Boyle girls, Mercer boys win Heart of the Bluegrass team titles

Published 12:37 pm Monday, April 17, 2017

HARRODSBURG — In many ways, they are the same teams that won state championships 11 months ago. In some ways, however, they are very different.

For both the Boyle County girls and the Mercer County boys, the difference is depth, and it could go a long way in determining whether they repeat at the state track and field meet next month.

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The two teams displayed that depth Saturday at Alvis Johnson Field in AJ’s Heart of the Bluegrass, where they won their respective divisions in part by scoring more than once in several events.

Boyle’s girls easily won the area’s largest and longest-running invitational for the first time, outscoring second-place Mercer 113 points to 68. The Lady Rebels won five of 18 events, had two athletes score in five of the 14 individual events and went 1-2 or 1-3 in three of those events.

Boyle coach Brent Wagner said depth is an asset for his team in its pursuit of a second straight Class 2A girls championship.

“We competed last year in practice, but this year having several newcomers just makes practice that much more competitive,” Wagner said. “You’re competing every day in practice, because we’ve got two people who are 1-2 in several different events in the region and in the state rankings. When you have that kind of atmosphere, you either compete or get left behind.”

Mike Marsee/For The Advocate-Messenger
Aaron Johnson of Mercer County attempts to clear the bar during the boys high jump. Johnson won with a personal-best jump of 6 feet, 2 inches.

Mercer’s boys repeated in their home meet, beating second-place Bryan Station 116-105. The Titans won six events, with two athletes scoring in seven individual events and 1-2 or 1-3 finishes in two of them.

Mercer coach Terry Yeast said his team is deeper than it was a year ago as well.

“I think the thing that’s really nice is the depth we have,” Yeast said. “We’ve added a couple of kids … and the fact that we have the potential to score two people in four or five events is really, really exciting.”

Mercer junior Aaron Johnson and Boyle sophomore Chelsea Elmore were the high scorers of the meet.

Johnson won the high jump and the 300-meter hurdles and finished second in the 110 hurdles to the state’s top runner in the high hurdles.

“It was a PR in the high jump. My best was 6 feet, and today I got a 6-2,” Johnson said. “But I’m not satisfied in the 300 hurdles. I feel like I could’ve had a better time.”

Elmore was second in both the 200 and 400 dashes and third in the 100 dash, and she helped the Boyle girls win the 1,600 relay.

“It was a pretty good day,” Elmore said. “The best part was probably the 4-by-4 (relay). We really killed it.”

Daneezia Patton also enjoyed a good day for Boyle, winning the 100 and 200 dashes and contributing to the 1,600 relay win.

“My 200 was the best. That’s the event that I run the fastest in, so I liked that,” Patton said. “My time wasn’t that good, but I guess it was good enough for me to win.”

The Boyle girls were without one of their top runners – Kylie Thompson was resting a quadricep injury – and another competed in only one event – Emmie Harris left early for an all-star basketball game – but Wagner said he still saw an opportunity for them to win this meet for the first time.

“We talked to them before we got off the bus and said, ‘We’ve been doing the points in our head, and you’ve got a shot to win the meet. Let’s go get it,’” Wagner said.

Yeast said the level of competition at this meet puts a higher value on the Mercer boys’ success, as well as that of Mercer’s girls.

“Other than getting to the state track meet, it’s the biggest meet that we compete in every year. They ought to be really excited about what their performances showed today, and I’m really, really proud,” he said.

Junior Ty Divine, who led a 1-2 finish in the boys 800 that helped the Titans clinch their win, said they were determined to defend their title.

“Bryan Station was really pushing us, but it doesn’t matter. This is our meet, and we always want to win,” Divine said.

Divine ran a personal-best time of 2:02.60 to hold off teammate Chase Edwards.

“Me and Chase have been pushing each other all year. We’ve always been head to head, and he finally let me have won,” he said.

Mercer dominated the boys relays, winning at 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters. Edwards was a part of all three relay wins, and Austin Bartley sliced 10 seconds off his best split time in the 3,200 relay to help that team post the best time of the season among Class 2A boys at 8:28.92.

“Him being a part of that team that set the No. 1 time in Double-A is really exciting,” Yeast said.

Mike Marsee/For The Advocate-Messenger
Gary Wood of Boyle County reacts after clearing the bar at 13 feet, 6 inches in the boys pole vault. It was a personal-best jump for Wood, who won the event.

No one was more excited about winning Saturday than Gary Wood of Boyle, who won the boys pole vault at a personal-best height of 13-6, then immediately raised the bar to 14-1 1/4 in an attempt to break the school record he told Boyle’s coaches he was aiming for.

