DCA caps inaugural track season with three state medals
Published 2:44 pm Monday, June 5, 2023
There’s no way to predict where the Danville Christian’s track and field program will finish, but there’s no denying it’s off to a pretty good start.
The area’s newest team made its presence known in its first appearance in the state meet, taking a handful of athletes to the KHSAA State Track and Field Championships and taking home a handful of medals.
DCA boys medaled in three events in the Class 1A meet Thursday at the University of Kentucky, giving the team something to celebrate at the end of its inaugural season.
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“It’s a great thing. To come and run in this state meet, it’s a big deal,” DCA junior Emmanuel Dut said. “It’s our first year of running track, and we didn’t expect much … but we showed up and we competed every day.”
Dut, who had no exposure to track and field until earlier this spring, was the standard bearer for DCA. He was a legitimate contender for the school’s first state championship in the sport, and he earned medals in three events.
Six DCA boys and girls competed in eight events, and Serina Lockhart, one of the team’s two coaches, said that was a pretty good showing for a brand new program.
“We had no expectations coming into this season, and we were just so surprised,” Lockhart said.
“I’m excited for all our athletes. We had no idea we would do so well.”
DCA has had a cross country team for a while, with Erin Meyer serving as head coach and Lockhart assisting, and the two of them decided to give track a try this year.
“Both of us were interested and ready to get involved, and we just decided to do it this spring,” Lockhart said.
The track team consisted of 17 athletes by season’s end, though Dut said it began with only about six at the early practices in March. Many of those on the team, including all but one who competed at state, are basketball players.
There are also middle school and elementary school teams that competed in a handful of meets this spring and that give the coaches reason to believe the program is here to stay.
“We’re hopeful for years to come,” Lockhart said.
It is a team without a track, which isn’t uncommon but is an impediment when it comes to training. Lockhart said the team practiced at Centre College once or twice a week and spent the rest of its workouts on the rough terrain outside its school.
“Sometimes we just run the hills,” Dut said. “But we put maximum effort in and we push each other.”
Dut will be remembered as the first medalist in the program’s history. He finished second in the boys 400-meter dash, an event in which he was seeded first. He lost by .57 seconds to Maurice Moore of Fort Campbell, but his time of 49.89 seconds was a personal best.
“He did so amazing,” Lockhart said. “We wanted him to break 50 seconds in that 400 so badly, and he finally did it today. We were so proud of him. He cut off 5 seconds from the first of the season.”
Dut said the 400 isn’t exactly fun, but he has enjoyed improving and competing.
“I really do enjoy it. Not as much as basketball, but I really do enjoy it,” he said.
He also finished sixth in the boys high jump — an event he almost never practices — and was part of a relay team that finished seventh in the 1,600-meter relay.
On the girls side, Braxtyn Heck just missed making the podium with a ninth-place finish in the shot put.
Addison Hill, who has competed in the state cross country meet, got state meet experience in the girls 1,600 and 3,200.
Only one of the 10 athletes who competed or were alternates at the state meet has graduated.
“I think the future of DCA track is very bright,” Lockhart said. “When we went out to dinner after the meet, we were already talking about what other kids we could get for next season.”
Who knows, some day the school might even have a track of its own.
“We would be so blessed to have a track facility one day,” Lockhart said, “but I’m so proud of what these kids do without that facility.”
KHSAA State Track and Field Championships
At University of Kentucky, Lexington
Team scores (46 scoring teams) — 1. Walton-Verona 64; 2. Louisville Collegiate 56; 3. Bishop Brossart 53 1/2; t16. Danville Christian 12. 200 — 2. Emmanuel Dut (Danville Christian) 49.89. 1600 relay — 7. Danville Christian (Noah Imfeld, Noah Meyer, Titus Boyd, Dut) 3:36.70. High jump — 6. Dut (Danville Christian) 6-0.
Team scores (39 scoring teams) — 1. Beechwood 100; 2. Bishop Brossart 68; 3. Lexington Christian 52; t34. Danville 1.
100 — 8. Kaidence Key (Danville) 13.11.
Team scores (44 scoring teams) — 1. Mercer County 74; 2. Bourbon County 72; 3. North Oldham 65; t5. Boyle County 40; t32. Casey County 4; t32. Garrard County 4.
100 hurdles — 1. Jordan Piazza (Mercer County) 15.32. 100 — 1. Beau Brown (Mercer County) 10.77; 2. Geordon Brown (Boyle County) 10.90. 800 relay — 4. Boyle County (G. Brown, Brock Driver, Eli Short, Jerome Johnson) 1:32.35. 400 relay — 3. Boyle County (G. Brown, Johnson, Driver, Short) 43.65. 400 — 1. B. Brown (Mercer County) 48.16 (Class 2A record, old record 48.23, Shawn Jackson, Paducah Tilghman, 1985). 200 — 1. B. Brown (Mercer County) 21.46 (Class 2A record, old record 21.53, Josh Ellis, Paducah Tilghman, 1995). 3200 — 5. Max Germann (Boyle County) 9:46.51; 6. Marshall Hart (Mercer County) 9:59.73. Shot put — 2. Lleyton Penn (Mercer County) 58-11 1/4; 3. Andrew Hardwick 54-10; 5. Luke McQueen (Casey County) 53-11. Discus — 4. Cooper Brummett (Boyle County) 162-11; 5. Andrew Sparks (Garrard County) 160-7; 6. Andrew Hardwick (Boyle County) 158-7. Long jump — 2. Donavan Wright (Mercer County) 22-2 1/2. Triple jump — 1. Thaddeus Mays (Mercer County) 44-3 1/2. Pole vault — 4. Thaddeus Mays (Mercer County) 12-6; 6. Andrew Lockhart (Boyle County) 12-0.
Team scores (36 scoring teams) — 1. Lexington Catholic 83; 2. Mason County 67; 3. Mercer County 61; t20. Lincoln County 10.
100 — 1. Teigh Yeast (Mercer County) 12.40. 1600 — 6. Clayra Darnell (Mercer County) 5:28.12. 400 — 1. Yeast (Mercer County) 56.22. 200 — 1. Yeast (Mercer County) 24.83. Shot put — 1. Germani Crosby (Lincoln County) 38-11; 4. Lindsay Jessie (Mercer County) 34-7 3/4. Discus — 2. Jessie (Mercer County) 105-6. Triple jump — 1. Yeast (Mercer County) 37-10; 4. Ralasia Piazza (Mercer County) 35-7 1/4.
Shot put — 3. Alex Bradley (Mercer County) 59-9 1/2; 7. Riley Boutin (Mercer County) 48-4 1/2. Long jump — 2. Bradley (Mercer County) 25-8. 100 relay (2×50) — 1. Mercer County (Hayden McGuire, Bradley) 14.64. 400 relay (2×200) — 3. Mercer County (Dominick Garza, Bradley) 59.36.