BELLAIRE -The Bellaire Early Bird expanded its field from the normal six schools to nine teams, which led to better competition.
However, some of the marks don't necessarily show that since it was quite chilly most of the day at Nelson Field.
Martins Ferry's boys' squad captured the championship with 116 points. Wheeling Park's girls - one of the newcomers to the meet - tallied 127 points to claim the championship.
Wheeling Park’s Richard Cummings jumps over
during the Early Bird
Coach Rich Materkoski's Purple Riders were fueled to victory by victories in one individual event and three relays.
Junior speedster Jack Fitch ran away from the field to win the 300-meter hurdles. He skimmed eight hurdles in 42.39 for the title.
The Riders' sprint relays appeared to be in mid season form. The quartet of Brian Styles, Hunter Hill, Andrew Watts and Fitch teamed for a sizzling 1:34.07 and victory by more than four seconds in the 800 relay.
The same quartet came back a short time later and won the 4x1 in a time of 44.90.
The trio capped their day by posting a 3:38.57 to win the 4x4 by more than 11 seconds.
Wheeling Park finished second to the Purple Riders with 106 points.
The Patriots were led by senior Albert Schrimp's 4:45.56 in the 1600 meter run.
Sophomore Richard Cummings posted a 15.61 to claim the 110 high hurdles.
The Patriots' hurdling foursome of Tim Goldbaugh, Josh Angalich, Braeden Carroll and Cummings posted a 1:03.30 to win the shuttles.
St. Clairsville finished third overall and led much of the afternoon. The Red Devils were led by their all-Ohio sprinter. Senior Jaylon Brown captured the 100 meter dash title with a time of 11.27. He was four tenths of a second better than his nearest competitor.
St. C. also got off to a strong start in the field events to set the tone. Senior Colby Lindsay claimed the discus with a twirl of 140-feet.
Freshman Jordan Vincent won the long jump with a mark of 19-ft-8 1/4 and sophomore Josiah Rhodes soared over 6-feet to win the high jump.
The host Big Reds picked up a victory in the shot put. Junior strongman Cody LaRoche prevailed with a put of 48-ft-11.
Shadyside's lone winner was junior Matt Krupa. He won the pole vault with an 11-foot clearance.
Steubenville senior Ja'Quan Lavender appears primed for a big season. He turned in solid efforts of 23.30 and 51.10 to win the 200 and 400 meter dashes, respectively.
Indian Creek's lone winner came in the 800. Junior Max Lewis prevailed by nearly six seconds thanks to a 2:03.55 clocking.
Steubenville Central frosh Joey Schlich won the 3200 meter run in 10:39.36. The Crusaders' team of Logan Hunt, Mike Crosby, John Bolster and Anthony Lee posted a 8:50.49 for the victory.
On the girls side, Wheeling Park's depth took control early as Coach Russell Hutchins' team was never really challenged en route to the team trophy.
The Patriots' only victory was posted by sophomore Natalie Wieth in the 400. She posted a solid 1:01.80 for the gold.
Martins Ferry, which was without Talyr Jenkins, posted victories in six of the 18 events.
Leading the way for the Riders was sophomore talent Tyesha Allen. She won the high and low hurdles in 15.91 and 50.10, respectively.
Junior Jamie Truchan captured the 800 meter run in 2:38.28. Senior Rikki Allen claimed the pole vault, soaring over 8-ft-6 for the title.
The Riders' team of Sarah Applegarth, Ashley Griffith, Malyah Coleman and Dalethia Johnson posted a 1:53.15 for the 4x2 title.
The team of Allen, Rikki Allen, Nikki Allen and Ashley Griffith posted a 67.91 to win the shuttles.
St. Clairsville was fueled by senior sprinter Ayla Stewart. She won the 100 and 200 meter dashes in 13.09 and 27.26, respectively. She joined speed forces with Syndey Freeman, Kennady Walker and Mechenzie Wood for a victory in the 4x1 in a time of 53.34.
Bellaire's youthful distance corp had a strong day.
The Sisters Stoner - Danielle and Taylor - won the 3200 and 1600 meter runs, respectively. Danielle, a junior, posted a 13:29.51 to win the longer race, while Taylor, a freshman, posted a 5:51.48 for victory.
The Reds' 4x800 team of Stoner, Stoner, Rylie Purtiman and Shaye Beckett ran 11:00.34 to win the distance relay.
Bridgeport's Briana Massey was a busy young lady. She competed in four events and earned the meet's high-point award. She was the long jump champion with a mark of 15-8 3/4. She also scored in the 200 and 400 meter dashes, finishing second in both.
Barnesville's Shayla Markovich won the shot put with a heave of 32-ft-5.
Indian Creek's Kristen Shimko won the discus toss. She launched the platter to a mark of 109-ft-3.
Steubenville Central's Moriah Vosteen was the high jump champion with a 4-ft-10 clearance. The Crusaders' team of Vosteen, Taylor Bednar, Jordan Wood and Kara Kakascik claimed the 4x4 in 4:29.86.