BYESVILLE - When the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference expanded, many thought University, Morgantown and Parkersburg South would significantly alter the landscape.
At Saturday's OVAC Cal Pokas Cross Country Championships at Meadowbrook High School, it became evident the thoughts have turned into reality.
The Hawks and Mohigans ran away from the field and turned the meet, which featured more than 20 full teams and 180 runners, into a dual meet, which could have been contested in Monongalia County.
The Hawks claimed their second straight OVAC big-school title and this year notched the school's first overall title.
St. Clairsville finished third overall and claimed its fifth consecutive OVAC class title.
''We came in with the idea of shooting for the moon and landing among the stars,'' St.C. coach Tony Ciroli said. ''I told the girls, 'let's shoot for the overall, and in the process, hopefully we'll win our class. We knew University and Morgantown were good, but the kids knew what we had to do today.''
Fort Frye made school history by winning its first-ever OVAC title. The Cadets finished with 231 points, good enough for sixth overall, but tops amongst its class.
Barnesville was the runner-up for the small-school crown which went to Caldwell.
River finished second in the division and St. John was third.
St. Clairsville earned the team title thanks to their big three of Amy Castle, Juliana Madzia and Melanie Hannan.
''The girls ran smart and kept a level head throughout the race,' Ciroli said. ''The girls ran strong, and they're coming along.
We've got one more good week of training before we head into the postseason, and I think we're right where we need to be right now.
Castle led the way by finishing fourth overall. Hannan was eighth overall and Madzia finished ninth.
Weir's duo of Alexis Virtue and Kristen Mastrantoni finished back-to-back in 16th and 17th, respectively.
Caldwell was sparked by Jenna Furr, who finished seventh overall.
St. John Central, which finished third in the small-school race, featured the meet's bronze medalist. Freshman dandy Fallon Doyle led the small-school competitors. Irish senior Lindy Stauffer was 22nd overall.
Fort Frye claimed the title thanks in large part to its two all-OVAC runners. Senior Sarah Biehl was 13th overall and freshman Natalie Hart was 25th in 20:24.
Martins Ferry, which doesn't boast a complete team, was led by Jamie Truchan, who placed 24th
Wheeling Park, which finished third in 5A, had two runners, Elena Romanek (20th) and Lauren Tarovisky (21st) earn all-conference acclaim.