Boykin, Leighty lead area standouts at regional meet

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

BYESVILLE — Ericka Leighty is one-for-one.

In her first regional track meet, the South Point Lady Pointers freshman high jumper placed third in her event to earn a trip to the state meet.

Leighty cleared 5-2 to take third place Thursday during the first day of the Division II regional track meet.

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Fairland senior shot putter Bethany Barbour just missed the state meet for the second straight year. Fifth in the discus last year with her best-ever toss of 115-feet, she had her personal-best heave in the shot put at 36-6.25 to take fifth place again.

“I get really determined. I guess being a senior helped me,” Barbour said.

The top four finishers qualify for the state meet to be held next Friday and Saturday at Jesse Owens Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.

South Point’s Zach Norris went 11-9 and place eighth in the pole vault. The Pointers Chris Smith, who threw 156-1 last week and has had a throw of 170 this season, threw 146-4 and was fifth in the discus.

Besides a handful of finals in the field events, the running preliminaries were held and Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers junior sprinter Mandi Boykin topped the field.

Boykin, who has finished third and fifth in the last two state meets, had the best 100-meter and 200-meter times to advance to Saturday’s finals. Boykin ran a 12.51 in the 100 meters and a 25.84 in the 200s.

“It was all right. I can run better than that,” Boykin said of her performance.

Rock Hill senior sprinter Jason Massie made the finals after taking eighth place in the 100-meter dash with an 11.57 clocking. Maurice Bougard of Steubenville ran a 10.81, Waverly’s Anthony Tackett 10.91 and Sebastian Steffen of Piketon 10.9 seconds.

South Point’s boys 4×400 relay team had the second best time overall as Josh Jones, Aaron Patterson, David Absher and Norris ran a 3:30.86 time.

The top eight times in each preliminary event qualify for the finals.