A memorable Memorial Day weekend … at least for roughly two handfuls of local athletes.
The Ohio Valley Publishing area had a total of nine athletes advance to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this past week following the conclusion of the Division II and Division III regional track and field championships Saturday.
Gallia Academy landed an OVP area-best six competitors — four boys and two girls — in the D-2 state meet to be held next weekend at Ohio State University, while River Valley will have a single female athlete joining the Blue and White at the Division II tournament.
Both Southern and Eastern also had one female qualifier move on in the Division III tournament. GAHS is the only local program that will be represented in either of the boys championships.
Gallia Academy senior Daunevyn Woodson had a very eventful weekend after securing different berths in four separate events on Thursday and Saturday at the D-2 regional meet at Herrnstein Field in Chillicothe.
Woodson had already advanced in the long jump (21 feet, 2.25 inches) by placing third on Thursday night, then he secured two more individual spots on Saturday with a pair of runner-up efforts in the 100-meter dash (11.10 seconds) and 200m dash (22.07) finals.
Woodson will also be joined by Mason Skidmore, Braydn Simmons and Hunter Shamblin in the 4x100m relay at state as the quartet finished third with a mark of 43.84 seconds.
Shamblin ended up 11th in the 100m dash (11.61) and eighth in the 200m dash (23.25), while Blake Skidmore tied Zander Shultz of West Holmes for ninth place in the high jump with a height of 5 feet, 10 inches.
Meigs knocked on the door of the 4-man cutoff point twice, but neither occasion went in its favor.
Braylon Harrison and Fairland’s Devon Bellamy tied for fourth place in the high jump (6-0) and needed a jump-off to determine the remaining state qualifier. Bellamy won the spot, which pushed Harrison down to fifth place and out of contention.
Matthew Barr also missed the cut in the pole vault final after placing fifth with a cleared height of 12 feet, 6 inches.
The Marauder quartet of Cayden Gheen, Conlee Burnem, Dillon Howard and Brennan Gheen ended up 15th in the 4x100m relay event with a time of 45.91 seconds. Burnem was also 10th in the 100m dash with a mark of 11.50 seconds.
The lone River Valley competitor at the D-2 boys regional meet was Andrew Huck, who ended up in a tie for 15th place in the pole vault with no height recorded.
Steubenville captured the D-2 boys title with 61 points, with Beaver Local placing second out of 44 scoring teams with 50 points. The Blue Devils ended up fifth with 29 points, while the Marauders joined both Piketon and Martins Ferry in a tie for 25th place with eight points.
Steubenville also won the D-2 girls crown with 66 points, beating runner-up Morgan (63) by three points. The Blue Angels were 13th out of 38 scoring teams with 15 points, while River Valley and New Lexington shared 22nd place with eight points.
Callie Wilson tied Tayla Tootle of Logan Elm for second place in the pole vault and advanced to state with a height of 11 feet, 8 inches.
Chanee Cremeens will be joining Wilson at state for GAHS after finishing fourth in the discus with a throw of 110 feet even. Cremeens missed making state in the shot put (35-8) on Thursday after placing sixth overall.
The Gallia Academy quartet of Wilson, Gabby McConnell, Natalie Zierenberg and Alivia Lear ultimately finished 13th in the 4x100m relay Saturday with a time of 53.52 seconds.
RVHS senior Lauren Twyman is headed back to state after finishing second in the 800m run with a time of 2:18.99. Teammate Becka Cadle ended up 10th in the pole vault with a cleared height of 9 feet even.
In the Division III girls meet at Southeastern High School, Eastern had a single state advancee on Friday night as Emma Hayes placed fourth in the discus with a throw of 111 feet, 9 inches.
Southern senior Kayla Evans had already qualified in the high jump (5-2) Wednesday night after placing fourth.
Worthington Christian won the D-3 girls title with 67 points, edging out runner-up Fairbanks (66) by a single point. The Lady Eagles were 19th out of 38 scoring teams with 13 points, while the Lady Tornadoes ended up 29th overall with five points.
Crestview won the D-3 boys meet with 66.5 points. Mt. Gilead was second out of 46 scoring teams with 65 points.
Eastern and Adena shared 26th place with seven points, while South Gallia, Harvest Prep, Delaware Christian and South Webster all tied for 43rd place with a single point.
The Eagle duo of Connor Nolan (9:54.60) and Brayden O’Brien (9:57.88) respectively placed sixth and seventh in the 3200m run. O’Brien did not compete in the 1600m final.
Rebel teammates Levi Wolford and Reece Butler did not record a distance in the long jump final Friday.
The OHSAA Track and Field Championships will be held Friday and Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.