In Friday's 3:30 p.m. East Central Ohio League Championship track and field meet at Don Drumm Stadium, the participating schools will "run as one, and score as two," said Marietta boys coach B.J. Mayer.
In other words, there will be a big school and small school winner in both the boys and girls divisions.
This was unlike last year at Don Drumm when Dover, a big school, claimed the girls overall title, and River View, a small school, did the same in the boys competition. The MHS girls finished ninth, while the boys were eighth.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Marietta High’s Caleb Hall pole vaults and clears the bar in a meet at Don Drumm Stadium this spring.
The big schools or Scarlet Division will include host Marietta, Dover, Cambridge, Zanesville, and New Philadelphia, while the small schools or Gray Division will feature Claymont, Coshocton, Meadowbrook, River View, and Rosecrans.
"This is going to be an outstanding meet," Mayer said, "and we're looking forward to it."
Mayer and his Tigers should as they have enjoyed a solid spring on the oval running track. In their last outing at Don Drumm in the Noon Lions Invitational on May 3, the orange and black thinclads finished second in a 17-school field.
"Noon Lions was a big lift for this team; we're a relatively young team with only five seniors on the roster," said Mayer, who guided Marietta to the ECOL title in 2012. "We also have about as many kids (26) when we won the title in our first year in the league two years ago.
"I think overall we're pretty well-rounded, but then so are Cambridge and Claymont. I figure Zanesville will be right up there. I don't know too much about the other schools."
How young is Marietta? Well. its 4x1 relay team includes sophomore Bernard Johnson, freshman Aaron Elliott, junior Austin Jones, and senior Quinton Coffield. At Noon Lions, they won the event in 45.02.
"This week, we'll be working on handoffs in practice, and get that sharpened up for the ECOL," Mayer said.
Johnson, Elliott, Jones and Coffield have been consistent scorers for the Tigers all season long.
Coffield is the team leader, who also competes in the open 100, 200, and long jump. He has a PR of 11.2 in the 100 and 22.76 in the 200.
Jones is also a sprinter and all-around athlete.
"Austin's finally healthy," Mayer said. "He didn't compete in this meet last year."
Neither did Elliott or Johnson, who were eighth and ninth graders, respectively, then.
Elliott was runner-up in the boys scoring at Noon Lions. He also does the high jump and long jump.
Johnson, a member of the school record long jump relay team, is too. He also competes in the 100 and 4x2.
If Mayer needs a sub for the 4x1, he looks no further than junior Garrett Davis.
"Garrett is a jack-of-all-trades on this team," the Marietta boys coach said. "He'll do anything for me. He can run on any of the relay teams, and he's even thrown the shot and discus, and done the pole vault."
In the pole vault, senior Caleb Hall cleared the bar at 13 feet, good for second place at Noon Lions. At a meet at River Valley, he nearly got 14 feet.
"He's getting close to it," Mayer said.
Hall also runs the 110 high hurdles. At Noon Lions, he was third in 16.35.
"Caleb is a competitor and extremely gifted athlete," Mayer said.
In the throws, sophomore Easton Wynn is Mayer's man. Wynn was runner-up in the Noon Lions shot with a toss of 42-11.
Marietta's leading distance runners have been Jake Haught and Kody Phillips. At a small meet at River Valley last Saturday, Haught ran a 4:49 in the 1600, Mayer said.
As for some of the other ECOL schools, the Cambridge boys have Louisville recruit Eric Fox, who pole vaulted 15-3 at the OVAC meet in St. Clairsville, hurdler Errik Snell, and sprinters' Alex Leeper, Ayden Howell, and Ivan Gadsden.
The Zanesville boys are coming off a triumph at last Saturday's Don Marks Invitational at Morgan High in McConnelsville. Austin Gillinger led the way, winning the 100 (10.5), 200 (23.0) and joined Jamal Gladden, Kyle Henthorne and Ben Kaufman to win the 400 relay (42.81).. Kaufman won the long jump (19-7), high jump (6-4) and triple jump (38-10); Leo Crosby captured the shot put (53-11) and hammer throw (121-2) and was second in the discus (130-1); Austin Kimble was runner-up in the shot put (49-3); Gladden was second in the 200 (23.28) and joined Henthorne, David Green and Josh Clark to win the 1,600 relay (3:33.02); Henthorne was second in the 100 (11.31); Clark won the 400 (49.5) and was second in the triple jump (38-1 ) and Shawn Le was runner-up in the 110 hurdles (17.24).
