“They did not disappoint!”
These were the words of Tigers fourth year boys Head Track Coach Jeff Campbell at the conclusion of the OVAC Track Championships held at Red Devil Stadium on Saturday. The Tiger boys were in true form on a cloudy afternoon in St. Clairsville.
As they have done all season, the big cats came out in true David vs. Goliath fashion. Led by Campbell’s four year distance ace and Youngstown State bound, Chase Stewart, the Tigers would amass 122 points, win the Class 1A/2A Championship and finish
3rd overall amongst all classes behind 5A powerhouse St. Clairsville and 4A winner Oak Glen.
The Tigers started strong as pole vaulters Dale Hawthorne and Brendan Schrader each cleared 13’0″ to finish one and two and thereby getting a quick 18 points on the board. Junior Robbie McFarland would toss the discus 110’10’ and gain a fourth place finish. Sophomore Jordan Joseph and freshman Wyatt Reiman would finish third and fourth respectively in the high jump thus rounding out the Tigers point scoring in the field events.
On the track, junior Jakob Klug would muster some hardware with a second place finish in the 110 high hurdles, a first place finish in the 300 intermediate hurdles and anchor the 4×110 shuttle hurdle relay team to a second place finish. The team, also consisting of senior Seth Nardo, Jordan Joseph, Wyatt Reiman looked to have its problems when Nardo would misstep and clip a hurdle on his leg. However, as in true Tiger fashion, he did not quit and finished the leg strong and allowing his teammates to finish the race.
“I’ve had some great kids in the first four years,” said Campbell. “But this will always be a special group for me because it’s our first championship. I couldn’t be more proud of these guys and our coaches. I will always remember these kids and this year,” Campbell continued.
As expected Stewart ran away (pun intended) with the 1600 meter and 3200 meter runs. The talented senior finished the 1600 meter with a time of 4:23.74. Stewart would finish nearly twenty seconds ahead of his closest competitor Steubenville Catholic Central. In the 3200 meter, Stewart would again run away from the crowd with junior teammate Adam Davis following behind as the duo cameup with a one-two finish with times of 9:57.04 and 10:34.43 respectively. For his efforts on the day, Stewart would take home the Butch and Donna Joseph Award for the highest points scored by an individual.
The boys relay teams performed just as well. The 4×400 meter relay team of Wyatt Reiman, Jakob Klug, Wyatt Schrader and Nick Murphy would finish second behind Wheeling Central with a time of 3:48.16. The 4×800 meter team of Adam Davis, sophomore Alec Shepherd, Jordan Joseph and Nick Murphy would also give a second place performance by finishing just behind Caldwell with a time of 9:03.32. The 4×200 meter team of Brendan Schrader, sophomore Walker Skapik, Murphy and Nardo also gave a fine showing finishing behind a speedy quartet from Wheeling and garnering second place honors with a time of 1:38.46.
The boys track title is the 29th conference title in school history.
On the girls side, several young Lady Tigers established themselves with fine showings. Sophomore Abbie Brown would walk away with a couple pieces of hardware with a 3rd and 4th place finish in the 1600 meter run and 800 meter run respectively. The team of Mattie Reiman, senior Morgan Vannest, junior Sarah Teasdale and senior Macy Coffland would also walk away with a medal by finishing third in the 4 x 100 shiuttle hurdle relay with a time of 1:13.60. In the girls pole vault, promising freshman, Gianna DeFelice would clear 7’0″ and pick up a third place finish. Junior discuss thrower Kaylee Savage would hurl the discuss 93’07” and provide the Lady Tigers with a second place finish while senior and school record holder, Jillian Joseph would clear 4’8″ and garner a 4th pace finish in the high jump.
The girls would finish in sixth place in class 1A/2A and 18th overall.