The Mason-Dixon Games will be held this weekend at Broadbent Arena in Louisville, Kentucky. This is the 51st rendition of this meet that has a great history with a past filled with world famous runners and records. Now the meet is the Kentucky Indoor State Championship with four meets starting off with the middle school aged athletes on Friday night. Class A starts off the day Saturday at 8am with Class AA following in the afternoon, and Class AAA wraps things up in the evening. As usual it looks like it will be a nice collection of talent with some really compelling match-ups along the way. Each team is limited to one entry per event which makes coaching strategy shine even more.
Class A Preview
Class AAA Boys
The big schools will shut down the action on Saturday while bringing some of the best races of the day. On the boys’ side, some questions will be answered about Male as they look to come back and win yet another state title at the end of May. They lost quite a bit of talent from last year, but have plenty of experience with John Giddens, Jaylon Kemp, Mitchell Nelson, Michael Patterson, and Ronjae Morris returning. Making this team even more dangerous is the development of Chris Judd as a sub 2:00 minute 800m runner.
Early on this indoor season Giddens has been one of the best if not the best sprinter in Kentucky. He is one of the favorites in the 55m Dash along with Zach Main of Owensboro who ran a 6.60 for the 55m Dash just last week in Depauw, Indiana. Naiym Johnson (North Hardin) actually ran a faster time to win over Giddens in Bloomington, Indiana a few weeks back but it was in a different heat not in a head to head match. The Bulldogs 4x200m and 4x400m relays are #1 of the performance based on coaches entry times.
Male will also look to score big points in the Shot Put as they have one of the best in Reddrick Blakemore. He will receive strong competition from Ohio transfer Isaac Bowling. Both Blakemore and Bowling have thrown personal best marks this winter each going over 53-00. Sophomore Hunter Bivin (Apollo) is rounding into throwing shape coming straight out of basketball season but should look to mix up with the front two as well.
The distance races look to be above average on paper coming into the meet with Andrew Stewart (North Hardin) headlining the 1500m. Austin Carter of St. Xavier fresh off a great race at the UK High School Invitational where he ran a 4:19 for the full mile should make Stewart fight every step of the way for the win. Justin House (Apollo) who ran a 4:25 for the 1600m last week has the speed to pull off the victory if he is close at the end.
Stewart and Butler sophomore Tretez Kinnaird will dual it out all season long to see who the top 800m runner in the state is now that Kentucky State Record holder Robbie Scharold has moved on the University of Kentucky. Each has run 1:56 or faster this year already as they will have their first battle on the old wooden track Saturday. The meet record of 1:58.34 could be threatened.
The 4x800m Relay showdown between Butler and St. Xavier looked initially on paper to be a great one, but both will be missing key cogs including Carter for St. X and Kinnaird and Patrick Gregory for Butler.
Patterson of Male looks to win the Triple Jump with Jonathan Hubbard of George Rogers Clark being the favorite in the High Jump as he has already hit 6-04, a new PR once this year.
Class AAA Girls
Defending Class AAA champions Campbell County is not going to be in attendance on Saturday which leads the way for Ballard, Male, or Manual to take the team victory. Ballard is led by multi-talented jumper Megan Zimlich and sprinter Cidnei Johnson. Manual will have the strongest distance crew there and could pull off victories in both the 1500m and 3000m from each of the Hale twins (Kristen and Cassidy) along with a win the 4x800m. Male has sprinter Diamond Tedford, middle distance runner Raeven Wilson, and jumper Chandler Antone.
Johnson of Ballard leads a strong field in the 55m Dash as she has already ran 8.05 for the 60m Dash. Second on the performance list is Diamond Tedford of Male who has only run one race this year which was a 400m at Mason County. Bellarmine commitment Olivia Wrocklage of Bellarmine competes eight months a year in track so she is always ready to race.
The North Hardin sprint crew has been sharp early and looks to be a solid favorite in the 4x200m Relay. In the 400m Dash last years KTCCCA Middle School State Champion, Angel Hill of Warren Central leads the field. She ran a best of 59.16 as a varsity runner last year. She will face competition from Jasmine Graham of PRP who has already ran once this year at Mason County.
Megan Zimlich has been rolling in the Pole Vault this winter already hitting 11-06 several times. Murray State signee Haley Holloway is a favorite in the Triple Jump along with the ultimate lady of many talents Madison Theiss of Oldham County who jumps, throws, and runs.