MAYSVILLE It's anathema for Lee Evans to talk track team scores before the final race.
Russell's boys coach ultimately counted the chickens, harvested the eggs and made omelets. The Red Devils won Thursday's Class 2A, Region 6 meet at Mason County Intermediate School over Rowan County, 104-95.
“We can count 'em now,” Evans said. “This is exciting … Obviously we want to win a state championship; that'd be awesome, but (winning the region) is the goal we set at the beginning of every season.”
Russell reprised a familiar formula — clinch the win in the 4x400-meter relay. The quartet of Riley Anger, Nate Sabotchick, Dougie Oborne and Davis Brown finished a little more than two seconds behind first-place Boyd County, but ended up nearly 10 seconds ahead of Rowan County.
“Everybody does their best all the way around,” Sabotchick said.
Oborne also won the 400 dash and took second in the 200, and Matthew Jones won the 300 hurdles and placed second in the 110 hurdles.
Another Red Devil, senior Tyler Harless, took second in the high jump. The rest of the story: Thursday was his first meet in four weeks after pulling his right hamstring.
“I was doing the 100, and I pulled it halfway through,” Harless said. “(High jump) didn't hurt at all.”
Rowan County was strongest in the sprints. Sophomore Louis Hayes won the 100 and 200, and Hayes, Brian Hill, Rocky Miller and Landin Raines edged Greenup County in the 4x100 relay.
“I just like to use my speed,” Hayes said.
The Vikings scored in both distance and field events, too. Jonah Stanley won the 3,200 meters by 15 seconds, and Blake Perry won the shot put.
Ashland finished third with 91 points. The Tomcats placed first in three events: Thomas Skaggs in the pole vault (12 feet, 7 inches); Chris Thornburg in the long jump (20-5); and the team of Caleb Tackett, Calyx Holmes, Thornburg and Jack Alley in the 4x200 relay (1:36.04).
Thornburg also finished third in the triple jump and placed third with Tackett, Alley and Eric Billups in the 4x100 relay.
“I feel a little bit of pressure, but I know everyone has to come out here and do what they have to do,” Thornburg said. “I just tried to do my part.”
Thornburg's mom, Ashland coach Kerri Thornburg, offered a mea culpa. At first, she thought the rain and lightning that postponed the start by about an hour created an unsafe environment.
“I had to eat my words, and it (was) an absolutely beautiful day here at Mason County,” she said. “It was a great decision to stick with it.”
Greenup County took fourth with 82 points. Junior Trenton Hannah won the discus and finished second in the shot put, and sophomore Brock Thomas bested Harless in the high jump.
Boyd County was fifth with 63. Junior JB Terrill won both the 800 and 1,600, and the Lions won the 3,200 and 1,600 relays.
Lady Royals rule
For the second time in less than a week, the Mason County girls ran away from the field. Thursday, the Lady Royals cruised past Ashland 179-97.
The heavy weather merely delayed the inevitable. A look at the results tells you how Mason County dominated the field. Of the 16 events, Lady Royals won six and finished second in eight.
“We're very blessed to have really good athletes,” Mason County coach Mark Kachler said. “If you can get the good athletes to come out into your program, it makes the coach look really smart.”
Mason County senior Rachel Payne won the 100 and 300 hurdles, placed third in high jump and joined Morgan Carpenter, Paige Decker and Avery Sims to take the 4x400 relay by nearly seven seconds over Boyd County.
The Lady Royals had much more. Eighth-grader Kenzi Gulley and seventh-grader Lexi Young went 1-2 in the long jump; Gulley, Karis Applegate, Madison Hall and Neveah Wright won the 4x100 relay; and Young qualified for state with runner-up finishes in the long jump and high jump.
Ashland junior Lillian Sebastian mostly ruled the sprints. She won the 100 by less than a second over Applegate, took the 200 by less than a second over Russell's Shaelyn Steele and finished second to Rowan County's Ella Besant in the 400.
