Harlan County breaks four school records in sweeping home meet


Chris Jones

Harlan County’s Ella Karst took the baton during a relay race Friday at Coal Miners Memorial Stadium. Karst set a school record in the 100-meter run and also won the 200-meter race.

By Abby Sherman, Contributing Writer

Harlan’s Nate Montanaro placed in several events Friday in a meet at Coal Miners Memorial Stadium. (Chris Jones)
Harlan County’s Bryan Howard placed sixth in the 200-meter dash on Friday at Coal Miners Memorial Stadium. (Chris Jones)

Already solid to begin the season, the Harlan County track team had a breakout performance Friday in an all-comers meet at home.

The Bears saw four school records fall and swept the team wins at the meet. The boys scored 197.50 points, while the girls won with 192.50.

“I am so proud of these kids tonight. This is the performance we’ve been waiting for these last few weeks and we finally broke through,” HC coach Ryan Vitatoe said. “We had lots of PRs and four school records fell. These kids were dialed in and ready to compete.”

Harlan placed third overall in the boys division with 90.50 points, while the girls were fourth with 56.50 points.

To lead the Bears, Luke Kelly was first in the 100-meter dash. Hunter Crain finished first in the 400-meter dash, setting a new school record. Andrew Yeary won the 800-meter run. Tanner Daniels placed first in the 3,200-meter run. Dallas Sergent won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. Landon McCreary placed first in pole vault. Connor Blevins won shot put and discus.

Bryan Howard was sixth in the 200-meter dash.

In the 400-meter dash, Kelly was third. Jacob Schwenke placed fourth. Austin Crain finished sixth. Bryan Howard and Kyle Farley were ninth and tenth, respectively.

In the 800-meter run, Jacob Schwenke finished fifth. Gage Bailey was sixth. Farley placed eighth. Caleb Schwenke was tenth.

Tanner Daniels was second in the 1,600-meter run. Bailey was seventh. Luther Gross finished eighth. Drew Sergent placed tenth.

In the 3,200-meter run, Gross was fifth. Drew Sergent finished sixth. Hunter Smith was seventh. Christopher Johnson placed eighth.

Brayden Howard was fourth in the 300-meter hurdles.

Taelor Haywood placed fifth in long jump, while Brayden Howard was ninth.

Haywood was seventh in high jump.

In triple jump, Bradley Brock placed second. Brayden Howard was fourth.

Jayce Brown was second in pole vault, while Brock was fifth.

Jacob Shoemaker placed fifth in shot put. Brayden Clay was tenth.

Shoemaker was sixth in discus, while Darren Alred was eighth.

Hunter Crain, Haywood, Kelly and Dallas Sergent won the 4 x 100 meter relay.

Austin Crain, Hunter Crain, Kelly and Dallas Sergent won the 4 x 200 meter relay.

Setting a new school record, Hunter Crain, Austin Crain, Jacob Schwenke and Yeary finished second in the 4 x 400 meter relay.

Austin Crain, Jacob Schwenke, Yeary and Farley placed first in the 4 x 800 meter relay.

“Hunter Crain had a big night. He’s such a strong runner who has sacrificed running the 400 to compete in other events for our team score,” Vitatoe said. “He deserves this, and I’m really proud of him.

“The boys 4 x 400 ran a great race to set the new record. Andrew, Austin, Jacob, and Hunter nearly got it last week, and it’s extra special they did it at home.”

To lead the Dragons, Kaleb McLendon won the long jump and triple jump.

Tayquan Vick was eighth in the 100-meter dash.

In the 400-meter dash, Nate Montanaro finished eighth.

Dylan Cox placed fourth in the 800-meter run and third in the 1,600-meter run.

Montanaro placed second in the 110-meter hurdles. Ethan Shuler was sixth.

In the 300-meter hurdles, Vick placed sixth. Sayed Damaa was tenth.

Kyler McLendon was second in long jump. Shuler finished sixth.

In high jump, Montanaro was third, while Shuler was seventh.

Kyler McLendon placed fifth in triple jump.

Trenton Childers was second in shot put and seventh in discus.

Kyler McLendon, Shuler, Brayden Howard and Cox finished fourth in the 4 x 400 meter relay.

Howard, Evan Bargo, Connor Collins and Eric Evans placed fifth in the 4 x 800 meter relay.

Ella Karst led the Lady Bears, winning the 100- and 200-meter dash. Her time in the 100-meter dash set a new school record. Lauren Lewis was first in the 3,200-meter run. Paige Phillips won the 300-meter hurdles. Madison Daniels was first in pole vault.

Emilee Eldridge finished fourth in the 100-meter dash. Taytum Griffin was sixth.

Olivia Kelly and Griffin placed fourth and fifth in the 200-meter dash, respectively. Eldridge was seventh. Daniels finished ninth. Maliyah Washington was tenth.

In the 400-meter dash, Brianna Howard finished fourth.

Peyton Lunsford was second in the 800-meter run.

Lewis finished second in the 1,600-meter run. Gracie Roberts placed seventh. Charli Shepherd and Kiera Roberts were ninth and tenth, respectively.

In the 3,200-meter run, Gracie Roberts finished third, while Kelly was sixth.

Phillips was second in the 100-meter hurdles. Heaven Hensley placed third. Ashton Evans was eighth.

In the 300-meter hurdles, Heaven Hensley was fifth, while Evans placed sixth.

In long jump, Daniels placed third. Washington was fourth, while Heaven Hensley was sixth.

Phillips placed third in high jump. Hailie Hensley finished fifth. Heaven Hensley was eighth.

Washington placed third in triple jump. Phillips was sixth, while Hailie Hensley was ninth.

Taylor Clem placed second in pole vault.

Taylor Lunsford was second in shot put and third in discus.

Eldridge, Aliyah Deleon, Griffin and Karst won the 4 x 200 meter relay, setting a new school record. They also won the 4 x 100 meter relay.

Peyton Lunsford, Howard, Evans and Deleon finished third in the 4 x 400 meter relay. Brooklyn Burke, Kiera Roberts, Clem and Hailie Hensley placed fifth.

Addi Gray, Gracie Roberts, Peyton Lunsford and Lewis were second in the 4 x 800 meter relay. Autumn Farley, Kiera Roberts, Shepherd and Lainey Garrett finished sixth.

“Ella had another strong night and broke her record in the 100-meter. She’s a hard worker and she deserves it,” Vitatoe said.

“I’m so proud of our girl’s 4 x 200 team. Taytum, Emilee, Aliyah, and Ella have been chasing this record all season and they accomplished that goal tonight. It’s a big step in the right direction, and I’m proud of them.”