Track & Field: Dublin Jerome Celtics’ Silas Kayuha caps career with state title in 110 hurdles

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Jerome's Silas Kayuha and Pickerington North's Zemen Siyoum react as they finish first and third, respectively, in the 110-meter hurdles during the Division I state meet June 5 at Hilliard Darby. Kayuha is the program's first state champion.

He had finished behind the same two runners in the 110-meter hurdles during each of his first two postseason meets, but Dublin Jerome senior Silas Kayuha didn’t believe he was at a competitive disadvantage when faced with the same task in the Division I state boys track and field meet June 4 and 5 at Hilliard Darby.

Kayuha, who was making his first appearance at state, ran just 0.04 off his personal-best time during the hot conditions on day two of the meet while finishing in 14.36 seconds. 

That was good enough to edge Mount Vernon’s Erich Rhodeback (14.39) and Pickerington North’s Zemen Siyoum (14.46) for the title and become the program’s first state champion. 

Kayuha had finished third as Siyoum placed first and Rhodeback was second at both the district and regional meets. 

“I knew I had a chance and that anything can happen,” Kayuha said. “I knew I’d have to really work, so we were really focusing on my start and carrying my momentum through the start. I was always ahead and they’d catch up by the end, but I knew if I could drive through the whole race that I could make it."

Kayuha didn’t advance past the district level during his first two prep seasons, but he credited getting bigger and stronger physically over the past several months with helping him take a big step forward. 

“One of the last things I told him is regardless, you have to run your race and he ran a great race from start to finish,” coach Kalvin McRae said. 

Also reaching the state podium for Jerome was junior Raegan Ernst, who finished fifth in the girls 300 hurdles (44.79). 

“I could have done better, but being fifth in the state is pretty good,” Ernst said. “My freshman year I was just on a relay (and not at state individually). Mentally, I was a lot more confident this year.” 

Ernst made it to state with the 1,600 relay for the second consecutive season after also doing so in 2019. She was joined on the relay by senior Samantha Melican and junior Maya Fuller, who also were on the relay in 2019, and junior Chloe Friedman as they finished 11th (3:59.43). 

Melican was part of a senior class that also featured Megan Keys, who was a regional qualifier in the 3,200. 

Other regional qualifiers were the 800 relay of Ernst, Friedman, Fuller and junior Caroline Zimovan and the 3,200 relay of Keys, Melican, sophomore Brooke Carpenter and junior Audrey Cook.

The top returnees for the boys team should be junior Carson Smith and freshman Sam Ricchiuti. 

Smith was a regional qualifier in the 800, in the 3,200 relay with Ricchiuti, junior Jayden Randolph and sophomore Sam Boggess and in the 1,600 relay with senior Jordan Gross, Kayuha and sophomore Peter Hollern. 

Coffman's Olivia Oiler (left), Abigail Scherer and Kasey Stammen celebrate their second-place finish in the 3,200 relay in the Division I state meet June 4 at Hilliard Darby. Kylie Feeney also ran on the relay.

•The Coffman girls team had its 3,200 relay of senior Abigail Scherer, junior Kasey Stammen, sophomore Olivia Oiler and freshman Kylie Feeney earn a runner-up finish (9:07.91) in the Division I state meet June 4. 

Feeney also was 15th in the 800 (2:20.69) on June 5. 

“We were really happy with (the 3,200 relay),” said Feeney, who helped the Shamrocks finish behind champion Mentor (9:04.73). “We reached a lot of our goals for that race, so it was a good way to finish it for our team. We have really good coaches and upperclassmen. They’re all good role models and this season was a really good time to learn.” 

Middle-distance runners Abigail Collier and Abigail McGraw were other seniors who competed at regional. 

Junior Katie Brand, who was a state qualifier in the 100 in 2019, was recovering from an offseason injury for part of the season but should be one of the top returnees. 

Others eligible to return include juniors Sarah Chong (sprints), Evelyn Crowe (pole vault), Sarah Donnelly (sprints), Anna Krueger (discus), Christina Kyriacou (sprints, long jump), Samantha Miller (sprints), Luce Rosmarin (sprints, high jump) and Kendall Starr (sprints), sophomores Lillian Malech (sprints, long jump), Ava Parrill (shot put), Camryn Smith (high jump) and Emily Yoshino (pole vault) and freshman Hannah Schober (sprints). 

“Everyone ran really well (at state),” coach Greg King said. “We have a really strong group coming back. We were hit hard the year before by graduation and this year by injury, but we have some kids that were hurt that will be back next year and some young kids.” 

For the boys team, sophomore Liam Shaughnessy competed in the 1,600 and 3,200 at regional, where he also joined senior Braden Shoaf, junior Noah Clemens and sophomore Will McGraw on the 3,200 relay. 

Juniors Evan Jajack and Dane Piekarski competed in the sprints and long jump.

