NEWCOMERSTOWN - It's been three weeks since many area track teams suited up in a high caliber meet.
The rust got shaken off early as the quest for Columbus kicked into full gear as the regional field in Division III is set. The Eastern District boys' representatives will head for Navarre Fairless High School for Wednesday and Friday action.
Prior to shifting focus to the second level of competition, work had to be done at Lee Stadium under conditions you'd never expect for Memorial Day weekend. Brisk and chill temperatures greeted the athletes.
Garaway ran away with the team title on the boys' side, scoring 90.5 points, while Steubenville Catholic was second with 56.
Leading the Crusaders to the runner-up trophy was a victory by senior standout Doug Maslowski. The defending state runnerup in the high hurdles took the first step toward a return trip with a time of 15.58. He's been battling a leg issue much of the season and actually had to scratch a few events at the OVAC meet earlier this month.
Steubenville Catholic's 4x100 team finished second to advance with a 45.75.
The 4x2 team was fourth with a time of 1:36.86. The 4x4 team will also make the trip by finishing fourth in 3:38.25.
On Tuesday, the Crusaders 4x8 finished third to advance.
SCC also qualified junior Anthony Lee, who posted a 2:03.79 to finish third in the 800.
Barnesville was led by senior Jacob Anderson, who qualified in both hurdling events. He was the runnerup by eight hundredths of a second in the intermediates by virtue of 40.20. He was fourth in the highs.
Junior Jeff Hart advanced in both hurdling races as well. He was third in the highs (15.99) and fourth in the 300s (42.30).
The Shamrocks' 4x4 team of Kyle McIntire, Michael Thomas, Hart and Anderson posted a 3:36.92 to finish third.
Shadyside, benefitting from a few key additions from the baseball team, had a solid qualifying round.
Senior Chase Kinemond advanced in the 200 meter dash with a time of 24.13, which was good enough for third place.
Sophomore Eric Howell was fourth in the 400 in 53.97.
The Tigers' 4x2 team of Eric Howell, Austin Dorris, Robert Newhart and Kinemond posted a 1:35.49 to finish second.
St. John Central junior Garrett Holubeck fueled the Irish with a district championship. Holubeck claimed his specialty, the 400 meter dash, in 51.19.
Senior Corey Leasure turned in a 10:06.41 to advance as the fourth qualifier in the 3200 meter run.
Bellaire's delegation of regional qualifiers are all in the field.
The Big Reds' Kyle Hess finished second in the long jump with a mark of 19-2 3/4 and on Tuesday, sophomore Cody LaRoche finished third in the shot put with a mark of 46-ft-11.
Bridgeport will be represented in the regional by junior Austin McAtee, who qualified in the 100 and 200 with times of 11.88 and 24.22, respectively.
River's Brok Cross qualified for the high jump on Tuesday with a 5-8 clearance.
There were a few restless days for Martins Ferry coach Rich Materkoski leading up to Friday's Division III district meet as he tried to figure out whether his team would have enough to get it done.
Well, for the second straight season, Materkoski's Purple Riders delivered in a big way.
Ferry used its depth to fend off a stiff challenge from Steubenville Catholic to claim the hardware. The Riders finished with 117 points, while the Crusaders ended the 17-event meet with 107 tallies.
The Riders received a big evening from junior speedster Taylor Jenkins, who is running exceptionally well. A former state qualifier, Jenkins won the 100 meter dash in 12.71 and then capped the sprint double with a victory in the 200 in 27.18.
Sophomore Ashley Griffith claimed the 300 meter low hurdle title. She skimmed eight timbers in 49.75 for the victory.
Junior Sarah Applegarth continues to bring her time down in the 400. She'll have another chance at the lap dash next week after finishing second in 60.66.
Senior Sunshine Wrenn was second in the 800 with a time of 2:24.64.
Sophomore Jamie Truchan also advanced in the 800. She was fourth in 2:28.37.
Freshman dandy Tyesha Allen advanced in both hurdling events. She was second in the highs (16.73) and fourth in the lows (51.59).
The Riders' relays also ran well in advancing. The team of Applegarth, Wrenn, Griffith and Jenkins claimed second in the 4x1 with a time of 51.89.
The 4x2 team of Applegarth, Wrenn, Jenkins and frosh Destiny Davis posted a 1:49.25 to finish second in the two-lap relay.
The Riders' 4x4 squad of Applegarth, Davis, Griffith and Truchan posted a 4:27.29 to take the final qualifying spot in the regional.
On Tuesday, Ferry won the 4x8 in 10:07.72 and senior Courtney Crolley claimed the pole vault title, clearing 10-ft-6.
The Crusaders used their strength in the relays, high hurdles and the field as big point gainers.
Junior Monica Rigaud - a state placer a season ago - was district champion in a time of 15.63 in the 100 high hurdles.
The team of Michaela Gotta, Rigaud, Taylor Zapolnik and Kara Kakascik circled the track in 51.16 to win the 4x1.
In the 4x2, the same foursome turned in an impressive 1:46.14 clocking to win the district title.
The 4x4 struck gold when the team of Zapolnik, Kakascik, Gotta and Moriah Vosteen teamed for a 4:16.76.
The 4x8 team qualified for the regional on Tuesday in a time of 10:26.91, which was good enough for silver.
Steubenville Catholic got off to a strong start when junior Moriah Vosteen won the high jump at 5-feet.
Individually, Zapolnik was second in the 100 with a time of 13.15.
Junior Molly Marrow qualified in the 800, finishing third in 2:27.82.
Freshman Alexis Mastrionanni ran a 5:52.19 to finish third in the 1600. Freshman Jordan Wood was fourth in the high jump.
St. John Central had a strong showing and won three district titles en route to 68 points and a fourth-place finish overall.
Sophomore Fallon Doyle - an all-Ohioan last season - won both the 800 and 1600 meter runs. She posted times of 2:20.85 and 5:15.53 for the golds.
Freshman phenom Jessica Alvey was also a double winner, but she broke hers up on different days. After winning the long jump on day one, Alvey claimed her specialty the 400 meter dash in a sizzling 58.88.
Junior Kaitlyn Santinoceto was third in the 3200 meter run with a toss of 12:39.69.
The Irish 4x4 team of Doyle, Alvey, Emily LeMasters and Marissa Rose posted a 4:18.65 to finish second.
On Tuesday, SJC qualified frosh Lindsey Froehlich and Gabrielle Santinoceto in the discus with third and fourth place finishes, respectively.
Similar to the boys, Bellaire will send all field event contestants to the regional. Senior Myleah Green finished second in the shot put with a mark of 33-ft-2.
Sophomore Melissa Cordy was third in the pole vault on Tuesday.
Toronto's lone qualifier is sophomore Jennie Pahl in the shot put. She was fourth in 32-ft-5.