It's time for track and field's attention to shift to the OVAC meet.
Area boys' teams got their final tuneup Saturday at chilly and overcast Nelson Field with the 58th installment of the Bellaire Relays, which are sponsored by the Burger King and the Bellaire Touchdown Club, where temperatures hovered in the upper 40s.
Despite the conditions more suited for late March than late April, 17 squads went to work for 18 events and Gahanna Lincoln - from suburban Columbus - cruised back to Franklin County with the hardware.
BRIDGEPORT’S Cody Frey runs toward a victory in the 300M intermediate hurdles at Saturday’s Bellaire Relays.
The Lions, who feature the nation's top pole vaulter in Jacob Blankenship and many other impressive athletes, tallied 155.5 points. This marks the second victory in the Ohio Valley in three weeks for Lincoln, which won the Dick Dei Invitational at Wheeling Park two weekends ago.
Steubenville finished second overall thanks to a runner-up finish in the 4x400. Those eight points pushed Big Red past Dayton Dunbar for the runner-up trophy. Jason Kernahan's speed unit finished with 67 points.
Big Red was fueled to the runner-up trophy by a victory in the 4x200 relay. The foursome of Jaquan Lavender, Robert Hayden, Tayari Lavender and Najee Murray posted a 1:32.1 to win the two-lap relay.
Individually, Steubenville produced nary a champion, but it did manage three runner-up finishes in the field. Michaelis Forster (high jump), Malik Richmond (long jump) and Leshawn Luke (shot put) all headed for Jefferson County with silver medals.
Big Red was also second in the 4x100 and 4x400 relay with times of 44.9 and 3:33.2, respectively.
Martins Ferry finished a strong fifth with 38 points.
The Purple Riders were led by junior strongman Sean McGee and senior standout Richie Padyjasek along with a crisp effort in the shuttle relay.
The Riders' hurding team of Padyjasek, Jack Fitch, Brian Styles and Travis Jenkins ran a 61.6 for the title.
McGee won the Riders' only individual title. He marked his shot put in the sand at 53-ft-7 for the title.
Padyjasek was second in the high hurdles, posting a season-best time of 14.6. Jenkins was second in the pole vault with a 12-ft-6 clearance.
Bridgeport senior Cody Frey continued his fine early season in the two hurdling events. After battling injuries as a junior, Frey has been on a mission through April. He won the 300 meter hurdle crown in a blistering time of 39.7. He was also third in the highs with a 14.6.
Shadyside's only eight points in the meet came when senior Jake Dull finished second to Frey in the intermediate hurdles with a 40.2.
St. John Central's Corey Leasure was second in the 1600 meter run, posting a 4:38.8 for the silver medal.
Buckeye Trail's Austin Carelton claimed the title in the high jump by soaring over 6-feet.
The aforementioned Blankenship took just two vaults on the day. He entered the competition at 15-feet and cleared it on his first attempt. He then asked for the bar to be raised to 16-ft-7 where he failed on his first attempt. Citing a tight muscle in his leg, Blankenship, who is bound for the University of Tennessee and is the defending Division I state champion, called it an afternoon.