Thoughts on the state track meet
Two great days of running, throwing, and jumping just occurred in Lexington. Because of circumstances out of my control, I was only able to personally attend the AAA races on Saturday. I myself have a distance background and mostly enjoy the 800 and above. But I was impressed with all the races I was able to see. Read on for my personal commentary and thoughts heard from others in the events I was unable to see.
The showdown in the boys 100 was everything it was billed to be. University of Kentucky signee Alfonso Smith (Waggener) won the race with impressive fashion over CT Trumbo (Paul Dunbar) and University of Louisville recruit Jujuan Spillman (PRP). Coaches, feel free to pass this bit of information on to your head football coach: Track makes their players faster!
Tim Duncan (Covington Catholic) put on a display of brilliance in both hurdle events, including breaking the overall state record in the 300 hurdles. He topped off the day with 4th in the long jump and running a leg of Covington Catholics 3rd place 1600 relay team.
Joe Tronzo (St. Xavier) broke his own AAA record in the shot put three times. In the end he beat the old AAA mark by almost five feet.
Mary Durham (Owensboro) broke the overall state record in the girls pole vault with a jump of 11-06. In doing this she had to surpass the prior state record holder Andrea Sabbatine (Scott County).
Brittney Belle (Central) won the 100, 200, and ran a leg on the winning 1600 meter relay team. What a way to end her high school career!
My personal favorite race of the day was the boy's mile. Michael Eaton (Greenwood) and John Hinkle (Shelby County) battled for the first three laps in the mile. Hinkle started to pull away from Eaton with about 350 meters to go. It looked like Eaton was done, but he came back on Hinkle down the home stretch for the win.
Kortni Dukes (Scott) looked to be on a mission. This athlete went out hard in the girls mile showing everyone she wanted the victory. She ran an impressive winning time of 5:06. She went with the same strategy in the 3200 and won with ease.
Double A led off the state meet on Friday morning with a bang. The boys and girls 3200 relay races were very close. Highlands girls won the relay with a time of 10:01, beating Ft. Campbell by a mere three seconds. Paducah Tilghman boys defended their 3200 state title by running an 8:13, beating West Jessamine and Highlands by one second. This was the first of many victories for Paducah Tilghman over the weekend.
From what I hear on the girl's side, Rockcastle County's Heather Hammond put on a quite a show. She won the long jump, 400 meters, and the 300 hurdles.
Patrick Morgan (Boyle County) dropped the hammer in the 800. Much was expected for him after running a 1:54 during the indoor track season this past winter, but he had yet to go under 2:00 during the outdoor season. He came through in the most important race of the year for the win.
Paducah Tilghman cruised to victory for the boys and girls titles. This is the fifth and sixth title in a row, respectively.
I had the opportunity to see Sharika Smith (Fulton County) several times this season. For any of you who do not know who she is, you should. The defending state champ in the 100, 200, and 400, she broke the overall state triple jump record with a 39-00. To put it in perspective, this would have placed her 13th in the boys AAA triple jump. She also won the 200. She is only a freshman to go along with this stellar resume.
Matthew Shoulta (St. Mary) won the 800 and 1600. He also ran the anchor leg on the winning 3200 meter relay team. Mollie Schlarman (Covington Holy Cross) won the 800 and 1600 on the ladies side.
Laura Mitchell (Murray) won the 100 and 300 hurdles, finished 3rd in the long jump, and 5th in the Pole Vault. Brandon Reed (Bardstown) won the 100 and 300 hurdles, helping lead his team to victory at the state meet.