St. C. boys win own meet

The St. Clairsville Red Devils’ track program has won its share of meet titles over the course of time.

However, Friday night’s victory by the Red Devils’ boys is meaningful for many more reasons than just scoring more points than the other teams in a mid-April track meet.

For the first time since the early 1980s, St. Clairsville hosted its first invitational track meet. The Red Devils and seven other boys and girls’ teams took part in the inaugural Coach Dave Porterfield Memorial Track and Field Invitational at the state-of-the-art Red Devil Stadium despite chilly, damp conditions.

“(Winning this) meet in its first year is something that these kids can always proud of,” said Red Devils’ head coach Ben Frye, who watched his boys score 148 points, which was 43 more than the runner-up Harrison Central Huskies. “Actually, winning this is something that the entire town and school can be proud of. Being a part of this is special and there’s been a lot of people who had a hand in making this become a reality.”

The Red Devils’ brass, who are planning on locking its invitational into the second weekend in April each year, plan on expanding the meet in the coming seasons.

“I’ve been running around all week trying to prepare and get things ready for this meet,” Frye said. “We couldn’t pull one of these off without great help. It was a total team effort from the town, administration, coaches, kids and parents. It was great.”

As for the action on the oval, the Red Devils did it with depth as they won only three events in the entire competition, meaning they scored 118 points in places 2-7.

“We’re solid in a lot of areas,” Frye said. “We’ve got some speed, we’ve got a good distance bunch, we’re scoring points in the field. Having said all that, we realize it’s only April and there’s a long way to go. We just have to look at the calendar and it puts everything in perspective for us. We want to be at our best in May and June.”

The Red Devils did feature a coming out party for heralded freshman Jaylon Brown. The speedster edged out a solid field of sprinters for victories in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes. He posted a 11.20 for the 100 victory and came back a short while later and captured the half-lap dash in 22.90.

St. Clairsville’s only other victory came in the shot put where senior Dillon Cupryk prevailed with a mark of 40-ft-2. He also finished third in the discus (120-ft-6) to earn the high-point field award.

Harrison Central also showed its depth as it finished second and won only one event. That victory was in the long jump where Chris Hyde marked the sand at 19-ft-6 for the gold medal.

Steubenville was led by senior hurdler Josh Thompson, who took the high-point award for track events.

Thompson, the defending bronze medalist in the highs, skimmed 10 timbers in 14.60 to win the highs by more than a second. He then posted a solid 40.88 to take the intermediate crown by nearly three full ticks.

He also led off the winning 4×1 and 4×2 teams. He was joined on both foursomes by Jonathan Sherrell, Shaq Petteway and Najee Murray. The teams ran 44.28 and 1:32.97, respectively.

Barnesville’s boys finished with 69 points and 50 of those came in victories.

The Shamrocks received sterling efforts from their senior distance duo, Brennan Delaney and Wesley Lewis. Delaney won the 800 in 2:06.56 and Lewis sprinted past St. C.’s Andy Thornburg in the final 200 meters to win the 1600 meter run in 4:35.83.

Those two also ran legs on the winning 4×4 and 4×8 squads. They were joined in the mile relay by Tyler Fitzpatrick and Brandon Stephens. That quartet posted a 3:35.82.

Katlin Grimes stepped in for Fitzpatrick in the 4×800 and the Shamrocks posted 8:26.23.

Junior Chris Baldridge had an impressive showing. He won the discus with a twirl of 124-8.

Union Local’s lone victory in the boys’ competition came in the high jump where Kurtis Ogilbee prevailed with a clearance of 5-ft-9.

ON THE GIRLS’ SIDE, Meadowbrook scored points in a bevy of areas en route to a 149-118 victory over the host Lady Red Devils.

The Lady Colts were led by senior hurdler Mara Cain, who was impressive in sweeping her specialties. She ran a 15.09 and a 46.86 for the golds.

St. Clairsville, meanwhile, swept the distance titles, winning 800, 1600 and 3200 meter runs as well as the 3200 relay.

Senior Jamie Perzanowski stayed unblemished in the 3200 meter run, circling the oval eight times in 11:29.62 for the gold.

Sophomore Juliana Madzia was the champion in the 1600, running a 5:52.36 and classmate Amy Castle won the 800 in 2:31.44.

The 4×800 team of Castle, Madzia, Christina Prezzia and Ashley Gordon posted a 10:31.69 for the first victory of the meet.

Barnesville’s lone winner was Amy Wahl in the high jump. She cleared 4-ft-6 for the title.

Steubenville’s speed came to the forefront as the Lady Big Red prevailed in the 4×1 and 4×2 relays. The team of Tochele Demus, Awtihana Smith, Taja Lawson and Quay Johnson posted a 52.87 for the 400 relay victory.

The squad of Demus, Queen Elder, Nyasha Jones and Smith posted a 1:52.84 to win the two-lap relay.