Big Reds sweep Russ Parsons titles

PARKERSBURG-During the previous 15 years of the Clear Channel/Russ Parsons Invitational, no school had ever swept both the boys and girls titles. That changed on Saturday as the Big Red boys knocked off crosstown rival Parkersburg South by a 137-123 margin to repeat the championship it won a year ago and then the Big Red girls returned to the top for the first time since 2003 as they held off three-time champion Akron Buchtel.

“It’s a nice way to send off a really good group of seniors,” said boys head coach Kenny DeMoss. “We have several boys and girls who were running for the last time here so to go out this way is only appropriate.”

Third place in the boys’ division belonged to Akron Buchtel with 114 points followed by Marietta (77), University (69) and Mingo Central (18). The Patriots of head coach Shawn Shockey placed third in the girls’ division with 87 points followed by University (69) and Marietta (40). Two teams expected to attend, Nelsonville-York and Athens, did not show up on Saturday when field events started at 10 a.m.

Winning high point honors for the girls was Parkersburg’s Sarah Bever with 32.5 points. The sophomore standout captured the 100 meter high (15.38) and 300 meter low (48.11) hurdles as well as the high jump (5-2) and then teamed up with Tiffany Cline, Blake Schenerlein and Lauren Maloney to win the shuttle hurdle relay in a time of 1:10.07.

Finishing second with 25 points was Buchtel’s Simone Green while the remainder of the top five included Buchtel’s Jayle Bowens (23), University’s Amelia Paladino (21.5) and Buchtel’s Raven Green (21).

The boys’ high point individual honors went to Marietta’s Mitchell Grose with 20 points. The Tigers’ standout crossed the finish line ahead of the pack in the 800 (2:04.73) and 3200 (9:39.1) meter runs. Second place went to Buchtel’s Antonio Hambrick with 18.5 points followed by Parkersburg South’s Logan Cox (18), Parkersburg’s Evan Rhodes (17.5) and University’s Andrew Paladino (16.5).

Other locals adding individual championships on the day included Parkersburg’s Adam Lindamood (200, 24.14), Daniel Fox (long jump, 19-11) and Brandon Pethel (discus, 152-10.5), the Patriots’ Cox (high jump, 6-0) and Marietta’s Will Cogswell (pole vault, 12-0).

In the girls’ race, Parkersburg South’s Jessica Hamrick won the pole vault (9-6), Marietta’s Haley Bonar won the shot put (33-9.5) and the Big Reds’ Whitney McAtee won the discus (116-3.5).

Parkersburg will take this week off before returning to action at the Fenton Relays at Williamstown on Tuesday, April 23.

“We had a lot of things to deal with today other than the wind,” said DeMoss. “We had several of our kids miss the morning session because of the ACT and we (the boys) are still not completely healthy.

“Despite all of that the kids came out and competed and that is all that we, as coaches, can ask of them.”