BELLAIRE - There weren't many teams at Saturday's Belmont Savings Bank Bellaire Girls Invitational from outside of the Ohio Valley.
The six who took part in the meet flexed their muscle, grabbing all but two spots inside the meet's top eight in the team standings at overcast Nelson Field. Big Walnut headed back to Sunbury, which is north of Columbus, with the top prize after accumulating 106.5 points. Watkins Memorial, which is located in Pataskala, east of the Ohio capital city, finished second 74 points.
Coach Russell Hutchins' Wheeling Park Patriots finished third with 66 points.
Wheeling Park’s Emma Dolan was second in the pole vault Saturday.
Photo by Seth Staskey
Martins Ferry was the top team from Eastern Ohio. Coach Rich Materkoski's Purple Riders, who didn't load up by any means, settled for fifth with 50 points.
The Patriots used their depth and two victories en route to third bronze team trophy.
Wheeling Park's winners included sophomore Paige Durkin, who won the high jump with a height of 5-foot-2.
The Patriots 800-relay team of Ashley Grove, RaKedra Webb, Nakysha McGhee and Natasha Whitaker teamed for a solid 1:48.5 to win the two-lap relay.
Senior Emma Dolan soared more 10 feet and finished second in the pole vault due to misses.
The Purple Riders captured two race titles.
Junior middle distance ace Sunshine Wrenn ran two laps in a solid 2:25.0 for the 800 victory. Included in her time was a furious kick in the final 100 meters where she pulled away from Big Walnut's Bethany Bogantz, who finished second.
Ferry's crack shuttle team of Courtney Crolley, Ashley Griffith, Rikki Allen and Nikki Allen skimmed 40 hurdles in 69.2 for the title. The Riders 1,600 relay team also finished second, running a solid 4:14.3.
River junior Cassidy McCullough turned in another brilliant meet.
She captured the title in the 300 meter hurdles with a solid effort of 46.3. She also finished second in the high hurdles and fourth in the 200-meter dash.
St. John Central's lone victory came in the 1,600-meter run. Freshman phenom Fallon Doyle, who finished third in the state cross country meet, used a furious charge in the final 150 meters to race past Watkins' Mara White for the victory. Doyle turned in a sharp 5:09.9 for the gold.
Shadyside junior Tara Tollett was impressive in winning the 3,200-meter run. She circled the oval eight times in 11:00.8 for the title. Her time was nearly 41 full seconds better than the runnerup.
Bellaire's Myleah Green and Madi Kinder went second and third, respectively, in the shot put with marks of 35-4 and 34-8.
Brooke's team of Rachel Richard, Amanda Loughrie, Ali Crawford and Natalie Fowler circled the track in 51.3 to win the 400-meter relay.