Purple Riders Defend, Dominate

MARTINS FERRY – Rich Materkoski drove home the point to his Purple Rider track teams to defend the home track.

The Purple Riders did more than defend the oval at the Fred Thomas Complex Tuesday evening.

They dominated the field in sweeping the titles at the fifth annual Riesbeck’s Martins Ferry Relays high atop the Purple City.

The Purple Rider boys finished with 99 points, which was 44 better than runner-up Steubenville.

“I’ve felt like the boys have been the bridesmaid the last few years because they’ve been close to winning a championship, but we somehow do something and mess it up,” Materkoski said. “The boys are running really well, and I am looking forward to when we can start competing against some schools outside of the area.”

The Riders got a pair individual victories on the track.

Junior Jack Fitch continued his strong early season in the 300 hurdles. He posted a 41.46

Freshman Jacob Bishop captured the 1600 meter run in a time of 4:48.89.

The Purple’s strength in relays also came to the forefront. Ferry captured the shuttles from the second of three heats in a time of 64.38.

The Riders also captured the distance medley relay in 11:52.16 and capped off their victory with a big win in the 4×4.

The meet doesn’t score individuals in the field events. It combines the marks of the entrants by teams for a total distance or height and awards team points that way.

The Purple Riders recorded the victory in the long jump with a team mark of 56-ft-11 3/4. Shadyside’s Eric Howell was the top individual in the long jump at 19-ft-5 1/4.

Steubenville won the discus relay with a combined mark of 327-ft-0 1/2. Arin Goldsmith, of Big Red, was the top individual with a mark of 130-ft-1.

Big Red’s team posted a 1:38.02 to win the 800 meter sprint medley relay.

Bellaire won the shot put relay title with a mark of 118-ft-1. Big Reds’ junior Cody LaRoche was the top individual finisher with a mark of 47-7 1/4.

The Big Reds also captured the top mark in the pole vault with a height of 28-feet. Shadyside’s Matt Krupa was the top individual with a 10-ft-6 clearance.

Steubenville Catholic Central was the team champion in the high jump with a 16-feet combined mark. Big Red’s Joey Nodianos cleared 5-ft-10 for the top individual mark.

Individually on the track, Weir’s Jonathan Rice won the 100 in 11.58 and Steubenville’s Nodianos posted a 15.95 to win the high hurdles.

TheFerry girls made that side of the meet a much bigger runaway. The Lady Riders kept on keeping on by scoring 132 points, which was 79 better than runner-up Steubenville.

“The girls just keep doing what they’ve been doing for the last three years,” Materkoski said. “Some of our girls aren’t quite as in shape because not as many of them had the full indoor season like our boys did, so they’re going to start rounding into shape.”

The Lady Riders were led by talented sophomore Tyesha Allen. Fresh off a strong performance at the Bellaire Early Bird, Allen won the high hurdles in 15.51 and then added the lows in 49.89.

Ferry’s other individual winner was Jamie Truchan in the 1600 meters. She posted a 5:59.86 for the victory.

Also on the track, the Lady Riders captured the sprint medley relay (1:58.15) and the shuttles (66.53).

Led by individual winner Rikki Allen, the Lady Riders won the pole vault with a combined mark of 23-ft-6.

Ferry captured the long jump team medal as well with a mark of 45-ft-0 3/4. Steubenville’s Elise Watts was the top individual with a mark of 16-ft-8.

The Lady Riders teamed to win the discus with a mark of 244-ft-2 1/2. Indian Creek’s Kristen Shimko was the top individual with a twirl of 116-feet.