The Class A State Track and Field Championships are lined up for Friday morning and there will be plenty of intrigue to spend the day talking about as we crown several new state champions and watch yet another team race unfold throughout the day. As we prepare for Friday, here’s a look at the leading storylines on tap.
Ann Eason (Sayre) has had an amazing track season, posting several quality performances indoors, Eason unloaded early this outdoor season, posting a 10:55 two-mile time to place 3rd at the Mobile Meet of Champions. That time and the 3200 meter conversion, have led the state the whole season and, after taking a very strong second at the Dream Mile and posting a sub-5 minute 1600 time in the process, she turns her full attention to an assault on multiple state titles. Eason will join with her teammates to start the day in the 4x800 meter relay, where they have run the fastest time in Class A this year, though they were defeated at their regional by the team from Lexington Christian. Eason is also the leading entrant in the 1600 and 800 meter races, while she sits behind Louisville Collegiate’s Sarah Bode in the 3200 meters, where she will no doubt be tested after having already run three strenuous races previously.
While Eason is trying that distance quadruple, Ashley Svec (St. Henry), Maddox Patterson (Sayre), and Kaitlin Snapp (Danville), are all trying triples of their own. Svec is lined up in the 16, 8, and 32, Patterson in the relay, 1600, and 3200, and Snapp will be in the relay, 1600, and 800. While each offers their own challenges to Eason, no one has been able to go toe-to-toe with her in Class A this year, and we will just have to wait and see if she is capable of pulling of this historic quad.
As for the rest of the running events, it appears to be very wide open, with no other two individual events having the same leading entry. The field events, though, should make for some very impressive individual performances. Beechwood’s Brianna McCarthy is the leading entrant in both the shot put and discus and may have ideas about making a run at the meet record in the discus, held by Wanda Bottoms of Harrodsburg at 124-07. In the high jump, returning state champion Catherine Claywell faces a tough battle with leading entrant Emma Heil of Newport Central Catholic and Trimble County’s Kelsie Courtney both having cleared 5-4 this year. Morgan McIntyre of Fairview leads the entries in the pole vault and her 10-0 clearance is the second best in the state this year, while the triple jump is loaded with talent, led by Fort Knox’s Kiara Austin.
The team picture is very interesting, with the normal powers from St. Henry and Newport Central Catholic looking to claim yet another title, but two wild card teams are in the picture as well: Murray and Sayre. Murray brings in a very balanced team with strengths in both the sprints and the field events, while Sayre will rely heavily on the legs of their distance crew and the jumping of standout Bea Cameron to supply their firepower. Don’t sleep on the group from Bishop Brossart either, as they have some surprising depth this year and may challenge to get on the podium as well.
On the boys’ side, the standouts are headlined by Jacob Thomson of Holy Cross (Louisville) and he is trying for the same quad as Ann Eason. Thomson has been scorching the track all season, and, as only a sophomore, he is running right along with the state’s elite. Thomson is intending to try this quad for the same reason as Eason, as his Holy Cross squad is taking a hard run at the state title this year and Thomson is the fuel to their fire. He has the leading times in Class A in the 16, 8, and 32 this year and their 4x8 is enters with the fastest performance, but he will definitely be challenged in all of his events, most notably the 800, where Zach Holtkamp of Bishop Brossart and Cameron Rohmann of St. Henry are both licking their chops to make a run at this title.
Terrell Whitlow of Glasgow is another one to watch in the sprints, as he and his sprint relay teammates are working towards claiming the top spot in both the 4x1 and 4x2. Whitlow himself leads the entries in the 100 meters, while teammate Jalen Sublett is seeded 4th in the 200 meters and that makes them very dangerous in the relays. Donovan Burton of Green County and Andy Klaasen of Whitefield Academy appear to be the main competition in the two sprints and definitely bring the talent to claim the title.
In the field events, Cameron Vocke of Beechwood will be working towards a double win in the long and triple jumps and he is among the top two seeds in both events. There is some talent in the pole vault, with Justin Mahoney (Owensboro Catholic) and Stephen Orr (Murray) leading the entries coming into the state finals. The high jump could also be very closely contested with four athletes having cleared 6-4 this year, Tanner Kendall of Monroe County was the only one to clear anything above 6-0 at the regional.
The team race is weighted heavily towards two teams: Fort Campbell and Holy Cross (Louisville). Fort Campbell has an incredibly balanced team with athletes competing for points in almost every event and not small points either. Holy Cross will be looking for points in the distance, hurdles, jumps, and from Jeremy Glass in the throws. Bardstown always makes noise at the state championships, so watch for them, and Glasgow may be able to stock up some points with all of their sprinters doing damage.
We will be out and about all weekend, so stay tuned for updates and feel free to send us any inside info you might come across all weekend. Enjoy the cool temps while you can!