Track’s turn to shine

Championship season, in track and field at least, gets under way this week as the Little Kanawha Conference, Mountain State Athletic Conference and Ohio Valley Athletic Conference each will crown their top teams on Friday or Saturday.

The LKC, which also happens to be the oldest of the three, will conduct its annual event at Ritchie County High School. Defending champions Williamstown and Doddridge County are expected to take home the top hardware in the girls and boys divisions, respectively.

Zach Hall’s Yellowjackets are coming off of an impressive victory at the Erickson/Camden Clark Invitational while Bobby Burnside’s Bulldogs traveled to Charleston over the weekend and brought home the Class A title of the Gazette Relays.

But, before someone asks, there will be challengers to the defending champions as Rick Haught’s Rebels – which brought home the Class AA state title last May – will do everything they can to protect their home track while Craig Kellar’s Doddridge girls, who won the Class A division at the Gazette Relays, will look to ride the talents of senior D’Andra Swiger in an attempt to unseat the maroon and gold.

Speaking of the Mountain State’s capital, the Big Reds will travel to Laidley Field with hopes of ending their drought in the MSAC meet.

The Big Red boys are coming off of a come-from-behind win at the Erickson All-Sports Facility while the girls’ squad, which was minus several key performers, found a way to finish second. If ever there was a time when both red and white clad squads could return to Wood County victorious, this may very well be that year.

Heading in a different direction will be the Patriots as they travel to St. Clairsville to take part in the OVAC championships.

Qualifying takes place through Thursday with the championship slated for Saturday meaning the Patriots will be spending a lot of time on the roads on what is also the red, white and blue’s Prom week.

Action really heats up next week as regional action begins on Wednesday, May 8 (Class AAA), Thursday, May 9 (Class A) and Friday, May 10 (Class AA).

Fans can travel to Erickson on Thursday to watch the Yellowjackets take part in the Region IV meet or they could held out W.Va. 50 East to Ellenboro to take in the Class AA Region I championships on Friday. PHS and Parkersburg South fans will have to travel to Wheeling Park High School to see their favorite thinclads attempt to earn a spot in the state championships the third week in May.

Speaking of the state meet, why doesn’t the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission continue to follow every state that surrounds us and award medals to its top eight finishers in each event instead of just the top six?

Do medals really cost that much?