PARKERSBURG - Winning a regional title is never easy, but when you have to overcome a huge deficit, it becomes nearly impossible.
That was the situation Friday night at the Class AAA, Region One Track and Field Championships being held at the Erickson All-Sports Facility as the host Patriots jumped out to a 61-point lead over No. 1 ranked, and crosstown rival Parkersburg, after four of the five field events.
But, that's why they call it 'track' and field as the Big Reds of head coach Rod O'Donnell went to its runners to pull out a 130-121 victory.
Photo by Jim Butta
Parkersburg’s Sarah Bever wins her heat in the 100?high hurdles at Friday’s Class AAA, Region I?track and field championships at the Erickson All-Sports Facility. Bever placed second in the finals but won the 300 low hurdles as Big Red girls finished third
Photo by Jim Butta
South’s Dylon Rippeto readies himself for a throw in the shot put. The Patriots senior captured the event as well as the discus but PHS?got the team title.
"We knew it would be tough, they're all going to be tough from here on," O'Donnell said. "The guys hung in there when we needed them most and never gave up."
The 4 by 800 relay foursome of Scott Barker, Brandon McIntire, Jon Bolten and Trenton Allman got things rolling for the red and white with a third place effort (8:26.41).
Two races later Parkersburg had cut the margin to 25, 79-54, thanks to a 1-3-6 showing in the 110 meter high hurdles and a 1-2 finish in the 100 meter dash.
Senior Landon Miller led from start to finish in winning the hurdle race with a time of 15.16 seconds with Evan Rhodes (15.5) and Erik Musgrave (16.35) rounding out the trio.
Chandler Hamilton and freshman Logan Wooddell followed that effort by crossing the finish line first and second in the 100 in times of 11.44 and 11.6 seconds, respectively.
The two city rivals went head-to-head in the meet's next event - the 4 by 200 meter relay - with Parkersburg edging out their southside foes at the finish line to pull two points closer (87-64).
A third place effort by junior Micah Boles in the pole vault (11-0) pushed the Patriots' lead back to 29, 93-64. But, 18 points in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles and 11 more in the 800 meter run allowed the Big Reds to slice the margin back to 13, 107-94, with three events remaining and Parkersburg took its first lead on the very next race, 110-107, when Hamilton and Wooddell finished one-three in the 200 meter dash while Parkersburg South failed to score in the event.
Parkersburg increased their lead to five, 120-115, with a victory over the Patriots in the shuttle hurdle relay then put the championship in their trophy case with a win in the meet's final race - the 4 by 400 meter relay.
Hamilton won indiviual high point honors with 25 points followed by teammates Miller and Rhodes with 21 apiece and Parkersburg South's Dylon Rippeto, who won the shot put and discus, with 20.
In the girls' division Parkersburg South's Kasey Williams won the 100 and 200 meter dashes and Parkersburg's Sarah Bever won the 300 meter low hurdles and placed second in the high jump and 100 meter high hurdles but it was not enough as No. 5 ranked Morgantown came away with a 141-106 victory over Wheeling Park.
The Big Reds finished third with 82 points while South placed fifth in the team race with 53.
John Marshall's Torie Derrow was the meet's top perfomer as the Monarchs' standout captured the high jump, long jump and 100 meter high hurdles and finished with 36 points followed by University's Amelia Paladino (32) and the Big Reds' Bever (26). Williams was fourth with 24 points.