Middle school athletes dominated many of the performances on the weekend as there were several meets that catered to these athletes specifically this Derby weekend. There were also a few other meets on the high school scene going on that we want to recap as well, but it was a slow weekend on that front as the weather kept many competitions from taking place.
Dunbar MS Invite
Whitney O’Bryan of Daviess County Middle has been in the spotlight all year, having previously taken 2nd in the KTCCCA MS State CC Championships and 3rd in the KHSAA Class AAA State CC Championships, but she hasn’t let up for a moment. This weekend was no different as she laid down a very impressive triple on Friday running 5:26.77, 2:28.86, and 11:43.77 in the 1600, 800, and 3200 meter runs respectively, en route to winning, and setting meet records in, all three races. O’Bryan wasn’t the only one laying down impressive performances or meet records on the day, though, as it seemed like the better half of the meet records went down in this year’s version.
Double sprint winners Kelley Briscoe and Kylan Nelson of Lexington Traditional Magnet were both impressive as Briscoe set a new state leader running 27.63 in the 200, while Nelson set two meet records, running 11.63 for 100 and 24.05 for 200, while also contributing to LTM’s state leading 400 meter relay time of 47.04. LTM also had a great day from Charles Johnson as he set state leaders in both the long jump and triple jump, reaching 19-7 and 38-6, respectively, and setting a meet record in the long jump in the process. Caitlin Sullivan of Woodford County Middle was also out dominating the jumps, taking the state lead in both events as well with leaps of 16-3 and 32-7 and her long jump was good for a meet record as well. Austin Black of Edythe J Hayes also set a state leader and meet record in the 300 hurdles with a time of 44.73, while he was likely a contributor on the squad’s 800 meter relay state leading time and meet record as well as the squad nipped LTM 1:39.62 – 1:39.64.
Pulaski County Middle’s boys distance group was out in full force taking all the distance events and both the 1600 and 3200 meter relays. Jimmy Golston was impressive again as he ran 2:13.16 and 4:57.66 to win the 800 meters and 1600 meters, while teammate Mason Blevins was 10:47.27 to win the 3200 meters. Pulaski’s relay times of 3:55.60 and 9:24.11 were both meet records in the 1600 and 3200 meter relays, respectively, though just the 1600 relay time was a new state leader as the group has already been faster in setting the state leader in the 3200 meter relay.
Scott County Middle
Plenty of solid performances in this meet as well, but the one that stands out just skimming through is definitely the 400 meter time for Palmer Ward of Scott County Middle School. Ward ran 55.70 in winning the boys 400 meter dash over Dakota Mitchell of Bourbon County Middle School, who ran an impressive 57.12 himself. Ward would also take the title in the high jump and likely contribute to the winning 800 meter relay squad (1:40.97) and the runner-up 1600 meter relay group (4:13.16 to Georgetown Middle’s 4:07.16). Already holding the state-leading mark with a 54.9 hand-timed result, Ward is definitely looking like the young man to beat in the 400 meters this season.
Lexington Catholic’s Natalie Appel was a triple winner, claiming the 100, then the 400, and finally the 200 on the day, running 13.42, 1:07.11, and 27.78 respectively. None of those times would make her the state leader in those events, but her performance in the 200 specifically now has her in the thick of things as we start to look towards the state championships in a few weeks.
For the sake of the margin of victory alone, we must note Holly Huellenmeier of Scott County Middle School, as she took the discus with a throw of 93-09 when none of the other competitors cleared 50 feet on the day. Huellenmeier’s throw puts places her 2nd in the state currently among middle school competitors and gives her a great chance to do some damage in the coming weeks. Huellenmeier wasn’t finished, though, as she also took down the competition in the 800 meter run, in a time of 2:46.72, for a very solid day.
Matt Daugherty of George Rogers Clark Middle and Jake Fooks of Bourbon County Middle both posted marks over 40 feet in the shot put, with Daugherty’s 42-7 placing him 4th in the state currently, only 8 inches away from the best throw in the state currently.
Both the 400 meter relay squads from Scott County Middle had already posted top 10 times in the state this season and their performances in winning the event Friday only validated the fact that both squads are serious contenders for titles in that event.