CHARLESTON - Magnolia started the West Virginia State Track and Field Championships the same way it left off last season - in front.
The Blue Eagles totaled 26 points Friday at Laidley Field without the benefit of a winner. Still, they were able to take a 10-point lead on Ritchie County going into Day 2 today.
''We had a good day and the kids did real well,'' Magnolia coach Matt Quinet said. ''We were expecting to score some points in the high jump but that didn't happen. But they still did a great job.
Oak Glen's Ethan Delekta
Wheeling Park's Emma Dolan
Magnolia's Kage Rhode
''We know it's going to be real close and it's going to come right down to the end between us, Ritchie County, and Point Pleasant.''
Alec Hinerman finished second in the 3,200 meters and Kage Rhode was the runnerup in the long jump, but that was as close as the Blue Eagles came to getting a winner.
Bill Feeney placed fourth in the 3,200 and Tim Weekley was fifth in the long jump to help the Blue Eagles jump out to the Day 1 lead.
There is still work to do, but Quinet likes where his team sits, especially with plenty of runners to take the track today.
''We have three guys running in the 400 and they are capable of finishing 1-2-3 and that could be huge,'' he said. ''What also could be big for us is the 200 and the 1,600.
''The kids are excited and I expect them to come back ready.''
Oak Glen's Ethan Delekta was the only local participant to leave Day 1 with a first-place medal. The Golden Bears senior won the discus title with a throw of 159-feet, 4-inches.
''It feels pretty good and I really wanted to win, more than anything,'' Delekta said. ''It wasn't my best throw of the year. My PR for the year was a 161 and I was hoping to get up near that, but I will take what I can get.''
Delekta finished second last year and was the odds-on-favorite to win this time around considering his regional-winning throw was 11 feet better than the next closest.
His winning throw Friday was 6 feet better than second-place Frank Wright of Lincoln and also gave him an undefeated season.
''It adds some pressure because the more I won, the more I was scared to lose,'' Delekta said. ''I practiced a lot to try to get better. My dad supports me like crazy. He built me a discus ring in the backyard so I went out there and practiced every day.''
The Golden Bears are tied for third with Greenbrier West with 12 points, 14 behind Magnolia.
The Oak Glen girls are also lurking near the top, sitting in third place just six points behind leader Berkeley Springs and two behind second-place Keyser.
The Golden Bears had a pair of second-place finishers in Kelsey Chambers in the 3,200 and Amanda Clark in the shot put.
Alexis Burch qualified for today's 100- and 200-meter dash races.
The Wheeling Park boys are in fourth place but are staring at a big mountain to climb behind first-place Jefferson, trailing by 11 points.
Dewanya Neal finished second in the shot put and sixth in the discus.
On the girls' side, the Patriots placed in the shuttle hurdle and 3,200 relay.
John Marshall's Alexis Montes was fourth in the shot put.
OVAC member Morgantown has a comfortable 13-point lead.
Bishop Donahue's boys' shuttle relay team placed second, the highest finish for a local participant in the small-school competitions. The Wheeling Central girls' squad was third.
Doddridge County is the boys' leader while Williamstown is rolling on the girls' side.