Here’s the KYTRACK.com preview for the Class AA State Championships this Thursday, May 23rd at the University of Louisville. The new time schedule for this year is posted here: http://www.khsaa.org/track/2011/statetrackmeetschedule.pdf
Please make sure you are well aware of it as the changes made for the AA and AAA meets are of note to most teams.
David: With the new look to the state meet schedule this year, what are the main advantages you see at this point?
Jonathan: The obvious point is the break that the 4x800 runners get before competing in the rest of the meet.
David: It's an interesting point of consideration for distance-oriented teams. Some have said that the performances in the 1600 and 3200 have been down in the past few years because of the schedule, but for some reason the 800 has not suffered.
Jonathan: I would argue none of the distance races have suffered as far as performances go. No one has been able to triple or run all four which hurts the distance-oriented teams. That is the big complaint
David: Depth has been a variable in every year of the state meet and the past two years are no different. We do expect to see a jump in the performances in the 4x8s this year, though, and that is exciting. What about the field events being able to get their due and finish up before the running events get going?
Jonathan: For sure on that one. One thing of note, I was talking to a Head Coach who is sprint oriented at the Eastern Relays and he said the break worked for him because he was just moving his strong 400m runners to the 4x800 which made his squad better. The break works both for the distance and sprint teams.
David: That's an interesting thought. I would agree that both teams get a nice boost there. I like that we can get a chance to focus on some of the great talent in the field events during the meet. They have been mostly ignored at U of L thus far.
Jonathan: Agreed, they get their own time on the track without the running. I am looking forward to spending some times over at the throws. The last couple years I have gone over there but it was just for a few minutes. Will this make a significant difference in the field event performances?
David: I think the ability to stay in the event and focus on that without having to check out for running events will help some athletes significantly. I hope that we get to see the athletes perform so that more teams see the usefulness of this schedule.
Jonathan: I like the change personally.
David: I just checked the listserve, it sounds like you are in the minority.
Jonathan: Ouch, watch out, you don't want to join any of the committees that were floating out there.
David: Alright, let's get to it then, especially with this shortened week for us.
Jonathan: Class AA opens up the week on Thursday. What person are you looking forward to seeing run the most?
David: Well, South Warren's Jared Skrabacz should be of interest to many.
Jonathan: Why, I mean he only won the Dream MIle with a converted 4:15 1600m and ran 9:14 for the 3200m. What's to watch there?
David: Good point, what else can he do?
Jonathan: Can we see him take down a state record?
4:15.96 for the 1600m and 9:26 for the 3200m
David: I'll be waiting to see if he intends to even try. A run in the 4x8 may signify that he is going for wins in the other two events and not records. I like his odds in the 32, though.
Jonathan: At the Eastern Relays he ran the double and was 4:21/9:28
David: Definitely intriguing. Going to be cool by the time he runs that 3200 probably.
Jonathan: I am looking forward to seeing Ryan Timmons from Franklin County.
He has been tearing up the 100m all year, running under 11 hand-times several times. He ran 10.93 FAT at the CKC to show he ran do it with the automatic timing as well.
David: We hear the rumblings every year about whether or not the times that the state's best sprinters run are legit or not. Timmons seems to be able to post low times no matter what timing system is in place, so we can only hope to see him dip under 11 at the state championships.
Jonathan: You have seen him run, does he bust out of the blocks or is he stronger the last 50?
David: He doesn't seem to be great out of the blocks, but he doesn't wait until 50 meters in to gap the field. He's good enough in the blocks to be in the race at the start and pulling away at the halfway point.
Jonathan: Sounds like the 100m will be a race to watch. What other boys events should we look forward to?
David: We expect a very competitive 4x8 relay this year.
Jonathan: Yep, the boys in western Kentucky blew it up Saturday with Hopkinsville, Logan County, and Webster County all running under 8:19.
David: South and North Oldham have been 8:12 and 8:13 in the past couple weeks as well, and let's not forget Mercer County Senior High and their 8:17 this past weekend.
Jonathan: When was the last time AA had 6 schools run under 8:19 before state? That is amazing depth.
