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PHS boys second at Russ Parsons Invitational

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg’s Aaron Kupfner runs in the 300 hurdles during Saturday’s Russ Parsons Invitational at Stadium Field. Kupfner claimed boys high-point honors.

PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg’s Aaron Kupfner won both hurdles events and finished as the high-point boy here Saturday at Stadium Field during the annual Russ Parsons Invitational.

Kupfner’s 20 points were just enough to edge teammate Keegan Barnette’s 19.5 and the 18.5 total of Parkersburg South’s Levi Rice. The Patriot tied Akron Buchtel’s Darius Woods for first in the high jump (6-0) and went 23.26 to finish runner-up in the 200 to Wheeling Park’s Torrence Walker, who established a new meet record of 22.02.

The only other meet record came in the 800 where University’s Josh Edwards set the bar at 1:55.14 with Barnette finishing runner-up in 2:02.55. Barnette won the mile with a time of 4 minutes and 21 seconds flat while Kupfner finished 15.41 in the 110 highs and 42.77 in the 300 intermediate hurdles.

Despite getting a 1-2-3 finish in the shot put from Charlie Bauman (48-1), Justin Waybright (46-8 and a winning 152-10 effort in the discus) and Casey Mahoney (40-7.75), the Big Red boys had to settle for runner-up team honors behind Morgantown, 115-104. Wheeling Park was a point back of the red and white in third while University (62) and Athens (56) rounded out the top five.

“I’d say that’s three of the top five teams in the state right now,” admitted Big Red boys head coach Rod O’Donnell of MHS, PHS and Wheeling Park. “That was a good quality meet.”

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg South’s Levi Rice competes in the 200 meter run at Saturday’s Russ Parsons Invitational at Stadium Field. Rice placed third in the boys high-point standings.

Park’s Jerrae Hawking Jr. posted a winning time of 11.12 in the 100.

Buchtel’s Daemond Gibbson went 52.03 to best the field in the 400 as Big Red Ethan Rutherford was just edged out after clocking in at 52.05.

Big Red Franklin Angelos finished the 3200 in 9:43.37, just behind the winning effort of University’s Jordan Thomas (9:38.64).

The other individual winners for the boys were Wheeling Park’s Christian Sorge in the pole vault (14-5) and Hawk Daminn Cunningham topping Big Red Keenan Curry in the long jump — 20-11.25 to 19-8.75.

Locally, the top relay efforts came from Parkersburg South’s third-place shuttles squad of Miciah Jones, Rice, Xander Guinn and Tyler Shedd going 1:10.29 and the PHS boys also placing third in the 4×400 with a time of 3:39.05 thanks to Rutherford, Barnette, Angelos and Gabe Ray.

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg's Charlie Bauman placed first in the shot put at Saturday's Russ Parsons Invitational at Stadium Field.

“After 700 hundred days since our last meet we were really happy to have a meet,” added coach O’Donnell. “We knew that the numbers weren’t great, but we knew that we had good quality and that’s what we wanted to see today and we saw very good quality from a lot of people and we had some really pleasant surprises from some guys that are new.

“They did a great job and we got a little depth in a few events. I’m very happy and the effort was great. I told them come June, whatever happens in June will be done as a team. It’s not going to be one individual. It’s got to be everybody working and they support each other. They are just a fun, great group of kids to coach.”

The girls from Buchtel topped the field with 92 points as Morgantown (78), Wheeling Park (77), Ripley (65) and Athens (61) rounded out the top five with the host Big Reds scoring 57 points to nip Gallia Academy for sixth.

Marlee Porter of Wheeling Park earned high-point honors with 26.5 points.

Parkersburg’s only win came in the discus where Jaden Gardner went 100-10.5 to top the field as teammate Mary Simmons was third (94-7). Gardner (32-7.25) finished runner-up in the shot put behind Gallia Academy’s Chanee Cremeens (33-00.25) and just ahead of third-place Big Red Jacqualin Leaman (30-4.75).

Ripley had runner-up efforts from Ellie Hosaflook in the 800 (2:27.35 to finish behind University’s Caroline Kirby’s 2:22.64) and the 3200 (11:38.98 to finish behind Gallia’s Sarah Watts’ 11:29.44) while Viking Opal Huffman’s 1:02.92 in the 400 was just off the winning time of 1:02.82 from Mohigan Yelena Davidson. Ripley’s other runner-up effort came from Gwyneth Gandee’s 8-6 showing in the pole vault, which was won by Gallia’s Callie Wilson going 10-6.

Buchtel’s Nevaeh Lewis swept the 100 (12.70) and 200 (26.73) while Morgantown’s Irene Riggs won the mile with a clocking of 5:06.97. Buchtel also had a double-winner thanks to Damya Barker taking the 100 hurdles in 15.10 and the 300 hurdles in 47.07. Parkersburg Catholic’s Aaliyah Brunny’s was third in the 110 hurdles (17.05) and also took third in the high jump (4-10) behind champ Nikki Bean of Buchtel (5-0).

University’s Sierra Lanham had the other individual win thanks to going 17-feet, 4 inches in the long jump, which bested third-place Tori Fisher of Ripley (15-1.5) and South’s Mo Akita, who was fourth (14-9.5).

The top relay efforts for the girls came via a runner-up effort by Ripley in the 4×800 (10:33.76) thanks to Fisher, Haleigh McCune, Aurora Huffman and Jadyn Casto and Parkersburg’s second-place showing in the shuttles. The Big Reds were a little more than a second behind Wheeling Park’s winning effort (1:10.02 to 1:11.27) thanks to Lilly Wharton, Addison Gherke, Alayna Liebau and Kendal Domenick.

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