ATHENS - The immediate area has two thinclads already heading for the Division II state track and field meet next weekend in Columbus.
Regional competition got under way Thursday evening at The Plains High School as two East and two Southeast districts converged for the regional meet, which resumes and concludes on Saturday.
St. Clairsville senior Alyssa Robinson will have a chance to defend her state shot put championship next Friday after winning her third straight regional gold medal.
Robinson, who is bound for Penn State University, prevailed by more than three full feet over her nearest competitor with a mark of 42-6 1/4.
"I'm pretty excited to be making one more trip back to Jesse Owens," Robinson said. "It's always an honor just to make it to Columbus."
Though excited to win and advance, Robinson wasn't pleased with her mark.
"I had some higher goals set for myself (distance wise), but it's always nice to get a win," Robinson confirmed.
Undefeated during the outdoor season, Robinson is seeking to become a two-time state champion and three-time placer in her specialty.
"Hopefully, I can make my last trip to Columbus one to remember and a good one to end my high school career on," Robinson said.
Robinson will return to Athens on Saturday and try to earn her first-ever state trip in the discus.
The Red Devils' boys' squad also had an athlete advance. Junior Michael Eaton, who is an all-Ohioan in the swimming pool, will take part in his first state track meet. He qualified third in the pole vault, soaring over 14-feet for the bronze.
St. Clairsville's Jaylon Brown is seeking another trip to the state meet in the short sprints. The former all-Ohioan in the 200 meter dash owns the best time in the 100 (10.88) and the second best time in the 200 (22.34).
The Red Devils' 4x1 team of Brown, Jay Gossett, Jesse Smith and Isiah Green ran a solid 44.18 to advance with the second best time.
The Lady Red Devils' Ayla Stewart qualified for the 200 meter dash final in a time of 26.83.
The St. C. girls' 4x1 team of Kennady Walker, Stewart, Claire Slavik and Audra Vrotsos ran the third best time in the qualifying in 51.14.
The 4x2 team of Walker, Stewart, Vrotsos and Alli Greenwood posted a 1:48.27 to advance with the third best time.
Martins Ferry's boys' youthful, but impressive relay teams of Brian Styles, Hunter Hill, Andrew Watts and Jack Fitch continued to shine. The team ran a 1:31.02 in the 4x2 and then posted a 44.44 in the 400. The 800 time is seeded second and the 400 squad is fourth entering the finals.
Union Local senior Collin Jones has himself on the doorstep of his first-ever state meet in the hurdle events. In the 300s, Jones ran a personal best time of 39.93, which is the best time in the field.
He also qualified in the highs with a 15.51, which was good for seventh best.
Harrison Central's strong 4x4 team of Blake Yoho, James Thompson, Dakota Malcomb and Josh Moore posted a top time of 3:29.75 to lead the qualifying.
Huskies' Terrance Lindsey ran a 42.06 to advance to the finals in the 300 intermediate hurdles.
Jeremy Spoonemore advanced in the 100 meter dash. He's seeded eighth with an 11.55.
The Huskies' 4x1 team of Malcomb, Moore, Travis Stenson and Spoonemore posted a 44.82 to advance in the lap relay.
Buckeye Local's lone female representative, Kendra Redpath, advanced to the regional final in the low hurdles. She skimmed eight timbers in 50.01.