St. C. quartet captains T-L girls track
MARTINS FERRY — Girls track and field wrapped up with four area athletes earning all-Ohio status at the state track meet in Columbus.
All of those were by virtue of St. Clairsville’s girls 4×1 finishing seventh in the Division II meet.
Despite nary an individual earning a spot on the state podium, many impressive marks and times were posted during the course of the season.
Many of those athletes are being recognized today by their placement on the annual all Times Leader Track Team, which recognizes athletes from throughout The Times Leader’s coverage area.
For the first time, in the history of the team, the entire Lady Red Devils’ 4×1, which consisted of Emily Baire, Paige McGlothlin, Sydney Freeman and Mechenzie Wood, has been named co-captains of the team.
The boys track and field team will be contained in next Sunday’s edition.
Here’s a capsule look at the honorees:
EMILY BAIRE, St. Clairsville — This Red Devils’ sophomore had a break-out campaign in the 200 and long jump for Coach Tony Ciroli’s squad.
Baire was runnerup in the 200 and third in the long jump at the OVAC. She qualified for the regional in both events. She was the district champion in the 200, winning out of lane eight. She was the district runnerup in the long jump. She qualified for the state meet as part of the 4×1 team, which placed seventh to earn all-Ohio.
“Emily was our MVP this season,” Ciroli said. “She was at her best when the team needed her to be. She’s the type of athlete you want as a coach.”
MECHENZIE WOOD, St. Clairsville — This Red Devils’ senior enjoyed one of her finest campaigns, shining in the 100 meter dash.
She was a regional qualifier in the 100 and finished eighth in the regional. She was second in the OVAC. She anchored the St. C. 4×1 to an all-Ohio finish at the state meet two weeks ago.
“Mechenzie worked hard and her hard work helped the team (score) points,” Ciroli said. “She was a vital part of our success this season and in seasons past. She will be missed, not only in her individual events, but also on the relays.”
PAIGE McGLOTHLIN, St. Clairsville — This Red Devils’ junior was impressive throughout the season for Ciroli’s squad.
As an individual, McGlothlin was third in OVAC Class 4A in the 200 meter dash. She was a key ingredient to the St. C. sprint relay teams, including the 4×1, which placed seventh in the state.
“Paige was our MIP this season and really came a long way from her sophomore season,” Ciroli said. “She has made great progress as an athlete and also as a teammate. We feel positive that going into her senior year, Paige will once again make great improvements and continue to be a valuable asset to the team.”
SYDNEY FREEMAN, St. Clairsville — This Red Devils’ senior was the consummate team player for her team as she was a key cog on all the Red Devils’ relay teams.
Freeman shined especially in the 400 relay where she earned all-Ohio by virtue of the team’s seventh-place finish in the state meet. She was also part of the 4×2 team, which finished just out of a state berth.
“Sydney was an outstanding senior who was not only concerned with her own performance but those of the team,” Ciroli said. “She understood that to be successful as a team everyone has to perform at their best. Sydney was very important to the team during her four years.”
ASHLEY VISNIC, Shadyside — This Tigers senior was a model of versatility for Coach Jenna Coyne’s squad this spring.
Though she could run basically any event, she excelled in the 800 meter run. She was the OVAC champion and also the district gold medalist to earn a spot in the regional meet. She also took part in the 400, placing in the OVAC. She also ran a leg on the Tigers’ solid 4×8 team, which qualified for the regional.
“Ashley not only had a great year, but an impressive career,” Coyne said. “She’s the type of kid you wish you had a few more of or at least be able to use her in more than four events. She was a true leader both on and off the track. She was always willing to do whatever we asked and whatever would help the team. Her ‘team’ attitude rubbed off on the other girls.”
KATIE JAMES, Shadyside — This Tigers’ freshman certainly exploded onto the scene in the distance events for Coyne’s club.
James’ primary events were the 1600 and 3200 meter runs. She advanced to the regional at both distances. She was fifth in the 1600, narrowly missing a state berth. She was second in both the OVAC and district in the four-lap event. In the 3200, James was the OVAC champion and runnerup in the district. She was eighth in the regional.
“Katie had an amazing freshman season, picking up where she left off in cross country,” Coyne said. “Distance running is difficult both mentally and physically. Much of her success stems from her coachable, stress-free attitude. She has a very bright future.”
DALETHA JOHNSON, Martins Ferry — This Purple Riders senior was a standout in a myriad of areas for Coach Greg Steele’s team, but it was in the 400 meter dash where she shined the brightest.
