Area athletes qualify for D-II regional track

BYESVILLE — The race to Columbus in Division II got under way Thursday afternoon at Meadowbrook High School.

Along with the individual quest to reach the OHSAA’s State Track and Field Championship, which is slated for June 2 and 3 at Ohio State University, St. Clairsville officially opened defense of its state championship.

The Red Devils’ quest for a repeat took a hit despite them scoring 31 points, which is tops in the field here thus far.

Leading the way for the Red Devils was senior long jumper Jordan Vincent. He won the district title with a mark of 22-0 1/2.

Junior Christian Oberdick also advanced in the long jump with a mark of 20-6 1/4.

In the discus, senior Trey Elerick advanced to the regional, which is next weekend in Athens, with a toss of 133-ft-2.

The Red Devils’ 4×8 team finished second. The quartet of Austin Passmore, Matt Marling, Kevin Klinkoski and Zac Orzolek posted a 8:20.33.

Unfortunately, senior Malachi Mellema, who has been slowed much of the spring with a foot injury he sustained during the fall, won’t have the chance to defend his 110 meter high hurdle title or improve on his runner-up finish in the intermediates.

He didn’t participate in either event because of lingering injury issues.

Martins Ferry’s 4×8 team, which consists of Jeffrey Lucas, Terrell Tuttle, Kevin Simpson and Jacob Bishop posted an 8:18.13 for the victory in the distance relay.

ON THE GIRLS’ SIDE, Union Local was the top-scoring area team with 16.5 points.

Fueling the Jets was a second-place finish by sophomore Allison Loase in the pole vault. She soared over 9-ft-6 en route to the silver.

The Jets’ 4×8 team of Megan Bateman, Mackenzie McGary, Sutherlynd Butler and Hanah Kemp grabbed the fourth and final spot with a 10:32.05.

St. Clairsville’s Aziah Robinson advanced in the shot put with a mark of 32-10.

Action wraps up in the district on Saturday. The field events begin at 10.