SHEPHERDSVILLE - While most of the sports focus this past weekend was on Bullitt East having a pair of teams in the Sixth Region basketball semi-finals, a small contingent of local track athletes was having a big day at the 50th annual Mason-Dixon Games in Broadbent Arena.
The Mason-Dixon Games serve as the official/unofficial Indoor State Track and Field Championships.
While the outdoor track and field season cannot start until March 22, teams in Kentucky area lowed to participate in two indoor meets. For area teams, that pretty much means a trip to the Mason-Dixon Games.
The meet is scored like a state track meet with points going to the top eight finishers. The big difference is that teams are allowed to enter just one individual or one team in the relays. In addition, an outdoor meet has 18 events while an indoor meet has only 14 (there is no discus and no long hurdle event as well as no 200-meter dash nor a sprint relay).
The final girls’ scoring in the Class AA meet had Bullitt East finishing eighth with 25 points while North Bullitt was tenth with 23 points.
Most of the focus this spring will be on girls track in Bullitt County as for the first time in history there will be two state champions competing this year. North Bullitt junior Helen Heines won the state 1,600-meter run two years ago while Bullitt East senior Jackie Stevens is the defending state champion in both the discus and shot put.
Of course, Stevens, as well as teammate Lindey Young, the state runner-up last spring in the shot put, were playing with the Lady Charger basketball team last weekend and were not with the track program.
That allowed the third wheel in what could be a high scoring Bullitt East track program, junior Lynsey Milburn, to shine. Milburn scored 24 of the 25 team points for the Lady Chargers including the title in the high jump where she cleared 4-10.
As it turned out, five girls cleared 4-8, but Milburn was the only one to clear the next height.
Milburn also finished second in the long jump at 14-06.5 to score eight team points. The other six team points for Milburn came in the triple jump where she was third with a leap of 31-10.5.
The Mason-Dixon Games could be the start of a fun rivalry this spring between Milburn and North Bullitt senior Meri Brian in the jumping events. Brian, who reached the state championships last season, finished fifth in the long jump at 14-02.75 while also finishing fifth in the triple jump at 29-06.75.
With the addition of Stevens and Young for the outdoor season, the two Bullitt County programs could pick-up most of the points in the Class AA Regional Championships in late May in the field events.
The other Bullitt East team point came from freshman Emily Marksbury who was eighth in the girls’ 1,500-meter run.
North Bullitt’s other top-eight finishes included an impressive third-place finish in the 3,200-meter relay. That team included Heines and fellow junior Gentry Collins along with sophomore Alexa Hughes and eighth-grader Chelsea Slayton. The Lady Eagles also got a fourth from Slayton in the 800-meter run while Heines was fifth in the 1,500-meter run.
On the boys’ side, Bullitt East finished with nine team points while North Bullitt collected four points.
The top finisher for the Chargers was junior Stefan Reynolds who was fourth in the 400-meter dash in a time of 54.73. On the track, the Chargers also got an eighth-place finish from sophomore Jacob Duvall in the 55-meter hurdles.
In the field events, Bullitt East sophomore Trevor Troutman was sixth in the shot put at 40-06.75. Troutman was the top finisher among those from the area region. Troutman will be one of the state’s top discus threats this spring while the shot put is more his second event.
North Bullitt junior John Lister was tenth in the shot put.
All of the North Bullitt points came from the 800-meter relay team that finished fifth in 1:41.11. That foursome included seniors Derrick Jones and Aurillo Puga along with sophomore Cody Hodge and Nick Crisp.
North Bullitt did get a ninth-place finish from sophomore Mike Dowell in the 800-meter run in 2:17.52.
Bullitt Central did not compete in the Class AAA meet on Saturday.
The baseball/softball season will start on March 22 this spring and there will be two weeks in the regular season before spring break.
As expected, Bullitt East is getting a lot of pre-season attention in baseball.
The Kentucky Baseball Coaches’ Association last week voted Bullitt East the number six team in the pre-season poll. Sixth Region rival Pleasure Ridge Park, was voted third in that poll.
Bullitt East senior standouts Brandon Alphin and Matt Bowles were named to the pre-season list of the 50 top players in the state this season.
Alphin has already signed with the University of Louisville while Bowles recently signed to play for John A. Logan Junior College in Illinois.