The LaRue County boys placed third out of 12 teams that competed at the regional track meet May 16 at Marion County. The girls placed fifth.
“I am very proud of the way we competed at the regional meet,” Coach Jeremy Blair said. “I was a bit disappointed with the team scores, but you have to hand it to Elizabethtown and Butler County – they really brought it.”
The boys had three regional champs – Truman Padgett in the 200-meter and 400-meter and Seth Clifford in the 800-meter. The 4x800 team of Padgett, Clifford, Bradley Dyson and Ryan Durbin took second as did the 4x400 relay (seniors Tobi Chirunga, Clifford, Dyson and Tristen Hines). Both teams will compete at state.
It will be Padgett’s second appearance at state.
“To have three regional championships and two runners-up is as good as we’ve done since I’ve been coaching here, and this is, by far, the most athletes I’ve had qualify for the state meet,” Blair said. “I’m very excited for my seniors Seth Clifford, Bradley Dyson, Tobi Chirunga and Tristen Hines because they all will get to run at U of L and compete for a state championship. Tobi, especially, was very disappointed after his hurdle race and for him to make it in is going to be redemption for him.”
Other state qualifiers are Bradley Dyson (high jump), Brandon Dyson (pole vault), Kenneth Sanders (discus), Tyler Davenport (shot put) and Chirunga (110 meter hurdles and triple jump).
Lady Hawks qualifying for the State Meet are Shana Zajdel in the triple jump and Haley Carrico in the high jump. The 4x100 and 4x200 meter relay teams of Tanesha Woods, Ashley Clairmont, Tai Phillips and Shana Zajdel also qualified for State with an at-large invitation.
“I look for us to run much better at state than we did at the regional meet,” Blair said. “For one, the weather at regions was not very conducive to strong competition. We ran in just about every condition possible – wind, rain, humidity, heat ... it seemed like every time we got on the track, we had to deal with something different. Also, Marion County has a nice facility, but the running surface is not what we’re used to. The track at U of L is immaculate, and I expect our times to be much better. We may sneak up on some people on Friday.”