Girls Track & Field: Dublin Coffman Shamrocks excited for return to action

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Senior Abby Scherer should be one of the top competitors in the 800 and 1,600 for Coffman. She ran on the 3,200 relay that reached the Division I regional meet in 2019.

After the Dublin Coffman girls track and field season was canceled last spring because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, coach Greg King found enjoyment last fall while leading the girls cross country team. 

He’s hopeful that the return to competition in track will go as smoothly as it went in cross country. 

“It’s nice because cross country was the most normal thing about this (school) year so far,” King said. “I’m looking forward to this (track) season.” 

The top returnee is junior Katie Brand, who placed 13th in the 100 meters (12.59 seconds) at the Division I state meet in 2019. She’ll likely lead a sprint corps that also should include seniors Abby Collier and Abby McGraw. 

Senior Abby Scherer — who ran a leg of the 3,200 relay that reached the 2019 regional and missed qualifying individually for the state cross country meet by seven spots last fall — should be one of the top competitors in the 800 and 1,600.  

Scherer was a regional qualifier in the 800, and Collier competed at the regional in the 400 in 2019. 

Sophomore Olivia Oiler placed seventh in the 1,600 at the state indoor finale March 6 at SPIRE Institute in Geneva and also should run the 800 and possibly the 1,600 relay. 

Junior Kasey Stammen is another top middle-distance runner, with junior Kendall Starr, sophomore Alexis Marsico and freshmen Kylie Feeney and McKenzie Vick expected to run distance. 

McGraw and junior Melanie Kyriacou are in the long jump, with sophomore Emily Yoshino in the pole vault and senior Abby Goldberg, junior Anna Krueger and sophomore Ava Parrill in the shot put and discus. 

“We’re young and inexperienced,” King said. “We’ve got some seniors, but not a ton. The seniors we have are pretty good, but when you have so many freshmen. … We (also) have new juniors that have not competed. We’re building for the future. With so few seniors, the flip side of that is you get your kids a chance to compete and maybe extend their seasons and it pays dividends for next year, too.” 

INSIDE THE SHAMROCKS 

Coach: Greg King, 12th season 

Next meet: April 17 in Joe Lenge Classic at home 

Key athletes: Katie Brand, Abby Collier, Abby McGraw, Olivia Oiler, Abby Scherer, Kasey Stammen and Emily Yoshino 

Celtics return strong 

mid-distance group 

During the 2019 season, Jerome’s 1,600 relay ran a program-record 3:55.46 during the Division I state preliminary race and went on to finish eighth (3:57.11) the next day. 

Three of those competitors — senior Samantha Melican and juniors Raegan Ernst and Maya Fuller — have returned to lead what figures to be a strong middle-distance group for the Celtics. 

Freshman Chloe Friedman is among those who could fill out the relay after 2020 graduate Emily Oiler was the other leg in 2019. 

Also in 2019, Ernst was a regional qualifier in the 300 hurdles after winning a district title in that event and was OCC-Cardinal Division runner-up in the high jump. 

Seniors Claire Deffet and Megan Keys are other middle-distance runners, with junior Gwyn Lai in the hurdles and middle-distance races.  

Senior Lauren Metzger and junior Audrey Cook should lead the team’s distance corps, along with senior Miuka Yamauchi and junior Ava DiMasi. 

Sprinters include juniors Meryl LaRue and Caroline Zimovan, with senior Hailey Watson in the long jump and junior McKenna Moritz in the high jump and hurdles. 

Throwers include juniors Darya Shirzad (shot put, discus) and Annika Sunkura (discus). 

“I think it’s going to be a fun year,” coach Randi Beatty said. “They’re coming out and working hard. Half of our team has not run high school track, but overall we’re looking forward to it.” 

INSIDE THE CELTICS 

Coach: Randi Beatty, 12th season 

Next meet: April 17 at Coffman Joe Lenge Classic 

Key athletes: Audrey Cook, Claire Deffet, Raegan Ernst, Maya Fuller, Meryl LaRue, Samantha Melican, Lauren Metzger and Hailey Watson 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

Irish roster

lacks experience 

Scioto coach Stacey Schall said her team lacks experience but has individuals with potential. 

Schall said the Irish were hit hard by graduation and the lack of a season a year ago. 

“It’s going to be nice to get back to almost normal,” Schall said. “It’s nice to be back out and working with the kids. It makes you happy.” 

A key contributor should be senior distance runner Audrey Bannister, who was a four-time state qualifier in cross country and has committed to Northwestern. 

Junior Natalie Beasley is another distance runner. 

Ayva Leon is a hurdler and jumper and Sakura Yagi is a hurdler. Both are juniors. 

Junior Kaylie Pitts, sophomore Kayla Franklin and freshmen Amariah White and Myanna Williams should be key sprinters. 

Sophomore Aimee Kamau is competing in the discus and shot put. 

“There’s a whole lot of new faces,” Schall said. “The sophomore class I knew for about four days last year. … We’re trying to get a good foundation that we can build. It’s going to be a rebuilding-type year. There’s a lot of question marks.” 

INSIDE THE IRISH 

Coach: Stacey Schall, fourth season 

Next meet: April 17 at Coffman Joe Lenge Classic 

Key athletes: Audrey Bannister, Kayla Franklin, Ayva Leon and Sakura Yagi

—Frank DiRenna 

sports@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekSports