Ever since their fifth place overall finish last season at the state meet, the Mercer County girls track team has been on a mission. A team consisting of a lot of young talent in throwing, running and jumping events showed they will be a force to reckon with in years to come after a runner-up finish, behind Boyle County, at the Class AA Region 5 feet at Alvis Johnson Field on Friday, May 11.
The boys track team, after winning back-to-back region and state championships, settled for third place behind East Jessamine and Boyle County.
Individuals had a strong day for both teams. State qualifiers will be identified in bold, followed by their event that they qualified in.
Sophomore Jasmine Claunch was named region champion in the long jump (17-02.75) and triple jump (35-05.25).
Sophomore Zoe Yeast defended her title, being named region champion in the discus (120-06.00) and came in second place in shot put (35-10.50).
Seventh grader Jai Maria Piazza, who is the future of Mercer track, is making a name for herself already. Piazza was named region champion in the 400 meter dash (58.95).
Full girls results are listed below.
Freshman Corban Profitt placed 13th in the 100 meter dash (14.73).
Sophomore Abby Steele placed fourth in the 200 meter dash (26.99). Sophomore Calicia Smith came in ninth in the same event (27.85).
Sophomore Haley Blevins placed second in the 800 meter run (2:21.85) and third in the 1600 meter run (5:37.62).
Freshman Abby Dean finished eighth in the 800 meter run (2:34.27).
Freshman Emma Leitenberger placed 10th in the 1600 meter run (6:17.61).
Seventh grader Clayra Darnell, who is another very young athlete an the future of the program, finished third in the 3200 meter run (12:16.14). Freshman Erin Darland finished 11th in the same event (15:11.54).
Freshman Harlee Settles placed fourth in the 100 meter hurdles (17.48) and sixth in the 300 meter hurdles (50.57).
Junior Aubrey Jones finished fourth in the 300 meter hurdles (50.06).
Freshman Bella Garrett came in 10th place in the long jump (13-09.25). She also placed sixth in the triple jump (31-02.00).
Sophomore Megan Mays came in third place in pole vault (7-00.00). Sophomore Raegan Preston had the same score as Mays (7-00.00).
Senior Savannah Prigmore placed fourth in the discus (95-02.00).
Senior Zharia Yeast came in third place in shot put (31-11.25).
Steele, Smith, freshman Jacey Catlett and Claunch placed fourth in the 4×100 meter relay (52.67).
Smith, Steele, Catlett and Piazza came in second place in the 4×200 meter relay (1:49.04).
Piazza, Steele, Settles and Blevins placed second in the 4×400 meter relay (4:08.26).
Dean, Blevins, sophomore Channing Lewis and Piazza finished third in the 4×800 meter relay (10:17.93).
Although the boys track team couldn’t defend their title, they had a strong day individually.
Senior Aaron Johnson was named region champion in the 110 meter hurdles (14.58) and the 300 meter hurdles (38.84), edging out Boyle County’s Peter Shipley (38.87). Johnson finished second in the high jump (6-02.00) and fourth in the long jump (20-00.00).
Senior Mishi Easterling came in fourth place in the 100 meter dash (11.65), second in the long jump (21-08.75) and third in the triple jump (42-06.25).
Junior Mason Darland came in 13th place in the 200 meter dash (24.99).
Junior Andrew Turpin finished fifth in the 400 meter dash (55.68) and junior Toshi Smith finished 11th in the same event (57.78).
Senior Ty Divine came in second place in the 800 meter run (1:58.87) and senior Brandon Ballard came in seventh in the same event (2:06.37).
Eighth grader Gavin Catron finished 17th in the 1600 meter run (5:26.77).
Freshman Chris Day finished in 18th place in the 3200 meter run (12:40.09).
Sophomore Lukas Jones finished in third place in the 110 meter hurdles (15.74). Junior Carter Edelen finished seventh in the same event (46.10).
Eighth grader Matthew Mays placed ninth in the high jump (5-04.00) and seventh in the triple jump (38-06.50).
Junior Sam Warren finished sixth in discus (112-10.00) and ninth in shot put (37-10.00).
Sophomore Darrian Baker came in ninth place in discus (104-05.00).
Senior Blake Russell finished 10th in shot put (37-00.00).
Darland, eighth grader Brayden Dunn, Jones and seventh grader Beau Brown finished ninth in the 4×100 meter relay (51.34).
Darland, Smith, Dunn and Brown came in 10th place in the 4×200 meter relay (1:47.13).
Divine, Easterling, Turpin and Ballard placed third in the 4×400 meter relay (3:31.45).
Divine, Ballard, Turpin and Smith finished second in the 4×800 meter relay (8:34.97.)
The Class AA state meet will be held Friday, May 18, at the University of Kentucky track.