When it comes to the sport of high school track, there's no bigger venue to compete in than the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.
After all, the Jesse Owens is the home of the Ohio state track meet every year, featuring the top athletes from all three divisions in the state.
With seating for 10,000 people, Jesse Owens Memorial is arguably one of the most modern multi-sport facilities in the country, so the opportunity to compete there is more than just a highlight for the season.
"It's still the thrill of a track career to run at the same place where NCAA qualifiers run," said Marietta boys' track coach B.J. Mayer.
This weekend, the Marietta boys' and girls' track teams get that opportunity.
Marietta will travel to Columbus on Saturday for the annual Jesse Owens High School Classic track meet, which is slated to get started at 11 a.m. with the 2000-meter steeple chase.
Field events are slated to get started at noon with finals in running events beginning at 12:30 p.m. with the 4x800 relay. Girls will run first followed by the boys.
"The main thing about us going to Jesse Owens is to run against some good competition," said Marietta girls' track coach Mollie Schramm.
Competition is what every team that travels to Columbus to run at Jesse Owens gets.
The field is so competitive that teams are only permitted to enter two athletes into each event.
Along with running, throwing and jumping against some of the best athletes in Ohio, the Tiger track teams will also get the opportunity to become a little bit more accustomed to the atmosphere that accompanies competing at Jesse Owens.
For those athletes who have a chance to qualify for the state meet, Saturday's run at Jesse Owens can be the time to get rid of the butterflies. And even for those who don't quite make it to state, it's still a chance to compete on the biggest stage.
"It (Jesse Owens track meet) is more like a regional setting," Mayer said. "The big meeet exposure can do nothing but help us."
Running in front of a grand stand built for 10,000 people can be a little intimidating, and with the jumbo tron and specific facilities set aside for the field events it can seem larger than life.
Combating that larger than life appearance can be one of the challenges associated with running at Jesse Owens, and the opportunity to get used to it now before state can be a big boon for athletes.
"Everything is the same. It's just getting acclimated to the atmosphere," Schramm said.
The Tigers have several groups of athletes hoping to make the run more than once at Jesse Owens, so this weekend's meet shouldn't be the only time Marietta makes the trip up north.
Regardless, Mayer and Schramm are hoping this weekend's meet is a positive experience for every athlete, from the experienced veterans to the freshman out for their first run at Jesse Owens Memorial.
"Just go up there, try to run well and take away what we can take away from it," Mayer said.