ST. CLAIRSVILLE - All of the invitations have been sent out.
Qualifying for Saturday's OVAC Cal Giffin Track and Field Championship wrapped up Thursday evening at sun-splashed Red Devil Stadium as Classes 3A and 5A resumed their meet that began on Tuesday.
After four grueling days, the OVAC Track Championship takes a well-deserved day off and resumes on Saturday as athletes will be asked to amp it up a notch as team points and individual medals are on the line, starting at 10 a.m. with field events. The first running action of the meet begins at noon.
FLYING — Edison’s J.D. Howell is the top qualifier in the OVAC Class 5A high jump with a leap of 6-foot Thursday during the OVAC Cal Giffin Track and Field Championship.
-- Mike Palmer
In Class 3A, the River girls have firmly planted themselves as the favorite after two strong qualifying rounds.
Once again, senior standout Cassidy McCullough led the way. After pacing the 100 meters on Tuesday, she returned with a much heavier workload. She still paced three events, turning in the fastest time in both classes that competed on Thursday.
In her specialty, the low hurdles, McCullough blitzed the 3A field, posting a sizzling 46.74, which was more than three full seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.
In the 200 meters, McCullough turned in a blazing 25.97 and she also paced the long jump, which is still a relatively new event for her, with a mark of 16-3 1/2.
Magnolia's girls led two events, including Christa Harshberger, who paced the 1600 in 5:53.00. The Lady Blue Eagles were also tops in the 4x400 with a time of 4:31.46.
Linsly's shuttle team ran a 1:14.98 to pace the 3A field.
The Linsly boys have positioned themselves to make a solid run at another OVAC track title.
The Cadets' speed came up big as they led the way in six events. Jamal Ebanks, who paced the 100 on Tuesday, led the 200 in 23.19.
Luke Miller led the 800 in the class with a time of 2:07.75. In the field, Chinello Oparanozie launched the shot put to a mark of 48-ft-6 1/2.
The Cadets' 4x1 (45.83), 4x4 (3:35.42) and shuttles (1:03.78) were also the best in the field.
Barnesville senior Jacob Anderson turned in the premier time - regardless of class - in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles. He became the first this season to go under the 40-second barrier in the race.
He posted a 39.85 to earn him Heat 2, Lane 4 in Saturday's final.
Katlin Grimes led the way in the 1600 meters for the Shamrocks. He circled the track four times in 4:46.71.
Buckeye Trail's Austin Carleton was the top high jumper in the field and needed to clear just 5-10 to earn the top seed in his class.
In Class 5A, records were falling like crazy as the division, which has been around for just two seasons, had some splendid marks.
All told, eight records fell between the boys and girls' meets.
Indian Creek's Max Lewis, who is just a sophomore, turned in a solid 2:01.92 to set the mark in the 5A 800 meters.
Wheeling Park's girls established three records. Lauren Dickerson set the pace in the discus with a mark of 111-ft-10.
The Lady Patriots' 4x400 team (4:07.63) and shuttles (1:06.61) also set a Class 5A standard.
Morgantown, whichfigures to score points in bunches on Saturday, led the way in three events.
Edison's Ashley Borsch had a strong meet.
She was the top 5A low hurdler (47.75). Katelyn Pollock, who paced the 5A high jump on Tuesday, was the top long jumper at 16-0.
John Marshall's Erica Haught blistered two laps in 2:21.03 to pace the 800 meters.
Wheeling Park's boys, who are the favorites once again in 5A, led the way in four events, including setting records in three.
Austin Farley turned in a 5A record time of 41.21 to pace the intermediate hurdles.
The Patriots also set a standard in the 4x4 with a 3:31.16.
The Park shuttle team (60.04) and 4x1 team (45.24) were also the premier squad in the big-school classification.
John Marshall's Craig Vega was the top 200 meter sprinter in the 5A field, running half a lap in 23.29.
Edison senior J.D. Howell cleared 6-0 to lead the high jump qualifying.