BYESVILLE - The immediate area will certainly be well-represented in boys track when the regional meet opens Thursday in Division II.
Strong qualifying performances have led to an impressive cast in a myriad of events to be headed to The Plains High School in Athens after district action concluded Saturday afternoon at sun-drenched Meadowbrook Colts Stadium.
Maysville headed back to Muskingum County with the district championship trophy, outdistancing the host Colts, 92-83, on the scoreboard.
St. Clairsville's boys were the highest finishing area squad. The Red Devils of Coach Ben Frye compiled 77 points, which was good for fourth place overall.
The Red Devils did, however, win three district championships during the course of the meet.
Junior speedster Jaylon Brown demonstrated that he's a man on a mission after failing to reach the state final last spring as an individual. Brown used a strong final 60 meters to pull away for the 100 victory in a time of 11.25.
Later in the meet, he posted his career best time in the 200 meter dash. He sprinted to a 22.01 to win the title.
"Last year was a letdown for me because I didn't do as well as I thought I should have," Brown admitted. "Placing as a freshman and then not making the finals last year was disappointing, so I am just trying to work my way up to the top. I feel great (physically) and to run a personal record is great. I pushed myself a lot harder on the turn than I usually do, so I feel if I keep pushing myself harder throughout the race, I can bring my time down even more."
Just eight days after running a school record 1:55, senior Drake Walker proved that was no fluke. The talented middle distance ace circled the track in a brisk 1:56.83 to take the 800 title and advance to the regional.
The Red Devils' adjusted 4x1 team turned in an impressive 43.94 clocking to finish second. The squad, which had Brown running the anchor leg, also included Jesse Smith, Isiah Green and Jay Gossett.
Freshman Logan McCort advanced in the 3200 meter run, circling the oval eight times in 10:44.87 for fourth place.
During Thursday's action, junior Michael Eaton finished second in the pole vault with a 13-ft-6 clearance and classmate Colby Lindsay was second in the discus with a personal best mark of 157-ft-2.
Martins Ferry had a strong showing, accumulating 44 points and advancing a quality cast to the regional.
The Purple Riders were led by a pair of district championships.
Senior Cody Schau got things started with a victory in the high jump. He cleared 6-ft-1 on his final attempt to earn himself the gold.
On the track, the Riders' speed foursome of Brian Styles, Hunter Hill, Andrew Watts and Jack Fitch ran away from the field in the 4x200. The all underclass team turned in a brilliant 1:32.86 for the crown.
The same foursome finished third in the 4x1, posting a solid 44.54.
In the field, senior Sean McGee is headed back to the regional in a pair of throwing events. He was third in the shot put with a toss of 52-ft-9. On Thursday, he finished fourth in the discus with a mark of 148-ft-1.
Steubenville's relays once again performed well as they tend to do once the calendar flips to May.
The 800 relay team of Garon Lytle, Michael Jett, Perrier Coleman and Robert Hayden ran a 1:34.78 to take the third-place medal.
Individually, Big Red will send junior Joey Nodianos, who was third in the high hurdles in 15.62.
Junior Jaquan Lavender was third in the 400 meter dash, running a lap in 51.86. Sophomore Oko Anyabwile was fourth in the intermediate hurdles with a 43.25.
Hayden advanced in the 100 meter dash, posting a 11.49 to finish third. Lytle also qualified in the long jump, finishing third with a mark of 19-ft-6 3/4.
Senior Dashon Redman had a strong showing in the shot put. He finished fourth with a toss of 49-ft-7.
The 4x400 squad for Big Red finished fourth. The team was comprised of Nodianos, Anyabwile, Michael Diaz and Shane Fabros. The quartet turned in a 3:40.67.
Union Local's boys will be led to Athens by senior standout Collin Jones. The Capital-bound hurdler advanced in both the high and intermediate hurdles. He was fourth in the highs in 15.97. He came back a short-time later and finished runnerup in the intermediates. He cleared eight hurdles in 41.33 for the silver.
Sophomore Austin Kemp advanced on Thursday in the pole vault, clearing 12-ft-6 to finish fourth.
Junior Zach Beck cleared 5-ft-10 to advance as the bronze medalist in the high jump.
Indian Creek will take a solid delegation, including some new faces, who are venturing to just their third track meet as a competitor.
Senior Alex Young, who was the Redskins' every day shortstop on the baseball team, decided to give track a try and he's proving it to be a good decision.