Earlier this month, River View's Trevis Stamper was the boys MVP in the annual Chuck McMasters Memorial Coshocton County Track & Field Classic.after winning the 110 hurdles (16.0) and 300 hurdles (41.7). He also teamed with Brandon Adams, Doug Boals and Andy Parsons to win the 400 (:45.0) and 800 relays (1:32.9).
Corey Miller, Mike Hardesty, Chris St. Clair and Steven Scheetz captured the 3,200 relay (8:54); Miller (4:51) and Drew Everhart (4:52) went 1-2 in the 1,600 and Scheetz (10:10) and Jacob Eick (11:05) were first and second in the 3,200; Parsons won the 400 (53.0); St. Clair was first in the 800 (2:11.8) and Harley Mathias placed first in the long jump (17-8). Hardesty (2:12.3) took second in the 800, Adams came in second in the 100 (11.4); Marcus Watson was second in the pole vault (10-6) and the 1,600 relay also placed second (3:51).
Coshocton was led by Jordan Saylor, who won the shot put (43-11). Nick Kirkpatrick was first in the pole vault (12-3), Micah DeMoss took second in the 110 hurdles (:17.6), Spencer McCrea was runner-up in the long jump (17-6) and Cody Williams took second in the high jump (5-4).
"Right now, as far the ECOL meet goes, the hay is in the barn," Mayer said. "We're excited and we'll be ready. The kids have all worked really hard, and now it's just a matter of taking care of business. You never know what might happen."
On the girls side, Mollie Schramm-coached Marietta is also pretty young, but captured a five-school meet at Don Drumm in late April. At Noon Lions, the Lady Tigers were tied for ninth in an 18-school field.
"In the last couple of weeks, we've been coming together," Schramm said.
Lizzy Crum was a winner in the pole vault at 9-6 in last year's ECOL event. The senior thinclad is a favorite to place again, having already cleared 10 feet this season.
Schramm is also hoping freshman Embrey Roberts places in the 100 hurdles.
Some other events to keep an eye on will be the 4x1 and 4x2 relay teams of freshmen Abby Robinson, Anna-Claire Myers and Sydney Beavers, and sophomores' Madison Miller and Olivia Linscott.
In the shot and discus, junior Clara Hoium has been the team's top thrower.
And, in distance running, there is freshman Kelsey Hall, who won both the 1600 and 3200 at the 5-school meet.
As for some other ECOL schools, Zanesville was third and Rosecrans fifth at Don Marks.
Zanesville's Lasheba Hampton won the 100 (12.5) and 200 (26.6), Tiara Wiggins claimed the 100 hurdles (15.0) and 300 hurdles (46.1) an both joined Justice Stanford and Jade Johnson to win the 400 relay (51.29). Kryn Parmer took the hammer throw (89-5) and Johnson was runner-up in the long jump (13-8).
Rosecrans' 1,600 relay of Megan Erwine, Abby Hutcheson, Peyton Farrell and Riley Hagy were first (4:15); Samantha Swackhammer was second in the 300 hurdles (48.1); the 3,200 relay added a runner-up (10:16) and Riley Hagy (800, 2:31.6) and Jess Smith (shot put, 31-8) were third.
The River View girls captured the Chuck McMasters team title. Kirsten Douglass was the girls MVP for the Lady Bears after winning the 100 hurdles (17.8) and 300 hurdles (49.8). She joined Sofie Hjorth, Whitney Fender and Grace Wherley on the winning 1,600 relay (4:26); Hjorth, Tori Neal, Samantha Douglass and Bella Pendola were first in the 3,200 relay (11:30) and Hjorth, Wherley, Fender and Kayla Metz won the 400 relay for the Lady Bears.
Wherley was first in the 100 (13.2); Lindsey Lupher (99-9) and Amy Johnson (92-11) were first and second in the discus; Pendola (5:56) and Taylor Massie (6:36) went 1-2 in the 1,600; Hjorth (2:41) and Pendola (2:44.9) took the first two spots in the 800; Bre Johnson claimed the shot put (32-3); Kayla Metz (28.8) and Fender (28.9) were 1-2 in the 200; Sarah Eick (14:10) won the 3,200 with Massie second (14:27); Brittany Schaefer beat Denbow in the pole vault in a jump-off after both cleared 8-0; the 400 weight relay won in 1:04.4; Metz took second in the long jump (12-4) and Denbow was second in the high jump (4-8) for River View. The Lady Redskins claimed the 800 relay, Casey Fortney (1:07.6) and Hannah Lain (1:08.3) were 1-2 in the 400 and the 400 weight and 1,600 relays both were second.
Cambridge's Steph Massey threw the shot put 36-07 at the OVAC meet.