SHADYSIDE - Coming off last Saturday's 37th annual Belpre Shrine Invitational performance and today's home open meet, Waterford is looking forward to this Saturday's competition at the 43rd annual Shadyside Relays at Fleming Field.
At Belpre, the Scott Miller-coached Lady Wildcat-thinclads finished runner-up, while the Steve Littler-led boys were fifth.
The Waterford girls were led by all-staters' Ally Rohrer and Maddy Sury.
JAY W. BENNETT Special to The Times
Waterford all-stater Maddy Sury established a new Belpre Shrine Invitational meet record in the 800 with a 2:25.53 first-place finish last Saturday. Sury and her Wildcats teammates are scheduled to compete in this Saturday’s Shadyside Relays.
At Ralph Holder Stadium, Rohrer had wins in the 100 hurdles (16.09), 200 (26.56), and 300 hurdles (50.50). She also ran the lead leg on the winning 4x400 team, which finished in 4:30.70. Also on that green and white relay were Lydia Beardsley, Maddy Sury and Maggie Kroll.
Sury set a meet record in the 800, crossing the finish line in 2:25.53.
The Waterford boys were paced by distance runner Eli Strahler, who won the 3200 (10:46.61) and was second in the 1600 (4:46.68). Another Cat to keep an on eye at Shadyside will be Jacob McCutcheon (110 and 300 hurdles, long jump).
The Shadyside Relays is expected to attract a field of 21 boys and girls teams. Action gets under way with field events at 10 a.m. The first running events of the meet are set for 10:30 a.m.
Slated to join Waterford are the host Shadyside Tigers, Barnesville, Bellaire, Belpre, Bridgeport, Buckeye Trail, Caldwell, Claymont, Garaway, Martins Ferry, Linsly, Monroe Central, River, Shenandoah, St. Clairsville, Toronto, Union Local, Weir, Wellsville and Wheeling Central.
As has been in the case in years' past, there will be qualifying heats in the 400 meter dash and 300 meter hurdles. The top six times, regardless of heat, will advance to the afternoon finals.
Also contested during the morning session as finals are the 4x800 relays, the girls' 3200 meter run and the shuttle relay.
The festivities surrounding the Shadyside Relays actually get underway Friday night with the social event at the Shadyside American Legion.
The Shadyside Relays has long been one of the most anticipated track meets of the Ohio Valley season.
The meet is once again doing its part to expand the opportunities for athletes.
Meet officials have announced the addition of wheelchair events this year.
"We're really excited about the addition of the wheelchair races. It is truly an amazing thing to watch," Shadyside girls head coach and meet director Jenna Coyne said. "I look forward to being able to see these amazing athletes showcase their talents."
Whether or not there are any wheelchair entrants remains to be seen, according to meet co-director Butch Joseph.
If there are, they'll have the ability to compete in the 100 and 400 meter dashes.
This is the second season that the Ohio High School Athletic Association has offered wheelchair events as a state-sanctioned event at the state meet in June.
For an athlete to earn his or her way to Columbus, he or she has to post a qualifying mark at approved sites during the course of the season. Since the Shadyside Relays utilizes fully automatic timing, it can serve as a qualifier. "Once we witnessed the wheelchair races in action at (last year's) state meet, we instantly knew we wanted to include the same events in the Shadyside Relays." Coyne said.
Prior to Shadyside's offering, the only meet in the Ohio Valley to have offered wheelchair events was the Porterfield Invitational, which was held last Friday in St. Clairsville. It had one competitor from Dresden Tri-Valley take part in both the 100 and 400 meters.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441 or at firstname.lastname@example.org