PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Back in the top half.
The Gallia Academy track and field team — which finished fifth in both the girls and boys 2018 league standings — moved up to third in the girls competition, and fourth in the boys, at the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference championships on Saturday at Portsmouth High School.
Coal Grove won the girls team title with a score of 131, just 5.5 ahead runner-up Fairland. The Blue Angels’ third place total was 90.5, 5.5 ahead of Ironton in fourth. The host Lady Trojans were in fifth at 63.5, followed by Rock Hill at 58.5, Chesapeake at 41 and South Point at 40.
The GAHS girls had eight top-4 finishes, including a pair of champions, with Alex Barnes posting a winning-mark of 16-6.75 in the long jump, and Zoe Smith setting a pace of 13.5 in the 100m dash. Smith was also third in the 200m dash with a time of 27.27.
The Blue Angels had a pair of runner-up relay squads, as the team of Smith, Aliva Lear, Gabby McConnell and Gretchen McConnell ran the 4x100m in 52.58, and the quartet of Brooke Hamilton, Pilar Ortego, Sarah Watts and Brooke Johnson posted a time of 10:54.11 in the 4×800.
The GAHS 4x400m team of Hamilton, Johnson, Gretchen McConnell and Gabby McConnell was fourth with a time of 4:46.56, with Johnson also taking fourth in the 400m dash at 1:07.32, and Calista Barnes tying for fourth at 4-4 in the high jump.
Rock Hill repeated as boys champion with a score of 146, 7.5 in front of Portsmouth in second. Coal Grove was third with 94, followed by the Blue Devils with 79.5 and Ironton with 78.5. Chesapeake with 53, Fairland with 48 and South Point with 20.5 rounded out the eight-team field.
The GAHS boys had a five top-4 finishes, including one relay, as the team of Justin Day, Cory Call, Ayden Roettker and Bo Saxson was third in the 4x100m with a time of 47.06.
Riley Starnes was second in the shot put and fourth in the discus throw with respective distances of 43-4 and 131-00 for Gallia Academy, Call was runner-up in the long jump at 19-10, while Ian Hill claimed second in the 300m hurdles at 42.92.
Visit www.baumspage.com for complete results of the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference championships.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.