at May 19, 2013 14:12 EDT
at May 19, 2013 14:12 EDT
GREGORY, COOPER WIN STATE TRACK TITLES By Kevin Patton Published Sunday, May 19, 2013 LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Cain Cooper expected to repeat as the state pole vault champion, but JohnSha Gregory was shocked to win the discus title. Gregory had help in winning the state championship Saturday at the 3-A state meet at Owsley Frazier Cardinal Park. Gregory, who barely made the field for the state meet with an at-large bid after finishing fifth in last week’s regional, let loose a career-best throw of 126-5 on her final attempt of the day. The senior was sitting in second place when she unleashed a throw that was more than 14 feet better than her previous best. “I believe my mom was telling me, ‘Go JohnSha. You can do this,’” she said. Gregory’s mother, Peggy, died from breast cancer two years ago. Gregory threw 92-10 in last week’s regional at Muhlenberg County and was seeded 19th in the field of 24 competitors. She had already surpassed her previous best of 112 with a throw of 113-6 in the prelims. North Hardin’s Harley Domschke moved into the lead at 116-7 on her next to last throw. Gregory came back with the best throw ever on the last throw of her high school career. “I did it for my mom,” she said. Cooper went down to his last jump to win the state title, then claimed another prize — breaking a 45-year-old school record. Cooper and Marshall County’s Cody Gregory were the last two standing at 14-0 but both missed their first two attempts. When Gregory missed his last try at 14-6, the pressure was on Cooper to either win the event or go into a jumpoff with Gregory. “I was a little nervous,” said Cooper, who was seeded more than 2 feet above his nearest competitor. When he cleared the bar, Cooper felt a sense of relief. “All of the pressure came off, “ he said. Cooper then raised the bar to 15-1 to surpass the oldest record in Henderson County track history, Mark Norsworthy’s mark of 15-1/4 set in 1968, and cleared it on his first attempt. Cooper had to think before deciding which achievement was bigger. “I’d say the school record, but the state championship came a whole lot harder than I expected,” Cooper said. “There was no pressure on me to jump 15-1,” said Cooper, who also finished seventh in the discus with a personal record of 144-10. Sophomore DeAsia Outlaw picked up a surprise third-place in the 200 dash, coming out of the second flight with a personal best time of 25.54. “I didn’t think I would place,” she said. “I was thinking OMG I can’t believe I’m up there with the fast girls.” Senior Kyle Wilson turned in a pair of fourth-place finishes with PRs in the 800 and 1,600. Wilson’s time of 1:57.38 was a quarter of a second off the school record in that event. Sophomore Jonbenet Clark also placed in two events, finishing fourth in the discus and eighth in the shot put. Freshman Brooke Hensley was seventh in the high jump. Henderson County finished 10th in the boys standings with 22 points and 14th in the girls standings with 19 points.