PORTSMOUTH — As it turned out, as daylight gave way to dusk at Portsmouth High’s Hadsell Track on Thursday, every single solitary Portsmouth point ended up indeed mattering.
That’s because the host Trojans, hosting their annual and large track and field invitational among several Ohio and Kentucky schools, captured the boys team championship —by just a single solitary point over runner-up Rock Hill.
In fact — in a mini Ohio Valley Conference meet minus Coal Grove’s boys, Gallia Academy and Ironton —the Trojans topped the 11 other squads which scored at least one point, as Portsmouth’s 120 edged out the Redmen (119) by a mere single solitary marker.
Which meant the Trojans, despite only sweeping the sprint relays and sophomore Charles Putnam sweeping the individual distance races, utilized depth —gaining plenty of points in the events which they didn’t win.
Trailing the Trojans and Rock Hill was fellow OVC club Fairland with 92.5, as Northwest —the defending Southern Ohio Conference Division II champion —nearly notched third with 89.
Greenup County (86.5) was right there in fifth and only six points behind Fairland for third, while Wheelersburg was sixth at 51 points — as ninth-place West (20.5) and 12th-place New Boston (three) also represented Scioto County point-scorers on the boys side.
The Trojans took their first win in the 4x200m relay —when juniors Nolan Heiland and Beau Hammond, senior Dariyonne Bryant and sophomore anchor leg Devon Lattimore landed a first-place time of a minute and 33 seconds, which was exactly a mere four seconds ahead of Rock Hill.
Indeed, for Portsmouth placing ahead of the Redmen — or even just behind them and picking up the placement points — was the Trojans’ Thursday triumph path.
The Trojans completed the sprint relay sweep in the 4x100m —as the foursome of Bryant and fellow senior Dante Hamrick along with Hammond and Heiland — darted the one lap in 44.85 seconds.
The Redmen, meanwhile, were third —as the Trojans and Redmen raced, it seemed, neck-and-neck in the sprints all evening.
Rock Hill’s Tyson Lewis swept the actual individual sprints of the 100m and 200m dashes, but Bryant was second and Hamrick third in the 100m —and Heiland fourth and Hammond fifth for the 200m.
As Putnam swept the one-mile (1,600m) in four minutes and 49 seconds and the two-mile (3,200m) in 10 minutes and 17 tics —the PHS distance specialist did so with Redmen on his heels, including Connor Blagg in the 3,200m, who finished just six seconds (10:23) behind.
Rock Hill runners also placed second and third behind Putnam in the one-mile, and to Fairland senior Jace Casella in the 400m dash.
The six-foot and three-inch Bryant also scored an extra —but all-important —point in tying for second in the high jump, clearing six feet and tying Brock Thomas of Greenup County for the runner-up.
The invitational meet was scored, of course, on a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 points basis, but by Bryant tying for second and not finishing third —he scored seven points for the Trojans instead of six, as that single solitary point proved pivotal in Portsmouth’s ultimate point total (120).
Another invaluable two Trojan points came courtesy of senior pole vaulter Trevyvin Craft, who cleared nine feet for the runner-up spot —and ahead of a Redmen vaulter.
The Northwest boys swept the bookend distance relays, including the opening 4x800m —with seniors Mason Breech and Kailan Marshall and junior Gabe Robinson and sophomore Caleb Lewis.
The Mohawks ran the eight-lap race in eight minutes and 50 seconds, ahead of Rock Hill by a mere single solitary second —and five one-hundredths of another second.
The Trojans took third in the 4x800m, but indeed got an assist from their Scioto County brethren to begin those running events.
Northwest won also the meet-closing 4x400m —with Breech being the anchor leg and running after fellow senior Federico Lentini, junior Gavin Defoe and sophomore Levi Bruch.
That quartet clocked in at 3:42.
Jay Jenkins, a sophomore, made it a third event victory for the Mohawks —by winning the long jump in 19-feet and four and three-quarter inches, and being the only jumper to beat Thomas’ top jump of 18-8 and one-half.
Joden Blackburn of Wheelersburg won the shot put with a best toss of 46-feet and four inches —while other OVC boys victors included Chesapeake’s Cameron Burgess (110m high hurdles), Rock Hill’s Hunter Blagg (pole vault), and Fairland’s Devon Bellamy (high jump).
Greenup gained wins with Trenton Hannah in the discus throw and Ike Henderson in the 300m hurdles, while North Adams amassed one victory — Cody Hesler in the 800m run, as he edged out Northwest’s Breech.
On the girls side, the Wheelersburg Lady Pirates amounted a runner-up 92 points, including 20 points from senior thrower Karley Kouns —the double-winner with the shot (34-feet 11-and-a-half inches) and disc (117 feet and five inches).
The Lady Pirates, which were runner-up in the 4x800m and 4x100m relays, posted three event championships —with freshman Gracie Perkins clearing five feet and two inches and taking the high jump title.
But nobody, not even a good Lady Pirate group, was catching the Coal Grove Lady Hornets —which racked up a hefty 141-and-a-half points.
The Hornets had wins in nine of the 17 events, including a sweep of all four relays (4×800, 4×400, 4×200 and 4×100), both hurdles races (100m and 300m), two of the three distance runs (800m and 3,200m), and the one-lap 400m dash.
Ashland senior Lillian Sebastian swept the sprints (100m and 200m), and Chesapeake senior Kandace Pauley prevailed by two full feet in the pole vault.
North Adams, which finished third with 72 points, earned a pair of wins from standout seniors —Mya Toole in the 1,600m run and Sierra Kendall in the long jump.
Other Scioto County girls teams which scored points were ninth-place Northwest (33) and 12th-place Portsmouth (14).
A complete list of results can be found at www.baumspage.com.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @paulboggssports © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved