Moments after competing in the 800-meter relay in the Division I regional meet May 25 at Pickerington North, sophomore Folake Olujide-Ajibade of the Dublin Scioto High School girls track and field team was greeted by coach Stacey Schall.
The two embraced to celebrate Olujide-Ajibade's earlier achievement of qualifying for the state meet Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at Ohio State for the first time.
Olujide-Ajibade accomplished the feat by finishing second in the 100 hurdles in 15.05 seconds.
The top four finishers in each regional event, along with two at-large berths in each running event based on regional times statewide, advanced to state.
"I'm really happy," Olujide-Ajibade said. "I've been looking forward to this for a long time. I would like to make it to finals (at state), but if that's not possible, I'll just be happy with where I'm at."
Schall, who replaced Matt Suttle as coach prior to last season, was an assistant in 2013 when the girls team last had a state qualifier. That year, the 400 relay of Nykee Scruggs, Aysia Prewitt, Charissa Newkirk and Madison Scurlock finished 11th.
"We have full confidence in her," Schall said of Olujide-Ajibade. "She's been working hard. She's my 'steady Eddie.'"
Also at regional, Olujide-Ajibade teamed with Foluke Olujide-Ajibade, Yosola Olujide-Ajibade and Brooklyn Richardson to finish sixth in the 800 relay (1:42.81), Yosola Olujide-Ajibade was ninth in the 400 (58.27), Kennedie Lomax finished 10th in the shot put (35 feet, 1 inch) and 16th in the discus (92-5), Audrey Bannister was 10th in the 3,200 (11:39.95) and Folake Olujide-Ajibade finished 11th in the 300 hurdles (46.3).
Scioto scored 11 points to finish 17th behind champion Gahanna (84) as 32 teams scored.
No members of the boys team qualified for state.
The 3,200 relay of Cesar Arellano, Trevor Page, Sam Thomas and Tyler Mielke finished fifth (7:57.15), Max Eveland placed seventh in the pole vault (13-8), Eric Holsinger was ninth in the 100 (11.08) and Arellano finished 14th in the 3,200 (10:00.95).
The Irish tied for 26th (6) behind champion Pickerington Central (97) as 41 teams scored.
Girls lacrosse team set program mark
The girls lacrosse team posted the most wins in program history while finishing above .500 for just the second time.
Scioto finished 12-4 overall after losing to fourth-seeded Springboro 17-3 in a Division I, Region 3 quarterfinal May 18. Seeded sixth, the Irish had beaten 10th-seeded Hilliard Darby 16-11 in the first round May 15.
Scioto's previous high for wins in a season came in 2014, when it finished 9-8.
"We're rewriting history for Scioto lacrosse," coach Sarah Zink said. "We had the opportunity to do that this season and to make ourselves more of a competition threat than what's been perceived in the past. We're trying to change minds of not only our school, but our community to show that we are here and we're going to be not only a good team, but a great team."
Scioto went 3-3 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to finish fourth, behind Jerome (6-0), Thomas Worthington (5-1) and Worthington Kilbourne (4-2) and ahead of Darby (2-4), Hilliard Bradley (1-5) and Delaware (0-6).
The Irish are losing five seniors, including goalkeeper Aubrey Webb, a Limestone College commit who totaled 165 saves on the season and was named first-team all-league.
Junior midfielders Jessie Hartman (30 goals, 3 assists) and Allie Vogel (28 goals, 3 assists) and freshman defender Karleigh Rothe (8 goals, 5 assists) all were second-team all-league, while junior attacker Kiersten Jennings (20 goals) was honorable mention all-league.
Vogel was second-team all-region and Rothe was honorable mention all-region.
Volleyball team had rebuilding season
After reaching the Division II state tournament a year ago, boys volleyball coach Doug Arden knew his team would be facing a rebuilding season given that it had lost most of its roster to graduation.
Scioto finished 4-16 overall, losing at top-seeded St. Charles 25-8, 25-8, 25-17 in an East Region semifinal May 22. The seventh-seeded Irish had opened the postseason by beating fourth-seeded Briggs 25-27, 13-25, 25-21, 25-14, 16-14 on May 19.
"We knew we were in for a challenge," Arden said. "We needed time to learn how to play together and to play in new positions, and for some of the guys the game of volleyball was brand new.
"Despite our inexperience, I was impressed by the spirit with which our guys played. I thought they competed well, and this was evidenced by the number of matches that we stretched to deciding sets and the number of tight sets that we played as well."
Scioto went 3-9 in the OCC-Cardinal to finish sixth, behind Darby (12-0), Jerome (10-2), Kilbourne (8-4), Bradley (5-7) and Thomas (4-8) and ahead of Delaware (0-12).
Sophomore outside hitter Dedar Mergaye was named second-team all-region and all-league, senior outside hitter Cole Hussey was honorable mention all-region and all-league and junior setter Cameron Gastaldo was honorable mention all-region.
Other players eligible to return are junior Grayson Bramble (right-side hitter) and sophomores Jonathan Heasley (setter) and Riley Passias (right-side hitter).