Local runners heat up at Dave Ice Invitational

BELLAIRE — When a team scores in 15 of 18 track and field events, it’s bound to be a good day.

And when that same team wins or is runner-up in those 15 scored events, the chances of that day being better are, well, boosted.

Martins Ferry is all smiles today after posting three wins and six second-place showings Thursday afternoon in running away with the Dave Ice Girls’ Invitational championship.

”It was a really nice day for our girls,” Purple Riders head coach Greg Steele said at muggy Nelson Field.

”It was one of the first times we were able to put everything together. We had a lot of tremendous efforts.”

It’s true. Many had a hand in Ferry’s victory, one that saw it collect 111 points, 20 more than runner-up Steubenville. Shadyside was third with 89 points, followed by Steubenville Catholic, Bellaire, Barnesville, River and Bridgeport.

After a trio of second-place finishes, Dee Johnson picked up Martins Ferry’s first victory of the day, outdueling Shadyside’s Haylee Greegan by almost five seconds — 1:02.52 to 1:07.16 — to claim the 400.

The winning continued for the Purple Riders in the next event, the 300 Hurdles. There, Lauryn Walker staved off a stiff challenge from the Crusaders’ Theresa Duff to cross the line in 50.91.

Martins Ferry finished its winning ways in the next-to-last event contested on the track — the shuttle hurdles. There, the Purple Riders posted a time of 1:14.57, a little more than five seconds better than second-place Shadyside.

”I’m just happy with our overall attitude (Thursday),” Steele said. ”We had few problems. Anytime you can score in 15 of 18 events, it’s a good thing.”

On the track, the Purple Riders were second in five events, including the 400 (52.91) and 1,600 (4:37.56) relays. Individually, runner-up showings went to Walker in the 100 Hurdles (17.51) and Bailey Barries in the 100 (13.55) and 200 (28.57).

Samaira Jones gave the Purple Riders their best finish in the field events, a runner-up showing in the pole vault (7-6).

With the Buckeye 8 and OVAC meets on the horizon, Steele said Thursday’s triumph is a great confidence booster.

”I think it will give a lot of positive attitudes, and basically give us a feeling that we can win,” he said. ”Of course, there will be lots of other talented teams there. We’ll take a look and see if we can make a run.”

Big Red recorded six victories.

T’Kayla Kelley edged Barries in the 100 (12.98) and 200 (27.54), while Corissa McAllister raced to victory in the 1,600 (5:587.02). Gillian Haught threw the disc a first-place 98-2, while the 400 (52.91) and 800 (1:52.42) were both victorious.

Bellaire’s Michaela Flaherty won the long jump (14-425) and high jump (4-10), while Barnesville’s Kassie Steele claimed the pole vault (8-0).

Shadyside’s Katie James claimed the 3,200 in 12:39.38, while teammate Ashley Visnic won the 800 in 2:30.91. The Tigers’ 3,200 Relay team was also a winner in 10:52.

Bridgeport’s Candace Kenzierski won the shot with a throw of 34-10.5

Steubenville Catholic had two wins — Duff in the 100 Hurdles (17.49) and the 1,600 Relay team (4:28.66).