Martins Ferry Off To Strong Start

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Half the field is set for Saturday’s championship meet in the Cal Giffin OVAC Track and Field Championship.

The Class 1A/2A and 4A schools began their qualifying rounds at Red Devil Stadium, completing the qualifying in nine of the 18 events.

The balance of the qualifying begins this at 4 today when 3A and 5A schools return to finish their meet. The 1A/2A and 4A classes will wrap up qualifying Thursday.

Similar to Monday’s action, the races for the team titles seem to be wide open as qualifying was balanced among a handful of teams.

In Class 4A, the Martins Ferry girls are in search of their second straight class title and third consecutive banner all together. The Purple Riders had a strong opening day.

Sophomore Tyesha Allen set the pace in the 4A high hurdles with a 15.75. Rikki Allen was the top pole vaulter at 9-feet and freshman thrower Candace Kendzierski marked 33-5.5 to lead the shot put marks.

Oak Glen had a pair of top qualifiers. The Golden Bears’ 3,200 team was tops in 10:31.02, and senior Kelsey Chambers ran eight laps in 11:58.21 to pace the 3,200 field.

St. Clairsville’s Ayla Stewart posted the top mark in the 100 with a 12.73. Mikayla Westlake set the standard in the high jump, soaring over 4-10.

Weir’s Chantelle Harper posted a 63.56 to lead the 400 and Steubenville’s 800 relay team was the top entrant in 1:48.15.

The 4A boys battle could take all 18 events to decide as many teams have positioned themselves thus far to score well.

St. Clairsville had an impressive opening day as senior standout Jaylon Brown re-wrote the Red Devil Stadium record book twice. In his first long-jump competition since early in his freshman season, he marked the sand at 21-10.

Then Brown blistered the front stretch for a 10.73 to run away with the top seed in the 100.

Senior Colby Lindsay set the standard in the discus with a toss of 153-11, which is a season best by 5 feet.

Senior Michael Eaton and Union Local’s Austin Kemp shared the top qualifying honor in the pole vault at 12-6.

Martins Ferry paced a pair of events. The Purple Riders’ undefeated and basically unchallenged 800 team owns the top mark of 1:31.99.

Freshman Jacob Bishop led wire-to-wire in the 3,200 for a 10:23.48.

Steubenville led a pair of events, too. Senior hurdler Joey Nodianos turned in a 15.33 and speedster Ja’Quan Lavender circled the track in 50.09 for the top seed in the 400.

Oak Glen’s 3,200 was the first team to finish in 8:36.90.

In Class 1A/2A, the races are also expected to be tight.

In the girls’ event, only St. John had the top qualifying mark in multiple events. Junior standout Fallon Doyle ran 11:25.09 in the 3,200 and sophomore Jessica Alvey posted a 59.18 in leading the 400.

Shadyside’s McKayla Kinemond was the top pole vaulter at 9-0, while East Richland Christian’s Alyssa Crowley cleared 4-8 to lead the small-school high jump field.

Toronto’s Jennie Pahl paced the shot put with a heave of 34-0. Bishop Donahue’s Elaysia Hill scooted down the track in 12.84 to share the top seed with River’s Abby Caldwell.

Madonna was the top qualifier in the 800 relay.

On the boys’ side, Madonna had a pair of top marks as Marquist Jeter posted a 11.54 to lead the 100 and Marcello Biondillo long jumped to a mark of 20-7.5.

Shadyside’s Matt Krupa was the top high hurdler in 16.88 and St. John’s Garrett Holubeck turned in a 52.12 to lead a solid 400 field.

River’s 800 team put forth its best effort of the season and turned in a 1:34.76. Tucker Cain led the pole vault qualifying with a 10-6 clearance.