“I love that attitude. That’s a huge confidence boost for him,” Wagner said. “We told him, ‘Once you get 13-6 and you’re the last person, you can’t go for 14. There’s no second place on the record board.’”

Boyle’s boys also got wins from Mitchell Paycheck (129-8) in the discus and Landen Bartleson (23.04) in the 200.

Other winners for the Boyle girls were Kaylee Lanigan (16.75) in the 100 hurdles and Ally Anderson (12:42.22) in the 3200.

Mercer’s Zoe Yeast already had the best discus throw among Class 2A girls this season, and she improved upon that with her winning throw of 111-11. Brenna Hayes of Casey County won the shot put at 37-11 3/4, beating Yeast by nearly 11 inches.

Mercer also won the girls 3,200 relay and was second in the 1,600 relay.

AJ’s Heart of the Bluegrass


At Alvis Johnson Field, Harrodsburg

(Winners and area athletes scoring listed)


Team leaders (218 scoring teams) – 1. Mercer County 116; 2. Bryan Station 105; 3. Boyle County 69; 4. North Oldham 59; 5. North Laurel 58 1/2; 12. Casey County 15; 14. Danville 13; 16. Burgin 9.

3200 relay – 1. Mercer County (Chase Edwards, Austin Bartley, Juan Mercado, Ty Divine) 8:28.92; 2. Boyle County (Malik Allahham, Jackson Cox, Trey Gilliland, Taylor Whitsell) 8:29.50; 6. Casey County (Brandon Banks, Federico Diaz, Chase Williams, Kip Turner) 8:54.43; 7. Burgin (Drew Hatfield, Daylan Hodges, Trevor Lay, Wesley Qualls) 9:02.51.

100 hurdles – 1. x-Isaiah McCall (Bryan Station) 14.39 (meet record, old record 14.59, Dante Johnson, North Hardin, 2014); 2. Aaron Johnson (Mercer County) 15.09; 5. Gabe McKnight (Danville) 16.29; 6. Lukas Jones (Mercer County) 16.37.

100 – 1. McCall (Bryan Station) 11.35; 2. Landen Bartleson (Boyle County) 11.46.

800 relay – 1. Mercer County (Dustin Baker, Mishi Easterling, Edwards, Marcus Lewis) 1:32.84; 5. Casey County (Williams, Jacob Coleman, Diaz, Banks) 1:36.45.

1600 – 1. Carson Sharber (North Oldham) 4:42.10.

400 relay – 1. Bryan Station (Prince Yeboah, Desmond Bernard, Anthony Franklin, McCall) 44.03; 4. Mercer County (Lewis, Easterling, Camden Martin, Rhyan Lanham) 45.47.

400 – 1. Kareem Mitchell (Greenwood) 52.32; 7. Coleman (Casey County) 54.30.

300 hurdles – 1. Johnson (Mercer County) 40.30; 3. Baker (Mercer County) 41.38; 6. Reese Smith (Boyle County) 43.57; 8. McKnight (Danville) 44.27.

800 – 1. Divine (Mercer County) 2:02.60; 2. Edwards (Mercer County) 2:04.23; 3. Cox (Boyle County) 2:04.24.

200 – 1. Bartleson (Boyle County) 23.04; 4. Easterling (Mercer County) 23.92; 5. Lewis (Mercer County) 23.97.

3200 – 1. Alex McClarty (North Oldham) 9:54.00; 5. Allahham (Boyle County) 10:49.02; 6. Lay (Burgin) 10:59.02.

1600 relay – 1. Mercer County (Baker, Lewis, Martin, Edwards) 3:31.85; 8. Casey County (Banks, Coleman, Diaz, Williams) 3:46.24.

Shot put – 1. Billy Ross (Huntington (W.Va.)) 45-11 1/2; 3. Don Harris (Danville) 43-1 1/4; 4. Noah Laman (Casey County) 42-1 1/4; 5. Cade Shearer (Burgin) 40-10 1/2; 6. Zack Phillips (Mercer County) 40-10; 8. Tyus Short (Mercer County) 38-10.

Discus – 1. Mitchell Paycheck (Boyle County) 129-8; 5. Short (Mercer County) 120-2; 7. Harris (Danville) 115-4.

Long jump – 1. Kyrien Stone (Shelby County) 22-5; 6. Easterling (Mercer County) 19-11; 7. Marquise Kinley (Boyle County) 19-7 3/4; 8. Martin (Mercer County) 19-7.