Young won the district title in the 400 meter dash, cruising to a 50.98 clocking in just the third time he's ran the event.
Sophomore Max Lewis finished second in a deep and talented 800 field, posting a solid 1:59.68.
In the field, senior Logan Woods qualified in the long jump with a mark of 19-ft-5.
The Redskins' qualifying got started on Thursday when their 4x8 team finished third in 8:50.19.
Buckeye Local's lone qualifier is senior Chuck Stock, who was fourth in the high jump at 5-ft-10.
The first step in the three-week Ohio girls track and field tournament trail wrapped up at sun-splashed Meadowbrook Colts Stadium with the Division II district meet.
The survivors of the meet all earned a trip to The Plains High School in Athens on Thursday to begin the regional. The regional finals are slated for Saturday in Athens, which will set the stage for the state meet the following week at Ohio State University in Columbus.
Before any thought could be given to Athens, area teams had work to do here and a top four finish was the goal.
St. Clairsville's girls finished second in the team rankings with 94 points, which was well back of John Glenn and it's 141 tallies.
The Lady Red Devils' strength in distance races and field events provided the spark.
Senior Juliana Madzia had a brilliant district meet, winning two championships. She ran a 5:15.00 to win the 1600. She came back a short-time later and ran an 11:57.40 to take the 3200 crown.
Senior Amy Castle, who is headed for UNC-Asheville, also advanced in both distance races. She turned in a 5:21.57 to finish third in the 1600 and was second in the 3200 in 12:06.64.
Senior Alyssa Robinson will take part in two events at the regional meet.
The defending state shot put champion won yet another district title in the iron ball event during Thursday's action with a put of 44-ft-7 1/2. She added the discus to her to-do-list at the regional with a fourth-place finish after a mark of 103-ft-5.
Junior Ayla Stewart has turned it on of late in the short sprints. She qualified in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes. She was second in the 100 in 12.94 and fourth in the half-lap dash, posting a 26.76.
Other qualifiers for the Lady Red Devils included their 4x800 relay team of Sam Harrison, Mikayla Westlake, Madzia and Paige Garan, which was fourth during Thursday's action in 10:38.04.
The Lady Devils' 4x2 team of Kennady Walker, Stewart, Alli Greenwood and Audra Vrotsos finished second to John Glenn despite running a 1:48.11.
The 4x1 team of Walker, Stewart, Vrotsos and Claire Slavik posted a 51.62 to finish second in the lap relay.
Individually, frosh Valerie Dobbs advanced in the pole vault, finishing third at 8-feet.
Edison finished fourth in the girls' team rankings.
The Lady Wildcats got off to a strong start on the first day of competition with a victory from junior Katelyn Pollock in the high jump. She cleared 5-ft-2. She was fourth in the long jump at 15-ft-9 3/4.
Junior Ashley Borsch was fourth in the high hurdles (16.72). She was second in the lows, skimming eight hurdles in 49.19.
Junior Shaniah Carpenter was second in the pole vault, clearing 8-feet.
The Lady Wildcats' 4x2 team also earned a trip to Athens, finishing fourth in 1:49.82.
Steubenville finished sixth in the rankings.
The Lady Big Red was led their strength in relays.
The 4x200 team of Cierra Macon, Nyasha Jones, Lysiah Rice and Toshchel Demus finished second in 1:48.11.
The 4x1 team of Macon, Elise Watts, Demus and Shilynn Crawford posted a 51.46 to take the silver medal in the short sprint relay.
Demus and Watts advanced in the 100 meter high hurdles, finishing second and third, respectively in 15.59 and 16.14. Watts was also second in the long jump with a mark of 16-ft-7.
Rice was third in the 100 meter dash, punching a ticket with a time of 13.08. She was also third in the 200 (26.64).
Buckeye Local's lone female qualifier was sophomore Kendra Redpath. She posted a 49.63 to finish third in the low hurdles.
Union Local's lone qualifier on the girls' side was sophomore Kylie Russell in the pole vault. She won on Thursday with an 8-ft-6 clearance.
Indian Creek's qualifiers all came in the field. Frosh Jaid Bly tied for third in the high jump, clearing 4-ft-6.
Senior Brooke Goodrich was third in the long jump with a mark of 15-ft-10 1/2.
Junior Kristen Shimko advanced in the discus with a twirl of 107-ft-7, which was good enough for third place.