BYESVILLE - The two-week trek to the Ohio State Track and Field Championship in Columbus is simply grueling.
However, several area Division II thinclads punched tickets to the regional meet, which opens Thursday at The Plains High School in Athens, during Division II district action Saturday at Meadowbrook High School
St. Clairsville will send a solid delegation to Athens County after the Red Devils finished as district runnerup with 87 points.
The Red Devils advanced in 11 events, but only won one district championship.
Drake Walker continued his impressive campaign in the 800. After flirting with going under the coveted 2-minute barrier, he broke it with his victory by two hundredths of a second.
The Red Devils did produce six district silver medalists, which was good for 48 team points.
Jaylon Brown was second in the 100 and 200.
Andy Thornburg, who is heading to UNC-Asheville, was runnerup to John Glenn's Zak Geiger in both the 1,600 and 3,200.
Cole Antolak, who received an Eastern District Track Scholarship from the officials' association, was second in the 400.
Sophomore Colby Lindsay was runnerup in the discus.
The Red Devils' sprint relay teams, which were seeded first entering Saturday's finals, had to go with a make-shift lineup after Brown was pulled due to precautionary reasons. However, the St. C. 400 team was third and the 800 team was fourth. The Devils were also third in the 1,600.
During Thursday's action, Michael Eaton advanced in the pole vault by virtue of a fourth-place finish.
Martins Ferry relied on its elite personnel, including Richie Padyjasek and Sean McGee to finish fourth overall with 67 points.
Padyjasek won a pair of events. He was the champion in the high hurdles and the long jump.
The Seton Hill-bound hurdler also finished second in the 300.
McGee, meanwhile, won the shot put crown on Thursday. He added a bronze medal in the discus.
Brian Styles was fourth in the long jump.
Ferry's 400 relay team team also advanced with a fourth-place finish.
Steubenville finished sixth overall with 57.5 points.
Big Red was led by their victorious 1,600 relay.
Steubenville was runnerup in the 800 relay.
Senior Najee Murray - the Ohio State football signee - advanced in the 100. Jaquan Lavender was third in the 400
Union Local will send a pair of individuals to the regional.
Hurdling ace Collin Jones advanced in both the highs and intermediates. He was third in both.
During Thursday's action, Kurtis Ogilbee advanced in the high jump with a victory.
Buckeye Local scored 28.5 points and senior speedster Jordan Piergallini played a role in 28 of those.
Piergallini powered his way to the district title in the 100 and 200.
He also ran a leg on the Panthers' 400 relay team, which finished second.
Edison's Kyle Minger pocketed the gold medal in the 400. During Thursday's action, he also qualified fourth in the high jump.
Indian Creek will send a trio of distance runners to the regional in individual events. Frank Kamarec was second in the 800, while Max Lewis and Tyler Gaydosh finished fourth in the 800 and 3,200, respectively.
During Thursday's action, the Redskins' 3,200 relay team earned the right to run again.
Basically, a triangular track meet between eventual district winner John Glenn, runnerup St. Clairsville and Steubenville erupted as those schools combined to win 12 of the 17 events contested.
The Lil' Muskies finished with 117.5, while the Red Devils tallied 100 and Big Red posted 82 markers.
Coach Ben Frye's Red Devils advanced in nine events.
Alyssa Robinson, who placed third in the shot put at the state meet last season, began her quest for Columbus with two victories this weekend. On her first throw of Saturday's competition, she unleashed her best mark since early April at 44-3. That distance is just a fourth of an inch shy of her personal best.
She won the discus on Thursday with a personal and school best mark of 117-4.
Amy Castle returned to the Devils' lineup and advanced in two individual events. She was the champion in the 3,200 and was third in the 1,600.
Julianna Madzia was the 1,600 champion and finished four hundredths of a second in back of Castle in the longer race.
Ayla Stewart is headed to her first regional as an individual. She qualified in the 200 by virtue of a third place finish.
Taryne Soukup qualified in the long jump.
In the relays, the Red Devils' 400 and 800 teams also qualified. Those teams join the 3,200, which qualified on Thursday.
Steubenville, which won the OVAC 4A title earlier this month, had a strong day of advancing and produced three district champions.
Queen Elder was the 400 champion.
Big Red also prevailed in the 800 and 1,600.
Jasmine Ware was second in the 100.
Cierra Macon was third in the high hurdles.
Paige Phillips earned a spot in the 200 and 400 fields with a pair of silver medals.
Aliah Stinson qualified in the 800 thanks to a fourth-place finish.
Edison, which has been solid all season, qualified well, too.
The Wildcats were led by a district championship from Katelyn Pollock, who cleared 5-ft-2 in the high jump. She was fourth in the 400.
Nhung Tran was fourth in the 100, while Ashley Borsch qualified in both the high and low hurdles. She was second in the highs and fourth in the lows.
Edison's 400team was fourth.
Shaniah Carpenter was fourth in the pole vault during Thursday's action.
Union Local will send a trio of individuals.
Arika Kemp won the pole vault on Thursday. Also on Thursday, Mikayla Patton advanced in the discus.
Casey Glenn qualified in the 800 by finishing third.
Indian Creek's 1,600 and 3,200 teams both qualified after placing third.