With the State Meet just 3 weeks away, it is time to highlight some of the athletes who can challenge for the KHSAA Class 2A Track and Field State Championship. In this week's edition, we will focus on the Class 2A throwers and pole vaulters. Regardless of the current season best, this article highlights returners who will challenge for it all.
The first athlete who will challenge for the Discus State Championship this year is David Harless of Russell. The Junior has looked unbeatable in the Class 2A ranks this season winning every discus event he has entered. Couple this with his Class 2A leading throw of 164-7 and you have an athlete poised to perform well at the State Meet. Harless also has experience at State as last year he finished 7th in the event a the 2022 KHSAA Class 2A Track and Field State Championship. If Harless can throw to his ability, he will be tough to defeat at the State Championship this season.
However, there are several athletes that can challenge him. The first of these athletes is Andrew Hardwick from Boyle County. The senior finished 10th last year at the State Meet, but has thrown the distance that would have landed him 1st at the State Meet last season. Hardwick has improved by 30 feet since last season and is only continuing to get better.. He currently has the second farthest throw in Class 2A and is a major contender to claim his first State Championship.
The third athlete on this list is Hunter Coslow of Taylor County. Coslow finished in 4th place in this event at last year's State Championship. However, Coslow has improved since then, furthering his career best by nearly 20 feet this season. Coslow currently has the 3rd farthest throw in Class 2A this season and with his State experience, he should be seen as one of the favorites to win this event at this season's State Championship.
As we move into the shot put, two of the names will not be changing. However, the first athlete on this list is a new addition.
LLeyton Penn of Mercer County is the defending State Champion in this event. Last season, as a Junior, Penn won the State Championship by 3 inches. This season, however, Penn has the farthest throw in Class 2A by 10.5 inches. Assuming Penn can replicate this performance, he should be the favorite to repeat as Champion in this event.
Second on this list is Hunter Coslow from Taylor County. While Coslow is a very good discus thrower, he is partial to the shot put where he has dominated this season. Coslow defeated the third athlete on this at the KTCCCA Class AAA Indoor State Championship by over 3 feet. Coslow also finished in 3rd place at the State Championships last season. Coslow currently has the second farthest throw in Class 2A by a little more than 2 feet and only 10 inches away from first making him the biggest threat to LLeyton Penn this season.
Third on this list is Andrew Hardwick of Boyle County. Hardwick and Coslow have been doing a back and forth dance at the last two State Championships. At the Outdoor Championships, Hardwick defeated Coslow and finished 2nd in the event. However, as previously stated, Coslow defeated Hardwick by 3 feet at the Indoor State Championship this season. Given his Championship experience, Hardwick should find himself on the podium at the Outdoor State Championships and maybe even contend for the State Championship this season.
Luke McQueen, Junior, Casey County
An interesting inclusion in this article, the pole vault mixes speed with strength and is one of the more technical events in all of Track and Field. Here are the athletes who will compete for the State Championship this season.
The first athlete on this list is Rilen Pinkston from Highlands. The Junior is the defending State Champion in this event clearing 13 feet 6 inches last season. This season, Pinkston has performed equally as weak as he did last season, vaulting 13 feet 4 inches. If Pinkston repeats this performance, he could repeat as the Class 2A Pole Vault Champion and continue dominating for years to come.
The second athlete on this list is A J Barrett from Mason County. Last season, Barrett finished 2nd to Pinkston at the State Championship clearing 13 feet 6 inches as well. However, on attempts, Pinkston was named Champion. Obviously disappointed with this, Barrett has been a man on a mission this season where he vaulted 14 feet 4 inches Indoors winning the Indoor State Pole Vault Championship. Barrett currently has the highest vault of any athlete in Class 2A at 13 feet 6 inches. Assuming this event goes how it did last year, we could be in for a duel of fates potentially making this event the most anticipated event at this year's Championships..
Andrew Lockhart, Freshman, Boyle County
Tayvon Snowden, Junior, Bourbon County