Prep track: Belpre boys win Shrine Invitational

By Jay W. Bennett

Special to The Times

BELPRE – The Belpre boys successfully defended their team title Saturday at the 37th annual Belpre Shrine Invitational and Golden Eagle junior Sam Petty earned high-point honors.

While the Morgan girls won the team title with 131 points, which topped runner-up Waterford’s 118, the story of the day was Parkersburg Catholic’s Alexis Saunders. All the freshman Crusaderette did was win high-point accolades by scoring 38 points, which also represented Parkersburg Catholic’s team total. Saunders won the 100 (13.42), 400 (1:04.18) and the long jump with a leap of 15 feet, 4 1-2 inches. She finished second to Waterford’s Ally Rohrer (26.56 to 27.61) in the open 200.

Rohrer captured 10 points in three events thanks to also besting Belpre’s Taryn Carr in the 100 hurdles (16.09 to 17.22) and claiming the 300 hurdles with a time of 50.50. She also ran the lead leg for Waterford’s winning 4 by 400 team, which finished in 4:30.70, and also was comprised of Lydia Beardsley, Maddy Sury and Maggie Kroll.

Sury established one of two new meet records on the day after speeding to a 2:25.53 finish in the 800. That broke the previous mark of 2:28.33 set back in 2001 by Eastern’s Emeri Connery.

Belpre, which scored 77 points to finish third in the girls race ahead of Newcomerstown (59) and Crooksville (40), got its lone win via Jackie Cunningham. Her throw of 35 feet, 6 inches won the shot put and beat runner-up Regan Porter of Waterford’s 33-8 effort.

Petty earned his total of 24.5 points by winning the 100 (11.40), finishing runner-up in the 200 to Crooksville’s Austin Ebert (23.32 to 24.11), placing fourth in the long jump and running the anchor leg on the Golden Eagles’ triumphant 4 by 200 team. Petty joined teammates Matt Colvin, Devin Daniell and D.J. Leftwich to finish with a winning time of 1:38.78.

“It was kind of odd because usually if you are in a relay you don’t win it,” said Belpre boys track coach Chris Palmer of Petty’s award. “Overall we were very pleased.

“We had eight to 12 athletes who had a personal record today and that’s what we are happy with and they keep getting better as the season moves on and that’s always nice.”

The Golden Eagle boys finished with 131 points, which topped runner-up Morgan’s 117 total.

Daniell coasted to a win in the 300 hurdles with a time of 44.14 and Waterford’s Jacob McCutcheon’s time of 17.05 topped the field in the 110 hurdles.

Belpre also had individual victories by Matt Davis in the 800 (2:10.20) and Cray Sistrunk in the mile as he nipped Waterford’s Eli Strahler (4:44.02 to 4:46.68).

Strahler’s time of 10:46.61 earned him the 2-mile crown.

Sistrunk, Joel Starner, Davis and anchor Kyle Windland finished in 9:15.17 to win the 4 by 800 title and the Golden Eagles also finished first in the 4 by 400 with a time of 3:46.46 thanks to Daniell, Colvin, Davis and Sistrunk.

The other Shrine record came from Morgan’s 4 by 800 team, which finished in 10:22.15 and actually broke the record set by the Raiders back in 1998. Jasmine Penrod, Jordan Penrod, Cheyenne Hanson and Baylee Garrett comprised the team.

Other individual winners for the girls included Hanson in the 1600 (5:47.13) and 3200 (13:22.33), Garrett in the high jump (5-0), Raider teammate Aylssa Tabler in the pole vault (7-6) and Newcomerstown’s Krista McVey in the discus with a heave of 109 feet, 4 inches. Cunningham was the runner-up with a throw of 95-6.

For the boys, Crooksville had individual wins by Austin Ebert in the 400 (52.73) and Ty Slaton in the long jump (20-3).

Ebert was just quick enough to top Colvin, who finished in 53.82.

Tristan Durr (discus, 143-6) and Bret Burrier (pole vault, 11 feet) secured 10 points finishes for Newcomerstown and the other two individual boys winners were Morgan’s Bruce Thompson in the high jump (5-4) and Southern’s Brandon Grueser in the shot put (42-6.5).