Brown captains all T-L track squad

The 2013 boys track and field season yielded another host of memories.

Speed, strength and athleticism were on display at local ovals all season and many had the opportunity to extend their seasons into June.

With the help of area track coaches, The Times Leader sports staff has chosen its 2013 all Times Leader Track Team.

St. Clairsville junior Jaylon Brown, who was a two-event all-Ohioan and the area’s premier sprinter, has been named the captain of the squad.

Here’s a capsule look at the honorees:

JAYLON BROWN, St. Clairsville – This junior speedster came into the season with a renewed focus and it paid large dividends.

Brown qualified for his third consecutive state meet and got onto the podium for the first time in his career in both the 100 and 200 meter dash. He was third in the 100 and fourth in the 200.

Brown blazed to the district and regional titles in both events and also anchored the Devils’ 4×1 team that qualified for the state meet. During the course of the season, Brown consistent ran under 11, in the 100, and under 22, in the 200. He was the OVAC champion in the 100 meter dash, posting a 10.89.

“Jaylon began the season with a rejuvenated passion and that certainly showed,” said St. C. head coach Ben Frye. “He put in a tremendous amount of hardwork to earn the success that he has had on the track and we believe he’s only beginning to tap into his potential.”

JACOB ANDERSON, Barnesville – This senior took the intermediate hurdles by storm this season.

Improving almost every week, Anderson finished with a personal best time of 38.61 in his specialty. He was the OVAC champion, district and regional runnerup and finished sixth in the state meet, which was his first appearance in Columbus.

Anderson also ran the high hurdles, finishing fourth in the OVAC and advancing to the regional. He posted a season-best mark of 15.33.

“Jacob had a great career for us and will truly be missed,” said Barnesville head coach Dylan Rogers. “One of his best qualities, which he showed a lot this season, is he is always wanting to do more not only to help himself get better, but to help the team get better as well. He’s a very likable person who will do anything he is asked.”

DRAKE WALKER, St. Clairsville – This Red Devils’ senior saw all of his hardwork and dedication pay off with an all-Ohio finish for Frye’s squad.

Shining in the 800 meter run, Walker placed fifth in the state meet with a time of 1:55.56. He was the district champion in the event and regional runnerup. Walker ran a personal best time of 1:55.40.

At the OVAC, Walker prevailed in the 1600 meter run.

“Drake has been a distance running staple for us the past four years,” Frye said. “The amount of improvement that he made during his career was outstanding. He’s logged countless miles in order to have the success that he did. We’ll certainly miss him next season.”

SEAN McGEE, Martins Ferry – This senior was once again a model of consistency in the throwing circles for Coach Rich Materkoski’s team.

McGee repeated as OVAC champion in the shot put and finished second in the discus. He was the district champion in the shot put and qualified for the regional in both events.

He reached the state meet in the shot put once again and finished seventh in the state, earning all-Ohio for the second straight campaign.

“It was a pleasure to have Sean in our program,” Materkoski said. “He will leave Martins Ferry as a school record holder and was as consistent a performer as we’ve ever had. We’ll really miss his points.”

MICHAEL EATON, St. Clairsville – This Red Devils’ junior proved he’s certainly more than just a standout swimmer this season at the pole vault pit.

Eaton was consistently jumping near the 14-foot barrier and finished the season as a state qualifier. He was the district runnerup and regional bronze medalist in qualifying for Columbus.

“Michael is a true student of the pole vault,” Frye said. “He has great passion for the event and that is evident in his technique. He has an outstanding work ethic, which has been one of the biggest keys to his success in every sport.”

COLLIN JONES, Union Local – This Jets’ senior proved that hardwork pays off as he put forth a brilliant final season for first-year head coach Sam Nardo.

Jones shined in the 300 hurdles, qualifying for the state meet in his specialty for the first time after narrowly missing a trip to Columbus the year prior. Jones was second in the district and regional. At the regional, he ran his personal best time of 39.90.

He was also a regional qualifier in the high hurdles as well.

At the OVAC, Jones placed third in the intermediates. He also placed in the highs and the pole vault.

“Collin was very dedicated to the sport,” Nardo said. “He always put in the extra time to get better and it paid off for him. It was great that he got the opportunity to compete at the state meet this season.”