Others expected to return include juniors Ryan Cox (middle distance) and Broderick Spurgin (middle distance), sophomores Michael Anderson (sprints), Nathan Buchman (middle distance) and Jaden Cooper (sprints) and freshmen Zach Beckman (middle distance) and Kevin Hagerty (pole vault). 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

•The Scioto boys team’s season ended in the Division I regional, with seniors Andrew Leonard and Trevor Page, junior Spencer McClellan and sophomore Bryce Page finishing 10th in the 3,200 relay (8:10.06). 

“The 2021 team was the youngest and most inexperienced team in Scioto history,” coach Kevin Foley said. “With that being said, by the end of the year the team came very close to reaching its potential.” 

Trevor Page has committed to Kent State. 

The season ended for the girls team at the district 1 meet, with freshman Selah White fifth in the 1,600 (5:13.42), senior Audrey Bannister sixth in the 3,200 (11:56.35), sophomore Kaitlyn Bassingthwaite sixth in the high jump (4-10) and Bannister, White, junior Natalie Beasley and freshman Maddy Johnson sixth in the 3,200 relay (9:55.17). 

—Frank DiRenna 

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COFFMAN 

•OCC-Central standings: Boys — Olentangy Orange (137), Hilliard Davidson (104), Coffman (92), Olentangy Liberty (76), Hilliard Bradley (65), Upper Arlington (49); Girls — Orange (140), Davidson (117), UA (93), Liberty (75), Coffman (60), Bradley (38) 

Seniors lost: Boys — Nathan Bailey, Koen Hill, Jackson Hoyt, Robert Moloney, Jamil Robinson, Braden Shoaf, Mick Smith and Toby Simpson; Girls — Regan Ailts, Abigail Collier, Natalie Conrad, Claire Gibson, Chika Hotta, Abigail Goldberg, Abigail McGraw and Abigail Scherer 

Key returnees: Boys — Noah Clemens, Evan Jajack, Will McGraw, Dane Piekarski and Liam Shaughnessy; Girls — Katie Brand, Kylie Feeney, Olivia Oiler, Kasey Stammen and Emily Yoshino 

Postseason: Boys — Sixth (45) at district behind champion Canal Winchester (114), 23rd (9) at regional behind champion Hilliard Darby (68); Girls — Fourth (59) at district behind champion Pickerington Central (85), tied for 13th (19) at regional behind champion Gahanna (84), tied for 25th (8) at state behind champion Mentor (70) 

JEROME

OCC-Cardinal standings: Boys — Thomas Worthington (128), Hilliard Darby (111), Olentangy Berlin (87), Jerome (80), Marysville (63), Olentangy (54); Girls — Olentangy (123), Darby and Jerome (117), Marysville (76), Thomas (63), Berlin (27) 

Seniors lost: Boys — Kysen Gabriel, Gunnar Gross, Jordan Gross, Brayden Havenstein, Silas Kayuha, Josh Razor and Reid Weigle; Girls — Claire Deffet, Megan Keys, Samanthan Melican, Lauren Metzger and Hailey Watson 

Key returnees: Boys — Sam Boggess, Peter Hollern, Silas Kayuha, Jayden Randolph, Sam Ricchiuti and Carson Smith; Girls — Brooke Carpenter, Audrey Cook, Raegan Ernst, Chloe Friedman, Maya Fuller and Caroline Zimovan  

Postseason: Boys — Tied for seventh (15) at district behind champion Orange (36), 19th (13) at regional behind champion Darby (68), tied for 16th (10) at state behind champion Pickerington North (43); Girls — Sixth (16.83) at district behind champion Gahanna (52.83), 20th (14) at regional behind champion Gahanna (84), tied for 48th (4) at state behind champion Mentor (70) 

SCIOTO

OCC-Capital standings: Boys — Canal Winchester (174), Big Walnut (142.5), Westerville South (99), Scioto (70), Worthington Kilbourne (62.5), Westerville North (60), Delaware (49), Franklin Heights (4); Girls — Big Walnut (144.4), South (142), Delaware (87.4), North (78.5), Canal Winchester (73.5), Kilbourne (71.2), Scioto (61), Franklin Heights (3) 

Seniors lost: Boys — Zion Freeman-Walker, Ali Latif, Andrew Leonard, David Leonard, Trevor Page and Matthias Sanow; Girls — Audrey Bannister, Faith Bylaw, India McCullough, Haley Park, Abigail Peterson, Tanushri Ponneri Anand, Camryn Snyder, Sara Sun and Allison Thornbloom 

Key returnees: Boys — Weston Day, Amare Jenkins, Spencer McClellan, Bryce Page, Reece Page and A.J. Weeks; Girls — Kaitlyn Bassingthwaite, Natalie Beasley, Maddy Johnson, Ayva Leon and Selah White 

Postseason: Boys — Ninth (29) at district behind champion Canal Winchester (114), did not score at regional; Girls — 14th (16) at district behind champion Pickerington Central (85)