NELSONVILLE, Ohio — It’s easily one of the largest track and field meets of the season, but the Eastern Lady Eagles stole the small-school show.
That’s because the Lady Eagles, by a mere point-and-a-half, captured the small-school division championship of the annual Nelsonville-York Rocky Brands Invitational on Saturday.
Along with Eastern, Gallia Academy, Meigs and Southern also competed in the two-division competition — which was held at Boston Field in Nelsonville.
Eastern amassed 89 points —on the strength of seven top-three places, which included three individual championships.
The Lady Eagles edged out Columbus Ready (87.5) by a point-and-a-half, and Fairfield Christian (85) by four points.
Host Nelsonville-York finished fourth for the small-school girls with 75 markers.
Southern’s girls gained 32 points to place ninth among the 14 small-school squads which earned at least a single point.
The Meigs and Gallia Academy gals were part of the large-school division, as Meigs managed a sixth-place effort with 41 points, while Gallia Academy amounted 36 for 10th.
Lancaster lauded 145.5 points to easily win the large-school girls competition, which also included 14 teams which scored at least 13 points.
Parkersburg placed second with 76-and-a-half points.
On the boys side, Meigs was eighth with 31 points and Gallia Academy ninth with 25, as Eastern actually competed among the large-school boys — and ended up with 11 points for 13th-place.
Speaking of 13th-place, the Southern Tornadoes tallied 15 points to claim that spot among the small-school boys.
Nelsonville-York notched 139.5 points to win the small-school boys championship, while Fairfield Christian claimed second with 84.
Lancaster (134) and Parkersburg (119) completed their large-school champion and runner-up sweep, staking those same places for the boys.
Leading the way for the Lady Eagles was junior Jessica Cook, who captured the championship in the 800m run in two minutes and 32 seconds.
Cook completed the one-lap 400m dash in a minute and three seconds to take second, as she also ran the opening leg of the Lady Eagles’ victorious 4x800m relay team.
She was joined by second leg Ally Durst, third leg Taylor Parker and anchor leg Rhiannon Morris, who completed the distance relay in 10:37.
Those same four also finished fourth in the 4x400m relay.
Durst also finished third in the one-mile (1,600m) run, as Morris was fifth in that event —along with Parker finishing fourth in the 800m run.
Eastern’s Alia Hayes had a championship and runner-up effort —in the discus throw and shot put respectively.
She won the discus with a throw of 114-feet, followed by the second-place shot put toss of 31-feet and seven inches.
Sabrina Lauer of the Lady Eagles ended up third in the discus — with a throw of 95-4.
Southern’s single top-three girls placer was Baylee Wolfe in the high jump —who won the championship in that event by clearing four-feet and 10 inches.
Wolfe won the jumpoff against a pair of Waterford jumpers —Bethany Dawson and Amy Lang.
Kassidy Betzing paced Meigs’ girls performance, winning the long jump title with a leap of 16-feet, five and three-quarter inches.
Betzing, a year ago, secured seventh-place in the Division II girls state long jump championship.
Joining Betzing in the top three on Saturday was teammate Taylor Swartz, who took third with a jump that was a half-inch shy of exactly 15-feet.
Betzing and Swartz also combined for 10 points in the 100m dash, as Betzing sprinted to a third-place finish in 13.38 seconds.
The two, with Swartz running the anchor leg, also teamed up with opening leg Devyn Oliver and third leg Sky Brown to win the 4x100m relay in 53.26.
For Gallia Academy’s girls, senior Madi Oiler —a two-time Division II state meet qualifier in the 300m hurdles —was the runner-up on Saturday in both hurdles races.
Oiler ran the 100m hurdles in 16.56 seconds, followed by the 300m hurdles in 47.83.
Mary Watts was fourth in the 1,600m run — as she ran the first leg of the fourth-place 4x800m relay.
Oiler and Watts were also the second and third legs of the fourth-place 4x400m foursome.
For the Meigs men, its sprint relay teams took third — and its 4x400m relay was fifth.
Jacob Perry, Grant Adams, Jared Kennedy and Nate Hoover made up the 4x200m unit, while Adams, Cole Adams, Lane Cullums and Landon Acree were the 4x100m club.
Zach Bartrum joined Kennedy, Grant Adams and Hoover for the 4x400m, as Bailey Caruthers was fourth in the high jump.
Gallia Academy’s Isaiah Lester (opening leg), Kyle Greenlee (second leg), Caleb Greenlee (third leg) and Kaleb Crisenbery (anchor leg) combined to win the boys 4x800m —completing the two-mile race in eight minutes and 48 seconds.
The senior Lester (53.24) was then the runner-up in the 400m dash, as Lester anchored the fourth-place 4x400m — along with Crisenbery, Kyle Greenlee and opening leg Dylan Nunn.
Jett Facemyer finished fourth in the 800m to lead Eastern, while Southern’s Larry Dunn scored all but one of the Tornadoes’ points —spearheaded by winning the small-school 800m in 2:14.
A complete list of results can be found on www.baumspage.com.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106