Record book re-written at the Porterfield

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The Porterfield Invitational is still a relatively new track meet.

However, the meet is quickly becoming one of the most competitive and looked forward to events of the track season.

The third annual meet was held Friday evening at chilly and windy Red Devil Stadium with a solid field of 16 boys and girls squads competing.

The talented and deep John Glenn girls prevailed, scoring 113 points to surge past Martins Ferry, which led much of the evening, by 15.5 points. Thornville Sheridan, meanwhile, repeated on the boys’ side of the competition, scoring 93 points in the 17 events. Dresden Tri-Valley was third with 76.

Coach Rich Materkoski’s talented Lady Riders, who had won the Bellaire Early Bird and their own invitational on Tuesday, still put forth an impressive showing winning two events.

Junior speedster Sarah Applegarth paced the Lady Riders with a victory in the 400 meter dash. She posted a 63.78 to prevail by better than half a second in the 400. Her time was a new meet record.

Senior standout Courtney Crolley actually got the winning started for the Lady Riders with another victory in the pole vault. She soared over 10-feet to earn the gold medal.

However, the Lady Lil Muskies prevailed in seven of the events for 70 points.

John Glenn was paced by junior standout Haley Gregory. A returning all-Ohioan, Gregory won the high point track award with 32.5 points, meaning she was an individual champion three times and ran on a winning relay. She claimed the 100 meter dash, high hurdles and low hurdle crown.

Steubenville Catholic Central was fifth overall with 62 points. The Lady Crusaders’ lone victory came in the final event. The foursome of Michaela Gotta, Kara Kakascik, Monica Rigaud and Taylor Zapolnik posted a 4:18.65 to win the 4×4.

The host Lady Red Devils captured a pair of events en route to a sixth-place finish.

Defending state shot put champion Alyssa Robinson came to the track with a purpose and delivered in a big way. The Penn State signee set a meet and personal record with an impressive throw of 46-ft-6 1/2. Her mark was her second throw of the competition and second that surpassed the 46-foot plateau.

“I was just feeling really good today,” Robinson said. “I came to the meet today with the mindset that I was going to put forth a big throw … and I did it. It felt good to get that throw (early in the competition). I needed that for a confidence booster because I had been hitting sort of a plateau, but I knew I was due to pop one.”

A short time later, Robinson shifted to the discus circle where she finished second with a twirl of 113-ft-7, which gave her a share of the high-point field award.

St. Clairsville’s other victory came in the 1600 meter run where senior Juliana Madzia, an all-Ohioan in cross country, turned in a solid 5:13.36 to set a new meet standard in the 1600 meter run.

All told, on the girls’ side of the action, there were 10 new meet records established despite the temperatures hovering in the middle 40s much of the evening.

THE MARTINS FERRY boys were the top finishing area team. The Purple Riders, who were making their debut in the Porterfield Invitational, tallied 67 points, which left them a point out of third.

The Riders once again got off to a good start in the field. Senior all-Ohioan Sean McGee earned the high-point award in the field by virtue of winning the shot put with a meet-record toss of 53-ft-5. He finished second in the discus with a twirl of 147-ft-1.

The Riders posted two victories on the track and the same foursome pulled the trick. The team of Brian Styles, Hunter Hill, Andrew Watts and Jack Fitch posted a 1:33.16 to run away from the field in the 4×2. The same team passed the baton around the oval to a tune of 45.01 to win the 4×1.

The host Red Devils finished fifth overall with 62 points and 40 of those came via a victory.

Junior speedster Jaylon Brown was impressive in sweeping the two short sprints. A fomer all-Ohioan, Brown won the 100 in 11.08, which equaled a meet record and he ran away from the field in the 200 with a solid 22.62 clocking, which set a new Porterfield standard.

Standout middle distance runner Drake Walker broke his own 800 meter meet record. He blazed two laps in 2:00.52, which broke his mark by nearly six full seconds.

In the field, junior Michael Eaton captured the pole vault crown, which stretched well into the evening. Eaton, who was breaking in a new pole, flirted with elimination at every height before soaring over on his final try. His top clearance was 13-ft-6, which broke the meet standard by a foot.

Union Local’s Collin Jones earned a piece of the high-point track award by posting two victories. He swept the hurdles, winning the highs in 15.67 and the intermediates in 42.11.

Steubenville’s JaQuan Lavender ran a 51.07 to take the 400 meter dash, breaking the meet record by more than a full second.

In the boys’ competition, there were a total of 10 records either broken or tied.

Staskey can be reached at