By MIKE PALMER
For the News-Register
WHEELING - The large crowds took advantage of a mild Saturday to attend the 23rd Annual OVAC Cheering Championships at WesBanco Arena, where they witnessed St. Clairsville making it seven straight as the Red Devils once again turned in the top performance to retain the 4A crown.
Above, the Wheeling Central cheerleaders perform their Class 3A-winning routine during the OVAC championships at WesBanco Arena.
Bishop Donahue successfully defended its 1A crown. Two runner-up squads from last year won the trophy this season as Wheeling Central reclaimed the 2A title and Linsly won its first title since moving up into 3A edging out last year's champion Tyler by a single point.
Wheeling Park retained the 5A crown to claim its 17th championship.
In 1A, the runner-up and third place teams swapped places as Paden City placed second and Weirton Madonna captured the bronze in the small school competition.
Clay-Battelle earned the runner-up spot in the 2A division this year. Last year's champion Toronto would settle for the third place trophy.
Bellaire moved up one spot in the 3-A competition taking third place honors.
Weir placed second again this year and Martins Ferry finished third in the 4-A division.
John Marshall won silver in 5A while Indian Creek celebrated a third-place finish.
In addition to the main competition, the four winning Junior OVAC squads also had an opportunity to take to the new hardwood and perform during the competition, Small middle school winner Warwood Middle School, Medium Middle school winner Bridge Street, Large Middle school winner Follansbee and Junior Varsity winner Wheeling Park JV.