By T-L Sports Staff
BYESVILLE - The quest for the Division II state track and field meet got under way at Meadowbrook High School's track Thursday afternoon.
Tickets to the regional meet, which opens next Thursday at Muskingum University, were punched in four events for the boys and girls.
St. Clairsville's boys, who won the overall title at the OVAC meet two weeks ago, picked up right where they left off that day. The Red Devils scored 39 points during the opening day and have a 16-point lead on Cambridge, which won the 5A OVAC title.
More importantly than the day-one lead is the fact that St. C. qualified four individuals to the regional already.
The long-jumping duo of freshman Jordan Vincent and Jaylon Brown took first and second, respectively to pace the competition. Vincent jumped 20-ft-11 and Brown marked the sand at 20-ft-8 1/4.
In the discus, senior Colby Lindsay qualified to the regional by finishing second to Steubenville's Arin Goldsmith with a mark of 151-ft-7.
Senior vaulter Michael Eaton finished second to reigning state runner-up Eric Fox in the pole vault. Eaton posted a season-best mark of 14-ft-9 to earn the right to compete again next week.
Martins Ferry's strength in relays got off to a strong start thanks to the all underclass foursome of Jacob Bishop, Jeffrey Lucas, Raven Schrader and Kevin Simpson. The team turned in a 8:43.92 to win the 4x8.
Union Local's Austin Kemp advanced in the pole vault as well. He finished third at 13-ft-9.
ON THE GIRLS' SIDE, Martins Ferry got off to a strong start in its return to Division II after spending the past two seasons in Division III.
The Riders posted a victory in the pole vault thanks to senior Rikki Allen, who cleared 9-ft-3 and elected to call it a day after earning the victory.
Freshman Candace Kendzierski advanced in the shot put by virtue of a third-place finish with a toss of 34-ft-4.
St. Clairsville's Mikayla Westlake is headed to the regional in the high jump. She finished third with a clearance of 4-ft-10.
Union Local's Mikayla Patton advanced in the shot put by finishing fourth.
Junior Kylie Russell also advanced in the pole vault as she continues her quest for a return trip to Columbus.
The Division II meet continues Saturday morning with field events starting at 11. Running begins at noon.