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Class AA, Region 3 Track and Field Championships

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By Mike Farner

 LOUISVILLE - Competing in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable, Bullitt East juniors Trevor Troutman and Jacob Duvall stayed focused on Tuesday and won their events at the Class AA, Region 3 Track and Field Championships at Christian Academy.

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Just before the meet started, a light rain started to fall. It would not stop for the rest of the night and temperatures continued to fall as the meet progressed.

Still, Troutman, the state runner-up in the discus last year, showed that he is once again one of the favorites in his favorite event as he won on Tuesday with a throw of 150-06 to win by over three feet. That victory came just a few hours after Troutman won the shot put with his best throw of the season at 48-02.25.

While Troutman was winning the shot put, Duvall was roaring down the track in the 110-meter high hurdles. The junior had only the third best time coming into the regional final, but he also turned in a personal best with a 15.36 to edge Central rival Keon Scott who had run a 15.30 this season, but only had a 15.63 in this race.

The regional meet had the top six finishers in each race scoring team points. Those points were allotted on a 10-8-6-4-2-1 basis.

In the most competitive of the seven Class AA regionals, Bullitt East and North Bullitt turned in strong overall performances. On the boys’ side, the Chargers finished sixth with 41.5 points while North Bullitt was eighth with 23 points. North Oldham won the meet with 119 points while defending state champion Central was second with 97 points.

It was reversed on the girls’ side as North Bullitt was sixth with 32 points while Bullitt East was eighth with 15 points. Central won the meet with 163 points while North Oldham was second with 140 points.

The top two finishers in each event automatically qualified for the Class AA Kentucky State Championships that will be held on Thursday at the University of Louisville. The ten best performances from the seven regionals not finishing first or second will also advance to the State Championships. From this region, that could mean that some competitors finishing even fifth and sixth could advance.

(As of Sunday afternoon, the exact qualifiers had not been posted by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.)

“Obviously, Trevor and Jacob did a great job winning their specialities,” Bullitt East head coach Lenny Raley said later in the week. “They should have a great chance to repeat this at the state meet.

“I was pleased with the efforts,” the coach added. “We had several personal bests despite the fact that the weather was a real challenge, as it has been much of the season.”

Duvall had the best time in the state for much of the season before being eclipsed in the last few weeks by Scott and Shelby County’s Michael Barry. He got the best of both runners on Tuesday despite the moist conditions.

“I really ran my race anyway,” Duvall said when asked if he changed anything because of the rain. “This season has had bad weather. I’ve run in the rain and blocked it out and have just run my race.”   

Duvall was not as strong later in the meet as he finished fifth in the 300-meter hurdles.

In the two strength events, Troutman was the dominant figure in winning both titles. Troutman has long favored the discus, but he has made big strides in the shot put this season and is now one of the favorites in that event also at the state level. 

On Thursday, Troutman will be trying to duplicate the discus state championship that his father, Jimmy, won in 1975 as a senior at Bullitt Central.

Bullitt East also got team points in both of those events from sophomore Andrew Okruch who was third in the discus (a personal best of 139-07) and sixth in the shot put (39-03).

The other team points for Bullitt East came from senior Stefan Reynolds who was fifth in the 400-meter dash with a personal best time of 53.74. Sophomore Evan Reister tied for sixth in the high jump at 5-4.

All of the points for the Bullitt East girls came from senior Lynsey Milburn in the field events. Milburn had a personal best of 32-05 in the triple jump as she finished third and will most likely advance to the state meet with that distance. She also finished fourth in the long jump at 14-04.75.

Milburn and North Bullitt sophomore Caitlin Montgomery finished tied for third in the high jump at 4-8. 

NB’s Slayton Second

North Bullitt had a good day on Tuesday despite not winning any of the events.

The Lady Eagle top threat of freshman Chelsey Slayton in the 800-meter run was sidetracked with an illness a week earlier that kept her off the track for four days including the All-Bullitt County meet. The only goal was to advance to the state meet and regain her strength over the week following the regional.

Slayton grabbed the lead at the start and held it down the backstretch of the second lap before Martha Layne Collins junior Caterian Karas passed her and then pulled away to win in 2:25.12. Slayton was second in 2:28.13, but that was well off her best time of the season at 2:22.03.

Karas also won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races.

“Chelsey will run significantly better next week,” North Bullitt track coach Mike Whitfill said of the defending state champion in the event. She was not back to full strength. She went out too fast. She was running on adrenaline. She will run significantly faster.”

Slayton finished second in the regional final last year and then won the state championship a week later over the same runner that beat her in the regional.

The Lady Eagles also had a strong showing in the shot put as sophomore Erin Downs finished second while senior teammate Elizabeth Grant was third. Downs led for much of the competition before Central’s Royality Finn passed her on the fifth of six throws, winning in 31.06.75. Downs threw 31-04 while Grant had a best of 29-10.

North Bullitt also got a sixth place finish from sophomore Carla Willhite in the discus at 75-08 as well as the five points from Montgomery with the tie for third place in the high jump.

On the track, North Bullitt senior Helen Heines, the 2008 state champion at 1,600-meters, finished fifth on Tuesday with a season-best time of 5:40.41 in her speciality.

The Lady Eagles also got two points for a fifth place finish in the 1,600-meter relay  with the team of Heines, Slayton, Alexa Hughes and Elizabeth Grau.

On the boys’ side, junior Cody Hodge had a strong run in the 100-meter dash, finishing third in 11.28.

Junior Chris Pate had a good day in the hurdles, finishing fifth in the 110-meter high hurdle event in 16.47 while recording a fourth place finish in the 300-meter hurdles in 42.88, beating Duvall for the first time this season.

North Bullitt junior Michael Dowell had a pair of sixth-places finishes, running 2:08.97 in the 800-meter run and then posting a 4:44.96 in the 1,600-meter final.

The Eagles’ two sprint relay teams, which are both made up of Hodge, senior Isaac McLean, sophomore Pat Egnor and junior Keith Miller finished third in the 800-meter relay in a time of 1:34.21. Earlier, the team had posted a time of 45.75 to finish fifth in the 400-meter relay.

North Bullitt got one point in the 1,600-meter relay when the team of Miller, Pate, Egnor and Dowell ran 3:40.62 to finish sixth.