Johnson — a four-year mainstay for the Riders — was the OVAC Class 3A champion in the lap dash. She was the district runnerup in the event and finished eighth in the regional. She also anchored the Purple Riders’ 4×4 team to a school record.
“Daletha wasn’t only a great sprinter for us, but (also) a tremendous leader,” Steele said. “She exemplified what a senior does. Though quiet, she led her fellow runners during warmups, which ultimately led to a school record in the 4×4. She’ll be greatly missed.”
DANIELLE PITTMAN, Harrison Central — This Huskies’ senior was the unquestioned leader for her team, competing in the discus circle.
Owning a season-best mark of 114-ft-8 1/2, which was fourth in the entire OVAC this season, Pittman shined during the bigger meets of the season. She was a regional qualifier after finishing fourth in the West Holmes district. She was eighth in the regional. At both the OVAC and Buckeye 8 championships, Pittman finished second.
“Danielle has great work ethic, drive and she loves to compete,” Harrison Central head coach Willy Walker said. “She broke our school record by 10 feet. I wish Danielle the best of luck in the future if she stays the way she is now, she’ll have no problems succeeding in life.”
HANNAH KEMP, Union Local — This Jets’ distance running standout was the team’s leading scorer as she shined in the 800 and 1600 meter runs.
Kemp was the OVAC Class 4A champion in the 800 and runnerup in the longer distance. She was a regional qualifier in the 1600 meter run after placing third in the district. She was also third in the four-lap race at the Buckeye 8.
“Hannah had a tremendous season,” UL head coach Zach Delman said. “She was the hardest-working girl on our team and it showed on the track. She’s a great teammate and role model for our other athletes. Her times dropped considerably and if she’s able to continue that trend, she’s going to be really special for her last two years.”
ALLISON LOASE, Union Local — This Jets’ sophomore was a standout in the pole vault all season for Delman’s team.
Loase made the most of her lone event. She was the Buckeye 8 and OVAC Class 4A champion and was consistently over the 10-foot plateau. She was a regional placer, finishing one spot shy of qualifying for the Division II state meet. She was second in the district.
“Allison is one of the premier pole vaulters, and unfortunately, she battled a foot injury all season,” Delman admitted. “She was still able to get within one spot of the state meet. She puts in a lot of time perfecting her craft and works at camps and with various trainers.”
MADISON SELLERS, Barnesville — It’s not about where you start, but where you finish as it pertains to track and field. This Shamrocks’ high jumper proves that.
Sellers was a regional scorer, placing seventh at 4-10 after beginning the season at 4-4. She was third in the district and fourth in the OVAC Class 3A meet.
“Madison improved tremendously during the season,” Barnesville head coach Mark Brown said. “The last three meets she cleared 4-10. That’s a huge improvement in the high jump.”
ALLYSYN STEWART, East Richland Christian — This Lions junior etched her name into school history this season in the 300 meter low hurdles.
Stewart became the first OVAC champion from East Richland Christian when she claimed the low hurdle crown last month. She didn’t stop there either. She finished third in the district and qualified for the regional where she placed ninth.
Along with her exploits in the lows, Stewart competed in every event from the 100 to the 800 at some point during the season.
“Ally had a great season,” East Richland head coach Adam Mitchell said. “She didn’t shift to the hurdles until midseason.”
CANDACE KENZIERSKI, Bridgeport — This Bulldogs’ senior was the top shot putter in the immediate area as she was one of the biggest bright spots for Coach Jeff Frey’s team.
Kenzierski scored eighth place in the Division III regional meet by virtue of her third-place finish in the district. That effort followed up an OVAC championship in the iron ball event.
“Candace was really focused this year,” Frey said. “She put in a lot of hard work and did an awesome job for us. We will miss her.”
SKYLAR LANGFORD, Buckeye Local — This Panthers’ standout enjoyed yet another impressive campaign, shining especially in the long jump.
Langford was the Buckeye 8 champion in the event. She also won the OVAC Class 4A title. She qualified for the Division II regional by virtue of finishing fourth in the district. In Athens, she placed seventh and was the Panthers’ lone scorer on the female side.
SHAYE BECKETT, Bellaire — The longer the race the better for this Big Reds’ standout.
Beckett shined for Coach Shawn Valloric’s team in the 3200 meter run. She was a regional qualifier in the event after placing third in the district. She was also third in Class 3A in the OVAC in the same event. She also competed in the regional as part of the Big Reds’ 4×800 team.
“You could tell each and every day of practice that Shaye wanted her senior season to be her best,” Valloric said. “Whether it was longer mileage or set time for speed sessions, she did exactly what needed to be done. You can’t ask for anything more out of an athlete.”