Championship week for area track and field athletes begins today when the 88th Northwest Ohio Athletic League meet starts at 2 p.m. with the field events.
All of the field events will be contested today followed by the 3,200-meter relay at 5 p.m. and running event semifinals.
The meet will wrap up with the running event finals at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Three Rivers Athletic Conference and Western Buckeye League meets will take place Wednesday and Friday, while the Northwest Conference meet will be Thursday and Saturday.
Friday-only meets include the Blanchard Valley Conference and North Central Conference, while the Midland Athletic League and Northern Buckeye Conference meets will take place on Saturday.
WHERE: Evergreen High School.
WHEN: Tuesday, 2 p.m. & Friday, 7 p.m.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Archbold boys and girls
WHAT TO WATCH: A couple of the marquee boys events should should prominently feature Patrick Henry athletes.
The Patriots’ Zach Nye has the fastest time in the area in the 110 high hurdles this season at 14.68 seconds and he will get a chance to take on Bryan’s Brandon Poncsak in a battle of returning state placers.
Marcus Myers, who is set to throw at NCAA Division II Walsh next season, helped lead the Patriots to the team title at Saturday’s Lamberson Invitational with a season-best throw of 173-9 in the discus. He could be chasing Wauseon’s Noah Castle who won the Elmwood Invitational with a throw of 189-10.
Both Patrick Henry teams were sixth in the conference last season.
WHERE: Oregon Clay High School.
WHEN: Wednesday: 4 p.m. field events; 5 p.m. 3,200 relay followed by running event semifinals. Friday: 4:30 p.m. field events; 6 p.m. running event finals.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Toledo Whitmer boys; Toledo Notre Dame girls.
WHAT TO WATCH: Findlay’s boys and girls were second and sixth, respectively, in last year’s meet. Emily Stahl has been a consistent top finisher in meets for Findlay’s girls this season while Haley Haas in the top returning TRAC finisher in the high jump.
WHERE: Spencerville High School.
WHEN: Thursday: 4:45 p.m. field events; 5 p.m. 3,200 relay followed by running event prelims. Saturday: 10:30 a.m. field events; 12:30 p.m. running event finals.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Columbus Grove boys; Spencerville girls.
WHAT TO WATCH: Columbus Grove and Spencerville will be trying to win their third straight NWC titles Saturday. Grove and Bluffton’s boys teams have won 20 and 18 league titles over the years. The Bulldogs’ Sydney McCluer (100 and 300 hurdles) and Megan Verhoff (discus) are returning champs as is Bluffton’s Noah Stratton (400).
WHERE: Liberty-Benton High School.
WHEN: Friday: 4:30 p.m. field events; 5 p.m. 3,200 relay; running event semifinals 5:30 p.m.; running event finals 7 p.m.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Liberty-Benton boys and girls.
WHAT TO WATCH: Liberty-Benton won’t be challenged for the team titles but the race for second place should be interesting with solid teams from Pandora-Gilboa, Arlington and Van Buren in the girls mix.
Some key athletes to watch in the boys meet include: Liberty-Benton’s Chase Cook (sprints). Dylan Cornwell (pole vault), Cory-Rawson’s Mason Warnimont (sprints), Leipsic’s Terrill Murriel (hurdles), Van Buren’s Ted Simmons (distance), Pandora-Gilboa’s Tyler Boes (discus) and Arcadia’s Shae Watkins (discus).
Girls to keep an eye on include: Liberty-Benton’s Michaela Butler (sprints) and Megan Peplinski (hurdles, jumps), Cory-Rawson’s Hannah Roebke (800), McComb’s Molly Leppelmeier (throws), Arlington’s Willow Thompson (pole vault) and Leipsic’s Holly Averesch (throws).
WHERE: Colonel Crawford High School.
WHEN: Friday: 4 p.m. field events followed by running events at 5 p.m.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Galion boys.
WHAT TO WATCH: The North Central Conference will have its last hurrah as Colonel Crawford will host the 52nd and final NCC track meet Friday before the league folds at the end of the school year.
Upper Sandusky’s boys had the highest NCC finish among area teams placing fourth. The Rams’ Dominic Solis is a defending league champ in the 800 while Seth Knoll is back to defend his pole vault crown for Riverdale.
Ontario won the girls title last season but is no longer in the league. Upper Sandusky was sixth and Riverdale was ninth last season.
WHERE: Seneca East High School
WHEN: Saturday: 10 a.m. field events followed by running event preliminaries.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Seneca East boys Carey girls.
WHAT TO WATCH: The Tigers and Blue Devils will be heavy favorites to defend their crowns in the final MAL championship meet.
Carey has three athletes back to defend individual crown as Tommy Arredondo (high jump), Ben Kromer (800) and Gwen Wentling (400) will try and win their specialties for a second straight year.
Athletes from Mohawk, Fostoria St. Wendelin, North Baltimore, Hopewell-Loudon and New Riegel will also compete in the 12-team meet.
WHERE: Fostoria’s Memorial Stadium.
WHEN: Saturday: Field events, 10 a.m.; running event semis and 3,200 relay, 11 a.m.; running event finals 12:30 p.m.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Eastwood boys and girls.
WHAT TO WATCH: It’s been a very solid year for both Elmwood teams but Eastwood will be too deep to unseat.
Elmwood’s Madison Sears is the defending champ in the girls 400 meter dash. Athletes to watch in the boys meet include Elmwood’s Aaron Arnold and Fostoria’s Rayshon Martin and CJ Matheny.
WHERE: Celina High School.
WHEN: Wednesday: 4:30 p.m. field events; 5:30 p.m. 3,200 relay followed by running event prelims. Friday: 4:30 p.m. field events; 6 p.m. running event finals.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Ottawa-Glandorf boys; Celina girls.
WHAT TO WATCH: After three straight runner-up finishes Ottawa-Glandorf’s boys track team broke through to win its first league title since 1978 last year. Collin Laubenthal is a returning champ for the Titans I the pole vault. Look for a big day from distance ace Matias Trampe-Kindt as well.
The Titans should also be in the thick of things in the girls race along with Celina and Defiance.