By Ron Johnston
The Marietta Times
Times file photo
Senior Abby Ketelsen is one of Marietta High’s more versatile track and field athletes. She can long jump, high jump, run the 800, and run relays. She may be competing in four events at Friday’s East Central Ohio League meet at Don Drumm Stadium.
Marietta High's thinclads are expected to get out of school early Friday.
Reason being, the East Central Ohio League (ECOL) track and field meet is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. at Don Drumm Stadium. In its first season in the league, MHS is hosting the event and looking forward to it.
"It's an advantage not having to travel," said Marietta girls' coach Mollie Schramm, "and competing at the same facility.
"It's also an unknown, because we've only seen Cambridge, Coshocton and Dover on the track this season."
Overall, 10 schools will be at Don Drumm, and the others are Zanesville, Rosecrans, River View, New Philadelphia, Meadowbrook, and Claymont.
"The River View girls coach tells me that the teams to beat will be Marietta and his team," Schramm said. "But I don't know. I think it's going to be a tough one and anybody's meet."
The Marietta girls are coming off some good competition at last Friday's Nelsonville-York Track & Field Invitational. Until the meet was cancelled due to the inclement weather, the Lady Tigers were running second.
A good tune-up for the league meet, Erica Dawson was a placer in the hurdle events (300 and 100). Abby Ketelsen was fourth in the high jump and would've placed in the long jump if not for the weather.
Paige Grosel was first in the pole vault, while Julie Fobes (1600), Sarah Studenic (400), and Haley Bonar (shot put and discus) were placers in their events.
Marietta also had a good showing (second) in the 4x800 relay.
"Our numbers are thin, so we'll have a lot of girls running in four events at the ECOL," Schramm said. "We've got good quality, and should score in every event we're in."
B.J. Mayer is hoping the Marietta boys will do the same.
"I think I have a heckuva track team," the Tiger boys' boss said. "And I'm looking for a competitive meet and a tight race. At least, there's no Logan in it."
The MHS boys also fared well at Nelsonville, running second to Logan until lightning was sighted. Some Tiger thinclads who bare watching will be Alex Wesel (distance and relays), Mitchell Grose (distance and relays), Sam Garrison (distance and relays), Dedder Baker (hurdles), Will Cogswell (pole vault and discus), Eli Parmiter (long jump and relays), Quinton Coffield (long jump and relays), Eddie Kimbrough (shot put), Matt Roberts (hurdles), Austin Jones (400), Connor Brack (distance and relays), and Matt Thompson (discus and shot put).
Southeastern Ohio Athletic League
When Warren hosts the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League track and field meet at 11 a.m. Saturday, it'll be a first.
Hard to believe but Logan, Gallia Academy, Chillicothe, Jackson, and Portsmouth have never congregated in Vincent to do battle with Warren in the SEOAL event.
"In all the years of I've coached track, I've never hosted a league meet," said Warrior boys' track and field boss Al Riffey. "But you know, it would be better to just win it."
And, that will be the challenge as Logan is the defending SEOAL champion.
"It's going to be tough," Riffey continued, "because Logan will be the favorite."
Riffey is expecting his royal blue and white thinclad squad, along with Chillicothe and Gallia Academy, to also be in the hunt.
"Every point will be important," the Warren boss said.
During regular-season competition, Warren and Logan hooked up three times on the oval circle. The Warriors were runners-up to the Chieftains twice and third on another occasion.
"Logan has such a great program, and this year, they have one of their better teams," Riffey said.
Thing is, the homestanding Warriors aren't too shabby, either.
Warren is coming off an impressive, first-place showing in last Saturday's Don Marks Memorial Invitational at Morgan High in McConnelsville.
Capturing firsts were Wes Cochran (1600), Kyle Conley (3200), Eli Duff (long jump), Cole Wigal (triple jump) and two relay teams (4x200 and 4x800).
"That's going to be a real battle in the relays when we face Logan and Chillicothe," Riffey said.
The Warren 4x200 team features Jeremy Fivecoait, Sam Greenlee, Aaron Vannoy, and Jace Knost, while the 4x800 is Marcus Harding, Greyson Cantley, Parker Blain, and Cochran. The Warrior 4x400 was second at Don Marks.
Also at the Morgan meet, the runners-up were Micheal Coe (300 hurdles), Fivecoait (high jump and 200) and Cantley (800).
Overall, the Warren boys have good depth, and so do the girls.
The Sally Maddox-coached Lady Warrior thinclads were also first at Don Marks. Emma Ryan won two events (discus and shot put) as did Raelyn Gardner (100 hurdles and pole vault).
Gardner was also second in the 300 hurdles.
Halle Richards was a runner-up in the 1600 and sixth in the 800.
Some other Lady Warriors to keep an eye on will be Liz Manning (800), Hannah Dugan (1600 and 3200), Sierra Cardiff (high jump), Cassandra Thompson (high jump), Heidi Schob (long jump), Addie Barnes (100), Allie Grace Proctor (pole vault), Sydney Brague (3200) and Kasey White (200).
"All the schools have good athletes coming back," Maddox said. "Gallia always has good distance runners, and Jackson has some good sprinters."
In last year's SEOAL girls meet, Chillicothe was first and Warren third. Marietta was runner-up and after the season elected to compete in the ECOL. That reduced the participating schools in the SEOAL to six, and enabled the Warriors to host this year's league event. "I'm hoping in our case that we'll have a little bit of an advantage with the home field," Maddox said. "Our kids should be comfortable with the familiar surroundings."