“The 200, I was feeling a little shaky, and it's the second best time I've had this year,” Sebastian said. “And then the 100, I got a little spooked because there was a puddle of water in my lane. I was a little shaky after the 400. I think I was a little bit dehydrated.”
Rowan County finished third with 84 points. Boyd County was fourth with 63, and Fleming County placed fifth with 55.
Boyd County junior Sophia Newsome and Ashland sophomore Aubree Hay traded middle-distance wins. Hay beat Newsome by about three seconds in the 1,600, and Newsome won the 800.
Ashland senior Emma Latherow won the shot put and discus.
East Carter junior Riley Brown won the high jump. Brown’s 5-0 leap set a school record.
Technically, Thursday was not her first time to make it to Lexington. She qualified in the 3,200 and 400.
“This is my first time in the high jump,” Brown said. “I always wanted to try it, and this year they needed somebody to do it.”
No, Greenup County junior Jared Flowers didn't win the 3,200. He finished 12th, a little more than three minutes behind Stanley.
It didn't seem to matter. The crowd cheered when Flowers thrust his right index finger skyward during every lap and exulted when he crossed the finish line in 13:43.05.
“I just wanted to beat my PR (personal record),” Flowers said. “I did it.”
Class 2A, Region 6 Track Results
Top two finishers plus 10 at-large qualify for the state meet June 11
1. Mason County 179; 2. Ashland 97; 3. Rowan County 84; 4. Boyd Co. 63; 5. Fleming County 55; 6. Russell 36; 7. East Carter 22; 8. Lewis County 12; 9. Greenup Co. 8.
4x800-meter relay: Boyd Co. (Sophia Newsome, Lexi Sworski, Sami Govey, Ava Kazee), 10:19.77; 2. Mason Co. (Kynedee Maunney, Paige Decker, Hayden Faris, Layla Henderson), 10:36.52.
100 hurdles: 1. Rachel Payne, Mason Co., 16.91; 2. Erin Pease, Fleming Co., 17.11.
100 dash: 1. Lillian Sebastian, 12.77; 2. Karis Applegate, Mason Co., 12.93.
4x200 relay: 1. Rowan Co. (Ella Besant, Madison Raines, Rachel Whelan, Kaycee Moore), 1:54.21; Mason Co. (Morgan Carpenter, Alexis Decker, Jennifer Buttery, Neveah Wright), 1:54.74.
1,600 run: 1. Aubree Hay, Ashland, 5:28.84; 2. Sophia Newsome, Boyd Co., 5:31.07.
4x100 relay: 1. Mason Co. (Karis Applegate, Kenzi Gulley, Madison Hall, Neveah Wright), 51.91; 2. Ashland (Josie Bevins, Macie Bevins, Emily Trogdon, Xy Holmes), 54.59.
400 dash: 1. Ella Besant, Rowan Co., 1:01.71; 2. Lillian Sebastian, Ashland, 1:03.43.
300 hurdles: 1. Rachel Payne, Mason Co., 47.76; Erin Pease, Fleming Co., 51.56.
800 run: 1. Sophia Newsome, Boyd Co., 2:24.14; Aubree Hay, Ashland, 2:27.94.
200 dash: 1. Lillian Sebastian, Ashland, 26.48; 2. Shaelyn Steele, Russell, 26.80.
3,200 run: 1. Autumn Egleston (Rowan Co.), 12:05.40; 2. Elizabeth Lavinder (Mason Co.) 12:12.33.
4x400 relay: Mason Co. (Morgan Carpenter, Rachel Payne, Paige Decker, Avery Sims), 4:19.00; 2. Boyd Co. (Abby Baldridge, Sophia Newsome, Lexie Sworski, Taylor Crawford), 4:26.30.
Discus: 1. Emma Latherow, Ashland, 102-3; 2. Kaitlyn McKenzie, Rowan County, 79-4.
