EVERY year, the Trumbull County Track and Field Meet has its share of state champions.
Last season, Howland's Nicole Pachol, who is running at Youngstown State University; Lakeview's Ben Moody, who plays football at Cornell University; Warren G. Harding's DeAver Williamson and Mineral Ridge's Dan Skiba, the only two who return this year won state titles.
This year, there are some potential state champions heading to Lakeview High School for the two-day event beginning today at 4 p.m. Thursday's events start at 4:30 p.m. with the field events and 5 p.m. with the running.
There's McDonald junior Matthias Tayala, who has the best Division III discus throw in the state.
Warren G. Harding senior Marvin Logan has been excelling in the 110-meter hurdles. He finished fourth in the Division I 300 hurdle event last year at state. This year, Logan has been gliding over the 110 hurdles.
In the boys 3,200-meter relay, Maplewood has been putting up some quick times - even breaking the 8-minute barrier Saturday at Austintown Fitch. The Division III team took fourth last year and have a great asset to the team - freshman Wyatt Hartman.
If Maplewood is successful and doesn't have any mishaps between now and the state meet, it will be the first Trumbull County team to win the event since Lordstown did so in 2005.
Meanwhile Skiba, has jumped 22 feet, 11 inches this season, is the top area jumper. He's much more consistent this year. And, if he doesn't have trouble with his jumps for any reason, he'll have an excellent shot of getting atop the podium again this season.
As for the girls, the only one I can say with certainty who will be standing atop the podium at state is Maplewood's Jordan Moxley. She jumped 5-6 at Poland and that height might earn her a Division III state championship.
Incidentally, former Maplewood standout, Jen Grayson, won the Division III state high jump championship with a jump of 5-6 in 2004 in Columbus.
Speaking of Grayson, her younger brother A.J., is on Maplewood's 3,200-meter relay team.
None of the aforementioned athletes may make it atop the podium at state this season, but they have the best chances of doing so. Then again, there might be surprises, like Skiba was last year. He didn't even figure to be in the mix for a state title, but all it took was one outstanding jump.
Many from this area will make it down to Columbus, as they do every year. As for those elite athletes in Trumbull County, you have a chance to see them today and Thursday at the Trumbull County Meet.
The schedule and complete list of events are on Page 4C.