Seniors Abby Kiefer and Taby Robinson seemingly have been inseparable on the golf course the last four years on the Dublin Jerome High School girls team.
Their history together, though, goes further back.
"In some (youth) tournaments, Abby and I would play together, so we've always known each other," Robinson said. "We have some pictures of us when were little, like 8."
Their mutual interest in the sport and their growth as friends began at Grizzell Middle School.
"When we were in sixth grade, we started going to the state (tournament) together and walking around watching (Jerome)," Kiefer said. "Ever since then, we'd hang out all the time. Once freshman year started, even outside of golf, we'd hang out for fun."
According to Robinson, the two are "like best friends."
Kiefer and Robinson helped Jerome win its fourth and fifth consecutive state championships during their freshman and sophomore seasons. They're hoping to add to their athletic legacy this postseason.
The Celtics competed in a Division I sectional Oct. 3 at Mentel Memorial, where the top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to the district tournament Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Cooks Creek.
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals advance to state Oct. 20 and 21 on Ohio State's Gray Course.
Jerome followed its five-year run of state team titles by placing fifth at state last year when the event was shortened from two days to one because of bad weather.
Kiefer, however, shot a 71 to earn co-medalist honors with Medina Highland's Madison Butler.
During this year's OCC-Cardinal Division tournament, Robinson averaged 75.3 to earn league medalist honors while Kiefer was the league runner-up (76.0).
The Celtics' lineup also includes senior Meaghan Yant and sophomores Ash Abhang and Caitlin Yant.
"Taby is actually playing the best golf in her four years here," coach C.D. Butcher said. "Something recently clicked for her. Abby is probably the strongest player mentally I've ever had, so it's kind of bittersweet that they're seniors.
"They've always both been super competitive. Abby wants to win everything, but she doesn't let you know that. She shot a 67 one day and was just straight-faced about it."
Kiefer and Robinson admit that it hasn't sunk in yet that their time with Jerome and as teammates soon will be coming to a close.
Kiefer has committed to play for Xavier University, while Robinson will join her older sister, 2015 graduate Sybil Robinson, at Michigan State. Because Sybil redshirted as a freshmen, she and Taby should have two seasons together at MSU.
Sybil Robinson and Maite Erana were seniors and Mariana Erana was a sophomore, and all three were returning players, when Kiefer and Taby Robinson joined the program in 2014.
"When we were freshmen, a lot of people told us we were super, super lucky because we had such great leaders and team chemistry," Kiefer said. "We're starting to look back on how lucky we are and trying to carry on their legacy. It's been a good four years. We've gotten really lucky with our teammates."
Kiefer says she got started in golf by "accident," as her father, Greg, bought her a club when she was young. Her mother, Gretchen, is a Dublin graduate.
"(My dad) always says that if somebody would have told him a few years ago that he'd be walking around a golf course all the time, he'd have thought they were lying," Kiefer said.
Robinson's father, Matt, is a former golf pro, while her mother, Allyson, has been a regular spectator at Jerome matches since Sybil joined the program in 2011.
"Looking back, honestly, I've grown so much," Robinson said. "The older girls that were on the team taught us so much and they've helped us be the leaders of this team. This team has taught us a lot about leadership and being lifelong friends."
Runners prep for
Boys cross country coach Dave Wadenstierna believes his team is "trending in the right direction."
The Celtics will get a tune-up before the OCC-Cardinal meet Oct. 14 at Hilliard Darby when they compete in the Darby Dash on Saturday, Oct. 7.
"My message to the team is to be proud of the improvement so far, but not content," Wadenstierna said.
"We have much more work to do if we're going to compete for a spot in the state meet this season."
Wadenstierna was pleased with his team's performance Sept. 23 when it scored 23 points to beat Darby (37) and North Union (88) in the Celtic Clash, which was its first home of the season. Senior Kellen Posacki was first (15 minutes, 20.54 seconds), sophomore Elliott Cook was second (15:54.93) and sophomore Arjun Dhankani and senior Jeremy Coad were fourth (16:28.12) and fifth (16:31.25), respectively.
Other standouts, according to Wadenstierna, have included junior Sahil Ambardekar, sophomores Spencer Rubel and Sean Scott and freshman Kyle Von Cannon.
The girls team finished second (39) in the Celtic Clash, behind Darby (32) and ahead of Scioto (73) and North Union (89).
Freshman Lauren Metzger placed fifth (19:51.38) to lead the Celtics.
Tennis team looks
for strong finish
Before playing Columbus Academy on Oct. 3, the girls tennis team had lost just five courts all season and was 13-1.
With a 3-2 victory over Pickerington North on Sept. 28, the Celtics advanced to play Olentangy Liberty or Olentangy Orange in a Division I district final of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament. The date of the district final has yet to be determined.
The district champion advances to the state tournament Oct. 22 at Reynoldsburg.
The Celtics will compete in a sectional Thursday, Oct. 5, and Saturday, Oct. 7, at Hilliard Bradley. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district Oct. 12 at Bradley and Oct. 14 at Upper Arlington.
Competing in singles for the Celtics at sectional will be senior Jiaqi Liu, sophomore Kavya Alagappan and freshman Peyton Shaffer. Liu is the top seed.
In doubles, senior Vicki Chang and Reagan Resor are seeded first at sectional and sophomore Katherine Wang and freshman Arya Dudipala are seeded second.
Boys golfers open
The boys golf team competed in a Division I sectional Oct. 3 at Darby Creek, where the top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to the district tournament Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Apple Valley.
At district, the top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams move on to the state tournament Oct. 20 and 21 on Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Girls soccer team
After losing to Coffman 2-1 on Sept. 14, the girls soccer team had won three games in a row before playing Delaware on Oct. 3.
The winning streak included a 4-1 victory over Bradley on Sept. 26. The Jaguars were 10-3-1 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Scioto on Oct. 3.
Jerome was 8-3 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Delaware and would wrap up the league title with a win over the Pacers and a win Tuesday, Oct. 10, at home against Scioto.
"(It's been going) much better," coach Kelly Brothers said. "We've turned it up a notch, for sure. (We're) looking to keep improving before the postseason."
The district tournament drawing is Sunday, Oct. 8.
Against Bradley, Rachel Butler scored two goals and goalkeeper Jess Walsh made eight saves.
Below are the coming schedules for the Jerome cross country, field hockey, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 7 -- Darby Dash at Hilliard Darby
Oct. 9 -- Home vs. Granville
Oct. 11 -- At Columbus School for Girls
Oct. 7 -- Pickerington North Fall Classic at The Links at Groveport
Oct. 5 -- Home vs. Westerville Central
*Oct. 10 -- At Scioto
Oct. 5 -- At Westerville Central
Oct. 7 -- Home vs. Lebanon
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Scioto
*Oct. 5 -- At Delaware. The Celtics lost to the Pacers 25-16, 25-14, 20-25, 25-20 on Sept. 7.
*Oct. 10 -- Home vs. Scioto. The Celtics lost to the Irish 25-13, 25-20, 20-25, 25-21 on Sept. 12.