Mother Nature washes out special day

-A A +A

2012 All-Bullitt County Track and Field Championships

By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - The greatest day that never happened.
 That is the way the 2012 All-Bullitt County Track and Field Championships will have to be remembered after rain washed out the big meet last Monday an hour after it started. Because all three programs had meets scheduled for Thursday and North Bullitt and Bullitt East have regional finals on Tuesday of this week, there was no chance to reschedule the meet.
 The meet on Monday did start with clear skies and the first few events went off without a hitch before ominous clouds appeared on the horizon. The coaches picked up the pace on the track, almost starting the boys' 800-meter relay the moment the final girl was off the track from the previous relay, but it was a losing battle. Lightening sent everyone into Bullitt East's gym after a combined 1,600-meter race finished in near darkness. Moments later heavy rain hit and sent everyone home.
 Still perhaps the largest crowd to ever gather for the county championships got a little of what they came to see. In what is a banner year for the sport at the local level, the fans did get to see Bullitt East seniors Trevor Troutman and Jacob Duvall as well as North Bullitt senior Cody Hodge put on a show.
 The highlight came as the darkness gathered when Troutman began his warm-ups for the discus after having already won the shot put. The conditions were nearly perfect for the discus as a brisk tailwind came up. Troutman, the defending state champion in the discus (which he won at 164-feet), uncorked some jaw-dropping throws as he got loose.
 In the end, the discus throwers got one official throw in before Mother Nature halted the meet. Troutman made the most of that, unleashing a throw of 186-02, a distance that would rank as one of the three longest throws in state history, breaking his own personal best of 185-0.
 Bullitt East teammate Andrew Okruch, a junior who may well be the second best discus thrower in Class AA this spring, also had a big throw, hurling the discus 154-08.
 Moments earlier, Duvall, who recently signed with Centre College, had streaked down the track in front of the bleachers to win the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.6, a strong time on an asphalt track. The state runner-up in the event last season, Duvall has run 15.11 on a rubberized track this spring.
 Hodge also had two impressive runs before the rain. The senior, who had signed with Campbellsville College just a few hours before the meet, easily won the 100-meter dash in a blistering 11.1.
 The fans got a better comparison in the 800-meter relay. At the end of the first lap around, Bullitt Central freshman Trevor Carnell had made up a huge gap on North Bullitt on the second leg. By the time Hodge got the baton for the final leg, the two teams were nearly even. Hodge made short work of that, pulling away on the curve and then giving the Eagles a one-second win.
 The only other boys' events completed on the track saw North Bullitt senior Michael Dowell make a strong showing in the 1,600-meter run in beating Bullitt East senior Brandon Wiseheart 4:54 to 5:02. Bullitt East opened the meet by wining the 3,200-meter relay in 9:21.
 On the girls' side, the most anticipated events were really never contested.
The 800-meter run was not held with two-time defending state champion Chelsey Slayton. Thinking that team points would be important, North Bullitt head coach Mike Whitfill had inserted Slayton into the 1,600-meter run, but that is not her strong suit. She ran well, but finished second to Bullitt Central senior Cindy Kiefer who had a time of 5:48 to Slayton's 5:51. Kiefer will be running for Bellarmine next season.
 The only other completed events completed on the track had North Bullitt's Elizabeth Grau winning the 100-meter dash while Bullitt Central's Mara Judd won the 100-meter hurdles.
 Bullitt Central won the 3,200-meter relay while Bullitt East had taken the 800-meter relay. In the girls' discus, North Bullitt's Carla Willhite won at 82-10.
Regional Action Next
 There will be no time to think about what might have been last Monday as the post-season is here this week for the area track programs.
 North Bullitt and Bullitt East will compete in the Class AA, Region 3 championships on Tuesday at Henry County High School. The 'regular' meet will start at 4:30 p.m., but because there is just one jumping pit at the school, the triple jump will start at 2:30 p.m. Still, it will be close to midnight before the meet is over.
 Bullitt Central, which is still in Class AAA despite being the smallest school in Bullitt County now will not have its regional meet until Saturday. That Class AAA, Region 3 Meet will be contested at the impressive facility at St. Xavier High School.
 The top two finishers in each event at the regional will automatically qualify for the state championships. After those 16 qualifiers are set, the next eight best times/distance will also qualify for the state meet.
 All three Kentucky State Championships will be contested at the University of Louisville. The Class AA event will be held on Friday, May 18, while the Class AAA state meet will be held on Saturday, May 19.