ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Steubenville Big Red and Catholic Central girls track and field teams had to reload after last year's success.
The shots they fired on Saturday at St. Clairsville High School at the Cal Giffin Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships were heard loud and clear.
Big Red captured the Class 4A title and the Crusaders the 2A trophy and were all smiles after accepting their awards and posing for a combined team picture.
OVAC?TRACK?AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS — The Steubenville Big Red and Steubenville Catholic Central girls track teams pose together after they won their respective Class 4A and 2A OVAC?team titles Saturday at St. Clairsville.
"As the week was going along, we knew we wanted to get as many people as we could into today," said Big Red coach Jason Kernahan. "And, when you get to a day like this, you let the chips fall where they may and the girls really performed well. Their effort getting into today and participating today was just outstanding."
The top 12 team scores were Martins Ferry (97), Morgantown (94), Wheeling Park (91), Steubenville (71), University (55), Steubenville Catholic Central (51), River (49), John Marshall (47), Edison (43), St. John (43), St. Clairsville (41) and Brooke (38).
"I said, and I honestly mean this, that I am as excited, if not more, than I was in Columbus last year (winning the Division III state title)," said Crusaders coach Rob Copeland. "Last year we were expected to do some of the things that we did. We lost some major components off the team last year due to graduation and this year there were a lot of question marks.
TEAM SCORES: Martins Ferry, 97; Morgantown, 94; Wheeling Park, 91;
Steubenville, 71; University, 55.5; Steubenville Central, 51.5;
River, 49; John Marshall, 47.5; Edison, 43.5; St. John, 43.5; St.
Clairsville, 41; Brooke, 38; Trinity Christian, 36.5; Shenandoah,
34.5; Weir, 33; Parkersburg South, 32.5; Wheeling Central, 32;
Bellaire, 29; Clay-Battelle, 25; Meadowbrook, 24.5; Oak Glen, 24;
Bridgeport, 22; Madonna, 21; Bishop Donahue, 20.5; Barnesville, 19.5;
Shadyside, 18; Toronto, 17.75; Caldwell, 17; Cambridge, 15; Monroe
Central, 13.75; Paden City, 13.5; Magnolia, 12; Union Local, 10.5;
Buckeye Trail, 9; Beallsville, 8.5; Cameron, 8; Harrison Central,
7.5; Linsly, 7; East Richland Christian, 5.75; Buckeye Local, 4.5;
Conotton Valley, 4.5; Valley, 2.
Shot Put - Robinson (StC), 40-5 1/2; Green (Bell), 35-8; Montes
(JM), 35-0; Massey (Camb), 34-0 1/2; Williams (BT), 33-11; Clark
(OG), 33-4; Kinder (Bell), 33-2; Morris (Morg), 32-10 1/2.
High Jump - H. Holloway (Morg), 5-4; Stephens (MC), 5-0; Price
(Tor), 5-0; Pollock (Ed), 5-0; Wahl (Branes), 4-10; Durkin (WP),
4-10; Jordan (Shen), 4-8; Rector (BL), 4-6.
Long Jump - Powell (PS), 15-8 1/4; Applegarth (MF), 15-7; Connor
(Mad), 15-6 3/4; Williams (PS), 15-6 1/4; Richard (Brk), 15-4 1/2;
Farmer (Shen), 15-0 1/2; Soukup (StC), 15-0 1/2; Gotta (SCC); 14-10 3/4.
4x800 - University, 9:57.28; Weir, 10:06.14; Martins Ferry,
10:16.25; Oak Glen, 10:20.76; Wheeling Park, 10:31.80; St.
Clairsville, 10:32.96; Trinity, 10:46.62; Caldwell, 10:47.95.
100 Hurdles - Crawford (Brk), 15.21; Demus (Steub), 15.74;
McCullough (Riv), 16.09; Bucon (WC), 16.30; Borsch (Ed), 16.38;
Parsons (PC), 16.60; Dobrovich (SJC), 16.71; Macon (Steub), 16.80.
100M - Trott (Morg), 12.35; McCullough (Riv), 12.59; Baldwin (Morg),
12.70; Rush (CB), 12.80; Kerekes (Trinity), 12.92; Massey (Bpt),
12.94; Whitaker (WP), 12.97; Tran (Ed), 12.99.
