These are title towns for track, too
The results of the state track meet can be a little hard to digest, with 108 individual state championships and six team trophies handed out over two days. No other sport comes close to crowning that many champions, with swimming a distant second with 24 individual and two team champions.
But look a little closer at all that agate type, and you’ll see that this relatively small area does big things in track and field year after year. While no local school has won a team track title since 1997, hardly a season has gone by since without one or more individual event wins by local athletes.
By my quick count, 11 local athletes from three different schools won or shared championships in seven events last weekend. Here’s the roll call:
- Casey County: Chaz Grider.
- Danville: Ross Hempel, Allie Payne, Andrea Payne, Caroline Stroup, Candice Taylor,
- Mercer County: Brandon Ford, Cory Jackson, Chrys Jones, Russell Mays, Tyler Mays.
Those boys and girls may not be riding on fire trucks, but any state championship is worth celebrating. And the fact that this area consistently cranks out champions and championship contenders year after year speaks very well for the local track programs and their coaches.
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A special tip of the hat goes to Chrys Jones, the Mercer County jumper who broke two state records and is the only athlete to hold records in two different classes — and quite possibly the first to ever do it.
Jones capped his spectacular high school career by breaking the overall state record in the triple jump that had stood for 29 years and the Class AA record in the long jump. His triple jump feat gives him two records in that event, the Class AA and overall records he broke Friday and the Class A record he broke last year with Harrodsburg.
Jones is the kind of athlete who’s easy to root for, and he’ll surely break more records when he starts jumping for Centre College next spring.