Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

April 27, 2014

EKC Track Championships: Raceland girls not out of steam; Rowan boys repeat

FLEMINGSBURG — Raceland track coach Ray Kilgore wouldn't believe what people told him during Friday's Eastern Kentucky Conference meet — at least not until the end.

It was good news. The Lady Rams edged Fleming County, 136-130, to win the girls team title on the Panthers' track.

“It feels good,” Raceland freshman Lindsey Craft said. “Last year, we weren't as well known as we are now.”

Kilgore, meanwhile, offered five words of relief. “It's been too close lately,” he said.

Close and successful. Raceland took a six-point win over host Boyd County in the Boyd County Classic on April 12 and a five-pointer over Ashland at the Ernie Chattin Invitational on April 19.

The Lady Rams won because they often scored multiple points per event. Examples included: junior Jonda Williams and seventh-grader Baille Riffe finishing 1-3 in the 400-meter dash, scoring 16 points; eighth-grader Lauren Runyon and freshman Haley Boggs (1-6 for 12 in the 800 run); senior Makenzi Speaks and seventh-grader Leah McComas (1-8, for 11) in the high jump; and sophomore Ashton Sipps and senior Sara Fenney (2-5 for 12) in the shot put.

There were other Raceland winners, too: freshman Baileigh Joseph in the 300 hurdles (51.27 seconds), and junior Abby Jones in the 200 dash (28.48).

Friday's win was Raceland's seventh this season (the Greenup County's Meet of Champions, Greenup County Invitational, Ironton Invitational and the Dogtown meet at South Point are the others). Kilgore thinks those victories are fine, but …

“Our goal is the last two meets,” Kilgore said. “Region and state.”

Rowan County (82.5 points), Nicholas County (75) and Fairview (70) completed the top five teams.

Fairview individual winners included: sophomore Katie Richard in the 100 hurdles (17.20 seconds), junior Becca Sergent in the discus (83-4); four-time defending Class A pole vault champion Morgan McIntyre (11-0); and sophomore Katie Richard in the 100 hurdles (17.20) and long jump (14-11). McIntyre, junior Haley Layne, Richard and junior Madison Humphrey won the 1,600 relay over Raceland by just more than 10 seconds.

'It's sad'

McIntyre competes with a heavy heart because she lost one of her biggest fans — her grandfather, longtime Independent press operator Fred McIntyre, passed away last month.

“It's sad,” she said. “It was weird (Friday). He was at every meet.”

McIntyre plans to study nursing at Western Kentucky University next fall. She's sure she has one beloved fan.

“I'm sure (Mr. McIntyre's) up above, watching,” she said.

RCHS boys again

Rowan County continued its EKC dominance — the Vikings beat East Carter, 130.5-115. The win was the 13th in 17 years.

Stephen Cyrus is completing his first season as Vikings head coach, but he's no rookie in Morehead — he was a longtime middle school coach. He said working with former Rowan County coach Roy Wright has helped.

It also helped to have three senior leaders: Isaac Lee won the 110-meter hurdles in 16.05 seconds and the 300 hurdles in 41.00; Shelley DeHarte in the 1,600 (4:43.76); and Nathan Hanshaw in the discus (120-8.5).

DeHarte was second in the 3,200, and Hanshaw claimed third in shot put (41-8).

Lee thinks winning a team title is way better than any individual glory. “It shows how strong your school is, how strong your community is,” he said.

One might know Lee as a football wide receiver or a guard on the basketball team. He said he used to take track for granted because he was good at it. He's gained five miles of perspective after pulling a hamstring in last year's Class AA regional track meet and spraining his left ankle and medial collateral knee ligament during football season last fall.

“It's kind of heartbreaking that I couldn't run at the state track meet and had to miss half the basketball season,” Lee said.

Fleming County (90 points), West Carter (84.5) and Russell (83) finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Scheduling snafu

Russell arrived about five minutes before the meet started. It hardly mattered in the boys 3,200 relay because the Red Devils' Tyler Andre, Jacob Heyerly, Jordan Vallance and Josh Riley beat Rowan County by nearly nine seconds.

“The bus was supposed to leave at 3:30,” said Riley, who also won the 3,200 run. “It didn't leave until between 4:15 and 4:30. We had just enough time for our runners to go to the bathroom and check in.”

West Carter sophomore Braden Brown had a good night. He won the 100 dash in 11.61, anchored the Comets' winning 800 and 400 relay teams (1:38.24 and 48.01, respectively) and finished second in the 200.

“I like the open 100,” Brown said. “It's the shortest sprint, and it shows who the fastest at the meet is.”

Lewis County senior Tanner Barton might disagree. He won the 200 (22.91) and 400 (50.55) dashes, but the last thing Barton wanted is to appear cocky.

“I love the 400,” he said. “Ever since seventh grade, I always felt it was my race. I guess it was my (6-foot-3) build for it, long and lanky.”

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