Discus - Montes (JM), 109-11; Anderson (Camb), 108-3; Ricker (WP),
102-9; Campbell (Bealls), 98-4; Green (Bell), 97-1; Rigaud (SCC),
92-9; Perry (SJC), 90-2; Nolan (WC), 87-3.
4x200 - Wheeling Park, 1:45.36; Morgantown, 1:46.79; University,
1:47.52; Steubenville, 1:47.53; Edison, 1:47.93; Steubenville
Catholic Central, 1:48.06; Meadowbrook, 1:48.61; Martins Ferry, 1:50.71.
1600M - Paladino (U), 5:05.54; Doyle (SJC), 5:07.43; Tollett
(Shady), 5:14.02; Cooke (Morg), 5:18.60; Madzia (StC), 5:23.55;
Chambers (OG), 5:26.91; Tarovisky (WP), 5:33.03; Smith (Cam), 5:38.17.
4x100 - Morgantown, 49.66; Brooke, 50.28; Steubenville, 51.32;
Meadowbrook, 51.82; Steubenville Catholic Central, 52.16; Wheeling
Park, 52.16; Clay-Battelle, 52.43; Edison, 52.58.
400M - Grove (WP), 59.05; Haught (JM), 59.60; Applegarth (MF),
59.97; Phillips (Steub), 1:00.06; Elder (Steub), 1:01.73; Kerekes
(Trinity), 1:02.02; Radcliff (Cald), 1:02.23; Kasper (Shen), 1:02.63
300M Hurdles - McCullough (Riv), 45.82; Crawford (Brk), 47.62;
Fluharty (PS), 48.09; Rigaud (SCC), 49.26; Parsons (PC), 49.69; Moro
(Steub), 50.21; Farmer (Shen), 50.33; Griffith (MF), 50.71.
800M - Paladino (U), 2:23.42; Doyle (SJC), 2:24.49; Wrenn (MF),
2:24.54; Haught (JM), 2:27.29; Harrison (U), 2:29.46; Madzia (StC),
2:29.73; Mastrantoni (Weir), 2:31.11; Cline (Mag), 2:33.72.
200M - Trott (Morg), 26.23; McCullough (Riv), 26.53; Grove (WP),
26.63; Massey (Bpt), 26.80; Kerekes (Trinity), 26.80; Phillips
(Steub), 27.80; Crawford (Brk), 27.10; Jenkins (MF), 27.23.
Pole Vault - Hewitt (Morg), 11-0; Dolan (WP), 10-6; Hamrick (PS),
10-0; Kemp (UL), 9-6; Crolley (MF), 9-0; Cordy (Bell), 8-6; Carpenter
(Ed), 8-0; Allen (MF), 7-6.
3200M - Tollett (Shady), 11:11.37; Harshbarger (Morg), 11:21.85;
Pineault (Morg), 11:49.71; Lynch (U), 11:57.60; Mastrantoni (Weir),
12:00.91; Furr (Cald), 12:04.36; Chambers (OG), 12:06.10; Hannan
Shuttles - Wheeling Central, 1:07.50; Martins Ferry, 1:09.07;
Steubenville, 1:09.50; Wheeling Park, 1:10.01; John Marshall,
1:11.55; Monroe Central, 1:14.49; Meadowbrook, 1:15.02; River, 1:16.87.
4x400 - Wheeling Park, 4:07.65; John Marshall, 4:11.17;
Steubenville, 4:14.36; Harrison Central, 4:16.81; Steubenville
Catholic Central, 4:18.56; Weir, 4:19.60; University, 4:21.30;
Martins Ferry, 4:22.76.
TEAM SCORES: Wheeling Park, 92.5; Cambridge, 77.5; Linsly, 77; St.
