Going into the final event of Thursday’s Meet of Champions, East Carter’s boys held a four-point lead over Raceland.
However, an East Carter misstep cost the Raiders a chance to finish it off and Raceland picked up the win.
Raceland won the overall boys event 117 to East Carter’s 115 after the Raiders stepped off the track in the 4x400 relay and was disqualified.
The Raiders stepped off the track after botching a baton handoff in the first exchange of the race.
“That was a new lineup we tried,” said East Carter coach Zachary Musick. “They just wanted to run a good time, because we know we have one of the best times in the area and they were focused more on that than the handoff. It happens sometimes.”
Even after dropping the baton, stopping and stepping out, East Carter still technically crossed the finish line first in the 4x400.
“We dropped the baton, stopped, picked it up and still won,” Musick said. “Not knocking anything from Raceland, it came down to two points and that was it.”
East Carter finished in the top three in 12 events, including wins in the 4x800 relay, the 1,600 run (Dustin Sexton), the 400 dash (Ben Napier) and the 800 run (Alex Napier).
For Musick, it was a good overall performance that unfortunately finished with a simple mistake.
“I can’t complain,” Musick said. “We did really well, it just came down to the last event. Raceland has some great jumpers and great throwers and they did really well.”
One of the main reasons Raceland found its way to the win was a great showing by sophomore Connor Messer, who won all four events he competed in.
Messer won the 110 hurdles (16.06), the 300 hurdles (44.29), the high jump (5-10) and the pole vault (12-00).
But while Messer was a perfect 4-for-4, Raceland coach Randy Helton was extremely excited about his teammates.
“(Messer) is huge because that’s big points,” Helton said. “But we’ve got a few more guys out this year that add depth. With Connor, he can score 40 points in a meet and we can still not win.
“This year we have those support guys with Connor, so we’re blending really well as a team.”
Along with Messer’s wins, the Rams got a first-place effort from Cole Thomas in the shot put, and got second-place finishes in the discus (Alec Risner), the triple jump (Daylin Beach) and the 1,600 run (Aaron Caroll).
In all, Raceland received points in all 18 events, as the top eight finishers take points in the team events.
“As a team we’re starting to be more consistent,” Helton said. “To win a meet like this, you need your seconds, your thirds, your fourths and fifths. That’s where we really come through.
“We’ve got guys who don’t realize how important those places are. They think if I don’t win then I don’t matter. That’s not true — that’s what wins a meet.”
Ashland also picked up four big wins behind freshman Quinton Baker.
Baker won both the 100 dash (10.98), the 200 dash (23.97) and, along with teammates Hunter Prince, Miles McGranahan and Malik Massey, took the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
Ashland eighth-grader Cameron Sanders won the 3,200 run (10.44.96).
The Meet of Champions actually started on April 16, but because of inclement weather, was postponed to Thursday.
After exploding for big wins two Tuesdays ago, the Fairview girls finished strong behind senior Paige McKnight to take the team event. The Lady Eagles placed first in 10 separate events.
Lady Eagles coach Bob Stacey said it’s an impressive win, especially after his team won the Kentucky-Ohio Valley Track and Field Championships on Tuesday.
“It turned out pretty well for us,” Stacey said. “The KOVCCT was the bigger meet, but getting this win was nice for our girls.”
McKnight picked up wins in the 100 dash (12.95) the 110 hurdles (15.04) and the 4x200 relay (1:52.14) with Morgan McIntyre, Maddy Rymer and Katie Richard on April 16.
On Thursday, McKnight finished the sweep of her events by taking the 300 hurdles (48.56). McKnight, who looked like she was going to take a tumble after the third hurdle, recovered and ran one of the best times of the season.
“She just ran a really fantastic race,” Stacey said. “She tripped up and ran one of the best races this season. If she didn’t trip up, she might have broken 48.”
After the race was postponed, The Lady Eagles started Thursday with a 1,600 run win by Haley Layne.
Layne finished with a 5:47.51, and impressed Stacey with her time and her ability to come back after winning the same race on Tuesday.
“Haley has run well all week,” Stacey said. “And it’s hard for a distance runner to run Tuesday, then come back and run like she did on Thursday.”
Fairview also picked up wins in the forms of Maddy Rymer (400 dash, 1:04.62), McIntyre (pole vault), and Becca Sergent (discus throw). The Lady Eagles took first in the 4x800 relay as well.
Boyd County’s girls finished second, picking up 11 top-three finishes and winning three events.
Darian Steele won the 3,200 run (12:37.88), Morgan Kenser took the shot put (29-07.50) and Jessica Adams won the 200 dash (27.84) to help Boyd County attain a total of 104 points.
Raceland finished in third with 103.50.