Last season, the Marietta High track teams performed very well in the East Central Ohio League meet, as the girls finished second and the boys claimed first place.
This year, numbers are down for both squads, so a top-two finish would be difficult to achieve, but that doesn't mean the Tigers are going to admit defeat come Friday.
"We're getting stronger every day," said girls head coach Mollie Schramm.
"We're gonna give it everything we have. This meet is about school pride."
The meet is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. at Don Drumm Stadium. Tiger boys head coach B.J. Mayer said his team is struggling a bit, but some individual performances could keep MHS in the hunt.
Mitchell Grose is expected to have a big impact on the meet, as he has all season. Grose, a state qualifier in cross country, is an elite distance runner.
"Mitch has had a great season," said Mayer, the reigning ECOL Coach of the Year. "We're looking for really big things out of him."
Two other athletes to keep an eye on are Quinton Coffield and Caleb Hall. Coffield is a sprinter and long jumper while Hall is a pole vaulter.
"Quinton has been our high-point man all year," Mayer said.
"Caleb Hall has really come on for us."
Will Cogswell is another talented vaulter for the Tigers while Garrett Davis and Andrew Roberts are also capable of scoring points in a number of events for the orange and black.
Mayer expects Claymont, Cambridge and Dover to compete for the top three spots at the meet. He said a top five finish is a realistic goal for Marietta.
"We're just gonna put the best kids on the track and see what we can do," Mayer said. "We'll try to score where we can and hope for the best."
The Lady Tigers have been led all season long by Julie Fobes, a distance runner. Fobes finished on top in the 1600 meter run Saturday at the Don Marks Invitational in McConnelsville. She also competes in relay events.
Haley Bonar has been a big contributor in the throws this season. She placed second in the discus throw and third in the shot put at Don Marks.
Also look for Erica Dawson to score in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles, as well as Kayla Schradel and Lizzy Crum in the pole vault.
"Everybody has to do their best," Schramm said.
Following the ECOL meet, the Tigers will prepare for the district, regional and possibly the state meet.
"This (ECOL) meet is really for the school," Schramm said. "After that, we'll look at individuals for the district. This is the time to be peeking, or almost peeking."
NOTES: Along with the schools mentioned, Zanesville, New Philadelphia, Meadowbrook, Rosecrans, River View and Coshocton will also complete in the league meet Friday.