Baton handoffs cost Danville

June 06, 2004|JILL ERWIN

LEXINGTON - Jordan Guest wanted to end his senior year as a state champion, but he came up just short not once, but twice.

The Danville senior finished second in the long jump to Fulton County's Elvis Holloway by 1/2 inch and he was part of the 800-meter relay team that finished second to Trigg County by .09 seconds Saturday at the Class A State Track and Field Championships.

"When you're talking about two events that finish that close, and you're that close to two state championships, that's a hard pill to swallow," Danville coach Chris Verhoven said. "But I'm very proud of him for the day he had."

"I wanted to go out a state champion, but I'll take second," Guest said.

Guest came into the long jump seeded third, so he expected to medal. However, he didn't expect his jump of 21 feet, 5 inches, to come so close to first only to fall short.


"It hurts more to lose by a half an inch than to get blown out," Guest said. "I just couldn't quite get there."

Guest, along with Djuan Frye, Kelvin Turner and Roderick Payne, took second in the 1,600 relay with a time of 3:31.75. Guest also finished third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.13 after being seeded fourth. Guest didn't start the season running the 200, but joined it about halfway through. He said he was happy with his finish.

"I just wanted to beat one guy ahead of me so I could get third," Guest said.

The 800 relay title was within Danville's grasp, but a not-so-smooth handoff from Guest to Turner gave Turner too big of a deficit to make up. The first two legs, run by Payne and Daylen Morris, had put Danville in position to win.

Turner caught Trigg's Jon Wilson, but Wilson was able to stretch at the finish line for the victory. Danville finished in 1:32.92, just .09 seconds out of first.

"When I got the baton, I felt like I could catch him," Turner said. "The handoff wasn't real clean. If I had had that, we probably would have beat them."

"The handoff wasn't as smooth as usual," Guest said. "If we had had our regular handoff, we would have been champions."

That handoff and one in the 400 relay may have cost Danville two spots in the team standings. The Ads finished fourth with 44 1/2 points, but were only 6 1/2 points behind second-place St. Henry. A dropped baton on the first handoff of the 400 relay disqualified Danville from the event, one in which they were seeded to finish fifth. Points from that relay and the additional two points from winning the 800 relay could have put the Ads in second.

Dunn gets two third-place finishes

Harrodsburg senior Mark Dunn finished with two third-place finishes in the 100 and the 800 relay. His time of 11.41 seconds was enough to earn him a medal in the 100, but not enough to ease his mind.

"I'm pleased with my place, but not pleased with my time," Dunn said. "I could've done better. I ran slower than I did at region."

Dunn said he was a little tired after having to qualify in three events Friday and after having to run two miles as punishment at a practice earlier this week. Harrodsburg coach Terry Yeast said Dunn's results were a sign of improvement.

"In spite of what he thinks, I'm proud of him," Yeast said.

The 800 team finished third with a time of 1:34 despite a makeshift lineup. Kenton Masterson was injured during practice this week, and his brother DeMarkus stepped in for him. It was just the latest injury that cost the Pioneers what they thought earlier in the season was a chance at a state title.

"Our times were real good at the beginning of the year, but then everyone but me got hurt," Dunn said. "It all just kind of went downhill from there."

Danville's Ben Carter took third in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.94 seconds and the Frye took tied for fourth in the pole vault by clearing 10-0.

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