ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Wheeling Park notched its 23rd OVAC title Saturday, but coach Chris Daugherty realizes the competition is coming on strong.
Park fought off overall and 4A runner-up Cambridge for the title, posting 92.5 points. Cambridge settled for second with 77.5.
The Patriots' depth came to the forefront especially when you consider that Errin Baynes - the USC high jumping recruit - didn't take part in the meet.
The Patriots only won two events overall, the 3,200 relay and shuttles.
The 3,200 squad of Michael Mauck, Zach Witsberger, Albert Shrimp and Josh Garrett posted a 8:24.97 for a meet record and the gold medal.
The shuttle team of D.C. Banks, Cole Bertol, Chase Bonar and Austin Farley teamed their hurdling talents for a time of 59.77.
Park got things going when Banks won the big-school portion of the long jump at 20-feet, 6 3/4-inches. Dewanya Neal was the top shot putter in the big-school meet with a mark of 49-3.
Banks moved to the oval and was the top 5A intermediate hurdles in 41.44.
St. Clairsville captured the 4A crown by focusing on the distance events.
Senior standout Andy Thornburg was the only double winner on the boys' side. He claimed the 1,600 meter in 4:28.99. He then came back a short-time later with a 9:58.44 to win the 3200 meter run.
Buckeye Local's Jordan Piergallini continued his fine season. He got his day started with a championship in the long jump for the 4A class. He marked the sand at 20-ft-5 1/4.
Piergallini then shifted to the track where he continued his impressive sprints in the 100 meter dash. He posted a 10.91 to win the 100 meter overall title. He was also the 4A champion and second overall in the 200, breezing to a 22.23.
Oak Glen's Ethan Delekta set a meet record in winning the discus with a throw of 158-ft-8.
The Magnolia Blue Eagles just keep battling and stayed patient as they watched Martins Ferry's big-ticket events come off the board one-by-one. Eventually, Magnolia, the defending Class AA West Virginia State champions, pulled ahead for good late thanks to a strength in distance events.
The Blue Eagles were led to the title by junior speedster Stephen Rogalski, who gave Magnolia its only overall winner. He ran a 49.67 to claim the 400 meter dash.
Martins Ferry, which finished second, was fueled by a double victory by strongman Sean McGee. He won the overall crown in the shot put with a mark of 53-ft-10 1/2 and he won the class title in the discus with a mark of 142-ft-1.
Bellaire had a very strong meet, led by senior speedster Juwaun Whetstone. He was the 3A champion and overall runner-up in the 100 at 11.21.
Linsly captured its 18th OVAC track and field title with a strong day by senior standout Chris Stephens.
Stephens won the 200 meter dash in a meet-record time of 21.90. Senior Akil Blount won the high jump in 2A, soaring over 5-ft-10. Senior strongman Mark Dodd was the top shot putter in this class with a put of 49-ft-7. Mike Hammond was the top 2A runner at 800 meters (2:07.47).
Linsly also won the 3200 meter relay with a 8:38.68. It also captured the 400 relay in 45.14 and the 1600 relay in 3:36.44.
Wheeling Central's Daniel Scott led the vaulters in the 2A class, clearing 13-ft-6.
Valley was sparked to its first-ever title in boys track and field by junior strongman Spencer Mason, who won the discus and shot put in the small-school meet. He twirled the platter to a mark of 132-ft-8 and put the shot to a measurement of 49-ft-11, which was good enough for second overall.
Senior speedster Casey Pingley was fourth overall in the 100, but first in 1A with a 11.34. He was also the top 200 meter sprinter in his class, running a 22.93.
St. John Central was fueled by the 1A title in the 1600 meter run by Aaron Ebbert. Garrett Holubeck was eighth overall and the top 400 meter dasher in Class A with a 52.93.
Bishop Donahue prevailed in the 1A 4x800 relay with a time of 9:27.51. The Bishops' hurdle relay team also won the 1A race.