CHARLESTON - The West Virginia State Track and Field Championships get under way Friday and Saturday at Laidley Field and has a lot of Ohio Valley flavor.
A local participant will be in every event but eight with many figuring to vie for state championships.
The Wheeling Park boys and Oak Glen girls took home the Region One championships and are definite contenders to bring more hardware back north.
Another team to look out for is Matt Quinet's Magnolia boys' team, the defending Class AA champions. The Blue Eagles came in second in the regional behind Ritchie County, but still look to be one of the favorites in their final Class AA state tournament.
The easiest place to start in Class AAA is where most of the tournament's eyes will be focused.
Wheeling Park's Errin Baynes, the two-time high jump champion, will compete in his final prep competition at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Baynes, the highly touted recruit heading to the University of Southern California, will defend his long jump title in the day's opening competition at 9 a.m. before moving over to the high jump.
Baynes, who missed most of the season with a knee injury, returned to action at the regionals and qualified for the state tournament. While much of the focus will be on Baynes, consider that he finished below two teammates in each competition.
Kody Geisel won the high jump and D.C. Banks was the long jump winner. Baynes was second in both events.
Dewanya Neal won the regional in the shot put and the discus. Teammate Geremy Paige will join him in the discus competition.
Chase Bonar and Alex Triveri both qualified in the pole vault.
Bryce Ingram will run in the 100-meter dash, while Vondel Bell will take to the 200. Zachary Witsberger and Michael Mauck run in the 800.
The Patriots will have relay teams in all five events.
John Marshall will have Tanner Runkle (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles) and Craig Vega (100, 200). Brooke will be represented by Wesley Rine (110 Hurdles, high jump) and the 800-meter relay team.
On the girls' side, Wheeling Park finished second in the regional behind Morgantown.
Ashley Grove will run in the 200 and the 400, the only Patriot to take part in two singles events. Nakysha McGhee runs in the 100, while Lauren Tarovisky runs in the 1,600 and Aspen Matlock takes to the 300 hurdles.
The field events will feature Emma Dolan in the pole vault, Marissa Custer in the discus, Paige Durkin in the high jump and Alexis and Amanda Ricker in the discus.
The Patriots will have all their relay teams, as well.
For John Marshall, Alexis Montes will be one of the favorites in the shot put and the discus. Ashley Haught will run in the 400.
Brooke is represented by Ali Crawford in the 100 and 300 hurdles, Amanda Loughrie in the 100-meter dash, Juliet Casinelli in the discus, and Rachel Richard in the long jump.
Among the Ohio Valley teams, a strong case could be made that the Oak Glen girls look like the team most poised to win a championship.
Alexis Burch won three state titles last season with a single victory in the 400. She is back to run in that, along with the 100 and 200.
The Golden Bears will 10 other participants in singles events in Megan Collins (400), Amanda Clark (shot put), Kaleena Crane (shot put, high jump), Megan Nally (100 hurdles), Paige Smearman (100, 300 hurdles), Kelsey Chambers (1,600, 3,200), Jennifer Ferguson (3,200), Amy Webster (300 hurdles) and Felicity Nolder (800).
Tyler Consolidated finished second last season and will be led by Makayla Clegg in the high jump, looking to defend her title.
Haylea LeMasters will be busy in the 100 and 300 hurdles, as well as the pole vault. Kersyn Cline and Caroline Bantug are in the long jump.
Kristen Mastrantoni leads Weir in the 800, 1,600, 3,200 with Raven Young (100, 400) and Alexis Virtue (3,200) also running.
The Magnolia boys will look for back-to-back titles behind the running of Stephen Rogalski in the 200 and the 400, Alec Hinerman in the 200 and 1,600, Bill Feeney in the 200 and 1,600, Nick Blatt in the 400, Kage Rhode in the 400, and James Haught in the 800.
Rohde and Tim Weekley will compete in the long jump
Oak Glen will be strong in the field events with Ethan Delekta and Zackery Staley in the discus and Micah Swiger and Josh Weltner in the long jump. Kyle Mack runs the 300 hurdles and Cody Tropek does the 800.
Tyler Consolidated's Alex Doak will compete in the 100, 200, and the 400, while teammates Hunter LeMasters goes for titles in the 110 hurdles and the pole vault, Slade Dillon in the discus and shot put, and Johan Aasland in the 300 hurdles.
Ethan Barnes (shot put) and Antoine Gerard (800) are Weir's participants.
A local team likely won't win a state title, but there are plenty competing from the Ohio Valley.
On the boys' side, Valley's Casey Pingley won the state title in the 100 last season and looks to do it again. He also runs in the 200. Teammates Spencer Mason competes in the shot put and the discus and Troy Hubbard in the 300 hurdles.
Bishop Donahue has Saquan Finley (high jump), Tyler Zahnow (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 100 dash), David Beazel (800) and Jacob Zombek (discus).
Paden City's Kennedy Cain will compete in the high jump and the 400, Keith Hardbarger takes his try in the shot put.
Daniel Scott is the lone Wheeling Central participant, taking his hand at the pole vault
For the girls, Bishop Donahue's Elayasia Finley looks to be busy in the high jump, 100 meter dash and 200 meter dash. Teammates Lexi Tweedlie will be in the 100 hurdles and Becky Beiter in the shot put and the discus.
Cameron senior Sarah Smith had the state's best time in the 3,200. She will also run in the 1,600. Laura Jochum is in the discus.
Emily Bucon is the Wheeling Central representative in the 100 hurdles, while McKensie Mason runs in the 400 and Sarah Nolan is in the discus.
Dani Hayes will take part in the long jump and high jump for Valley, as will Abigail Wiley.
Weirton Madonna's Kaitlyn Conner will be in the long jump and Taylor Pavan is in the shot put and the discus.
Paden City will have Taylor Parsons in the 100 and 300 hurdles.