After the last runner crossed the finish line at the Class 2A, Region 3 Championships last Tuesday afternoon, the host Henry County squad had four athletes earn automatic bids to the Kentucky State Track and Field Championships.
Travis Farmer, John Allen and Alexa King will make the trip to the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Park May 30-31 in the pole vault, along with Cassey Fischer in the 3,200-meter run. They will be joined by the best track and field athletes from across the state, all vying for top honors in the Class 2A competition.
Athletes qualified for the state meet by placing in the top two in each event during various regional championships, which were held across the state last week. For Farmer, King and Fischer, this will be their second trip to the state meet, while it will be Allen’s first.
“I thought we did very well for the small numbers we had competing,” Henry coach Ricky Drawbaugh said of the regional meet. “I was pleased with everyone.”
At regionals, teams were allowed two athletes per event, and Henry did not fill all those available slots. But still had solid results.
The Cats, who qualified nine athletes for the state meet last spring, are turning the pole vault into their premier event. Among the boys, Farmer, a sophomore, won with a new personal-best clearance of 10 feet, 6 inches. Allen, an eighth grader, was second with his 7-00 clearance.
Meanwhile, King, a sophomore, came in second in the girls’ pole vault in 7-00. She tied Maggie Spann of Presentation, but had more misses which led to the runner-up finish.
While the Henry trio was providing qualifying marks in the pole vault, Fischer finished second in the 3,200-run. The eighth grader led from the start with a blistering opening pace but was eventually passed in the final lap by Annie Kinny of Mercy, and lost by just one second — 12:50 to 12:51.
At the state meet, the participating Cats want to improve on their best marks of the season.
“The three vaulters goals are to PR, and Fischer’s goal is to break the school record and finish in the top eight,” Drawbaugh said.
The 3,200 school record is currently held by Megan Foree with a 12:37.28 from 2006. Fischer’s best time this season is 12:37.73, just .45 seconds away from becoming the best girls’ long-distance runner from HCHS — time wise — before she even enters high school.
At regionals, Henry had a few athletes barely miss an automatic berth to state. Cody Hinkle finished third in the discus throw with a toss of 121-08, just an inch away from the second-place finisher. And Jalie Adams, a senior who has already signed with Georgetown College, placed third in the shot put with a throw of 30-09.
Two disappointments for the Cats at regionals were Larry Farmer and Jamie Graham — both seniors who have made multiple trips to the state meet but failed to qualify in their final outings. Farmer wasn’t feeling good the day of the meet, he said between his two races, while Graham was still feeling the effects from a sprained ankle she suffered a few weeks earlier.
Farmer, who has signed with Brescia University, finished third in the 1,600-meter run (4:53) and fifth in the 3,200 (10:57). Graham finished fourth in the high jump (4-06) and sixth in the triple jump (26-00).
In the boys’ team competition, Bullitt East came away with the win with a combined score of 116 points, followed by North Oldham (109), North Bullitt (96), Franklin County (84), Western Hills (51), Henry County (34), Fairdale (17), DeSales (16), Shawnee (12), Spencer County (7) and Moore (2).
Bullitt East also won the girls’ competition, finishing with 104 points. The Lady Chargers were followed by Mercy Academy (100), North Oldham (78), North Bullitt (64), Presentation (64), Franklin (84), Henry (30), Western (21), Spencer (16) and Fairdale (9).
Girls’ 100-hurdles: Shelby Grigsby 11th, 23.77. Girls’ 100-meter: Carlie Seligman 11th, 15.48; Lauren Ford 12th, 15.65. Boys’ 100-meter: Michael Gregory 13th, 13.24; John Allen 15th, 14.23. Girls’ 800-relay: Henry County (Lauren Ford, Carlie Seligman, Sydney Abrams, Nikki Buckley) 8th, 2:15.76. Girls’ 1,600-meter: Brittany Brown 13th, 7:06.50. Boys’ 1,600-meter: Larry Farmer 3rd, 4:53.12. Girls’ 400-relay: Henry County (Lauren Ford, Carlie Seligman, Nikki Buckley, Shelby Abrams) 7th, 1:04.76. Girls’ 400-meter: Alexa King 7th, 1:10.59; Sydney Abrams 14th, 1:17.80. Girls’ 300-hurdles: Shelby Grigsby 5th, 59.10. Girls’ 800-meter: Brittany Brown 16th, 3:12.94. Boys’ 800-meter: Travis Farmer 5th, 2:16.71. Girls’ 200-meter: Carlie Seligman 12th, 32.40; Lauren Ford 15th, 33.57. Boys’ 200-meter: Michael Gregory 15th, 28.42; John Allen 16th, 30.91. Girls’ 3,200-meter: Cassey Fischer 2nd, 12:51.48. Boys’ 3,200-meter: Larry Farmer 5th, 10:57.05. Girls’ shot put: Jalie Adams 3rd, 30-09. Boys’ shot put: Justin Pigram 8th, 35-09; Cody Hinkle 11th, 35-04. Girls’ discus: Jalie Adams 6th, 80-08. Boys’ discus: Cody Hinkle 3rd, 121-08; Justin Pigram 15th, 76-02. Girls’ triple jump: Jamie Graham 6th, 26-00. Girls’ high jump: Jamie Graham 4th, 4-06. Girls’ pole vault: Alexa King 2nd, 7-00. Boys’ pole vault: Travis Farmer 1st, 10-06; John Allen 2nd, 7-00.