Patriots Girls Win Dick Dei Invitational

Central’s Wayt Is the High Point Scorer

Photos by Kyle Lutz Wheeling Park’s Brady Browning attempts to get over the bar during the pole vault at the Dick Dei Track Classic. Browing secured first place in the event.

WHEELING — Right before the last event of the Dick Dei Classic, Wheeling Park coach Bryan Arbes kept it simple, stating, “If we score, we win.î”

The Patriots did just that. Up by 10 with the 4×400 left, they finished fifth in the event to claim the Dick Dei Track Classic at Wheeling Park High School on Saturday.

Morgantown, the defending state champions in Class AAA came in second place.

“It was definitely an overall team effort,”î Arbes said. “We scored points. The fifth and sixth places, they were absolutley huge. We did well in all fields of the track. 4×1, 4×2, they came out flying. We had some big points in the sprint races, then they also did well in the field events.î”

Wheeling Park claimed two individual titles as Aubrey Wiethe continued her impressive sophomore campaign with a victory in the 300 hurdles (46.72) while Brady Browning won the pole vault (8 feet, 6 inches). However, in a track meet such as the Dick Dei Classic, points are at a premium, and Wheeling Park was able to score in all but two events. With such impressive performances, it gives Arbes and company a lot of confidence moving forward.

“We just beat Morgantown at the Dick Dei, and we beat Ripley, the state runner-up, at the Kim Nutter,” Arbes said. “We’re in the running. We definitely got some thinking to do because now we have to play some strategy and polish some things up. Play some strategy and see what moves we can make for that state meet because I want to make a run for that this year.”

The reigning Class A state champions, Wheeling Central finished third on the girls’ side. The Maroon Knights took first place in six events as Kenadee Wayt won the 100 (12.90) and 200 (26.42). Nicole Billie finished first in the 800 clocking in with a time of 2:23.88, while Marisa Horan won the long jump with a jump of 16 feet. Hannah White, Horan, Wayt and her twin sister Ireland won the 4×100 relay (51.27). Billie, Horan and the Wayt sisters also won the 4×200 (1:47.42).

“We have 14 girls on the team,”î Wheeling Central coach Eric Belancic said. “They work hard every day. This is basically a AAA-level meet with a lot of Division I Ohio teams and for a Class A school to come out and get third place and win six events is pretty awesome. Pretty excited about it and really happy for them because they did really well.”î

Kenadee Wayt kept on impressing as she was the high-point female scorer of the meet with 25 points. Wiethe was second with 21.5 followed by John Marshallís Zara Zervos with 20.

“In the 100, I had the fastest time in the prelims, so I was confident in myself,”î Kenadee Wayt said. “I felt good in the 100. In the 200, I think I was the third fastest time turned in, so I was a little more nervous for that one. When I was coming around the turn, I was in the lead. I knew right there I was just going to kick it in and I won. It was great because last year I won the 100 and lost in the 200. Just to win both was awesome.”î

Other local individual winners were John Marshall’s Kaitlyn Groves in the 100 hurdles. Groves clocked in with a time of 16.24. The junior was also the second leg of the winning shuttle hurdle team for the Monarchs. Groves along with Alyssa Ehni, Emily Harr and Tahya Stewart breezed through the event with a time of 1:09.73 two seconds faster than second place.

Richella Spielvogel of Martins Ferry claimed the top spot in the discus. The sophomore had a throw of 119 feet, 9 inches, which was more than 10 feet further than second place.

∫ On the boys’ side, Wheeling Park was the top local finisher as it claimed third place. Dayton Dunbar, the reigning Division II state champions in Ohio ran away with the top spot with 104 points.

“The guys should get just as much credit as the girls,” Arbes said. “They’ve overcome so much, they’re PRing, they’re competing. Last year, they scored 23 points and this year we almost doubled that. We got some guys healthy. Basically, they’re rallying together. They see the success of the girls and they want that success, too. The competition breathes success.”

Michael Harriman won two events for the Patriots as he won the 800 clocking in with a time of 2:02.75. The senior also claimed gold in the 1600 with a time of 4:36.58.

Jarrett Bolinger secured a victory in the pole vault clearing the bar at 12 feet while Bellaire’s Cole LaRoche won the shot put with a thorw of 51 feet, .5 inch.

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