Chargers, Eagles split early season track

-A A +A

BE's Stevens overpowers field at Male Invitational

By Mike Farner

    MOUNT WASHINGTON - There is still a long-way to go in the 2010 track season, but North Bullitt and Bullitt East met for the first time outdoors on Tuesday of last week with the two rivals splitting the boys’ and girls’ titles.


    This was an All-Comers Meet that also included Whitefield Academy. Bullitt Central was scheduled to compete, but had to cancel at the last minute.

    “It was a great day for a nice track meet,” Bullitt East track coach Lenny Raley said of one of the first days of spring weather in the area. “There was good competition throughout the day.”

    The high school track season is two weeks longer this season as the State Championships will return to an early June date instead of the third week of May as happened last year because of the availability of the track at the University of Louisville. Combined with the fact that there were two weeks to the season before spring break and teams are gearing up a little earlier this spring.

    The top athletes for both the Eagles and Chargers have already squared off this year during the indoor season. Both schools had competitors in the indoor meet at the University of Kentucky in early February and the Mason-Dixon Games in early March in Louisville.

    During the spring, some key dates include the All-Bullitt County Track and Field Championships on May 11 and then the Class AA Regional Meet on May 29. The Class AA schools just recently learned that their state championships have been moved to Thursday, June 3 at the University of Louisville. That move was made because of the number of schools that will be graduating the following day.

Boys’ Meet

    North Bullitt is quickly developing depth in their program and that showed as the Eagles had two teams in the 800-meter relay and won both of the shorter relays contested on Tuesday. That helped coach Mike Whitfill’s team win the meet with 64 points to 61 for Bullitt East. Unlike the girls’ meet, Whitefield Academy played a role in the final outcome, scoring 29 points and winning five events.

    The Eagle depth showed in that they won just four events compared to seven for Bullitt East and five for Whitefield Academy (there was no 400-meter relay on Tuesday).

    The wins for North Bullitt came from Nick Crisp in the 100-meter dash and from Kenton Aubrey in the triple jump. That went along with the wins in the 800- and 1,600-meter events.

    Bullitt East did well in the field events as expected as sophomore Trevor Troutman and freshman Andrew Okruch won the discus and shot put, respectively. Bullitt East also won the high jump with Josh Webb.

    The Chargers’ Jacob Duvall was the only double winner for the two local squads as he took both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. Bullitt East also got a win from Christian Bailey in the 800-meter run along with the 3,200-meter relay team.

Girls’ Battle

    Unlike the boys’ meet that had a number of different winners, the girls’ meet on Tuesday was dominated as expected by the top athletes who are some of the top athletes in the state.

    Unfortunately, neither team has a lot of depth at this point. Bullitt East managed to win the meet with 64 points to 60 for North Bullitt. Whitefield Academy scored just eight points. How close was it? Bullitt East won eight events to seven for North Bullitt (there was no 400-meter relay or 3,200-meter run on Tuesday).

    Defending state champion Jackie Stevens once again continued to improve as she pretty much battles against herself this season. The Bullitt East senior had personal bests in both the shot put and discus at 38-11.5 and 112-09, respectively. Those are both well ahead of her winning efforts in the State Championships last spring.

    Bullitt East also got multiple wins from junior Lynsey Milburn who took both the long jump and the high jump and was second in the discus and triple jump. The Lady Chargers also got two wins from Sarah Bainweit in the 100- and 300-meter hurdle events as well as a pair of victories from Emily Melcher in the 200- and 400-meter dashes.

    North Bullitt is strong in a number of events. In the field, senior Meri Brian won the triple jump and was second in the long jump as well as winning the 100-meter dash on the track and being part of the winning 800-meter relay team.

    The Lady Eagles will also be strong in the distance events this spring. Junior Helen Heines, the 2008 state champion at 1,600-meters, ran a strong 5.33 on Tuesday to win her speciality. Heines was also part of the winning North Bullitt 3,200-meter relay team.

    In fact, North Bullitt won all three of the relays contested on Tuesday.

    A new runner on the scene this spring is eighth-grader Chelsey Slaton. Undefeated the past two seasons in middle school meets, the Zoneton student is running both for her middle school as well as a few meets with the Lady Eagles. She easily won the 800-meter run on Tuesday.

BE in Male Inv.

    Two days later, Raley took a limited squad to the Male Invitational in Louisville with glowing results.

    Stevens had another standout performance as she won both the shot put and discus. The highlight was a throw of 41-04 in the shot put, an effort of nearly two feet further than she had ever throw before.

    The senior also had a win in the discus at 111-06, just short of her throw on Tuesday at home.

    The goals for Stevens this spring are not only to repeat as state champion in the two strength events in Class AA, but to also have the best throws in the entire state and not just in her class. Stevens is also looking to surpass the school record in the discus of 118-feet that is presently held by Andy Anthony when she won the state title 25 years ago. Anthony is presently the freshman softball coach at Bullitt East.

    The Lady Chargers finished with 36 points overall to finish in tie with regional rival South Oldham in ninth place.

    Bullitt East also got points from Milburn in her field events. The junior was third in the high jump at 4-10 as well as third in the triple jump at 31-09. Milburn also picked up four points with a fifth place finish in the long jump at 14-07.25.

    The Bullitt East boys collected 11 points in a highly competitive field.

    Most of the points came in the field events including five in the discus. Troutman was sixth at 132-02 while Okruch was tenth for one team point.

    Four of those points came in the shot put as Troutman finished seventh and Okruch was tenth (only two finishers from each school could earn team points so at times finishers outside the top eight earned team points).

    The other two points for the Chargers came from Zac Stiles who was ninth in the 400-meter dash.