Despite cold temperatures and strong winds, Cats open season with solid performances

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By Tommie Kendall

With temperatures in the 30s and 40s, and wind gusts throughout the day, the weather wasn't very cooperative Saturday during the Western Hills Invitational in Frankfort. But that didn't stop the Henry County track team from producing some solid early-season marks.

Jamie Graham brought back to New Castle the team's only first-place finish with her 4-foot-6 clearance in the high jump, which tied her for first overall with Jasmine Taylor of Ballard. Both girls leaped over 4-6, but knocked the bar off at 4-8 three times each to leave the duo tied.

Meanwhile, Brittany Crawford placed second in the 100-meter hurdles (18.75), Margaret Lutz placed second in the 3,200-meter run (13:45) and Travis Farmer placed second in the pole vault (7-feet even). Crawford - coming off a runner-up finish at the Kentucky State Track and Field Championships last spring - also placed third in the 300-meter hurdles (53.06), while Eric Butler placed third in both the 100-meter dash (12.73) and long jump (17-11.5), Larry Farmer placed third in the 800-meter run (2:15.66) and fourth in the 1,600-meter run (5:12.08), and Cody Hinkle placed sixth in the discus throw (110-09) and eighth in the shot put (34-03).

"I was pleased with everyone," Henry coach Ricky Drawbaugh said. "We now have a starting point for everyone and we have some competition under our belt."

The best performance of the day for the Cats came from Hinkle - though it wasn't the best finish, place wise.

"He was not too far behind what he was throwing last year," Drawbaugh said of the junior's discus and shot put throws.

In the team competition, Henry Clay came away with the win on the boys' side with a combined 163 points. The Blue Devils were followed by Anderson County (106), Rowan County (100), Western Hills (69), Franklin County (40.5), Meade County (40), Henry (33) and Owen County (19.5).

On the girls' side, Ballard came away with the team title (203), followed by Meade (112), Anderson (73), Franklin (58), Owen (35), Henry (33), Western Hills (12) and Woodford (8).

The Cats got their most individual points from Crawford, who finished with 14 points, Graham, who finished with 13, and Butler, who finished with 12. Athletes scored points by finishing in the top six in each event - first place received 10 points, while second through sixth places received eight, six, four, two and one.

"Now we need everyone to build on what they are doing and improve," Drawbaugh said.

Henry was back on the track Tuesday in its home meet, the Henry County All-Comers, and will host the Wildcat Relays April 12. In its 14th consecutive year, the Wildcat Relays will draw some of the best teams and athletes in the area.

E-mail us about this story at sports@hclocal.com.

Henry results

Girls' 100-meter: Lauren Ford, 13th, 17.03. Girls' 200-meter: Lauren Ford, 13th, 35.64. Girls' 800-meter: Brittany Crawford, 9th, 3:18.56. Girls' 3,200-meter: Margaret Lutz, 2nd, 13:45. Girls' 100-meter hurdles: Brittany Crawford, 2nd, 18.75. Girls' 300-meter hurdles: Brittany Crawford, 3rd, 53.06. Girls' 400-meter relay: Henry County, 5th, 1:04.60. Girls' 800-meter relay: Henry County, 5th, 2:25.04. Girls' high jump: Jamie Graham, 1st, 4-06. Girls' long jump: Cathryn Fischer, 5th, 10-07.50. Girls' triple jump: Jamie Graham, 4th, 26-03.50. Boys' 100-meter: Eric Butler, 3rd, 12.73; Zach Pennington, 16th, 13.97. Boys' 200-meter: Eric Butler, 11th, 26.42; Zach Pennington, 14th, 27.35. Boys' 800-meter: Larry Farmer, 3rd, 2:15.66; Travis Farmer, 7th, 2:23.28. Boys' 1,600-meter: Larry Farmer, 4th, 5:12.08; Dustin Duncan, 11th, 5:44.15. Boys' 800-meter relay: Henry County, 5th, 2:05.28. Boys' pole vault: Travis Farmer, 2nd, 7-00. Boys' long jump: Eric Butler, 3rd, 17-11.50. Boys' shot put: Cody Hinkle, 8th, 34-03; Justin Pigram, ND. Boys' discus throw: Cody Hinkle, 6th, 110-09.