BRIAN STYLES, Martins Ferry – This junior made a solid impact for Materkoski’s team both in relays and in the open 200.

Styles was an OVAC placer in the 200 meter dash and ran key legs on the Purple Riders’ 4×1 and 4×2 teams that qualified for the state meet.

Those Ferry sprint relay teams were some of the best in the Ohio Valley. The 4×2 was the area’s best and the 4×1 trailed only St. Clairsville.

“Brian was primed for a break-out season and that’s exactly what he had,” Materkoski said. “He was a great lead-off leg for us and ran well in anything else we put him in during the season. As he continues to get stronger, Brian’s times will continue to drop.”

JACK FITCH, Martins Ferry – This sophomore was the ultimate team player for Materkoski and the Purple Riders. There wasn’t an event that Fitch wasn’t willing to do to help the team.

However, it was in the hurdles and on relays where Fitch shined the brightest. He anchored both the Riders’ 4×1 and 4×2 teams that qualified for the Division II state meet.

Individually, Fitch was a quality performer in the intermediate hurdles.

“If there is anyone who is going to give his all every time he steps on the track, it’s Jack,” Materkoski said. “Jack is going to have an exciting next couple of years on the oval if he continues to get stronger and compete like he does day in and day out.”

CODY SCHAU, Martins Ferry – This senior made a solid addition to the Riders’ talented boys’ team this spring.

Schau shined in the high jump and long jump. He was the area’s top high jumper and won the OVAC title. He was consistently over the 6-ft-2 mark. He was the district champion and took part in the regional. He was also an OVAC placer in the long jump.

“Cody really gave us a boost in the field this year and when he was asked, he ran quality relays for us, too,” Materkoski said. “I think if not for a nagging knee injury, Cody would have jumped in Columbus. He was definitely a key piece to us being a solid boys’ team.”

COREY LEASURE, St. John Central – This senior put the finishing touches on a very solid prep career this past spring for Coach Paul Xenakis.

Leasure focused primarily on the 3200 meter run where he finished fifth in the OVAC overall and fourth in the district. He was once again a regional placer.

“Corey leaves as the third best 3200 meter runner of all time in a competitive distance program here at St. John,” Xenakis said. “The longer the race, the better, for Corey. He’s a very smooth, efficient runner, who should excel in college.

GARRETT HOLUBECK, St. John Central – This Irish sprinter had a break-out season for Xenakis’ Irish.

Excelling in the 400 meter dash, Holubeck finished second in the OVAC with a time of 50.79. He was the district champion and qualified for the regional meet.

“Garrett started the season with two goals,” Xenakis said. “The first was to set a new school record and the second was getting to the state meet. He accomplished one of those goals and I know the second goal is motivation for his senior year. He’s the hardest working, most dedicated sprinter I’ve ever coached on the boys’ side.”

CODY LAROCHE, Bellaire – This sophomore was one of the premier shot putters in the area this past spring for Coach Shawn Valloric’s squad.

LaRoche placed fifth in the OVAC Championship meet and was the bronze medalist at the Eastern District Division III championship to advance to the regional meet.

“Cody progressed a lot this season,” Valloric said. “He made progress not only in his performance, but in his work ethic, too. He worked very hard this year and the good news is he has a couple more hears to progress even more.”

JEREMY SPOONEMORE, Harrison Central – This Huskies’ senior had an impressive season for Coach Ken Parker’s squad.

Spoonemore was a regional qualifier in three events, including the 100 meter dash, 300 hurdles and on the 4×1 relay. He set the Huskies’ school record in the intermediate hurdles at 41.1 and was part of the shuttle team that set a new school record at 61-flat.

At the OVAC, Spoonemore finished fourth overall in the 100 meters.

“Jeremy had a great senior season,” said Parker. “He was one of our most versatile kids and he certainly gave us everything he had every meet.”

AUSTIN KEMP, Union Local – This sophomore was one of the top pole vaulters in the area this season.

Consistently clearing 13-feet, Kemp qualified for the regional where he placed seventh in his specialty. He was also an OVAC placer, tying for fourth with his teammate, Jones.

“Austin really invested a lot of time with Coach Chase Clark and it paid off,” Nardo said. “He made a lot of improvement from last season and throughout this season. We’re excited to see how he does in the future.”

Staskey can be reached at