Athletes of the Week for the week ending May 1st
Boys’ MS Track Athlete of the Week
Damien Harris, Madison MS
Harris, who now owns the fastest MS 200 meter time on record in Kentucky after his 22.94 a few weeks ago, was busy laying claim to his new throne this weekend at the Tates Creek MS Invitational. Harris ran automatic times of 11.21 and 23.26 to claim the 100 and 200 meter titles on the day over an incredibly strong sprint field. Neither time was a personal best for Harris as we already mentioned his 200 meter PR, but his 100 meter PR of 11.14, achieved during the same meet as his 200, places him #2 all-time in the 100 meter rankings. Harris appears to be very much a legitimate entity amongst the middle school sprint royalty and we will have to wait and see if he can develop into an even better sprinter in the future.
Boys’ MS Field Athlete of the Week
Caleb Cox, Pulaski County MS
This was a tough one because West Jessamine’s Kobe Ford also had a solid week in the jumps (5-2 hj and 18-2 lj), but it was Caleb’s state leader in the triple jump that got him the nod this week. Not only did Cox hit a new state-leading mark of 37-2 in the triple jump at the Rockcastle MS All-Comers last week, but he also rocketed out to the #4 performance in the long jump, reaching 17-10 for the double win on the day. Now, we don’t have nearly the volume of marks in the triple jump as most coaches are careful about which athletes the put in the event at this point in development, but Cox appears more than ready and his leap moves him into the #11 spot all-time in our database.
Girls’ MS Track Athlete of the Week
Kaleshia Harris, Leestown Middle School
Harris rolled to two personal bests at the Tates Creek MS Invitational as she dominated both the 100 and 300-meter hurdles events. Harris becomes the new state leader in the 300-meter hurdles after chopping three seconds off her previous best, en route to a 50.70 clocking, while the 100-meter hurdles performance has her sitting 2nd amongst MS performers this season. This was Harris’ first recorded meet of the year, so let’s hope she can continue to push her times lower and maybe even move up from her 11th-place all-time performance at the 300-meter distance.
Girls’ MS Field Athlete of the Week
Allie Roberts, Woodford County MS
Roberts matched the middle school achievement of one of the great athletes in Kentucky track and field history with her 4-10 clearance at the Mercer County MS All-Comers last week. According to our database, this ties Roberts with several others for the 5th best clearance amongst middle school girls all-time. Amongst that group is an impressive list of athletes including Calloway’s Rachel Adams who became a 3-time Class 3A state champion in the high jump. For Roberts, it is a bit of positive reinforcement so that she knows she could definitely become something really special.
Boys’ HS Track Athlete of the Week
Brandon Nichols, Henry Clay
Zach Evans of North Oldham gets bumped again after Nichols unloaded on a very strong field in the 400 meters at the Eastern Relays. Nichols, who had looked very ordinary from his normal self to this point in the season, posted an eye-popping 48.18 to win the 400 meters and win by just under two full seconds. Watching the race took us back to what we have come to expect from the University of Kentucky recruit, but it will be interesting to see what happens with him the rest of the season as rumors are swirling that standout teammate Blake Green has an injury and may be done for the year. Nichols will definitely have his eyes fixed on lowering the state meet record again, but don’t think that he isn’t motivated to take down the very best in the nation and make a serious run for a national title in June.
Boys’ HS Field Athlete of the Week
Brad Zolke, St. Xavier
Zolke has been progressing well as another pole vault standout for St. X and he achieved his best clearance yet this weekend at the Eastern Relays. Battling with LaSalle’s Andrew Silber, Zolke increased his career best of 13-6 (set at the St. Xavier Master Meet #2 two weeks ago) and claimed a strong 2nd on the day, well ahead of the next best competitor from Kentucky. It’s been a very competitive year, thus far, for pole vault across the state, but Zolke is the first one to cross the 14-foot barrier, making him an early favorite in Class AAA.
Girls’ HS Track Athlete of the Week
DuPont Manual Distance Medley Relay
Brink was again queen of the Eastern Relays for sure, but as we have mentioned before, we are trying to continue to highlight new athletes this year, which is why the DuPont Manual squad gets the nod here. They ran a great relay on Friday night against an incredibly strong McAuley (OH) squad that only was able to sneak away from them due to a 5:04 1600 from 800-meter specialist Danielle Pfeifer. The DuPont ladies just missed the New Balance qualifier of 12:28.0, but we fully expect that this will be close enough to earn them the chance to compete at this year’s national championships and see where they match-up with the nation’s best talent.
Girls’ HS Field Athlete of the Week
Megan Zimlich, Louisville Ballard
Pole vaulters finally had some good weather and their performances showed that and Zimlich earned a very strong victory at the Eastern Relays. Her 11-0 clearance is just short of the 11-6 PR she currently owns from indoors this season. Zimlich will now look to take advantage of the increasingly good conditions as she maneuvers herself into position to close out her high school career with a state title.