Track Power - Sport is on course for a spectacular season in 2012

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By Mike Farner

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - With an exciting combination of talented experience and fresh young talent, 2012 appears to be a banner year for area track teams in Bullitt County.
    At the high end, this is the second straight year that there are a pair of state champions returning to compete in the county. Bullitt East senior Trevor Troutman (discus) and North Bullitt sophomore Chelsey Slayton (800-meters) were at the top of their sports last season and will be working to duplicate those accomplishments.
    In addition, there are at least three other athletes with the ability to challenge for a state title this spring as well as perhaps a dozen others who could score points at the state championships by finishing in the top eight.
    There is also big news at Bullitt Central which has been off the map in recent seasons when it came to track. With the program now being under the direction of the football coaching staff, the numbers have swelled to impressive numbers. Boys' head coach Mike Gossett has 45 members on his team while girls' coach Tom Martin has just over a dozen on his team.
    At this early point in the season, the Bullitt East and North Bullitt boys' teams are tied for fifth in Class AA.
Harry Greschel Invitational
    The first 'big' meet of the season was last weekend at Christian Academy with both Bullitt East and North Bullitt taking part in the Harry Greschel Invitational. There were 17 girls' teams competing in the meet as well as 19 boys' teams.
    The highlight of the show for the local competitors was the sweep of the boys' discus as Troutman won it with a throw of 170-7 while junior teammate Andrew Okruch was second at 146-10. Troutman made it a double as he also won the shot put at 49-11 while Okruch was seventh at 41-01.
    In addition, Bullitt East senior Jacob Duvall, who was second in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state meet last season, was named the top athlete of the meet as he scored 22 points. Duvall won the high hurdles while finishing second in the 300-meter hurdles as well as finishing fifth in the long jump. This is the first season Duvall has done the long jump.
    North Bullitt senior Cody Hodge also had a big day as he won the 200-meter dash in 22.61 while finishing second in the 100-meter dash in 11.21.
    Other local boys' scoring in the meet were North Bullitt senior Keith Miller who was eighth in the 400-meter dash along with Eagle senior Michael Dowell who was fifth in both the 800- and 1,600-meter runs. Finishing just off the pace of Duvall, North Bullitt senior Jamie Pate was fourth in the high hurdles and sixth in the low hurdles. North Bullitt also finished eighth in the 400-meter relay and fourth in the 1,600-meter relay.
    Bullitt East finished with 52 points to claim fifth overall while North Bullitt had 41 points to finish eighth. The other six teams that finished in the top eight were all Class AAA squads.
    On the girls' side, Slayton did not run for North Bullitt as she has been sick during the previous week.
    That left a low point total for the Lady Eagles and Lady Chargers.
    North Bullitt's 15 points included a seventh place finish by senior Alexa Hughes in the 200-meter dash. All the other points came in the field events as freshman Bre Stewart was fifth in the high jump while junior Kaitlin Montgomery was fourth in the shot put. In the discus, North Bullitt senior Whitley Goode finished fifth.
    Bullitt East finished with four points in the meet. Senior Ashley Duvall was sixth in the shot put while the 800-meter relay team finished eighth.
Big Numbers for BC
    With the new found interest in track at Bullitt Central, the Cougar program is easing into the season. That is caused by not only the increased numbers, but also because of spring football which didn't end until last Friday.
    So, to get a feel for the talent, the team is taking part in All-Comers meets early in the season. These events have fewer teams, but allow everyone who shows up to run in the events. That means that the Cougars can try five or six athletes in some events.
    At an opening meet at Fairdale, the Bullitt Central boys scored 78.5 points to take the top spot among five schools. Three teams competed in the girls' meet with Bullitt Central taking top honors with 82 points to easily beat Holy Cross and Fairdale.
    The first two athletes to show impressive performances are a pair of freshman, Trevor Carnell and Kasey Renfrow.
    Carnell, who has already opened eyes as a football player, did it again in this meet as he won the 400-meter dash in a time of 53.9 seconds. That was almost seven seconds faster than anyone else in the field.
    In that Fairdale meet, the Cougars also picked up wins from senior James Joiner in the high hurdles (he was also second in the low hurdles) as well as winning both the 800- and 1,600-meter relay events.
    On the girls' side, Renfrow looked like a natural in the long jump as she easily won that event with a leap of 15-feet. The freshman also won the 200-meter dash in a fast time of 27.0 seconds. Adding to her total, Renfrow also won the 300-meter hurdles by five seconds in 49.4.
    The Lady Cougars also picked up sins from junior Mara Judd in the 100-meter dash as well as from senior Cindy Kiefer in the 1,600-meter run and Elexia Campbell in the 3,200-meter run. Bullitt Central also won the 400- and 3,200-meter relays.
Bardsown All-Comers
    On Thursday of last week, North Bullitt and Bullitt Central were on the same track for the first time this season in an All-Comers Meet at Bardstown High School.
    Bardstown won the boys' meet with 159.5 points while NOrthBullitt was second with 134 points. Bullitt Central was fifth out of eight teams with 96.5 points.
    Hodge was once again the sprint standout as the senior won both the 100- and 200-meter events. His time of 11.14 in the 100 was the second fastest time in Class AA this spring.
    Even with that, Hodge saved his best for the 400-meter relay. Getting the baton 10-meters behind the final Elizabethtown runner, Hodge made up the ground and then some, giving the Eagles the title in that race.
    North Bullitt senior Michael Dowell won the 800-meter run, just edging Bardstown's Brandon Price. The two switched positions in the 1,600-meter race. Eagle senior Keith Miller won the 3,200-meter race while another senior, Jamie Pate, won the high hurdles and was second in the low hurdles.
    North Bullit also won the 1,600-meter relay while Bullitt Central finished second in the 800-meter relay, just seven-hundreths of a second behind Elizabethtown.
    Bullitt Central's only win on the track came as Carnell won the 400-meter in a strong time of 53.04.
    In the girls' meet, Bullitt Central slipped past North Bullitt 74 to 71 as the squads finished fourth and fifth. Bardstown dominated the meet with 199 points.
    Slayton was back on the track on Thursday and won the 800-meter event with a relatively slow time for her of 2:35.12.
    Another win for the Lady Eagles came in the shot put where Montgomery had one of the top throws in the state so far this season at 32-06.
    Renfrow showed her form again as she overpowered the long jump field with an early leap of 16-06. That is the second best jump in the state this season. Second place in the event was at 14-feet. Renfrow also won the low hurdles in a time of 50.24 and was second in the 200-meter dash as well as third in the 100-meter dash.
    In the relays, North Bullitt was second in the 1,600-meter event while Bullitt Central was second in the 3,200-meter race.