 relay (1:43.95) with sisters Foluke Olujide-Ajibade and Yosola Olujide-Ajibade as well as Brooklyn Richardson.
"The wind was really bad for the 100 hurdles, so I was just happy that I won and I pushed myself to get to regional," Folake Olujide-Ajibade said.
Also qualifying for regional were Kennedie Lomax in the discus (second, 108-9) and shot put (fourth, 34-10), Yosola Olujide-Ajibade in the 400 (fourth, 1:00.78) and freshman Audrey Bannister in the 3,200 (fourth, 11:30.24).
Last fall, Bannister finished 37th (18:51.4) in the state cross country meet.
"It would mean a lot to get someone to state," coach Stacey Schall said. "It would be my first person as head coach to get to state."
Placing fifth at district was the 400 relay of Foluke Olujide-Ajibade, Richardson, Meg Tysen and Erin Holsinger (50.95).
The Irish finished fifth (61) of 16 teams at district, behind champion Central (112).
Boys volleyball team reaches regional semi
The boys volleyball team was 4-15 before playing top-seeded St. Charles in a Division II East Region semifinal May 22.
The winner plays second-seeded Worthington Kilbourne or third-seeded Watterson in a regional final Friday, May 25, at Westerville Central. The regional champion advances to the state tournament June 2 and 3 at Capital University.
The seventh-seeded Irish defeated fourth-seeded Briggs 25-27, 13-25, 25-21, 25-14, 16-14 in a regional quarterfinal May 19 at St. Charles.
Wrigley resigns as boys tennis coach
Boys tennis coach Mike Wrigley, who helped form the program when the school opened in the fall of 1995, has stepped down after 23 seasons.
Pending school board approval, Sean Gilbert will succeed Wrigley as coach. Gilbert replaced Wrigley as girls coach last fall. Wrigley coached the girls team for 22 seasons before resigning last summer after undergoing knee replacement surgery.
"Sean will do a fine job taking over the team," Wrigley said. "It was just the right time. It's time to go. I'm going to miss the players. What kept me around was probably the relationships I had with the players. That was the key."
The boys team concluded its season at the Division I district tournament, where the doubles team of senior Kunal Arya and junior Santhusht Prasad lost to eventual district champions Jack Dabek and Reese Yakubov of St. Charles 6-0, 6-0 in the first round May 17 at Hilliard Bradley.
Scioto finished 3-11 overall and went 2-4 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to tie Darby and Worthington Kilbourne for fourth, behind Jerome (6-0), Thomas Worthington (5-1) and Delaware (3-3) and ahead of Bradley (1-5).
Softball coach seeks further progress
Softball coach Larry Howell said his team showed glimpses of promise this season, but there is still room for improvement.
"We have the majority of the starting lineup coming back," Howell said. "The young girls coming back have to pick it up. We have a lot of work to do."
The Irish finished 10-13 overall with a 12-1, five-inning loss at 19th-seeded Westerville Central in the second round of the Division I district tournament May 9. Central went on to win its first district title.
Scioto, which was seeded 25th, defeated 36th-seeded Hilliard Davidson 1-0 in the first round May 7.
Among the key players for the Irish were four sophomores. Lauren Erickson (SS) batted .426 with a team-high 28 RBI and 19 runs scored, Maddy Baughman (OF) hit .411 with 18 runs, Makayla Jauregui (2B/C) batted .367 and Sarah Booth hit .339.
Scioto is losing five seniors, including Madison Heasley (P), who hit .333 with 14 RBI and 14 runs and was 7-9 in the circle with a 5.60 ERA, 64 strikeouts and 44 walks in 93 2/3 innings.
"It was a fun season," Heasley said. "I'll miss it. We could have done better this year. We just had a little downfall in the middle of the season that we should have not had."
Senior Imani McCullough (CF) batted .314 with 14 runs.
Others eligible to return are juniors Katie Bush (2B/C), Emily Dinan (1B/3B) and Haley Gibson (P/utility), sophomores Lucia Adams (OF/1B), Gretchen Baker (OF) and Lauren Perry (2B) and freshmen Bel Crawford (1B), Lacey Henry (OF) and Alexis Hoover (2B/SS).
Scioto went 3-9 in the OCC-Cardinal to finish sixth, behind co-champions Delaware and Bradley (both 10-2), Darby (9-3), Jerome (6-6) and Kilbourne (4-8) and ahead of Thomas (0-12).
"We're going to miss the seniors," Howell said. "They had a good four years. They worked hard for us. Unfortunately, that ends and you have to start all over again."
Girls lacrosse team falls at Springboro
The girls lacrosse team saw its season end with a 17-3 loss at fourth-seeded Springboro in a Division I, Region 3 quarterfinal May 18.
Ashleigh Rothe, Karleigh Rothe and Allie Vogel each scored for the sixth-seeded Irish, who finished 12-4.
Scioto opened the postseason by defeating 10th-seeded Darby 16-11 on May 15 at home.
Vogel had five goals and Kiersten Jennings and Ashleigh Rothe each scored three against the Panthers.
Boys lacrosse team loses at Liberty
The 13th-seeded boys lacrosse team lost at second-seeded Olentangy Liberty 14-4 in the first round of the Division I, Region 1 tournament May 15 to finish 3-15.
Goalkeeper Alex Mar had eight saves.