Field may be smaller, but Heart of Bluegrass is still big meet

April 22, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

HARRODSBURG - The field may be a little smaller, but the Heart of the Bluegrass is still a big-time meet.

The area's largest track meet can still attract quality teams, even if there aren't as many as in past years.

Strong teams from all three of the state's track and field classes will converge on Alvis Johnson Field Saturday for the meet.

"For this area, I think there'll be some good competition and some great performances," Harrodsburg coach Terry Yeast said.

Eight teams that finished among the top five in the state in their respective classes will be on hand:

* Class A girls: Frankfort (fourth) and Danville (fifth).

* Class AA boys: Rowan County (third) and Boyle County (fourth).

* Class AA girls: Casey County (third).

* Class AAA boys: Henry Clay (fourth).

* Class AAA girls: Lafayette (fifth).


Still, the overall numbers will be down a bit. Nineteen boys teams and 19 girls teams representing 20 schools are entered in a meet that has often drawn 25 or more teams in recent years.

"As people are getting new track facilities, other people are starting to host meets," Yeast said. "There are four or five meets on Saturday, and we used to be the only one."

Yeast said fewer schools are coming from long distances to the meet. In fact, almost all of this year's teams will travel less than two hours.

Three local teams participating

Most of the teams that are close to home will compete, which is a switch from last year. The meet attracted no area teams other than host Harrodsburg last year, but this year three other local teams - Boyle County, Casey County and Danville - will participate.

And they'll find some changes at the Harrodsburg track, the most obvious involving the relocation of two field event areas. The high jump area was long a source of problems because its approach was too short and it was in a high traffic area, but the high jump is being moved to the former shot put area, and the shot put has been moved farther away from the track.

The school has also purchased a new automatic timing system.

Yeast said he hopes for a strong showing from the Harrodsburg boys, particularly in races of 400 meters or shorter.

"We've got one sprinter back from injury, so our relays are really coming into shape," he said. "We could be real strong there. And we've finally got a 4-by-800 (relay) team, which is not typical for Harrodsburg."

Field events begin at 9:30 a.m., and running events begin at 10 a.m. and will follow a rolling time schedule. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students.

The complete list of teams scheduled to participate:

Boyle County, Bryan Station (boys only), Casey County, Danville, East Jessamine, Frankfort, Harrodsburg, Henry Clay, Lafayette (girls only), LaRue County, Lexington Catholic, Madison Central, Marion County, Paul Dunbar, Pulaski County, Rowan County, Shelby County, Somerset, Western Hills, Woodford County.

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