As many as ten track teams are expected to participate in the annual Marietta Noon Lions Invitational Saturday at Don Drumm Stadium.
Teams from Belpre, Buckeye Trail, Caldwell, Cambridge, Frontier, Fort Frye, Logan, Parkersburg and Warren are expected to join the host Marietta in one of the more competitive track events in the area.
"I expect it to be a very competitive meet again this year," said Marietta girls head coach Mollie Schramm. "Anytime you have teams like Parkersburg and Warren, you know you are going to have good competition."
Times file photo
Marietta High’s Paige Grosel (front) takes the baton from Erica Dawson during Marietta Night Relays action at Don Drumm Stadium on April 3. The boys and girls Tiger thinclads are scheduled to host Noon Lions on Saturday.
Spectators who attended last year's event will get to see at least three schools that were not involved in the 2011 event in Buckeye Trail, Fort Frye, and Parkersburg.
The Marietta girls have claimed the past two Noon Lion events and will be looking to make it three in a row on Saturday.
"We've got some real good athletes," said Schramm. "We don't have a lot of depth, so we are not able to fill every event right now."
The Marietta girls placed third this past Saturday out of 23 schools at the BB&T Classic at Laidley Field in Charleston (W.V.), finishing behind Winfield and Hurricane.
Marietta senior Paige Grosel claimed first place in the pole vault, clearing 10 feet and six inches.
The Marietta boys team comes into the event fresh off of a strong performance themselves in Charleston as they placed runners up to Winfield in the boys competition.
The Marietta 4x100 relay team of Eli Parmiter, Mitchel Gearhart, Dedder Baker, and Quinton Coffield came up with a meet record in Charleston with a time of 44:77.
"They have ran great all year long and they did great in Charleston," said Marietta boys head coach B.J. Mayer. "Their hand offs were crisp, it was just a perfect run."
Alex Wesel (4:25) and Sam Garrison (4:28) pulled off first and second place finishes in the 1600.
Mayer is pleased with the progress of his team and feels his squad should be competitive in Saturday's meet.
"We've been performing really well," said Mayer. "We are scoring points but the competition will be strong Saturday."
Among those that Mayer feels will be the ones to beat in the boys events will be the always tough Logan squad as well as Parkersburg and the arch rival Warren team.
"Coach (Al) Riffey does a great job at Warren," said Mayer. "They always have a really nice team."
Mayer expressed gratitude to the Noon Lions for putting on such a great event.
"They create a big meet atmosphere,' said Mayer. "They (Noon Lions) are just a great organization and do a great job."
Schramm too is very appreciative of the Noon Lions efforts in making the event a success year after year.
"Several of the Lions have worked all seventeen years and we look forward to seeing them each year," said Schramm. "It's just a nice community event."
With all the help provided by the Noon Lions, it allows the parents of the participants to get to spend the day cheering on their kids instead of helping work the event.
"The Lions pay for the timing equipment, man the concessions, work the gates, they do it all," said Schramm. "It really takes a load off of our parents."
Saturdays activities are scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m.