NEWCOMERSTOWN - The Martins Ferry Purple Riders have had quite a spring.
Whether it was at the Bellaire Early Bird, Martins Ferry Relays, Shadyside Relays, OVAC Overall and 3A or Friday evening in Lee Stadium, the results have been similar.
Coach Rich Materkoski's squad - making its debut in Division III - headed back to Belmont County with the top trophy in its possession.
Ferry accumulated 123.5 points, which outdistanced runnerup Steubenville Central, which has had a stranglehold on the crown for the past three seasons, in the District 2 meet, which qualified its top four to Fairless High School in Navarre.
"We ran well again and our usual suspects came through like we thought they could," Materkoski said. "We set the goal past the OVAC to advance as many as we can in postseason. This is probably the most girls we've taken to a regional in maybe 12 or 14 years. Our goal is to get people freshened up and ready for one of the toughest regions in the state."
The Riders qualified a competitor in 12 events and posted four district champions.
Sarah Applegarth continued her splendid season. She captured the 400 by nearly three full seconds (60.69). She also advanced in the long jump by virtue of a third-place finish.
Sunshine Wrenn continued her fine campaign in the 800 with a victory by nearly five seconds. She ran a 2:24.88.
Ashley Griffith won the district title in the 300 low hurdles.
Taylr Jenkins punched her ticket in both the 100 and 200. A state qualifier in Division II in the 200 a season ago, she was third in the 100 and 200.
Nikki Allen was runnerup in the 300 hurdles and was third in the highs.
Jamie Truchan advanced by virtue of a fourth-place finish in the 1,600 meter run. Courtney Crolley also qualified in the high hurdles, finishing fourth.
In the relays, the Riders finished second to Steubenville Central in the 400, 800 and 1,600.
Steubenville Central - the defending Division III state champions - had a strong meet as it opened formal defense of its crown.
Taylor Zapolnik won the 100 in to ignite the Crusaders, who had watched Monica Rigaud capture the highs.
Moriah Vosteen set a district record in the high jump when she soared over 5-foot-4 for the title.
Rachel Rigaud qualified in the shot put and discus, finishing fourth and third, respectively.
The Crusaders' swept all sprint relays behind the team of Michaela Gotta, Monica Rigaud, Taylor Bednar and Zapolnik.
St. John had a strong showing and will be represented by three individuals at regionals.
Leading the way for the Irish was Fallon Doyle, who claimed the 1,600 and 3,200.
Lacee Dobrovich, a state qualifier last season in the highs, was second.
Senior Lindy Stauffer was fourth in the 3,200.
Toronto will send the Price sisters - Emily and Erica - to the regional. Emily was second in the high jump, while Erica was fourth in the long jump.
Ciera Thomas will also compete in the discus after placing fourth. The Red Knights were fourth in both the 4x1 and 4x2 relays.
Bellaire will send three individuals, all of whom will compete in the field.
Myleah Green was second in the shot put with a mark of 36-feet. Madi Kinder was one spot behind her.
GIRLS DISTRICT 1
River's Cassidy McCullough continued to lead the way for the Pilots, who finished fourth with 63.5 points.
All McCullough did was score 30 of those points by herself. She won the high hurdles, the 200 and her specialty, the 300 hurdles.
The Pilots will also be represented by Torey Potts in the high hurdles. She was fourth. Devyn Potts qualified for the lows.
Barnesville finished fifth with 61 points. Amy Wahl led the way for the Shamrocks with a victory in the high jump.
Allison Healey qualified in the 800 and 1,600.
Lina Partridge was fourth in the 1,600, two seconds back of her teammate.
The Shamrocks also advanced in both the 4x2 and 4x4 relays. The team of Emma Castello, Healey, Alisha Skonecy and Wahl ran a 4:27.65 in the 1,600, while Skonecy, Wahl, Tiffany Gallagher and Erica Kessel were third.
Shadyside had a strong meet and produced a double winner. Tara Tollett won the 1,600 and 3,200 meter, setting a record in the latter with a 11:38.95.
Jody Howell qualified in both the 100 and long jump. She was second in the 100 and fourth in the long jump.
The Tigers' 400 team of Howell, Jessica Tollett, Bre Lappert and Megan Moodispaw was third.
Bridgeport will send a solid delegation to Fairfield Union. Leading the way will be Brianna Massey. She won the 100 and finished second in the 200.
Sophomore Cheyenne Flowers advanced in the 300 low hurdles with a fourth-place finish. Flowers, Massey, Bethany Barker and Brittany Stanton teamed for a fourth place in the 4x100 and 4x200.
Monroe Central will be represented by senior Kayley Stephens. She was third in the high jump.
Senior Demitra Habig was third in both the shot put and discus.
Beallsville's Hayley Campbell scored all 18 of her team's points. She won the discus with a twirl of and was second in the shot put with a mark.
Bellaire - running in the Division III boys' meet for the first time - accumulated 50 points. All told, Coach Shawn Valloric's thinclads qualified to the regional in five events.
Leading the way will be Juwaun Whetstone.
Whetstone was the district champion in both the 100 and 200.
The Big Reds also struck gold in the 4x100 relay when the team of Whetstone, Josh Davis, Nick Maffe and Colin Kimbro posted a 45.17.
The same foursome finished second in the 4x200.
Davis, a senior, soared over a personal-best 13-feet to finish third and advance in the pole vault.
Steubenville Central finished just four points behind the Big Reds and fifth overall.
Doug Maslowski won the high hurdles. He also finished second in the long jump.
Senior Joe Fallon advanced to the regional in both the 200 and 400, finishing third and fourth, respectively.
The Crusaders' 4x400 team also advanced, finishing fourth.
Barnesville won two district titles. The 4x400 team of Brandon Stephens, Jeff Hart, Jacob Anderson and Kyle McIntire prevailed.
On Tuesday, the Shamrocks captured the 4x800 relay.
Stephens finished second in the 800 as Buckeye Trail's Trevor Pontius held off his late surge.
Hart was fourth in the high hurdles and Anderson was third in the 300 hurdles.
Leading the way for the Irish was Corey Leasure, who posted a meet-record to win the 3.200.
Senior Ramon Nieves was third in the 800.
Bridgeport's Cody Frey was the gold medalist in the intermediates. He was second in the highs.
Shadyside's Jake Dull finished third in the highs and second in the intermediates.
The Tigers' 4x100 team of Chris Littell, Robert Newhart, Eric Howell and Dull was fourth.
River's Jared Hinkle qualified in the shot put.
The Pilots' 400 and 800 quad of Dallas Necessary, Austin McConn, Jared Hinkle and Nick Asturi qualified.