INDOOR TRACK IN MURRAY THIS WEEK
The 2010 High School Track & Field Season kicks off this week for schools in the Jackson Purchase area. The West Region High School Invitational indoor track meet, now in its third year, will be held Thursday, February 25th in the Regional Special Events Center on the campus of Murray State University. As many as eighteen schools from west Kentucky are expected to be represented as well as several teams from surrounding states. “This meet is important for area athletes as it is the last chance to gain an entry time for seeding in the Mason Dixon Games on March 6th in Louisville which is generally recognized as the Indoor State Track Meet for Kentucky schools,” notes meet director Vito Spadafino. “It is also a chance for athletes to test themselves heading into the spring, and experience indoor track & field of which we have limited opportunities for in this area.”
Spadafino is the head track coach and athletic director at Fulton County High School and has worked closely with track & field coaches and supporters to bring the indoor version of the sport to Murray. “It’s a track & field community effort,” says Spadafino. “The state coaches association for track & cross country (KTCCCA) backs us financially, Murray State’s track program allows us use of their equipment, and coaches from various schools such as Marshall, Murray, Calloway, and St. Mary volunteer to run events which contribute to the overall success of the meet creating a memorable experience for the athletes.” Indoor track is a staple of collegiate programs and popular for high schools in neighboring Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, but a lack of indoor track facilities has kept this aspect of the sport from becoming wide spread in Kentucky. The professional tour for the sport in the United States is the Indoor Visa Championship Series of which several meets can be seen on television including the USATF Indoor Championships this Sunday, Feb. 28 at 6:00 on ESPN2. Former Paducah Tilghman runner, Danielle Curruthers, is slated to compete this year in the 60m hurdles.
As for this Thursday’s high school meet at the RSEC, several standout prep athletes will be taking to the track. Murray High’s Catherine Claywell is a 3 time Class A State Champion in the high jump and currently ranked 23rd in the nation indoors with a best jump of 5 ft. 6 inches. The girls 55m hurdles will feature Brittany Martin and Lauren Miller of Marshall County, both Class AAA state place winners in the 100m/300m hurdles outdoors. Fulton County’s Casey Dowty was a Class A State place winner in the high jump and 400m winning both events last year at this meet. On the boy’s side, there will be a shootout in the shot put with four of west Kentucky’s top throwers slated to compete. Michael Burden of McLean County, Matt Deese of Murray, and Jordan White of Owensboro Catholic are currently ranked 1st – 3rd in the state respectively for Class A indoors. St. Mary’s senior James Maglasang, a Class A State Champion in cross country in 2008 and a 4 time Regional Champion in track, will be competing in the distance events and may get a push from upstart Chase Geary of Muhlenberg County who was the 2009 Middle School State Cross Country Champion this fall. Paducah Tilghman hurdler, Caric Denson, will show his 110m state title speed in the shorter 55m version of the race, while David Burden of McLean County will try and beat his own #1 ranked indoor high jump mark of 6 feet. For those wishing to attend, Thursday’s indoor track & field action at Murray State will start at 5:30 pm.