Meigs takes 2nd at Viking Invite

By Paul Boggs -

Meigs senior Jake Swindell competes in the boys 4x800-meter relay race as part of the River Valley quadrangular meet on April 5.

Alex Hawley/OVP Sports

McARTHUR, Ohio — The Meigs Marauders — both boys and girls — made quite the showing for themselves as part of Thursday’s Vinton County Viking Invitational track and field meet.

That’s because the Marauders’ clubs — as part of a dozen-team field — finished as the team runner-ups, amassing 119 girls points while amounting 107.5 for the boys.

Eastern also attended as did South Gallia, with Eastern earning 39.5 girls points and 33 on the boys side.

The Lady Eagles placed sixth and the Eastern boys 10th.

South Gallia gained two points when freshman Gavin Bevan finished seventh in the boys 400m dash.

But both Meigs squads were actually within striking distance of sweeping the team titles, as the Meigs girls were 21 points away — with the boys just 17 back.

Alexander amassed 140 points to capture the girls team championship, as Jackson finished third with 109 and Waverly fourth with 93.

Host Vinton County claimed fifth with 91.5 points.

Waverly won the boys team title with 124.5 points, as Paint Valley was third with exactly 81.

Eastern sophomore Jessica Cook captured the championship in the girls 1,600m run, running the four laps in five minutes and 27 seconds —and breaking the Vinton County Invitational meet record by nine ticks.

The former mark in the girls one-mile run was previously established by Alexander’s Emily Skidmore.

The other Eagle victory on Thursday belonged to junior Alia Hayes in the discus, as she threw for 120-feet and three-inches.

The Marauder gals were paced by freshman Kassidy Betzing, who claimed the long jump championship with a winning leap of 15-feet, two and one-quarter inches.

She was also the runner-up to girls meet medalist and Jackson senior Hanah Johnson in the 100m dash, as Johnson ran the sprint in 12.6 seconds and Betzing in 12.9.

In fact, Johnson’s 12.6 established a new Viking Invitational meet record, which was previously 13-seconds flat by Vinton County’s Cassie McFadden three years ago.

Betzing was third in the 200m dash in 28 seconds flat, and ran the second leg of the Marauders’ second-place 4x100m relay (54.8 seconds).

Fellow freshman Lydia Edwards anchored that foursome, which also consisted of juniors Kierra McCourt (first leg) and Sky Brown (third leg).

Speaking of Edwards, she placed third in the 300m hurdles (54.9 seconds), and was the runner-up to Alexander’s Hanna Cremeans in the pole vault.

Cremeans cleared seven-feet for the championship, while Edwards’ second-place height was six-foot, six-inches.

Edwards’ teammate, Sydney Kennedy, was third in the pole vault with six-feet cleared.

Madison Fields finished third in the 400m dash (1:06), as Jackson’s Johnson won that event in a minute and three seconds.

Fields also ran the third leg for the Marauders’ runner-up 4x800m relay, which completed the distance race in 11:15.

Gracie Hoffman as the opening leg, Caitlyn Rest as the second leg, and Madison Cremeans as the anchor made up the remaining trio.

Speaking of the 4x800m, the Marauder men captured the championship in eight minutes and 49 seconds.

Jake Swindell — a senior — ran the opening leg, as freshman Zach Bartrum (third leg) and juniors James Parsons (second leg) and Dillon Mahr (anchor leg) manned the others.

Swindell anchored the runner-up 4x400m quartet, which ran 3:48 and was only three seconds behind champion Southeastern.

Bartrum on the third, Mahr on the second and junior Grant Adams on the opener made up the first three legs.

The Marauders’ 4x100m relay was third in 48-seconds flat, consisting of freshman Jacob Perry (opening leg) and sophomores Devon Hawley (second leg), Brady Smith (third leg) and Lane Cullums (anchor leg).

Individually, senior Nick Combs was Meigs’ only champion, tossing 45-feet and nine-inches to take the boys shot put title.

The Marauders mustered five third-place finishers: Adams in the 400m dash (54.9 seconds), Swindell in the 300m hurdles (44.0 seconds), Parsons in the 800m run (2:12), Hawley in the high jump (five-feet, eight inches) and Jared Kennedy in the long jump (19-feet, two-inches).

The Eastern boys had three top-three finishes — as junior Jett Facemyer was runner-up in the 1,600m run (4:42), freshman Noah Browning was runner-up in the 800m run (2:11), and sophomore Tyler Davis was third in the shot put (40-8).

A complete list of results can be found on

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

Meigs senior Jake Swindell competes in the boys 4×800-meter relay race as part of the River Valley quadrangular meet on April 5. senior Jake Swindell competes in the boys 4×800-meter relay race as part of the River Valley quadrangular meet on April 5. Alex Hawley/OVP Sports

By Paul Boggs