Shot put: 1. Emma Latherow, Ashland, 28-11; 2. Lexi Williams, Fleming Co., 27-11 ¾.
Long jump: 1. Kenzi Gulley, Mason Co., 16-6 ¼; Lexi Young, Mason Co., 16-5 ½.
High jump: 1. Riley Brown, East Carter, 5-0; Lexi Young, Mason Co., 4-10.
Triple jump: 1. Erin Pease, Fleming Co., 31-10; 2. Cece Hiatt, Mason Co., 31-9 ½.
Pole vault: 1. Morgan Carpenter, 8-0; 2. Sarah Payne, Mason Co., 7-6.
1. Russell 104; 2. Rowan County 95; 3. Ashland 91; 4. Greenup County 82; 5. Boyd 63; 6. (tie) Mason County and East Carter 37; 8. Fleming County 28; 9. Lewis County 14.
4x800 relay: 1. Boyd Co. (Gavin Brock, Grant Chaffin, Hudson Cox, JB Terrill), 8:34.49; 2. Russell (Nate Sabotchick, Elijah Pridemore, Elijah Grubb, Davis Brown), 8:34.49.
110 hurdles: 1. Logan Pinkley, Fleming Co., 16.20; 2. Matthew Jones, Russell, 16.38.
100 dash: 1. Louis Hayes, Rowan Co., 11.49; 2. Austin Howard, Lewis Co., 11.85.
4x200 relay: 1. Ashland (Caleb Tackett, Calyx Holmes, Chris Thornburg, Jack Alley), 1:36.04; 2. Mason Co. (Alix Flinders, Asher Braughton, Colton Riggs, Austin Moreland), 1:36.89.
1,600 run: 1. JB Terrill (Boyd Co.), 4:32.58; 2. Davis Brown, Russell, 4:36.58.
4x100 relay: 1. Rowan Co. (Rocky Miller, Brian Hill, Landin Raines, Louis Hayes), 44.66; 2. Greenup Co. (Brayden Craycraft, Braxton Noble, Quintan Farrow, Brock Thomas), 44.98.
400 dash: 1. Dougie Oborne, Russell, 53.25; Alix Flinders, Mason Co., 53.56.
300 hurdles: 1. Matthew Jones, Russell, 44.31; 2. Ike Henderson, Greenup Co., 44.52.
800 run: 1. JB Terrill, Boyd Co., 1:56.61; 2. Davis Brown, Russell, 1:57.60.
200 dash: 1. Louis Hayes, Rowan Co., 23.18; 2. Dougie Oborne, Russell, 23.47.
3,200 run: 1. Jonah Stanley, Rowan Co., 10:33.35; 2. Mason Newsome, Boyd Co., 10:48.67.
4x400 relay: 1. Boyd Co. (Gavin Brock, Grant Chaffin. Hudson Cox, JB Terrill), 3:34.45; 2. Russell (Riley Anger, Nate Sabotchick, Dougie Oborne, Davis Brown), 3:36.72.
Discus: 1. Trenton Hannah, Greenup Co., 132-5; 2. Calyx Holmes, Ashland, 128-10.
Shot put: 1. Blake Perry, Rowan Co., 42-8 ¼; 2. Trenton Hannah, Greenup Co., 42-8.
Long jump: 1. Chris Thornburg, Ashland, 20-5; 2. Brock Thomas, Greenup Co., 19-2 ½.
High jump: 1. Brock Thomas, Greenup Co., 5-8; 2. Tyler Harless, Russell, 5-8.
Triple jump: 1. Logan Pinkley, Fleming Co., 38-8 ½; 2. David Hutchinson, East Carter, 37-7.
Pole vault: 1. Thomas Skaggs, Ashland, 12-7; 2. Aj Barrett, Mason Co., 11-0.
Mixed long jump: 1. Anthony Beamish, East Carter, 31-1.
Mixed 2x50 relay: 1. East Carter (Anthony Beamish, Braden Bellew), 17.29.