ST. CLAIRSVILLE - All five classes have officially begun the journey toward an OVAC Track and Field Championship.
The 2A and 4A classes got into the act Tuesday afternoon at Red Devil Stadium and completed the field in nine events for Saturday's title runs.
The 3A and 5A members will reconvene in St. Clairsville this afternoon with remaining field events set to begin at 4 p.m. and running at 5 p.m. The 1A meet will also wrap up today at Shadyside's Fleming Field.
Steubenville’s Malik Richmond had the farthest distance in the long jump during Class 4A meet.
Steubenville and St. Clairsville appear primed to wage an all-out battle Saturday after qualifying action.
The defending champion in 3A Red Devils and Big Red, which has been chasing Wheeling Park in the big-school field, both paced two events in the qualifying round.
Freshman dandy Malik Richmond of Big Red led the long jump field with a mark of 20-feet-11 3/4.
Steubenville's crack 800-relay team of Jaquan Lavender, Robert Hayden, Tayari Lavender and Najee Murray posted a 1:32.37, which was more than a second better than the Red Devils.
The Red Devils, meanwhile, were led by senior distance dandy Andy Thornburg who paced the 3200-meter field. He circled his home track eight times in 9:52.91.
Sophomore pole vaulter Michael Eaton soared more than 12 feet to lead the vault qualifying.
Union Local's Collin Jones led the 4A field in the high hurdles. He posted a 16.28, which was one hundredth better than Big Red's Joey Nodianos.
Buckeye Local senior speedster showed once again that his effort at last week's Buckeye 8 championship was no fluke. He led the 4A qualifying with a blistering 10.86, which was just a hundredth off his time from a week ago.
Oak Glen's Ethan Delekta took the first step toward the discus crown by qualifying with the top mark in the competition of all divisions. He twirled the platter to 158-4.
Edison senior Kyle Minger led the way in the 400 meter dash in a time of 51.10.
The seemingly wide-open 4A girls field had five different schools earn the top mark in an event.
Edison led the way with three top marks in qualifying.
Sophomore Ashley Borsch posted a 16.38 to edge Big Red's Toshchel Demus by two hundredths of a second for the top spot in the high hurdles.
Katelyn Pollock cleared 4-10 for the top high jump spot in the next-to-biggest class, while Nhung Tran ran down the fontstretch in 13.15 to lead the 100 meter marks.
Weir capitalized on the two distance events staged. The Red Riders' 3,200 team of Alexis Virtue, Chantelle Harper, Rachel Marker and Kristen Mastrantoni posted a 10:12.89.
Mastrantoni was also the top 3,200 meter runner in the field, posting an 11:53.80.
Steubenville sophomore Paige Phillips ran a lap in 61.07 to lead the 400 dashers. Big Red's 800 team of Demus, Phillips, Nyasha Jones and Queen Elder ran two laps in 1:47.99.
St. Clairsville's top qualifier was junior Alyssa Robinson who set the only female meet record of the day. She prevailed in the shot put with a heave of 43-3/4, which was nearly 4 feet further than the previous record, which had stood since 2010.
Union Local's Arika Kemp was the top pole vault qualifier. She cleared 9-6 to advance to Saturday's action.
Linsly and Steubenville Catholic both demonstrated they could be factors in Saturday's meet.
No one had a better individual day than Steubenville Catholic's Doug Maslowski. The younger brother of Central icon Teddi Jo Maslowski, Doug raced to the top mark in the 100 meters (11.60), the high hurdles (15.41) and the long jump (20-ft-2 1/2).
Linsly, which was without the services of senior speedster Ricky Jordan on the opening day, qualified with the top time in the 800 and 3,200.
The Cadets' 800 relay team of Chinelo Oparanozie, Jamal Ebanks, Robert Felton and Chris Stephens ran a 1:34.96.
Their 3,200 relay team of Luke Miller, Justin Lee, Stan Borrell and Mike Hammond ran eight laps in 8:53.03.
Toronto's Aaron Thompson was the top entrant in the discus with a twirl of 128-7.
Wheeling Central's Daniel Scott was the lone vaulter to clear a height and he did so in record fashion. He cleared 14 feet, breaking the former mark of 13-3.
The Steubenville Catholic girls showed they are not going to let the 2A title they've owned for the past four seasons go without a fight.
Monica Rigaud paced the high hurdles in 16.13, while Rachel Rigaud was the top shot putter with a mark of 31-2.
The Crusaders, who won the Division III state title last season, also qualified tops in the 800. The team of Monica Rigaud, Michaela Gotta, Taylor Bednar and Taylor Zapolnik ran a 1:49.38 to lead the way.
River, which finished second in the 2A race last season to Steubenville Catholic, was led by talented junior Cassidy McCullough, who led the 100 meter dash qualifying with a time of 13.08.
Shadyside distance dandy Tara Tollett ran the best 3,200 meter time by nearly a minute. She crossed the line in 11:22.01.
Toronto's Emily Price cleared 5 feet to top the high jump field.
Linsly's 3,200 team of Krista Emch, Abby Petho, Melanie Knight and Carolyn Tolbert ran a 10:54.58.