Notebook: Dublin Coffman Shamrocks girls track and field team overcomes obstacles
When the 2020 spring sports season was postponed and ultimately canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Abby Collier made sure not to let the time go to waste.
Collier, a senior sprinter, was among the standouts for the Dublin Coffman girls track and field team as it began the postseason with the Division I, district 1 meet that concludes May 22 at Hilliard Darby.
The top four in each event advance to the regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North.
“Being in a leadership role, we have a responsibility,” said Collier, who has committed to Baldwin Wallace. “For (the freshmen and sophomores), the last season they ran was in middle school and they don’t know how high school track works. I love track, so I’ve been able to tell them how to warm up and have gotten to teach them things.
“I did a lot of offseason training during quarantine when there was nothing better to do than to go to the Coffman track. That’s paid off. I’m running faster this season.”
Collier, who was a regional qualifier in the 400 meters and also helped the 1,600 relay reach the regional in 2019, is part of a middle-distance crew that also includes seniors Abby McGraw and Abby Scherer and freshman Kylie Feeney.
While Collier runs the 200 and 400, McGraw also runs the 400, Feeney has emerged in the 800 and sophomore Olivia Oiler and Scherer are the team’s top 1,600 runners.
Juniors Samantha-Rane Miller and Kasey Stammen are other strong relay contributors.
Coach Greg King said sophomore Emily Yoshino hoped to have a strong postseason in the pole vault, which holds its district final May 20.
Junior Katie Brand, who was a state qualifier in the 100 in 2019, missed the regular season while recovering from injury.
“Injuries have (hurt us), but with our middle distance and pole vault, we’re doing really well,” King said. “We’ve got young people in a lot of events, so the future looks good.”
•The Scioto boys tennis team earned its first league title since 2005 by going 7-0 in the OCC-Capital Division.
The Irish, who went 10-3 overall, beat Delaware 4-1 on May 11 to finish unbeaten in the league.
“It’s awesome for the whole team, especially capping it off going undefeated,” coach Sean Gilbert said. “I’m happy for the entire team, but especially happy for the seniors. … It’s very nice to have something to celebrate at the end of the season.”
Scioto won its first league title in 2005, finishing 4-0 in the OCC-Cardinal.
“It’s been 15-plus years. That’s a long time,” Gilbert said. “It was pretty neat after the match (May 11) and walking in and looking at the wall of fame that we have up there. As a coach, I was really proud to think these guys’ picture is going to go up there. They’ll be up there forever.”
Luis Ramirez Marquez (second singles), Akash Manoj (third singles) and the second-doubles team of Moksh Desai and Aaryan Patel went undefeated in league play.
Scioto competed in a Division I sectional May 13 and 15 at Reynoldsburg. Sohum Patel was seeded fourth in singles.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district May 20 and 22 at Reynoldsburg.
At district, the top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to state May 28 and 29 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
•The Jerome girls track team is competing in the Division I, district 2 meet, which concludes May 22 at Darby.
As expected heading into the season, the 1,600 relay has been one of the top events for the Celtics.
Jerome finished first (4 minutes, 5.41 seconds) on April 23 in the Freedom Relays at Olentangy Liberty and fourth (4:09.56) on April 29 and 30 in the Huber Heights Wayne Invitational, with juniors Raegan Ernst and Maya Fuller running in the relay both weeks.
Senior Hailey Watson and junior Audrey Cook competed in the event at Liberty, with senior Samantha Melican and freshman Chloe Friedman running at Wayne.
Ernst is one of the area’s top 300 hurdlers and finished second (45.97) in the event at Wayne. She also competes in the long jump.
Senior Megan Keys is another of the team’s top middle-distance and distance competitors.
“So far, so good,” coach Randi Beatty said. “We’ve been happy up to this point. We’re hoping that we can pull together some strong relays. … We’ve got some kids that are coming on.”
•Scioto girls lacrosse player Ashleigh Rothe reached a career milestone in a 20-3 win over Westerville North on May 10.
Rothe, a senior midfielder, collected her 200th career goal and had 204 for her career heading into a game against Westerville Central on May 13.
“Ashleigh is a hard worker and a leader on this team,” coach Sarah Zink said. “I’m so happy to see her reach this milestone in her career. I’m very proud of how she’s embraced the grind and has continued to work hard to increase her skills and abilities. She also wants this for her teammates as well.”
Catherine Howard, a 2016 graduate, holds the program record with 261 career goals.
Scioto entered the postseason 13-3 overall after beating Central 23-5. The Irish went 4-1 in the OCC-Capital.
Seeded fourth in the Division I, Region 3 tournament, the Irish played ninth-seeded Springboro in the second round May 17. With a win, Scioto would play host to fifth-seeded Jerome or eighth-seeded Pickerington Central in a quarterfinal May 21.
The regional semifinal is May 24 and the regional final is May 27.
•The Jerome boys track team is competing in the Division I, district 2 meet, which concludes May 22 at Darby.
Senior Silas Kayuha, who runs the 110 hurdles and middle distance and distance races, has led the way for the Celtics.
At the Wayne Invitational, Kayuha was the only Scioto competitor to place, as he finished second in the 110 hurdles (15.11).
The 1,600 relay of Kayuha, senior Jordan Gross, junior Carson Smith and sophomore Peter Hollern placed first (3:30.2) on April 23 in the Freedom Relays at Liberty, while junior C.C. Ezirim leads the team’s long jumpers.
“We’re honestly a couple sprinters away from being a really good team,” coach Kalvin McRae said. “We’re fairly young, so it’s just growing pains that you just have to deal with. We have a couple guys in the long jump that I’m looking forward to seeing.”
•Sophomores Will McGraw and Liam Shaughnessy have what Coffman boys track coach Kathryn Slaven calls a “friendly” competition between them.
On May 1 in the Gary Smith Invitational at Thomas Worthington, Shaughnessy won the 1,600 (4:26.69) and McGraw finished second (4:26.78).
Those two are among the top candidates to advance to the Division I regional meet May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North. The Shamrocks are competing in the district 1 meet at Darby, which concludes May 22.
“The competition (McGraw and Shaughnessy) have with one another really pushes them to run better and smarter races,” Slaven said. “We’re a smaller team this year and don’t have as much depth as we typically do … but I’m really hopeful that we’ll still have a few kids competing in June.”
Other standouts for Coffman have been juniors Evan Jajack and Dane Piekarski in sprints and the long jump, with senior Jackson Hoyt and sophomores Mike Anderson and Jaden Cooper providing depth in the sprints.
Seniors Nathan Ballay and Koen Hill have been the top competitors in the shot put and discus, while seniors Robert Moloney and Jamil Robinson and sophomore Reid McMonigle had led the hurdlers.
“Much of (our) success (in the 110 and 300 hurdles) is owed to Brandon Write, our second-year coach who still holds the Coffman 300 hurdles record from 2003,” Slaven said. “He’s been a wonderful addition to our staff.”