Strong field to compete in event

With temperatures expected to be in the 70s and a talented field competing, organizers of the 12th annual Irwin Invitational are excited about the prospects of Saturday’s event at Elkins High School.

Nine schools from around the region will battle in the track and field competition, which begins at 9:30 a.m. for field events and 10 a.m. for running events.

“We’ve a lot of quality teams coming to Elkins this year for the Irwin Invitational,” Elkins High School boys coach Matt Lewis said. “On the boys side, Bridgeport, Fairmont Senior and Robert C. Byrd are all ranked in Class AA, while South Harrison is ranked in Class A.”

Lewis added the Bridgeport girls are the top-ranked team in the state, according to the power ratings.

Philip Barbour, Hampshire, Liberty and Tygarts Valley round out the field.

“There’s going to be some exciting races and that’s exactly what you want to see as a coach,” Lewis said. “We have some of the strongest distance runners in the entire state competing and there should be some interesting competition in those events.

“The weather looks to be great for the day, and our kids are excited to be able to compete in a meet where there’s no snow, rain or howling wind.”

The Irwin Invitational is named for the late Robert “Bob” Irwin, who was the head coach at Elkins High School in track, football, basketball and wrestling during his coaching career.

He was an all-conference and all-state performer during his playing days, and 11 of the track teams he coached at EHS were conference champions.