Notebook: Young runners lead Dublin Jerome boys team at state

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Jerome senior Carson Smith sprints to the finish in the Division I state cross country meet Nov. 7 at Fortress Obetz. The Celtics boys finished 15th of 20 teams.

Despite losing one of the state’s top runners to graduation, the Dublin Jerome boys cross country team took a big step forward this fall.

Elliott Cook finished fourth at last year’s state meet while competing as an individual, but the Celtics reached state as a team this season, finishing 15th (363) of 20 teams Nov. 7 at Fortress Obetz.

Freshman Sam Ricchiuti led all central Ohio runners by placing ninth (15 minutes, 48 seconds) behind champion Nathan Moore of Uniontown Lake (14:59.5).

“I wasn’t expecting to go (4:48 during the first mile),” Ricchiuti said. “I stayed in the second pack and my whole goal was to come in top 50, and I did that.”

Sophomore Josh Razor was the next finisher for the Celtics, placing 79th (16:42).

“It was a good experience for us being our first time at state,” Razor said.

Rounding out Jerome’s state competitors were seniors Carson Smith (137th, 17:20.6) and Gunnar Grass (141st, 17:25.4), junior Rishikesh Makineni (152nd, 17:37.7), senior Andrew Bartsch (162nd, 17:51.5) and junior David Hartman (166th, 17:59.1).

That followed Jerome winning the district 2 race Oct. 24 at Hilliard Darby with 53 points and placing fourth (138) in the regional Oct. 31 at Pickerington North.

Others eligible to return include junior Nolan Boyea and sophomore Samual Boggess.

Both the boys and girls teams won OCC-Cardinal Division titles.

The girls team followed its league championship by placing fourth (129) in district 3 and 11th (267) at regional.

Senior Megan Keys finished 51st (20:41.2) to lead the Celtics at regional, but the only other senior in the regional lineup was Anna Speeney.

The rest of the lineup included freshman Ellie Speeney, who led the Celtics in the league meet with a fifth-place finish, junior Ava DiMasi, sophomore Ella Corbin and freshmen Ally Keys and Tory Wiblin.

Others eligible to return include sophomores Kerrie Cheng and Cecilia Martyna and freshman Anna Hiller.

Scioto senior Audrey Bannister competed in her fourth Division I state cross country meet Nov. 7 at Fortress Obetz. She finished 80th of 176 runners.

•Audrey Bannister closed her Scioto girls cross country career by competing in her fourth Division I state meet Nov. 7 at Fortress Obetz.

Bannister finished 80th of 176 runners in 19:35.2.

“I had some high expectations for myself,” she said. “I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get exactly where I wanted to be, but overall it was a pretty good race. We were at a different location this year and the beginning was definitely a shock because there were so many people really close to each other, so you had to get out aggressively if you wanted to place well. … It was a successful four years.”

Previously at state, Bannister finished 47th (19:10.8) last season, 31st (19:15.2) as a sophomore and 37th (18:51.4) as a freshman. She will compete at Northwestern.

“Northwestern was actually one of my reach schools that I was hoping to get into because I know they’re very competitive,” she said. 

Bannister helped the Irish win the OCC-Capital title by finishing first (19:05.5) in the league meet Oct. 17 at Westerville North. Scioto finished with 63 points for its first league championship since 2014.

Bannister was fourth (19:26.3) in the regional Oct. 31 at Pickerington North and sixth (19:07.8) in the district 1 race Oct. 24 at Darby.

Key runners eligible to return include juniors Mei Harter and Avery Samms, sophomore Megan Hartman and freshmen Maddy Johnson and Selah White.

—Frank DiRenna

•The Scioto boys cross country team’s season was highlighted by winning the OCC-Capital meet and qualifying for its fifth consecutive regional meet.

The Irish closed their season by finishing 10th (246) at regional. Junior Spencer McClellan finished 35th (16:59.7) of 126 runners to lead Scioto.

“He’ll be our top returner next year,” coach Kevin Foley said.

The Irish finished fourth (128) in district 3 as senior Ali Latif was seventh (16:16.1) to lead the way.

Scioto scored 32 points in the OCC-Capital meet for its first league title since 2007. Latif was second (16:23.4) and McClellan was third (16:25.9).

Other key runners eligible to return include juniors Jonathan Carr and Justin Ward, sophomores Bryce Page and Trevor Page and freshmen Boston Berry and Weston Day.

“The single greatest challenge for us was to finish the season,” Foley said. “We had a lot of hurdles to clear to make it to the end of the season. We had a lot of adversity (that was) COVID-related.”

—Frank DiRenna

•The highlight for the Coffman cross country program in the Division I state meet Nov. 7 at Fortress Obetz was turned in by sophomore Liam Shaughnessy, who finished 24th (16:05.5) to earn all-Ohio honors.

The Shamrocks boys team, which was second in the OCC-Central, district 3 and regional meets, finished 19th (396) at state.

“I was pretty happy with it,” Shaughnessy said. “I thought I was going out in a better position, but I’m happy with how I ended up. This was something we never really anticipated and it’s been a lot of building this year. Getting up to this position is something we’re very happy with and we’re ready to work hard for next year. We’re in a great training spot.”

Sophomore Will McGraw was the No. 2 runner at state for the boys, finishing 96th (16:53.3). He was followed by juniors Isaac Frank (127th, 17:12.2) and Broderick Spurgin (140th, 17:25.4), sophomore Jackson Roe (171st, 18:13.7) and senior Ryan Loynes (175th, 17:34.6).

Juniors Noah Clemens and Steven Speck and sophomore James Nippa also were key runners this season.

