PARKERSBURG-The temporary bleachers are in place and the expected weather will be cold, but rain free as competition gets under way at 4:30 p.m. at the Kim Nutter/Camden Clark Medical Center Classic at Stadium Field.
"Fans will be asked to sit in the temporary bleachers at the scoreboard end of the stadium," said boys head coach Kenny DeMoss. "And, we will have an area for teams to set up near the facility building."
Looking to defend the titles they won 12 months ago will be the host Big Red boys as well as the girls from Buckhannon-Upshur, who will be looking for their fifth straight championship.
"Obviously, they (B-U) would have to be the favorite," said girls head coach Leah Fleak. "Especially with the (Emily) Godwin girl returning. But I'm excited. We had another good group of freshmen come out this year and added to last year's freshmen and some seniors that decided to return, I think we can make a run at them."
Godwin was the meet's standout female performer last year as the Bucs' then-junior captured two races on the track-the 200 (27.29) and 400 (59.17) meter races-and two events in the field-high jump (5-6) and long jump (17-11.75)-to finish with 40 points as the Upshur Countians slipped past runner-up Winfield by 44 points, 134-90.
The Big Red boys return a solid cast from the team that knocked off second place Winfield by a 129.5-92.5 score a year ago.
Junior Chandler Hamilton will look to duplicate his double-wins of last April when the then-sophomore proved to be the fastest man on the track with victories in the 100 (11.52) and 200 (23.56) meter dashes. Looking to return to the top of the winner's stand again will be junior Andrew Lyons, who captured the 800 meter run in a time of 2:07.54, and sophomore Daniel Fox, whose 20-feet, 1.75-inches in the long jump proved to be the best leap of the event.
"I think we are ready for the challenge," said DeMoss. "We have several more kids out this spring thanks to the football and basketball teams and we already had a solid nucleus returning from last year's team."
Joining PHS and B-U in the eight-team field will be crosstown rival Parkersburg South, Wahama, Hampshire, defending Class A boys state champion Doddridge County, Wheeling Park, and John Marshall.
Other Parkersburg athletes to keep an eye out for include Airika Gainer, Kaylee Williams, Rachel Morris, Alena Klimas, Jordan Walters, Sarah Bever, Whitney McAtee, Vanessa Koon, Nick Chevront, Nick Musgrave, Brandon McIntire, Evan Rhodes, Austin Allman, Kalani Williams, and Brandon Pethel.
For the Patriots, look for Emily Brezler, April Kirk, Kristin Wilson, Demi Degraef, Kayleigh Rexroad, Jessica Hamrick, Lexi Spencer, Dakota Delong, Brendan Schwendeman, Vincent Scalise, Troy Alton, Evan DeGraef, Tyler Rouse, Mack White, and Dylon Rippeto.
Action gets under way in the two-session meet at 4:30 p.m. with competition in the field events. Running trials in the 100 and 200 meter dashes and the high hurdles as well as finals in the 3200 meter run and 400 meter dash begins at 5 p.m.