South, PHS track teams at regionals today

WHEELING -When the Class AAA Region 1 track meet takes place today at Wheeling Park High School, it essentially will be Parkersburg High School and Preston taking on the members of the Two Rivers Athletic Conference -Parkersburg South, Wheeling Park, John Marshall, Brooke, Morgantown and University.

Parkersburg is coming off an impressive performance at the Mountain State Athletic Conference meet, which saw the Big Red boys of coach Kenny DeMoss nip Cabell Midland, 95-92, for the team title, and the PHS girls of coach Leah Fleek finish second, just 10 points behind conference champion Winfield.

Meanwhile, the Parkersburg South boys of coach Steve Fox and the girls of coach Shawn Shockey both crowned individual champions in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference meet, and will be looking to qualify as many athletes as possible for next week’s state meet at Charleston’s Laidley Field.

In the boys competition, several local athletes should be competing for regional titles. They include:

Big Red sprinter Chandler Hamilton, whose previous best of 11.33 seconds in the 100 is the fastest time among regional competitors, although Wheeling Park’s Bryce Ingram has run an 11.34.

Parkersburg’s Nick Cheuvront and Preston’s Scott Wesley should battle for the 800 title, as both have clockings between 2:02 and and 2:03.

Parkersburg South’s Logan Cox is more than a half-second faster than any of his fellow competitors in the 110 meter high hurdles while Parkersburg’s Evan Rhodes has the best time in the state in the 300 intermediate hurdles, where his 39.08 clocking more than a second faster than the competition.

Parkersburg also has the state’s best time in the 4 by 200 relay, a team that includes Rhodes, Hamilton, Matt Santer and Adam Lindamood.

For those who like to see an all-Parkersburg final, look no further than the shuttle hurdle relay as South has the state’s fastest time with Parkersburg just behind the Patriots.

Turning to the field events, Parkersburg’s Austin Allman and Cox could battle for the high jump title, while Big Red Brandon Pethtel is the favorite in the shot put with South’s Dylan Rippeto his chief rival. Both Rippeto and Mack White could score for the Patriots in the shot put while Parkersburg’s Dan Fox has the regional best in the long jump.

Turning to the girls competition, sprinters from Morgantown are likely to dominate the shorter races but don’t count out South’s Demi DeGraef in the 200 and 400.

In the hurdle races, Parkersburg’s Sarah Bever has the best regional time in the 300 lows and is one three top competitors in the 100 highs.

South has the fastest regional time in the 4 by 200 with PHS enjoying that status in the 4 by 400.

In the field events, Parkersburg’s Bever is a contender in the high jump while South’s Jessica Hamrick, the OVAC champion, should challenge Morgantown’s Rebekah Lafata and her state best 11-0 in the pole vault.

In the throwing events, Parkersburg’s Whitney McAtee has the region’s best toss in the discus and ranks second in the shot put.