Boys 60 Meter Dash and 200 Meter Dash
With the two biggest names in sprinting staying at home (Ronnie Baker and James Quick), a few others get the chance to shine. Zach Main (Owensboro) and Ronjae Morris (Male) have been in the shadows of former teammates and it is now their time to take the spotlight. Tre Duncan (Bryan Station), Avery Price (North Hardin), and Quensie Brown (John Hardin) should be right there in the mix. This group should be battling all season long for the medal stand in the 100m and 200m Dashes in May.
Girls and Boys 400 Meter Dash
This is the one event that seems to have the biggest trouble throwing down really fast times at the Wildcat Classic. The shorter track causing runners to go around more than once and the longer sprint conditioning not being built up are part of the reason. Hopkinsville’s Aunye Christian comes in leading the girl’s field, she is coming off cross country season so her built up endurance should give her an early advantage. She will be pressed by Anna Curlin (Western Hills) and Madison Honeycutt (Oldham County.)
Derayvon Thomas-Randle (Eastern) comes in with a best under 50 seconds to lead the boys group. Jazz Hayes (Central) has experience in the 400m Dash and ran a 49.79 in 2010. Up and comers like Jake Evans (North Oldham) and Austin Eaton (Butler) will look to establish themselves as threats to have continued success until May.
Girls and Boys 800 Meter Run
duPont Manual’s Sarah Barker is the clear favorite as a legitimate sub 2:20 threat. She is a swimmer during the winter so conditioning should not be a problem. North Bullitt’s Chelsey Slayton busted onto the scene as an 8th grader in the 800m Run going on to win the Class AA State Championship last May as a freshman. Raeven Wilson will have added motivation in the 800m this year as she leads a strong Male ladies squad who will seek a state team title. Look for the ladies of duPont Manual to load up the top ten in this event on Saturday.
The boys 800m Run has no Tretez Kinnaird (Butler) 1:50 runner, so the field is wide open. Wesley Morris (Daviess County) leads the seed list with St. Xavier’s Nick Reader and Thomas Cave right there with him. Morris had a break out year as a junior in the 800m and he will look to continue that success. Reader is coming off a great run at the Kentucky State XC Championships and should be primed to lead what should be a loaded St. X 3200m Relay Team along with Cave. Josh Ortega has big shoes to fill as North Hardin looks to replace Andrew Stewart (now at the University of Louisville.) GRC’s Clay Dixon ran his best time at Wildcat last year to finish second, so he should be near the front.
Girls and Boys Two Mile Runs
On paper these two races are the best ones of the day. Both have runners who will be fresh and ready to roll.
Danville’s Kaitlin Snapp will battle her usual nemesis, Maddox Patterson (Sayre.) Patterson the three time defending state XC champ in Class A will look to make her mark on the indoor track for the first time in her career. Snapp, the defending Class A 1600m State Champ will be only running this race, while Patterson is scheduled to compete in the One Mile Run. This will be another example of great races that Snapp and Patterson have had over the last three years. Besides those two, Whitney O’Bryan (Daviess County) and Katie Lever (John Hardin) are threats to win. O’Bryan has long dominated the XC course, but lost all of last year’s track season to injury and will have to shake off some rust during indoor most likely to be primed for outdoor. Lever was a breakout star this past XC season and should be able to use this new found base of training to excel this spring as well.
Talk about saving the best for last, Class A XC Champ Jacob Thomson (Holy Cross) will be running in his only event of the day, the Two Mile Run. The Wildcat Classic has seen some great performances in this event in years past, Michael Eaton (9:11, 2006) and Brian Long (9:23, 2007.) Thomson will look to continue his junior year with another great time to go with his sub 15 5K at Foot Locker South and 19th place finish at Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego this past fall. He will be joined by AAA XC Champ Connor Sheryak and AAA Runner-Up Sam Lewis both of St. Xavier. Butler’s Patrick Gregory made quite a name for himself in the 1600m last spring as a freshman. Zack Beavin of St. Xavier is another name to add to the list. All of them will be fresh for this race, WATCH OUT as it could be a great one.
There is plenty of depth in this race with several possible sub 10s. Early season AA battle between Taylor Sanders (North Oldham), James Brown (Bell County), and Nicholas Laureano is in the works. Sanders and Laureano are doubling up the mile and two mile, unlike Brown. Sophomore Nicholas Waltman (Sayre) will look to make strides toward chasing Thomson in Class A just like he did during the XC season this past fall.
The 4x400m and 4x800 Relays will go off at the end of the evening close to 6:30 pm. The 4x400m times are not a huge deal, but the races do show us the teams that have the early season depth to pull off the wins. Both the boys and girls records in the 4x800m Relay were broke for the Wildcat Classic last year by Manual on the girls side and Butler on the boys. Look for Manual and St. Xavier to be the favorites this year.