Pair of track meets take center stage today

PARKERSBURG – Reverse the words in the phrase, ‘track and field’ and right there is the story of the Parkersburg South boys season.

“I refer to our meets as field and track because the field events is where our strength is,” South boys coach Steve Fox said in preparation for tonight’s Erickson/Camden Clark Memorial Center Invitational at Erickson All-Sports Facility.

The meet consists of 11 schools (South, Parkersburg, Parkersburg Catholic, Tyler Consolidated, Elkins, Caldwell, Preston, Marietta, Warren, Lewis County and Wirt County). Field events begin at 4:30 p.m. followed by running events at 5 p.m.

A new girls team champion will be recognized since Williamstown is not part of the equation. On the boys side, Parkersburg claimed the championship by a 7.5-point margin of victory over runner-up Ritchie County.

“Parkersburg has a lot more depth – they score more than 70 points in the running events, and that’s not counting the field events,” Fox said. “They really have some of the best runners in the state. They have the two best hurdlers and some of the best sprinters. They have the best shuttle team.

“It’s tough. Basically, it’s their year. They are loaded.”

The South boys are three days removed from winning the team title at the Fenton Relays in Williamstown.

“We were looking for personal bests at the Fenton Relays and we didn’t have that many,” Fox said. “We had some bright spots with Evan DeGraef, Anthony Bibbs and Dylan Rippeto. We’re scoring more than 50 points in the field events – that’s where a majority of our scoring has occurred.”

An off week awaits South followed by three days of competition at the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Meet.

“Before regionals, this is our last track meet of the season,” Fox said. “The thing about Parkersburg and as tough as they are, our kids tend to do better when they are at the same meet.”

  • Cline Stansberry Invitational: Figure on quite a few new individual champions in the girls field when the Cline Stansberry Invitational takes place at Doddridge County High School in West Union.

For the girls division, 10 individual winners from last year’s meet have graduated – including St. Marys’ Maggie Drazba winning the mile and two-mile, along with Doddridge County’s D’Andra Swiger winning the 200, 300 hurdles, high jump and long jump.

The boys division is not quite as clear-cut, even though Tyler Consolidated’s Alex Doak has graduated after winning the 100 and 400.

The defending champions are the Williamstown girls and Ritchie County boys.