Triple jump – 1. Stone (Shelby County) 46-2 1/2; 7. Will Imfeld (Boyle County) 38-11.

High jump – 1. Johnson (Mercer County) 6-2; 6. Lanham (Mercer County) 5-8.

Pole vault – 1. Gary Wood (Boyle County) 13-6; 3. Derek Barnard (Boyle County) 12-6; 7. John Perkins (Mercer County) 10-0.

x-most outstanding performance


Team leaders (22 scoring teams) – 1. Boyle County 113; 2. Mercer County 68; 3. Huntington (W.Va.) 63; 4. Franklin County 55; 5. North Oldham 50; 12. Casey County 27; 15. Danville 19 1/2; 22. Mercer County “B” 3.

3200 relay – 1. Mercer County (Haley Blevins, Faith Lake, Lexy Lake, Hailey Stinnett) 10:18.97; 3. Casey County (Jenna Vaughn, Elsa Diaz, Laura Cuin, Morgan Crowe) 10:28.49.

100 hurdles – 1. Kaylee Lanigan (Boyle County) 16.75; 3. Emmie Harris (Boyle County) 17.14.

100 – 1. Daneezia Patton (Boyle County) 12.97; 3. Chelsea Elmore (Boyle County) 13.27.

800 relay – 1. Franklin County (Rebecca Cook, Laken Ellis, Chynna Jackson, Caelin Taylor) 1:49.96; 5. Danville (Taylor Ranklin, Addie Henderson, Abbie Hibbs, Jade Smith) 1:56.04; 8. Mercer County (Zhunai Yeast, Jasmine Bridgewaters, Annie Compton, Emma Davis) 1:59.97.

1600 – 1. Molly Stigers (Franklin County) 5:31.22; 3. Blevins (Mercer County) 5:40.67; 5. Ally Anderson (Boyle County) 5:46.58; 6. Amelia Fogle (Boyle County) 5:50.14; 8. Alyssa Sharp (Casey County) 5:56.91.

400 relay – 1. Franklin County (Cook, Ellis, Jackson, Taylor) 50.68; 4. Danville (Rankin, Henderson, Hibbs, Smith) 53.34; 6. Mercer County (Bridgewaters, Hannah Yulee, Compton, Zh. Yeast) 54.75).

400 – 1. McKenzie Bell (Spencer County) 1:00.11; 2. Elmore (Boyle County) 1:02.64; 4. Rankin (Danville) 1:05.09.

300 hurdles – 1. Hailey Martin (Corbin) 47.57; 2. Lanigan (Boyle County) 47.58; 7. Aubrey Jones (Mercer County) 54.11.

800 – 1. Bell (Spencer County) 2:25.50; 4. Vaughn (Casey County) 2:30.32; 7. Stinnett (Mercer County) 2:33.70.

200 – 1. Patton (Boyle County) 27.00; 2. Elmore (Boyle County) 27.24.

3200 – 1. Anderson (Boyle County) 12:42.22; 5. Naia Hutchins (Boyle County) 13:26.97.

1600 relay – 1. Boyle County (Elmore, Becca Tarter, Lanigan, Patton) 4:20.21; 2. Mercer County (Blevins, F. Lake, L. Lake, Stinnett) 4:23.81.

Shot put – 1. Brenna Hayes (Casey County) 37-11 3/4; 2. Zoe Yeast (Mercer County) 37-1; 4. Zh. Yeast (Mercer County) 33-5 1/2; 6. Kennedy Walker (Danville) 31-8; 8. Trinity Yeast (Mercer County “B”) 31-0.

Discus – 1. X-Zo. Yeast (Mercer County) 111-11; 4. Hayes (Casey County) 96-2; 7. Savannah Prigmore (Mercer County “B”) 85-6; 8. Brooke Coffman (Boyle County) 83-9.

Long jump – 1. Samantha Sowell (Nicholas County) 16-3; 3. Tarter (Boyle County) 15-4 3/4; 7. Bridgewaters (Mercer County) 14-7.

Triple jump – 1. Sowell (Nicholas County) 34-3 1/2; 2. Tarter (Boyle County) 34-2; 4. Bridgewaters (Mercer County) 31-11.

High jump – 1. Mariah Harmon (Huntington (W.Va.)) 5-1; t6. Emma Merryman (Danville) 4-6; 8. Davis (Mercer County) 4-6.

Pole vault – 1. Katie Wright (North Oldham) 9-6; 4. Kim Ramirez (Mercer County) 7-6;

x-most outstanding performance