Jonathan: So, The Class AA meet is in 3 nights, crazy fast. Top five races to watch?
David: Girls 100 hurdles is wide open and should be awesome. Brown, Stone, and Crawford have faced each other several times this year and have traded wins.
Jonathan: With the three seeing each other so much how do they differentate this from any other weekend.
David: They don't, but they do have to watch out for Shalara Wells of Hopkins County Central and Jessica Crabtree of Lloyd who both put down smoking times this weekend.
Jonathan: Crabtree has been around and has experience.
David: Very true. They will be the first five spots, barring any incident, but picking a winner is a crapshoot. You think Collinsworth could factor in? Or Maddie Roark?
Jonathan: Roark is a factor for sure, I think she could be a name that people learn after the state meet. Collinsworth will have a full plate with the 100 right after
David: That's for sure. So what is another race we should be looking for?
Jonathan: Fast 3200 relays for both boys and girls. Central is the favorite running sub 8:10 this year already, how much will they be pushed is the question?
David: I'm buying cross-country powers North Oldham and Covington Catholic to make things interesting. Both have three solid legs that might allow them to hang on paper, but will have to have big days from their number fours to give them a chance against Jemane on anchor.
Jonathan: Jemane has been as solid as any runner in the state this spring so he is a great anchor for Central.
David: No question and I only think that Rice or possibly Schwab can hang, which is why they may have a chance if they can keep it close.
Jonathan: None of these schools have run sub 8:20 can they find something to go 8:12 - 8:15
David: Cov Cath has 2:00, 2:05, 2:05, and 2:09 in opens and that can easily turn into something around 8:15 with good days. North has 1:58, 2:04, 2:08, and Grandon on paper. That translates very well in those terms.
Jonathan: Very true, lots of energy flowing for state, that will help big time. Biggest name to watch Seth Adkins, Robert Sandlin, Jaz Hayes, or Chris Ulis?
David: Adkins has a real chance for 3 titles if he can get the 1,2 and bring in the 4x2, but I don't know about the 100 on that one.
Jonathan: Mason county 4x2 is legit.
David: Hayes was beaten soundly in the 100 by Erico Smith at the regional, but will probably win the 400 without issue and will make it interesting in the 200 and one of the relays.
David: Sandlin wins the 1600 for sure, but he lost in the 800 at his own regional before winning the 3200. I don't think he can get all three, but if anyone can do it this year, he's the one with the resume.
Jonathan: Does sandlin attempt to triple?
David: Definitely. The 3200 is still his for the taking if he can pull something under 9:50, so the 800 is the biggest question after this weekend.
Jonathan: It is hard on distance runners. Ron Duncan did it a few years back but the 3200 was not fast but he still won.
David: This year's 3200 will go under 9:50 in Class AA. Quote me on that. Ulis wins all three if he's on Thursday. He's ridiculous, and rises to the occasion when challenged.
Jonathan: Ulis has been the man this year, If he pulls the win I like him for AA Athlete of the Year
David: No question. When he hits all his jumps, he is hard to beat. I was surprised by some of the regional marks in the horizontal jumps, so I think that's where he faces the biggest challenge, but only clearing 5-10 at the regional leaves everyone scratching their heads.
Jonathan: Lamonta Murray of Atherton jumped out of his mine going almost 23 ft.
David: Very interesting that he and Dunbar jumped that well, but part of that may have been the fact that they had the attention of the whole meet as they started that event around 10pm in Region 3AA.
Jonathan: Interesting, but true. Does anyone push the great Jackie Stevens? She is up almost six feet in the shot and 20 feet in the discus.
David: I like that Brittany Bartelt of E-Town didn't back down at the regional in the shot put, but the titles are definitely Stevens' to lose as no one else is going to throw over 40 in the shot or over 115 in the discus.
Jonathan: Imagine if Stevens had the competition of Okoro and Bell a few years back
David: Those would be competitions that even those uninformed distance and sprint coaches might enjoy watching.
Jonathan: If i knew nothing about the class 2a state, who are the five kids to watch?
David: Chris Ulis of Elizabethtown, Jackie Stevens of Bullitt East, Robert Sandlin of Franklin County, Alisha Adair of Western Hills, and Caric Denson of Paducah Tighlman would be five to watch compete. There are others to throw in who will likely win and might even defeat some of these athletes, but these are the athletes who have raised their game in the past and will likely rise to the occasion this year.
Jonathan: I saw Denson first hand at the Region 1 Championship and he rolled in the hurdles, looked real smooth.
David: He is dangerous for sure and he will be hungry, just like Diaz Bolden of Central, to get those hurdle titles.
We haven't even mentioned the team races. The girls’ title could go 5 or 6 different ways.
Jonathan: Rockcastle looks to be a real threat but need every point to pull it off. Highlands has the depth and will roll with Collinsworth scoring big
David: Those are two great choices, but they will have to take advantage of every possible point and South Oldham, CAL, and Central are all positioned to jump at the chance if it comes open.
Jonathan: Could South Oldham pull off the XC/track double? That doesn't happen as much as you would think
David: No it doesn't, but that doesn't mean that it can't. They will need to take both the 3200 and 1600 meter relays and then score very well in all the events 400 meters and up.
Rockcastle County is relying on only three athletes and that is a ton of pressure to produce.
Jonathan: Big time. Smith is stud and hunter is a double champ,
David: Dollins could end up clinching it for them in the end, though, if she can step up in the 1600 and 800 meters.
CAL is set up similarly with their big three of Chalisa Helm, Sadie Stone, and Jenna Rogers. Can they pull of the upset?
Jonathan: Rogers will battle with Whitworth in the 3200 (nice race by the way)
Boys’ side who we looking at? Central? Cov. Cath? Paducah Tilghman?
David: I just want to throw one more thing out on the girls' side before we leave that. Highlands will need a big day from their multis stud Taylor Rosenhagen. Collinsworth and the relays are always strong, but they will need Rosenhagen to come up big if they want to repeat.
Ok, Central looks too strong on paper, but then when you see them up close it’s different than it seems. They are putting a ton of pressure on Hayes
Jonathan: Can the freshmen save the day?
David: They will likely need him to score something between 15 and 20 in the sprints and then contribute to the win in the 4x4.
Jonathan: Central needs 15 points from Jemane, 15 from Dunbar also.
David: If they get that, combined with the 4x8 win and at least 10 more points from Lado and others, they will be hard to beat. After seeing the Paducah Tighlman squad, can they get back on top?
Jonathan: PT will have to kill in the sprint relays and get 20 from Denson. Jones looks good for 10 in the Discus. They have Landon Beans in the PV and Harmon in the jumps
They don't have the usual quality of depth like in the past but they still have studs. They can surprise and they have tradition that rivals no one except maybe Male
David: That might be the difference as Cov Cath is the opposite. They have people who are able to score in more than half of the events on the slate and some that are possible state champs, but they will need to score plenty of 4th and 5th place finishes to put together the title.
Jonathan: That is how Cov Cath did it last year, nickel and dime all the way
David: Experience on this track will be useful and that may prove to be what gets Central the title and gets Cov Cath positioned for 2nd.
Jonathan: That Class AA meet should be a good one and is perfect to get the KY State Meet started. Let's not forget it is on a Thursday this year.