David: It should make for a quite competitive race. I like the closeness of the 400 meters, where we really lack a favorite, and the 300 hurdles, where previous favorite Zach Evans looks to claim the title while overcoming a bad hamstring the past two weeks.
Jonathan: Evans is a key cog for the North Oldham team title chances.
David: Oh yeah, they are counting on him to pull big points in his four events while they nibble away in plenty of other events.
Jonathan: The distance crew is going to need to score points for them to win for sure. Jeremy Rice is a favorite to win the 800 after being the runner-up last year.
David: They will need Sanders and Grandon to score as well, but they have some bodies in the field events that they definitely need to contribute.
Jonathan: Colin Grandon has been solid in the 3200m and Cameron Renaud should score in the throws. They will be challenged by the Tornado from Paducah Tilgham
David: Tighlman is back again and they look like they may have the athletes to get it done this year. Of course, we say that every year, but they found the balance they were missing the last few years it appears.
Jonathan: They are relay heavy. They have JD Harmon in the Long and Triple. After that they will nickel and dime to score points.
Jonathan: Joe Jones in the Discus can score points, he is the defending champion but Trevor Troutman is standing in the away of another title probably.
David: Discus looks solid with Troutman and Holbrook of Western Hills.
Jonathan: Central, Covington Catholic, South Oldham, Franklin County will all hope to be in the mix as well.
David: Central and Covington Catholic will continue to be there and Franklin County has Timmons along with William Bell, but most of these teams are facing a real uphill battle.
Jonathan: What about the ladies? Who should we watching out for?
David: Well, Highlands is still the favorite until they get knocked off. Taylor Rosenhagen was pretty impressive at their regional.
Jonathan: The ladies of Highlands know how to get it done. Two years in a row I am thinking they have won.
David: 3 years now, thank you kindly.
Jonathan: They have Rosenhagen who is going to be a Bearcat at Cincinnati next year. She does it all.
Jumps and throws
David: What about Magen Daniels of Johnson Central? Quietly one of the best high jumpers in the state out there.
Jonathan: Not a lot is said about her, but she is consistently above 5-0 most of the time close to 5-4 and a new best of 5-5 this year.
David: Impressive and a heavy favorite in Class AA. What about two other heavy favorites: Alisha Adair and Caterina Karas?
Jonathan: Adair is alway dangerous in the 200, she has been more consistent in the 100 this year as well. Adair and Michaela Hunter will duke it out in the 200m and 400m once again this year.
David: Yeah, and Hunter will have her hands full all day with Rosenhagen in the jumps and Adair in the sprints. Jessica Crabtree is also going to be battling in the triple, but her race against Abby Wiggins in the 300 hurdles might be the best one we see all day.
Jonathan: Combined together Adair and Hunter have 332 performances in their careers on KYtrackXC.com. That is a lot of racing and they are only sophomores.
Jonathan: Class AA hurdles are just plain nasty this year. Wiggins has been on fire this year, Crabtree is a veteran, state record holder Gabheart in the 300 Hurdles, Maya Spalding, Brianne Brown..... too many names to choose from.
David: Great points. Those races will be a whole ton of fun.
Jonathan: Do you think Karas runs all three distance events?
David: I think so. I think that the 800 will be very interesting as Chelsey Slayton will give her a run for her money as she always shows up at the state meet. Outside of that, Whitworth will have her hands full in the 3200.
Jonathan: Slayton is tough in the 800m, as she is the defending champion.
David: I think we have to mention Collinsworth before we are done because of the fact that Highlands is really relying on her, Weyer, Rosenhagen, and relays to get their fourth title in a row. Central and North Oldham will bring it, but it looks like they have too much.
Jonathan: Collinsworth ran four individual races at the region, but I look for her to switch to a relay possibly for state. Highlands eats up the relays
David: Anything else you want to mention before we wrap up this first preview?
Jonathan: Highlands looks to be the favorite but don't count out Central. They have the guns with Spalding, Gore, and Forrest to pull off the win.
Jonathan: Good luck to everyone Thursday night. KYtrackXC.com will be there with updates, pictures, interviews, and more.
David: We are excited about our coverage this year and look to bring the state meet to you the fans as best we can. We hope to see you out there, so bring the sunscreen!