ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The quest for an OVAC Track and Field championship is under way.
The annual Cal Giffin Track and Field Championship got started in its new home at Red Devil Stadium on Monday evening when Classes 3A and 5A ran under ideal weather conditions and punched tickets to Saturday's championship meet, which will also be held on the 2-year old track at Red Devil Stadium.
Action resumes at St. C. this afternoon as the 2A and 4A classes begin their qualifying meets. Field events begin at 4 p.m. and running at 5 p.m.
Wheeling Park’s Chase Bonar competes in the pole vault during Monday’s OVAC Track and Field Championships qualifying.
Photo by Mike Palmer
Two of the pre-meet favorites Martins Ferry girls and Magnolia boys had a strong opening day of qualifying action.
The Purple Riders own the top time in Class 3A in five events of the eight contested.
Sophomore speedsters Taylor Jenkins (100) and Sarah Applegarth (400) set the tempo in their respective sprint races. Jenkins posted a 13.52 and Applegarth circled the oval in 62.01.
Hurdling sophomore Nikki Allen skimmed 10 hurdles quicker than anyone else in the 3A field. She ran a 16.92.
Ferry's 800-relay team of Jenkins, Applegarth, Sunshine Wrenn and Allen ran a 1:51.29, which was more than 5 seconds better than Bridgeport.
The Ferry 3,200-relay team of Wrenn, Brenna Becca, Alyssa Smith and Jamie Truchan posted a 10:43.26, which was 39 seconds ahead of Magnolia.
Monroe Central's Kayley Stephens set standard in the high jump, soaring 4-feet-10.
Bellaire's Myleah Green continued her strong season in the shot put. She was the top 3A qualifier with a put of 35-9.
Barnesville's Lina Partridged turned in a time of 12:40.73 to lead the 3,200 runners.
The Blue Eagles boys, who soared to the conference and state titles last season, got off to a strong start.
Stephen Rogalski posted a blazing 50.98 to lead the qualifying in both divisions in the 400-meter dash. Alec Hinerman ran a 10:22.03 to lead the 3,200 meter charge in both classes.
The Blue Eagles' 800 relay team of Drew Estep, Rogalski, Kage Rohde and Alex Pancake ran two laps in 1:33.63.
Martins Ferry could give the Blue Eagles a battle Saturday. The Purple Riders had three top individual marks.
Senior Richie Padyjasek was the top high hurdler in the field with a 15.41. Senior Travis Jenkins soared more than 13 feet to lead the pole vault qualifying in 3A and junior strongman Sean McGee got back on track in the discus. He twirled the platter to a mark of 143 feet to lead the way.
Barnesville's 3,200-relay team of Abel Broomhall, Kyle McIntire, Katlin Grimes and Brandon Stephens posted the top 3200 meter relay time at 8:40.33.
Buckeye Trail's Austin Carleton put forth maybe the most impressive mark of the opening day when he marked the sand at 22-3 to lead the long jump qualifying. His mark was just three quarters of an inch off the meet record.
The meet is shaping up like the Two Rivers Athletic Conference Meet Part II as Wheeling Park, Morgantown, University and Parkersburg South are all aligning themselves for an 18-event joust Saturday in both the girls' side and throw in Cambridge, which was impressive in the boys' qualifying.
On the girls' side, Wheeling had a strong opening day, posting the top mark in two events.
Junior Ashley Grove ran a solid 60.04 to lead the 400-meter dashers. The 800-relay team of Grove, RaKedra Webb, NaKysha McGhee and Natasha Whitaker ran an impressive 1:45.99 to set the pace.
John Marshall's Alexis Montes set the standard in the shot put with a heave of 35-11.
Brooke's Ali Crawford was the top high hurdler in qualifying with a time of 15.85.
On the boys' side, Cambridge led the qualifying in four events.
Sophomore Eric Fox produced an impressive height in the pole vault by clearing 14-7 3/4.
Freshman Errik Snell was the top high hurdler in a time of 15.80. Sophomore Ivan Gadson produced the top time in the 100 at 11.64. Junior Derrick Stevens ran a lap in 53.26, which was the fastest in the big-school field.
The Bobcats' 800-relay team also set the standard with a 1:30.80.
Wheeling Park's Dewanya Neal put forth his best mark of the season when he threw the discus to a measurement of 152-7.
Indian Creek's Frank Kamarec was the top 3200 meter runner with a time of 10:32.89.