Casey wins five at Heart of Bluegrass

April 26, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

HARRODSBURG - Every track meet has its surprises, and many of the best ones at the Heart of the Bluegrass belonged to Casey County.

Casey could have expected to fare well at the area's largest invitational track and field meet, but not this well. Casey athletes won five events Saturday at Alvis Johnson Field, and three of them came as a surprise to the Rebels and their coach.

"Casey's done awesome today," said Jessica Propes, who won the pole vault and the high jump and was the only area athlete to take two first-place medals in individual events.

Propes was expected to contend in the pole vault, but her high jump victory was one of the surprises for the rapidly improving Casey teams.


Another came in the girls discus throw, where Danielle Murphy scored a rare win over teammate Jessica Pierce.

And on the boys side, Tristan Harris scored the biggest victory of his career in the 200-meter dash.

Local athletes won 11 events

Casey's five wins accounted for almost half of the 11 event wins by local athletes.

Danville's girls won three events to help them to a second-place finish, 19 points and one place ahead of Casey.

"It's a nice finish, especially considering all these Triple-A schools," said Shatoniah Miller, who led all girls in individual scoring with a win in the 100 hurdles and three second-place finishes.

"We definitely are going to continue to progress."

And the Boyle County boys got two event wins and placed third in their team standings.

"For us to pull a third today, I feel really, really good," Boyle coach Dave Garrett said.

But few could have felt better than the Casey contingent after its strong showing in a meet populated by strong teams from all three classes.

"It's looking good," Murphy said. "Competing against these Triple-A's, that's real nice."

Propes thrilled with high jump victory

Propes was thrilled with her first-ever victory in the high jump, where she tied Danville's Rebecca Jenkins at 4 feet, 8 inches and won on scratches.

"I was very excited," she said. "To win two field events, it's awesome, it's unexplainable."

Parts of Casey's home track are still under construction, so Propes won the high jump with very little practice. Casey coach Barry Lee said the high jump mats were brought out for the first time last week, and the pole vault mats are still in storage.

"We may not let her practice," Lee said with a laugh. "She stepped up huge today."

Murphy was thrilled simply to finish ahead of Pierce, who had beaten her in every previous head-to-head discus meeting except one - last year's state meet.

"I finally beat Jessie!" Murphy said. "That was the biggest thing."

But she said she had mixed feelings, just as she did after her win last year.

"I tried to be happy ... but it was so hard watching (Pierce). She didn't break 90 (feet) today, and that just killed me to be happy," said Murphy, whose best throw was 99-3.

Harris came back from disappointing 100

Harris rebounded from a disappointing showing in the 100 dash - he was 14th - to nose out two Bryan Station runners in the 200 with a school-record time of 22.69 seconds.

"He doesn't realize how big this is," Lee said. "He's hit the weight room this winter, and he's so focused."

"I was wanting to get into the 22s (this season), and I got up to it already," Harris said.

Harris said he was smarting from a shin injury suffered in practice last week, but he said he only felt the pain when he was stretching.

"I'm guess I'm getting out of my blocks a whole lot better," he said. "It's like I'm floating."

Casey also got a more predictable victory from Beth Patterson, the defending Class AA state champion in the triple jump, who flew one inch farther than Danville's Miller with a leap of 33-10.

No one scored more points that Danville's Miller

But no one scored more points than Miller, who was second in the long jump, triple jump and 300 hurdles after winning the 100 hurdles for a total of 34 points.

"I was thinking I could get closer to 40," she said. "But I am happy with where I am right now. I started off where I left off last year."

Napier scored two first-place medals for the Danville girls, winning the 200 dash by .008 seconds after running the anchor leg for the winning 400 relay team that also included Allie Payne, Rebecca Jenkins and Kayla Brand.

"Our handoffs have been a little shaky, and today we focused and our handoffs came out perfect," Napier said.

Tiffany Smith gave host Harrodsburg its only win in the long jump, but she injured her knee on her last attempt, which kept her from competing in her other events.

"I'm still happy," she said. "It definitely means more to win here. It's pride."

The Boyle boys won the 3,200 relay, and Patrick Morgan won the 800 for Boyle, which outscored Harrodsburg by eight points to finish third in the boys standings.

The Bryan Station boys and Paul Dunbar girls won the team titles.

Aubrey White of Henry Clay, who won the high jump and long jump, was the boys high scorer with 34 points.


Central Kentucky News Articles