County track programs get their first look at each other

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By Mike Farner

HEBRON ESTATES -- For the first time this spring, the three Bullitt County track programs got a look at each other in an All-Comers Meet at North Bullitt that also included DeSales.

This was a relatively small event that all the programs were using to try different things. In fact, it was the first meet that first-year North Bullitt boys’ coach Michael Whitfill had ever hosted.

Bullitt East picked up the most points in both the boys’ and girls’ meets, but no official results had been posted by the weekend.

The major events will heat up as the season continues. The biggest meet of the regular season will be on Tuesday, May 5 with the All-Bullitt County Track and Field Championships at Bullitt East.

The following week the regional meets will be conducted for North Bullitt and Bullitt East in Class 2-A and for Bullitt Central in Class 3-A. The following week will be the Kentucky State Championships May 19-20 at the University of Louisville.

North Bullitt Meet

Thursday’s meet at North Bullitt was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but bad weather forced the postponement. Still, there was a good mix of athletes from all the schools at the early-season meet.

In the boys’ sprints, Bullitt East speedster Bobby Harrison did not compete as he is also playing baseball this spring. Still, Bullitt East has a new sprinter in senior Kodey Kearney who is participating for the first time in track after playing basketball. Kearney won both the 100- and 200-meter events on Thursday, beating Bullitt Central junior Jeremaie Bennett who is also running track for the first time.

As in the past, Bullitt County boys should be amongst the top competitors in the area in the strength events. Bullitt East senior Michael Bozarth won the shot put on Thursday while North Bullitt senior Greg Brown had a nice throw to win the discus with Bozarth in second.

DeSales was very competitive in the distance events, but Bullitt East will get points in meets this spring from Austin Markwell and Bradley Foster as well as Rob Daugherty. North Bullitt’s top distance runner is Keneniah Taft.

On the girls’ side, the top two competitors this spring will once again be North Bullitt’s Helen Heines in the 800- and 1,600-meter events along with Bullitt East’s Jackie Stevens in the discus and shot put.

Heines, the defending state champion at 1,600-meters is coming off some leg injuries and is just now getting into shape. Her times are just a little off where she was a year ago.

Stevens does not have that problem. The junior won both of her events on Thursday with spectacular efforts. She tied her best throw in the state this season at 35-8 in the shot put and she is already throwing the discus further than she did last year, wining at 105-feet last week.

Two other athletes had big performances on Thursday. Bullitt East sophomore Lynsey Milburn is once again competing in three events and was strong in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. North Bullitt’s Meri Brian, who also reached the state meet last season, had a big leap in the triple jump and was also strong in the long jump and the sprints.

Injuries have hurt local girls to some extent this season. Bullitt East junior Jade Troutman will probably not compete this spring because of a lower back injury that bothered her throughout the basketball season. She has finished in the top-three of the high jump each of the past two seasons at the state championships.

Bullitt Central distance runner Rachel Thacker, who advanced to the state cross-country meet last fall, is out with shin splints and will not compete this spring.

There were a lot of other young athletes who looked strong in this meet and will earn points as the season progresses.

Male Invitational

On Saturday, Bullitt East competed in the Male Invitational against some of the best teams in the area. Coach Lenny Raley just took selected athletes to this competition.

On the girls’ side, big finishes by Stevens in her two events, including a state-best throw this spring in the discus, helped the Lady Chargers collect 31 points and finish eleventh against mostly Class 3-A teams.

The boys’ meet had 17 teams and Bullitt East collected 19 points to also finish 11th.

Stevens was the top talent in the discus as she recorded a personal best with a throw of 109-02. That was an amazing 19-feet further than the second place finisher.

It was a lot closer in the shot put and Stevens was a little under her best throw of the season as she won with a toss of 32-10. The second-place finisher was Samantha Reid of Fern Creek at 32-08.5.

The other points for the Lady Chargers were score by Milburn. The sophomore was second in the high jump at 4-10. Milburn also got three points with a sixth-place finish in the long jump at 14-05.

On the boys’ side, Bozarth had his best day so far this spring in the discus as he uncorked a throw of 135-10 to finish second. The senior was also eighth in the shot put at 39-10 to score one team point.

Harrison competed for Bullitt East on Saturday and was fourth in the 200-meter dash in a time of 22.75. He also ran as part of the 400-meter dash team that finished with one team point. That team also included Kearney, Adam Herth and Kevin Rowe.

Bullitt East also got four team points in the 800-meter sprint medley, an event that is not run in regular KHSAA track meets. That team included Harrison, Kearney, Rowe and Garrett Foss.