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Track headed to big finish

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By Mike Farner

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - The local high school track and field season continues to pick-up momentum as it heads to a big finish in May.

The first date that the teams are pointing to will be next Monday when the three area programs converge on North Bullitt for the All-Bullitt County Track and Field Championships. It will be just a week later before North Bullitt and Bullitt East compete in the Class AA regional at Christian Academy. Bullitt Central will be n the Class AAA regional that same week.

The top finishers in the regionals will advance to the Kentucky State Track Championships the week before Memorial Day at the University of Louisville facility.

To prepare for the Class AA regional meet, both North Bullitt and Bullitt East recently competed in the Harry Greschel Invitational which was held at Christian Academy April 15-16. There were 19 schools entered the major event including many of the top Class AA schools in the region.

On the girls’ side, North Bullitt finished sixth with 45 points while Bullitt East was 15th with 14 points. Sacred heart won the meet with 139 points but the only Class AA schools ahead of North Bullitt were North Oldham with 79 points and South Oldham with 47 points.

The boys’ event was much closer with North Bullitt finishing sixth with 53 points. Bullitt East was 11th with 26 points. Class AA rivals North Oldham and Shelby County (new to the class this year) were the only regional foes to finish in front of the Eagles.

Skewing the points somewhat in this meet was that there was a version of the Outdoor Pentathlon that was open to any athlete that was part of the competing schools. The Pentathlon involves five events, so any of the competitors in that event were not available to compete in the regular meet.

There was also a 5,000-meter race that did give team points, but that event is not contested in the KHSAA post-season events.

While no local boys signed up to compete, North Bullitt seniors Helen Heines and Gentry Collins tried their hand at the Pentathlon along with Bullitt East senior Lynsey Milburn. In the Pentathlon, like the better known decathlon, points are awarded based on the athletes performance against the prevailing world record.

No final overall score was posted after the girls competed in the 200- and 800-meter dashes, the high jump, the long jump and the shot put but a rough score showed Milburn with 1,601 points to finish third while Collins had 1568 points and Heines with 1,132 points. Milburn has competed in the three field events at times during the past few seasons, but Collins and Heines are distance runners normally so some of the events were totally new to them.

In the regular meet at Christian Academy, the top eight finishers in each event earned team points.

One of the highlights of the girls’ meet was the 800-meter run where three of the top middle distance runners in the state were on the track. Sacred Heart’s Emma Brink, last year’s Class AAA State Champion at the distance won this race in 2:22.75 while Fairdale’s Tia Weston was second in 2:27.82 while North Bullitt’s Chelsey Slayton, the defending Class AA State Champion, was third in 2:28.16.

Weston finished as the runner-up to Slayton in the state meet last season, but that was after Weston had defeated Slayton each time they had met during the regular season and in the regional.

The Lady Eagles’ only win in the meet came from senior Elizabeth Grant who won the shot put at 30-00.25. Teammate Erin Downs was eighth in the event.

Other team points for North Bullitt were scored by Alexa Hughes who was sixth in the 200-meter dash while freshman Alicia Jacobs was seventh in the 300-meter hurdles. In the relays, North Bullitt’s ‘A’ team was fourth in the 800-meter race and the Lady Eagles were third in the 1,600-meter relay. From the field events, North Bullitt got a fifth from Caitlin Montgomery in the high jump while Montgomery and Kasey McCoy finished sixth and seventh in the triple jump, respectively.

Bullitt East’s team points came from sophomore Hannah Link who was fifth in the 400-meter dash while freshman Jessica Prell was fourth in the 3,200-meter run.

On the boys’ side of the meet, North Bullitt had a strong day.

The top finish came for the North Bullitt in the 400-meter dash as they finished first. The Eagles were also fourth in the 800-meter relay and third in the 1,600-meter relay.

Points for the Eagles were posted by senior Isaac McLean who was third in the 100-meter dash while teammate Cody Hodge was sixth in the dash. At 400-meters, Keith Miller was eighth while Michael Dowell as third at 800-meters. Dowell was also eighth at 1,600-meters. In the hurdles, junior Chris Pate was third at 110-meters and fifth at 300-meters. In the field events, North Bullitt got a sixth from Logan Polley in the triple jump and a seventh from Sam Deel in the shot put.

The best finish for Bullitt East was a second from junior Jacob Duvall in the 110-meter hurdles. Duvall was also fourth in the 300-meter hurdles.

The Bullitt East boys got a seventh from Stefan Reynolds in the 400-meter dash while Brandon Wiseheart was fifth in the 3,200-meter run. In the field events, Bullitt least got a fourth from Evan Reister in the high jump. The Chargers finished seventh in the 3,200-meter relay.

Low Numbers for BC

At Bullitt Central, there are very few athletes taking part in track this season.

The Cougars did recently compete in an All-Comers Meet at Bardstown High School, but the boys team only scored 17 points to finish fourth out of five teams while the girls squad scored two points.

Bullitt Central did get a number of points from junior Joseph Whitney who finished second in the 100-meter dash and was fifth in the 200-meter dash. Whitney was also fourth long jump. Other points for the Cougars came from Dakota Montgomery in the 200-meter dash and from Eric Simon who was fourth in the 1,600-meter run.

The points for the girls’ team came from the 3,200-meter relay team of Cindy Kiefer, Devin Welch, Morgan Hoover and Samantha Fox.