Home advantage: Warrior boys win Warren Invite; girls, second

VINCENT – Warren represented the Warriors Invitational well Saturday, as the boys team claimed the championship while the girls placed second.

Morgan High placed first on the girls side, while Marietta’s boys and girls finished second and third, respectively. The Raiders boys team finished third while Parkersburg Catholic’s boys and girls teams each finished in fourth place.

Despite only four teams competing in the meet, Warren boys coach Al Riffey thought that the quality of the meet was still very solid.

“With the amount of teams we had, the competition was really pretty even,” Riffey said. “The clock is still running and the tape measure is still being stretched. That’s what I told them before the meet. I said ‘Don’t look out there and see that you’ve got three teams to compete against. You’ve got to beat the clock and beat the tape.’ I thought we did a good job of rising to the occasion.”

The Warren boys won 11 out of the meet’s 18 events. Chris Massey swept the throwing events, edging out teammate Brandon Pahl in the shot put as well as defeating Morgan’s Rhys Ramirez in the discus on his final throw.

Sam Goodman cleaned up in the long distance races. Goodman finished the 1600 meter run in 4 minutes, 50.6 seconds and later posted an impressive time of 9:59.70 in the 3200 to win both events. Teammate Brent Ash was the runner-up in both races.

Colton Cantley was a first-place finisher in four events, winning the 800 meter run (2:11.80) and the high jump (5-feet, 10-inches). He was also a leg on the winning 4 by 400 and 4 by 800 relay teams.

Warren’s other individual winners were Justus Johnson in the 400 meter dash (55.90) and Mark McDermott in the 300 hurdles (41.80).

“He has come down half a second or less every single time he’s run (hurdles),” Riffey said of McDermott. “We’re really tickled with him.”

Warren was also victorious in three out of the four relay races. Cantley was joined by Johnson, McDermott and Matthew Neehouse in the 4 by 400 (3:49.20) and Goodman, Ash and Neehouse in the 4 by 800 (9:04.50). The Warriors’ other winning relay team was McDermott, Johnson, Seth Balderson and Cole Wigal in the 4 by 200 (1:36.80).

“I liked the way we competed today,” Riffey said, but later added “We know we have to get better.”

Marietta athletes won every event that Warren didn’t. Quinton Coffield, the meet’s high-point finisher on the boys side, won the 200 meter dash (23.20), the triple jump (36-07) and was the final leg of the winning 4 by 100 relay team (46.10). He was joined by Bernard Johnson, Aaron Elliot and Austin Jones.

“Obviously, Quinton looked really, really good,” said Marietta boys coach B.J. Mayer.

Jones and Elliot each claimed individual titles as well. Jones out-sprinted everyone in the 100 meter dash (11.30) while Elliot posted a mark of 20-feet, 1-inch to win the long jump.

Caleb Hall was a double-champion for the Tigers, finishing on top in the pole vault (12-06) and 110 hurdles (16.40).

“Our sprinters, jumpers and relays are carrying us right now,” Mayer said. “Overall, it was a great day.

“We’re really focusing here on the next three weeks. We’re just plugging away trying to get to the Noon Lions, league meet and district meet.”

The Lady Raiders showed off their team depth Saturday, winning only eight events but still managing enough points to beat Warren 100.5 to 84.5.

Baylee Garrett led the way, capturing titles in the high jump (5-01), 400 (1:04.60) and 800 (2:41.90). She was also on the winning 4 by 800 relay team (10:50.30) along with Cheyenne Hanson and Jasmine and Jordan Penrod.

Hanson put in a hard day’s work, logging victories in the 1600 (5:51) and 3200 (12:43.60). Sarah Beam was also a double-champion for Morgan, winning the triple jump (32-09) and 300 hurdles (53.00).

The Mollie Schramm-coached Lady Tigers won three events. Clara Hoium won the shot put with a top throw of 32-feet, 3.5-inches. Embrey Roberts took home the 100 hurdles crown, edging out Warren’s Julia Hamrick by three-tenths of a second (17.70).

And Lizzie Crum defeated All-Ohioan Raelyn Gardner in the pole vault. Crum hit the 10-feet, 6-inch mark to claim the vault title for Marietta.

Gardner, though, teamed up with Hamrick, Natalie O’Dell and Katie Rauch to win the 4 by 100 (55.30) and 4 by 200 (1:56.90) relay races. Warren also won the 4 by 400 relay in 4:45.80 thanks to Rauch, Megan Haffner, Jordan Smrek and Maggie McCutchon.

“It was nice winning three out of the four relays,” said Warren girls coach Sally Maddox. “That always helps build team unity.”

Warren also received a first-place finish from Kayla Maze in the discus throw. Maze posted a personal record throw of 96-feet, 3-inches to beat out teammate Megan Rice (85-04). Rice was also the runner-up to Hoium in the shot put (31-01). “We’re improving,” Maddox said. “I’m really pleased with where we’re at. The girls keep working hard and we’re getting stronger as the season goes. I think the times are gonna keep dropping and the distances are gonna keep improving and that’s our goal.”

Parkersburg Catholic’s Alexis Saunders was the girls’ high-point finisher. Saunders was tops in the long jump (15-07), 100 (13.00) and 200 (27.70) and finished second in the 400 (1:06.90).