Marietta High track team's are currently entering a key portion of the season, and it could not be coming at a better time as the Tigers are starting to reach their peak.
The Marietta girls team won its first meet of the season Tuesday while the boys squad is starting to see times and distances vastly improve. MHS is hoping to see the success continue Saturday in the 19th annual Noon Lions Invitational at Don Drumm Stadium. Marietta is anticipating a historic turnout.
"Our biggest ever," said Marietta girls coach Mollie Schramm, pointing out that as many as 17 teams are expected to compete. "We're glad to see it. There had been some years that the Noon Lions had gone down in size. It's nice to see it back where it was."
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Marietta’s Austin Jones (right) races in the 100 meter dash alongside a Cambridge sprinter during a prep track meet Tuesday at Don Drumm Stadium.
Along with the strong quantity of teams, Schramm expects the quality of the meet to be high as well.
"Good teams," she said. "Some of them (East Central Ohio) league, some of them local. Should be good competition."
Among the schools expected to attend are Warren, Fort Frye, Caldwell, Morgan, Shenandoah, Eastern, Buckeye Trail, Parkersburg Catholic, Claymont, Meadowbrook, John Marshall, Ritchie County, Teays Valley, Tri-Valley and West Muskingum. Schramm said Williamstown could potentially be the 17th team.
"It ought to be a great meet," said MHS boys coach B.J. Mayer. "With those teams there, there'll be a lot of competition, a lot of good athletes, a lot of well-coached teams. If the weather holds up, the atmosphere ought to be electric."
Mayer expects teams like Warren, Tri-Valley and Claymont to compete with the Tigers for the boys title, but believes the entire lineup is well-balanced from top to bottom.
"I firmly believe it'll be the best meet in southeastern Ohio," he said.
The meet will also serve as a preparation tool for the Tigers going into the ECOL and district meets, both of which will also take place at Don Drumm.
"We've got three really big meets coming up this month on this track," Schramm said. "We're fortunate we have a nice facility to be able to do that."
The meet's field events and preliminaries are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.