Marvin Ridge Invitational Heads Into Year 15

Boys Meet Records | Girls Meet Records

Marvin Ridge Invitational

2009- 1st Year
Hand Timed by parent volunteers
22 Total Teams

Notable Athletes

Isaac Presson

Craig Engels

Aaron Templeton

Tavis Bailey, AL Brown- Rio Olympics- Discus

Cameron Ponder, Mount Tabor

Riley Felts, Weddington- 2024 NCAA Pole Vault Indoor National Runner-Up

Coach Starr input:

Eric Streeter and I started the meet in 2009 because there was a need in the area for an invitational on the 3rd weekend in March and we wanted to put on a quality meet that followed the, then, state meet format. 

We felt that it was important to find a place in the calendar that didn't take away from any other local meets in North Carolina. We also didn't feel the need to call schools in an effort to pull them from other meets.  Our one and only goal was to put on a quality meet for the athletes. The Marvin Ridge Invitational was built on the hard work of the school's founding athletes and families and the positive relationships built within the coaching community. 

The first meet in 2009 was hand timed by our parents and had 22 teams competing. From there the meet continued to grow and grow. We began using Scullion's Timing and then Rhodes Race Timing, which was huge. Schools from Winston-Salem, Raleigh, and Asheville started coming because they knew the meet was competitive, well run, and they could get home in a reasonable time.  All of a sudden we had 30+ teams and schools from South Carolina and Tennessee were coming to compete. 

For our athletes the meet became a right of passage and a goal. The day before the meet was always set-up day, where everyone pitched in and helped out. On meet day, the underclassmen were assigned jobs, with the most important being the hurdle CREW and Block CREW. For our returners the goal was to get into the meet. In hindsight, I think the most valuable part of hosting the meet was the team bonding that took place. 

As the meet has grown and continued to evolve, I still think it's the best early season meet in the area. It's pretty cool to reflect on where it started, the number of athletes that have competed at the meet and gone on to do great things on the next level. With the newly resurfaced track and runways, it's a top notch facility and I think Coach Sparks has done a great job with it.

Coach Sparks input:

I inherited one of the best track programs and invitationals in the state from Coach Starr and I've tried to keep up the tradition in his honor. When I came to my first Marvin Ridge Invitational while coaching at Mooresville I was in complete awe of how well run it was and it's certainly a huge task but Coach Starr set me up for success. And it's not just us as coaches, this is a phenomenal track community that cares deeply about doing things the right way. Lastly, I'd be negligent if I didn't mention my (and Coach Starr's) right hand man, the horizontal jumps coach (and the heart and soul of the program), Freddy Moore who has been with the meet since the start working as hard as anyone to make each year a success.  

With the move to 4A, the COVID interruption and aggressive marketing of other invitationals in the area we are adjusting to the new reality and I have tried to go to the next level in every way to make this an event teams won't want to miss this year and in the future. 

As always, we will have great teams and competition. New this year: our huge stadium scoreboard will display real time results, we will have food truck options, USATF officials running the meet at a collegiate level, and picture opportunities in front of a nationals style backdrop. Plus, we have some sweet custom medals and lanyards for top three in each event. 

Our facility is one of the best around. I can see us growing it to around 50-60 teams, possibly a two day meet as our friends at Weddington have done successfully the following weekend. 

Coach Starr did everything right back in 2009 and found a week where there was demand but no meet in the area. We hope to continue to conduct ourselves with respect to other programs while continuing to work to make this the best meet around. A heads up there might be a renaming in the future but it will always be the third Saturday in March at Marvin Ridge.  Big things are ahead for this meet!