Big meet today: MHS Tigers set for Parkersburg South Invitational

PARKERSBURG – Keep an eye on the Marietta High thinclads, especially the B.J. Mayer-coached team at the second annual Parkersburg South Invitational at the Erickson All-Sports Facilty at 4:30 p.m. today.

This past Tuesday at Don Drumm Stadium, the Tigers were first in a five-school meet with 98 points, while the Mollie Schramm-led MHS ladies placed runners-up.

“Marietta seems to be the top team; they were tough last year at Erickson and were a pretty good team,” said Parkersburg South head track and field girls’ coach Shawn Shockey.

The Marietta boys were led by senior standout Quinton Coffield, who notched three individual events (long jump, 100, and 200) and was a leg on the winning 4×100 relay team, which also included Garrett Davis, Austin Jones, and Bernard Johnson.

Davis also won in the 300 hurdles.

“Quinton was really feeling good after that meet,” Mayer said. “He’s such a hard worker and a great kid.”

Marietta’s Caleb Hall added wins in the 110 hurdles and pole vault, and Tyler Haught was first in the discus.

The Lady Tigers got a win from Lizzy Crum in the pole vault.

Mother Nature wasn’t kind to Marietta and other area track teams for practice Thursday and more of the same could be looming today at Erickson.

While the host Patriots are excited to showcase the new track, ideally they’d like to do so in warm and dry weather conditions.

“Not good,” quipped Shockey, whose girls were runner-up at the Ryan Jobes Spring Special last weekend in Williamstown, of the weather outlook. “You can set your calendar (for bad weather) by the South track meets.

“I’ve been tracking it all week and it’s staying about the same temperature and it’s the same prospect for thunderstorms.”

Defending girls champion Parkersburg High School, which had a triple-winner last spring, thanks to Sarah Bever (won high jump and both hurdles events), who is in the field and will be back to try and secure a repeat. However, the defending champion Big Red boys will not be in attendance.

“I’ve got 17 freshmen and nine more girls who are out for the first time and I’m still trying to figure out what they can do,” added Shockey, who watched senior Kasey Williams claim titles last Saturday in the open 100 and the long jump.

“I’m just moving them around and trying to figure out times and distances in other events. We’re just trying to find out some things on the new kids.”

South boys boss Coach Steve Fox was pleased with the Pats after posting 120 points at the RJSS and walking away with the team title.

“We have 12 freshmen and a few sophomores and seniors who are new and right now at the beginning of the season, I’m not sure where to place them,” Fox admitted, as his team is expected to have plenty of moving parts in the early going.

“We’re putting the kids in a variety of events to see where they can help out the team. We had several kids who didn’t compete last week who will be here this week.”

Patriot Dylon Rippeto, the PSI’s defending discus champion and Class AAA state runner-up in 2013, will make his season debut.

“Anthony Bibbs had limited to no experience whatsoever as a long jumper and the first meet this year, he jumps 19-5 and wins,” Fox added. “When you have events like that, it puts a big smile on a coach’s face when you don’t expect it.”

Expected to complete the PSI field along with the host Patriots and the Big Red girls are University, Morgantown, John Marshall, Marietta, Tucker County, Wirt County, Williamstown and Parkersburg Catholic.

“You’ll see some distance runners,” said Fox, singling out Amelia Paladino of University. “She can run. I’m just glad my boys team isn’t running against her. I’m amazed at what she can do.”

Marietta Times sports editor Ron Johnston contributed to this report.