Notebook: Dublin Coffman Shamrocks gymnasts capture OCC-Central title

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Freshman Quinn Hammond tied for seventh on beam, tied for eighth on vault and was 15th all-around to help Coffman win the OCC-Central meet Feb. 20 at Thomas Worthington and capture the overall league championship.

The Dublin Coffman gymnastics team has come a long way in a short time. 

In the 2019 district meet, the Shamrocks finished last of 24 teams with a 97.075 score and just four competitors. 

Coffman didn’t have enough gymnasts to post a team score in last year’s district meet, but the addition of sophomore Emily Yoshino and an overall increase in participants signaled that the program was on the rise. 

Heading into the district meet Feb. 27 at Worthington Kilbourne, the Shamrocks had emerged as one of central Ohio’s best teams behind the continued growth of Yoshino and another strong group of newcomers. 

The top three teams at district advanced to the state team meet March 5 at Hilliard Bradley, with the top eight finishers in each event and the all-around qualifying for the individual state meet March 6 at Bradley.

On Feb. 20 in the OCC-Central Division meet at Thomas Worthington, Coffman scored 137.275 to finish first and wrap up the overall league championship with 24 points after going 4-0 in league duals. 

“They haven’t been in the running for a league title in several years,” coach Kristen Willms said. “The fact that they were able to put a meet together (Feb. 20) like they did and pull out a win outright is awesome. I’m super proud of them and we still had some mistakes. We still have some things to clean up, so I feel like we're in a really good spot.”

Yoshino won every event in the league meet, scoring 9.4 on floor exercise, 9.2 on balance beam and 9.0 on both uneven bars and vault for a 36.6 score in the all-around.  

Freshman Avery Ragland was runner-up on vault (8.875), third on bars (8.625), third on floor (9.15) and second all-around (34.55). 

Freshman Aleigha Crispin was third on vault (8.45), second on beam (8.775) and fifth all-around (33.45). 

Freshman Quinn Hammond tied for seventh on beam (8.275), tied for eighth on vault (8.1) and was 15th all-around (32.15). 

Junior Lorien Crispin and sophomore Alexis Colombo also competed in the all-around. 

“They’re so young,” Willms said. “I have a lot of freshmen and a lot of sophomores, so there’s a big learning curve.”

•The Jerome gymnastics team scored 137.925 to finish third in the OCC-Cardinal meet Feb. 20 at Thomas behind Olentangy Berlin (139.45) and Hilliard Darby (138.375). 

After going 4-2 in duals, the Celtics also finished third in the final standings with 20 points, behind Berlin (28, 6-0) and Darby (24, 5-1). 

Junior Raegan Ernst won her third consecutive league all-around title (36.825) while finishing first on vault (9.375), bars (9.4) and floor (9.5). 

Senior Izzy Willms placed second on floor (9.4), third on bars (8.675), tied for third on beam (8.925) and was fourth all-around (35.325). 

Freshman Ella Cooper tied for sixth on floor (9.0) and was seventh all-around (34.15). 

Freshman Taylor Walker was fifth on vault (8.75) and 18th all-around (31.675). 

“I’m happy with Jerome,” Willms said. “Jerome has been hit harder with injuries this year than any other team and it’s just unfortunate because we were small to begin with and that’s not an excuse. We’re down to four healthy kids so every one of them has to hit on all four events. 

“Any mistakes that those four kids are making, we’re counting those on our team score. The fact that they’re putting together a meet like they did (Feb. 20) with absolutely no buffer on any event is pretty incredible.” 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

Scioto's Sara Sun was 13th in the all-around in the OCC-Capital meet Feb. 20 at Thomas.

•Willms was pleased with the Scioto gymnastics team’s performance in the OCC-Capital meet Feb. 20 at Thomas. 

The Irish finished fifth (122.375) behind first-place Kilbourne (133.1) and fifth overall (6, 2-4) in the league standings behind co-champions Olentangy Liberty (26, 6-0) and Kilbourne (26, 5-1). 

Elena Charria was fourth on vault (8.525) and eighth in the all-around (31.775) to lead the Irish. 

Also in the all-around, Kaitlyn Bassingwaithe was 11th (31.425), Sara Sun was 13th (31.2) and Karen Lee was 25th (27.975). 

“I’m so happy,” Willms said. “We could not have done much better than what we did. We had very few mistakes. We put in a lot of upgrades throughout the season and the girls have done really well with that. As a team, they’re headed in the right direction and they’re still young.” 