The girls team finished 15th (313) at state as freshman Kylie Feeney led with a 61st-place finish (19:25.9), followed by sophomores Olivia Oiler (75th, 19:33.8) and Morgan Halli (88th, 19:49.1), senior Abigail Scherer (97th, 19:59.2), freshman McKenzie Vick (136th, 20:42.3), junior Kendall Starr (142nd, 20:50) and sophomore Alexis Marsico (145th, 20:53.4).

Juniors Madeline Erwin and Kasey Stammen and sophomore Maribel Pagan are others eligible to return.

—Jarrod Ulrey

•After posting its first winning record since 2013 last fall, the Jerome field hockey team finished 10-4-2 overall.

Jerome, which was the ninth seed for the district tournament, lost 7-1 to third-seeded and eventual state champion Watterson in a district semifinal Oct. 27.

“Our team chemistry was amazing this season and they really worked well together,” coach Cara Wolfgram Evans said. “When we were down, our team came together to push through. One of the areas in which our team made the biggest progress was through our passing. I believe this was our greatest strength this year.”

Midfielders Katelyn Root (10 goals) and Catie Berniger (9 goals) led a 10-player senior class.

Root and senior defensive midfielder Olivia Brooks were first-team all-COFHL-West as the Celtics went 4-2-2 to finish fourth.

Junior attacker Sarah Bell (6 goals), junior defender Rhyan Rish, freshman goalie Sydney Krasniewski and freshman midfielder Clare Page should be among the team’s top returnees.

Others eligible to return include juniors Kennedy Faller (midfielder) and Abigail Hodge (defender) and sophomore Alana Wilson (goalie).

—Jarrod Ulrey

sports@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSports

COFFMAN CROSS COUNTRY

OCC-Central standings: Boys — Hilliard Davidson (32), Coffman (68), Olentangy Orange (86), Upper Arlington (90), Hilliard Bradley (115), Olentangy Liberty (133); Girls — Davidson (18), Coffman (67), UA (80), Orange (98), Liberty (100), Bradley (190)

Seniors lost: Boys — Ryan Loynes and Mitchell Yeater; Girls — Abigail Scherer

Key returnees: Boys — Noah Clemens, Isaac Frank, Will McGraw, Jackson Roe, Liam Shaughnessy, Steven Speck and Broderick Spurgin; Girls — Kylie Feeney, Morgan Halli, Alexis Marsico, Olivia Oiler, Kendall Starr and McKenzie Vick

Postseason: Boys — Second (92) at district behind Lancaster (91), second (128) at regional behind Davidson (57), 19th (396) at state behind champion West Chester Lakota West (73); Girls — First (55) at district 1, third (140) at regional behind champion Davidson (42), 15th (313) at state behind champion Centerville (128) 

JEROME CROSS COUNTRY

OCC-Cardinal standings: Boys — Jerome (31), Thomas Worthington (63), Olentangy Berlin (65), Olentangy (86), Hilliard Darby (117), Marysville (148); Girls — Jerome (45), Berlin (73), Marysville (77), Darby (78), Thomas (113), Olentangy (129)

Seniors lost: Boys — Andrew Bartsch, Gunnar Grass and Reid Weigle; Girls — Megan Keys and Anna Speeney

Key returnees: Boys — Samual Boggess, Nolan Boyea, David Hartman, Rishikesh Makineni, Josh Razor, Sam Ricchiuti and Carson Smith; Girls — Kerry Cheng,  Ella Corbin, Ava DiMasi, Anna Hiller, Ally Keys, Cecilia Martyna, Ellie Speeney and Tory Wiblin

Postseason: Boys — First (53) at district, fourth (138) at regional behind champion Davidson (57); 15th (363) at state behind champion Lakota West (73); Girls — Fourth (129) at district behind champion UA (70), 11th (267) at regional behind champion Davidson (42)

JEROME FIELD HOCKEY

Record: 10-4-2 overall

COFHL-West standings: Thomas (8-0), UA (7-1), Liberty (5-2-1), Jerome (4-2-2), Olentangy (4-4), Orange (3-4-1), Coffman (1-6), Scioto (1-6), Berlin (0-8)

Seniors lost: Katie Bell, Catie Berniger, Olivia Brooks, Janelle Emmett, Maeve Gallagher, Keely McClure, Madison Plummer, Katelyn Root, Vanessa Ruck and Hailey Watson

Key returnees: Sarah Bell, Sydney Krasniewski, Claire Page and Rhyan Rish

Postseason: Defeated Granville 3-2; lost to Watterson 7-1 in district semifinal

SCIOTO CROSS COUNTRY

OCC-Capital standings: Boys — Scioto (32), Worthington Kilbourne (54), Westerville North (90), Canal Winchester (91), Delaware (118), Big Walnut (148), Westerville South (151); Girls — Scioto (63), Canal Winchester (79), Big Walnut (97), North and South (both 101), Kilbourne (107), Delaware (113)

Seniors lost: Boys — Sam Birnbaum, Ali Latif, Andrew Leonard, David Leonard, Trevor Page, Jackson Raabe, Jay Ramesh and Nick Wheeler; Girls — Audrey Bannister, Faith Bylaw, Kate Cowan, Sofia Morales, Haley Park, Abby Peterson, Masako Soldini and Allison Thornbloom

Key returnees: Boys — Spencer McClellan, Bryce Page and Reece Page; Girls — Mei Harter, Megan Hartman, Maddy Johnson, Avery Samms and Selah White

Postseason: Boys — Fourth (128) at district behind champion Lancaster (91), 10th (246) at regional behind champion Davidson (57); Girls — Third (96) at district behind champion Davidson (19), 15th (318) at regional behind champion Davidson (42)