Clairsville, 73.5; Magnolia, 68.5; Martins Ferry, 64; Steubenville,
63.5; Harrison Central, 46.5; Bellaire, 44; Barnesville, 42; Buckeye
Local, 41.5; Parkersburg South, 41; Steubenville Central, 41; Valley,
40.5; Bishop Donahue, 36; Buckeye Trail, 34.25; Clay-Battelle, 32.5;
St. John Central, 30.5; Union Local, 28.75; Morgantown, 25; River,
25; Beallsville, 22.75; University, 18.5; Caldwell, 18.5; Oak Glen,
17; Shadyside, 17; Brooke, 16.75; Bridgeport, 16.5; Edison, 16.5;
John Marshall, 14.5; Meadowbrook, 13.5; Toronto, 13; Wheeling
Central, 8.5; Shenandoah, 8; Madonna, 8; Indian Creek, 6.5; Trinity
Christian, 5; Paden City, 5; East Richland Christian, 4; Monroe
Long Jump - Carleton (BT), 21-6; Padyjasek (MF), 21-4 1/2; Banks
(WP), 20-6 3/4; Piergallini (BL), 20-5 1/4; Maslowski (SCC), 19-3
1/2; Necessary (Riv), 19-1 1/2; Rohde (Mag), 18-11 1/4; Hively (PS),
Discus - Delekta (OG), 158-8; Rippeto (PS), 149-4; Neal (WP), 146-2;
McGee (MF), 142-1; Thompson (Tor), 136-3; Mason (Val), 132-8;
Baldridge (Barnes), 129-3; Anderson (Camb), 126-1.
4x800 - Wheeling Park, 8:24.97; Morgantown, 8:27.18; University,
8:28.12; Barnesville, 8:32.93; Magnolia, 8:37.10; Linsly, 8:38.68;
Harrison Central, 8:41.51; Meadowbrook, 8:44.80.
Shot Put - McGee (MF), 53-10 1/2; Mason (Val), 49-11; Dodd (Lins),
49-7; Neal (WP), 49-3; Hinkle (Riv), 48-3 1/2; Rippeto (PS), 46-11
1/2; Luke (Steub), 45-9 1/2; Thompson (Tor), 45-7.
High Jump - Lynch (PS), 6-4; Carleton (BT), 6-2; Burke (Bealls),
6-2; Ogilbee (UL), 6-0; Blount (Lins), 5-10; Minger (Ed), 5-10;
Fullmer (Morg), 5-10; Rine (Brk), 5-8.
Pole Vault - Fox (Camb), 13-9; Scott (WC), 13-6; Jenkins (MF), 12-6;
Cottrill (PS), 12-6; Davis (Bell), 12-0; Frizzi (Bell), 12-0; Kemp
(UL), 11-6; Eaton (StC), 11-6.
110 Hurdles - Padyjasek (MF), 14.75; Maslowski (SCC), 15.02; Snell
(Camb), 15.10; Frey (Bpt)15.32; Dull (Shady), 15.60; Zahnow (BD),
15.82; Nodianos (Steub), 15.92; Jones (UL), 16.05.
100M - Piergallini (BL), 10.91; Whetstone (Bell), 11.21; Gadson
(Camb), 11.22; Pingley (Val), 11.34; Ingram (WP), 11.36; Brown (StC),
11.39; Murray (Steub), 11.39; Swaniger (CB), 11.44.
4x200 - Steubenville, 1:31.07; Cambridge, 1:31.32; Linsly, 1:33.04;
Harrison Centrall, 1:33.11; St. Clairsville, 1:33.48; Magnolia,
1:33.82; Brooke, 1:35.08; Bellaire, 1:35.83.
1600M - Thornburg (StC), 4:28.99; Brown-Stobbe (U), 4:30.33; Walker
(StC), 4:33.95; Greza (Morg), 4:39.14; Witsberger (WP), 4:39.31;
Hinnerman (Mag), 4:40.04; Statler (CB), 4:40.94; Borrell (Lins),
4x100 - Steubenville, 43.70; Buckeye Local, 44.07; Cambridge, 44.23;
St. Clairsville, 44.80; Linsly, 45.14; Bellaire, 45.48; Brooke,
46.03; Martins Ferry, 46.13.
400M - Rogalski (Mag), 49.67; Stephens (Lins), 49.76; Abrams (Cald),
50.07; Minger (Ed), 51.12; Lavender (Steub), 51.47; Spencer (HC),
51.99; Trolley (CB), 52.57; Holubeck (SJC), 52.93.