—Frank DiRenna

•Although it had seven seniors, the Jerome girls basketball team in some ways went through a youth movement under first-year coach Pam Hartford. 

Sophomore wing player Lisa Kuhlman and freshman guard Kadence Conley moved into prominent roles and helped the Celtics close the regular season on a three-game winning streak. 

Jerome was seeded 22nd for the Division I district tournament and lost 61-26 at 11th-seeded Marion Harding on Feb. 17 in the first round to finish 10-13. 

“Our kids were a little scared that day,” Hartford said. “I didn’t have a lot of experience. We only have a couple players that have played in big games like that before and it showed immediately. (Harding) came out ready to play and their crowd was into it. 

“Any time a coach takes over, in the first year you have to get the kids to understand the culture that you want, so it’s about laying the groundwork. It took awhile, but the girls responded to it. I had seven seniors and they’d been with the other coaching staff for three years.” 

Senior guard/forward Amaris Lowery, who has committed to Indiana Tech, averaged 17 points and 5.1 rebounds and shot 87 percent from the free-throw line. 

Conley averaged 7.7 points and Kuhlman averaged 5.0 points while also being one of the team’s top defenders, according to Hartford. 

Junior post player Paige Wleklinski averaged a team-best 7.2 rebounds, and juniors Maria Holscher (guard) and Ashley Westerheide (guard/wing player) were other significant contributors along with senior post player Darby Adams.

Junior Cari Dupote-Fosnot (guard/wing player) missed the season with injury. 

“The group of seniors really had a strong bond,” Hartford said. 

—Jarrod Ulrey  

•The Coffman girls basketball team had little trouble reaching its second consecutive Division I district final. 

The second-seeded squad opened the postseason with an 80-14 victory over 36th-seeded Central Crossing on Feb. 19 and then beat 11th-seeded Harding 53-36 on Feb. 24 in a district semifinal.  

After falling to Gahanna in a district semifinal in 2019, the Shamrocks lost to the Lions in a district final last season and again were in the same bracket with Gahanna, but the sixth-seeded Lions were upset 43-41 by 28th-seeded Thomas in the second round Feb. 19.

Coffman played 16th-seeded Marysville in a district final Feb. 27, and the winner faced Reynoldsburg or Logan on March 2 in a regional semifinal. The regional final is March 5 at Ohio Dominican. 

Against Harding, Jenna Kopyar had 18 points and Taya Flynn added 11 as Coffman improved to 21-1 and won its 19th consecutive game. 

Tessa Grady scored 16 points, Ellie Vaccari had 14 and Taylor Covington added 12 against Central Crossing. 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

•The Scioto boys and girls bowling teams closed their second season under coach Tamie Snyder. 

The boys finished 4-10 overall and 3-9 in the COHSBC-B. Senior Nick Lauro led the Irish with a 189.3 average, followed by senior Brian Diehl (169.9), sophomore Daniel Oesch (159), junior Timothy King (143.5) and freshman Bryce Shane (142.8). 

Others eligible to return are sophomore Henry Dunmire and freshmen Daniel Kirchhoff and Adam Liston. 

The girls finished 0-11 overall and 0-10 in the COHSBC-B. Junior Kayla Butcher led with a 131.7 average, followed by freshman Leah Matter (127) and junior Mei Harter (109.7). 

Others eligible to return are freshmen Clara Absher and Sophia Lauro. 

Aurora Gallicchio and Cameron Tucker were the program’s seniors. 

Since it is considered a club team, Scioto was not eligible to compete in the OCC or the postseason. 

“We saw significant growth and improvement our second year,” Snyder said. “We added a boys j.v. team this year and added eight new bowlers, six of them freshman. All of them are very dedicated. I look forward to even more growth next year.” 

—Frank DiRenna

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JEROME GIRLS BASKETBALL  

Record: 10-13 overall  

OCC-Cardinal standings: Marysville (8-2), Olentangy (6-4), Jerome (5-5), Darby (5-5), Olentangy Berlin (3-7), Thomas Worthington (3-7) 

Seniors lost: Darby Adams, Samantha Bowers, Ali Ford, Megan Keys, Amaris Lowery, Meredith Wheeler and Kaitlin Williams 

Key returnees: Kadence Conley, Maria Holscher, Lisa Kuhlman, Ashley Westerheide and Paige Wleklinski 

Postseason: Lost to Marion Harding 61-26 in first round of Division I district tournament