BIDWELL, Ohio — The event started as silver and black as the host school, but the evening ultimately ended with an all-too-familiar green and gold shine.
Athens came away with both the boys and girls team titles on Thursday night at the 2019 Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division track and field championships hosted by River Valley High School in Gallia County.
Since the 2014 TVC Ohio meet, AHS had come away with every team championship in both divisions … with the lone exception being last spring when Nelsonville-York won the boys crown.
The Lady Bulldogs secured their sixth straight championship over that span with a final tally of 175 points, which was still 82 points better than the rest of the six-team field.
Vinton County was the girls runner-up with 93 points, followed by River Valley in third with 75 points. Alexander (72), Nelsonville-York (64) and Meigs (40) rounded out the bottom half of the field.
The Lady Raiders accumulated three event champions and nine top-four finishes, with a trio of those also coming in relay events.
Lauren Twyman won the 800m run with a time of 2:31.40, while Kelsey Brown won the shot put title with a throw of 34 feet, 9.5 inches. Taylor Huck won the pole vault (8-4) and also tied for fourth in the high jump with a cleared height of 4 feet, 4 inches.
The quartet of Twyman, Kate Nutter, Hina Horimoto and Savannah Reese ended up as the 4x100m relay runners-up with a mark of 54.79 seconds. Reese was also second in the 400m dash with a time of 1:03.18.
Reese, Twyman, Kate Nutter and Rakia Penick finished third in the 4x400m relay with a time of 4:33.32. Kate Nutter was also fourth in the 300m hurdles with a time of 53.77 seconds.
Kate Nutter, Julia Nutter, Hannah Culpepper and Brooklin Clonch placed fourth in the 4x400m relay with a mark of 4:33.32.
The Lady Marauders landed one event champion and a quintet of top-four efforts, with senior Kassidy Bezting leading the way with her fourth consecutive long jump crown after posting a winning distance of 17 feet, 5.5 inches.
Betzing set the TVC Ohio record in the long jump last year with an extra two inches on this year’s winning leap. Betzing was also fourth in the 100m dash with a mark of 13.27 seconds.
Caroline Roush was the discus runner-up with a throw of 99 feet even and also placed fourth in the shot put with a heave of 32 feet, 3.5 inches.
Betzing, Jewels Conley, Allison Hanstine and Madison Cremeans also secured a runner-up finish in the 4x200m relay with time of 1:57.81.
The Bulldogs secured their fifth league championship in six years with a final tally of 173 points, which was still 54 points better than the rest of the seven-team field.
Nelsonville-York was the boys runner-up with 119 points, followed by River Valley in third with 76 points. Vinton County (67), Alexander (40), Meigs (12) and Wellston (7) rounded out the bottom four spots in the field.
The Raiders accumulated one event champion and nine top-four finishes, with a trio of those coming in relay events.
Senior Eric Weber claimed River Valley’s lone title in the discus event, posting a winning throw of 140 feet even.
The quartet of Rory Twyman, Dylan Fulks, Brandon Call and Caleb McKnight finished second in the 4x800m relay with a mark of 9:05.19.
Twyman, Call, McKnight and Trevor Simpson were third in the 4x400m relay (3:46.60), while Simpson, Cole Young, Layne Fitch and Jared Reese were also third in the 4x100m relay with a mark of 46.84 seconds.
Fulks was third in the 1600m run (5:05.88), Twyman was third in the 800m run (2:17.51) and Young was third in the high jump (5-8).
Ty VanSickle was third in the shot put final (42-8.5) and Ethan Cline was also third in the pole vault (9-8).
Matthew Jackson secured the lone top-four finish for the Marauders after placing second in the discus with a throw of 139 feet even. Jackson also accounted for 10 of Meigs’ dozen points after finishing fifth in the shot put final (42-4).
The event was delayed for roughly an hour after heavy rains poured on the track. The boys long jump event was the only casualty of the storms as 33 of the 34 event finals were completed.
Visit baumspage.com for complete results of the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division track and field championships hosted by River Valley High School.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.