300M Hurdles - Frey (Bpt), 39.48; Dull (Shady), 40.38; Anderson
(Barnes), 41.34; Banks (WP), 41.44; Zahnow (BD), 41.70; Lindsey (HC),
42.46; Spoonmore (HC), 42.73; Jones (UL), 42.74.
800M - Walker (StC), 2:00.18; Stephens (Barnes), 2:01.12; Pontius
(BT), 2:02.20; Nieves (SJC), 2:03.37; Haught (Mag), 2:05.57; Moore
(HC), 2:07.09; Hammond (Lins), 2:07.47; Lee (SCC), 2:07.52.
200M - Stephens (Lins), 21.90; Piergallini (BL), 22.23; Lewis
(Camb), 22.89; Pingley (Val), 22.93; Ebanks (Lins), 22.99; Whetstone
(Bell), 23.07; Fallon (SCC), 23.17; Gadson (Camb), 23.23.
3200m - Thornburg (StC), 9:58.44; Leasure (SJC), 10:00.44, Niswonger
(Cald), 10:16.01; Kamarec (IC), 10:16.02; Feeney (Mag), 10:16.66; Guy
(Meadow), 10:18.71; Shrimp (WP), 10:20.10; Hinnerman (Mag), 10:20.71.
Shuttles - Wheeling Park, 59.77; Martins Ferry, 1:00.56; John
Marshall, 1:00.90; Bishop Donahue, 1:01.28; Buckeye Local, 1:03.01;
Steubenville, 1:03.70; Harrison Central, 1:05.05; Parkersburg South,
4x400 - Steubenville, 3:29.05; Harrison Central, 3:29.43; Wheeling
Park, 3:33.35; St. Clairsville, 3:33.85; Linsly, 3:36.44; Magnolia,
3:39.76; Morgantown, 3:41.49; River, 3:43.33
"The way this group came back this year and has performed as a team is outstanding. We had some low points today, but we picked each other up and it was a gutsy performance.
"I've been telling this since February that we have to gut out every point this year and that's what we did today."
Both teams won their respective championships without winning an event.
Big Red was third in three relays - 4x100 (51.32), shuttles (1:09.50), 4x400 (4:14.36) - and fourth in the 4x200 (1:47.53).
Catholic Central was fourth in the 4x100 (52.16), fifth in the 4x400 (4:18.56) and sixth in the 4x200 (1:48.06).
Doing what he was expected to do, among others, was Oak Glen discus thrower Ethan Delekta.
His toss of 158-8, although below his best by almost eight feet, did break the meet record for the victory.
"I felt pretty confident coming into today," said Delekta, who also owns the top West Virginia Class AA mark by 14 feet. "I have beaten all these guys before at one point in time this year. It wasn't my best mark, but I did what I had to. I would have liked a better mark, but winning feels pretty good."
The West Virginia regional meets are later this week with the state meet at Laidly Field in Charleston set for May 18-19.
"Regionals and states is all that counts now," said Delekta. "I'm excited for the competition. The meet definitely does a good job of simulating the state meet, with all the people watching and the pressure of competing. It's good practice for the next two weeks.
"It's good to be under this type of pressure. Being under pressure is better than being under no pressure at all.
"My goals are to win states and to hit 170 - I said that at the end of last year."
Buckeye Local senior Jordan Piergallini was exceptional in winning the 100, clocking a 10.91 to set a meet record. He also finished second in the 200 (22.23), was a member of the 4x100 relay team that took second (44.07) and finished fourth in the long jump (20-5).
"I think the 100 was the most important event to me due to the fact that I've been doing well in it all year and I really wanted to show what I had," said Piergallini. "Overall, this was a good day. The 100, though, is where it was at today.
"When you come to this meet, the athletes from West Virginia are no slouches. There's a lot of good competition in the OVAC and in both states in general. I'm proud to be a part of it. I really am."
Piergallini admitted he is more than surprised at his success on the track, considering he was a baseball player as a sophomore for Steubenville Catholic Central.
