ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Cal Giffin OVAC Track and Field Championship continued Wednesday evening at Red Devil Stadium with Classes 1A/2A and 4A wrapping up their qualifying rounds.
Those schools are now finished until returning to the Belmont County Seat on Saturday for the championship runs. The final day of qualifying gets under way today at 4 p.m. with remaining field events and 5 p.m. for the 3A and 5A member schools.
Also on Wednesday, the OVAC announced the entire field of qualifiers for the 10 events that were contested during Monday's and Tuesday's rounds.
Wheeling Central’s Lindsey Baker pulls ahead of the pack in the 200-meter dash.
The championship meet is slated to get under way at 10 a.m. on Saturday with field events and running will begin at noon.
In Class 4A, the defending champion Martins Ferry girls had another solid afternoon of automatic qualifying in six of the eight events staged.
Included are three leading times in the class. Senior Sunshine Wrenn turned in a solid 2:24.95 to lead the 800. Junior Taylr Jenkins posted a 26.71 to lead the 200 qualifying and junior Dionna Lee turned in a personal-best mark of 16-ft-7 to lead the long jump.
The host Red Devils also qualified well. St. C. had two top qualifiers and both are Division I signees.
UNC-Asheville bound Amy Castle posted a 5:19.03 to lead the 1600 meter run, while Penn State signee Alyssa Robinson launched the discus to a mark of 111-ft-8 to pace the field.
On the boys' side, the team race still appears to be a wide-open battle as six schools garnered a top qualifying mark.
Defending champion St. C. turned in two top times. Junior jet Jaylon Brown ran a 22.69 to qualify for the 200 meter dash and senior standout Drake Walker turned in a 4:40.20 to lead the 1600 meter runners.
Martins Ferry led three events, including two in the field. Senior Sean McGee - the defending OVAC shot put champion - led all qualifiers in his specialty again with a mark of 53-ft-11 3/4.
Senior Cody Schau, who is really coming on in the high jump, led the way with a 6-2 clearance.
The Riders' crack 4x1 team set the pace as well, turning in a lap in 44.56.
Harrison Central's talented 4x4 team turned in a season-best time of 3:33.57 to lead the way in the final event.
Union Local's Collin Jones ran a personal-best time of 40.79 to pace the intermediate hurdles.
In Class 1A/2A, some more interesting battles for hardware appear to be on the horizon.
Valley, which is the defending 1A champion, was led once again by Spencer Mason, who set the tone in the shot put with a mark of 51-ft-1.
Beallsville's Gage Steele posted a 42.71 to lead the 300 hurdles qualifying. Shadyside's was the top finisher in the shuttles. The Tigers' hurdling foursome ran a 67.12.
In the small-school girls, points could be spread in a bevy of ways.
St. John Central should score well in several events. The Irish were led by sophomore Fallon Doyle, who turned in a 5:17.71 and 2:23.70 to lead the 1600 and 800 meter runs, respectively.
Wheeling Central frosh Lindsey Baker ran a 26.58 to lead the way in the 200 meter dash. The Maroon Knights' shuttle team also ran well, skimming 40 timbers in 68.40.
Bridgeport had a pair of top qualifiers. Sophomore standout Bri Massey has developed into one of the top long jumpers. She set the pace with a mark of 16-ft-6. Junior Cheyenne Flowers turned in a 49.82 to lead the low hurdles.