"I remember back when I was a sophomore, my head Legion coach, coach Stacy asked me, 'Jordan, why are you still playing baseball when you can run a 3.9 on the basepaths?' I told him, 'coach, I'm in love with it.' I saw him at Jefferson County Relays and he told me 'my heart's where it's at.' There's a lot of people pulling for me in the 100.
"I have a lot of respect for those people who have been before me."
Piergallini, like Delekta, understands the ultimate goal is standing on the podium at the state meet.
"Everyone wants to make it to the state meet and everyone wants to stand on the podium and I am no different," he said. "This (running track) is a very different mindset for me. And, now I have a chance to do it in college and that's pretty important to me. With all the changes that have gone on in my life, I'm surprised at where I am, but I am also very grateful and humbled as heck."
Brooke senior Ali Crawford also had a busy day.
She won the 100 hurdles (15.21), was a member of the second-place 4x100 relay team (50.28), took second in the 300 hurdles (47.62) and followed that up a short time later with a seventh in the 200 (27.10).
"I started my freshman year running the 200 and I was decent at it and I've stuck with it," she said. "This is the first year I've ran the 300s. They won't take me out of either of them, so it's rough a little bit.
"The 100 hurdles is my favorite race. It's the one I've come along the strongest in. It's like my baby, I care about it the most.
"I definitely came in today wanting to win the highs. I knew in the (individual) events there was some tough competition and the goal was to place, but in the highs, my goal was that I had to be the OVAC champion. To have that title means so much to me."
Crawford is second in the West Virginia Class AAA ranks in the 100 hurdles, third in the 300 hurdles, ninth in the 200 and the Bruins' 4x100 relay team is fifth.
"There's so much competition here, so it's nice to see a little bit of the West Virginia side and the Ohio side really pushes you also," she said. "This is a nice meet to get you ready for regionals."
Because the West Virginia state meet is not run like a regular track meet with the order of events, Crawford has a chance to recover in sufficient time if she qualifies in all four.
"Everything is so spread out down there that it's a nice break so you'll be fresh every race," she said, "but, there's still some tough competition down state, too."
Steubenville senior Najee Murray is now the "old man" of the group.
"It feels good being the old man, sitting there taking the young ones underneath your wing," he said. "We also have other seniors like Tayari Lavender and Quinton Smith and they are helping out a lot with good leadership."
Big Red's 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams all set meet records, on a day when 15 boys meet records were set of the 18 events.
The three seniors and Robert Hayden ran 43.7 in the 4x100. Murray, Lavender, Hayden and JaQuan Lavender were clocked in 1:31.07 in the 4x200. Murray, the two Lavenders and freshman Malik Richmond stopped the watch in 3:29.05 in the 4x400.
"It's sad that track is coming to an end, but we still have a lot of work to do," said Murray, who is bound for Ohio State to play football. "We have to finish strong and get ready for states."
Murray is the lone member of Big Red's state championship 4x200 relay team from last season.
"Everybody thought that we weren't going to be as good as we were last year," he said. "We lost a lot off that team that broke the record last year. But, we reloaded this year. We work hard at practice and that has been showing in the times.
"Regardless of what happens, your mindset should always be on winning, not losing."
Kernahan understands the talent that was lost, but he also knows what it took to try to replace that talent.
"We lost some great kids, but when you have a kid like Naj who is a leader in everything he participates in," said Kernahan. "He helped get Tayari out. Quinton has been here for four years. Robert is getting better every day. When you have a kid who has been to the state championships before, and is a state champion, he's a leader and helps everyone along.
"Sometimes when the target is on your back, you know that you have to improve, too. Naj helps that. A couple of weeks ago he said, 'I think if I get in this 4x4 I can help drop that time.'
"Malik has come in the 4x4 and so has Naj, and our time has dropped every week since then. They're improving every day."
The top 12 boys teams were Wheeling Park (92), Cambridge (77), Linsly (77), St. Clairsville (73), Magnolia (68), Martins Ferry (64), Steubenville (63), Harrison Central (46), Bellaire (44), Barnesville (42), Buckeye Local (41), Parkersburg South 41, Steubenville Central (41).
Thirty-three meet records were broken and one tied of the 36 events contested.