HCHS boys, WIlliamsburg girls are winners at Coal Miners Invitational

By John Henson, Managing Editor


The Coal Miners Invitational couldn’t have turned out much better for Harlan County coach Ryan Vitatoe as he reflected on Friday’s 16-team meet.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have our season progress as it has through the pandemic, but tonight was special. It really felt like a ‘real’ track meet with the number of teams we had. It was highly competitive and an excellent environment,” Vitatoe said. “I want to thank our administration, assistant coaches, and all our parent volunteers for all their hard work to make it run so smoothly. It was the biggest meet we’ve run at our facility in our school’s history.”
The Harlan County boys placed first with 154.50 points, just ahead of North Laurel. Williamsburg, Middlesboro and South Laurel rounded out the top five.
Hunter Blevins (in the shot put) and Caleb Rigney (in the 1,600) set school records to lead the HCHS boys. Rigney was first in the 800 and 1,600 races. Matt Yeary was first in the 300-meter hurdles. Hunter Mefford won in the pole vault. Blevins was second in the discus.
“This is a huge victory for our boys team. This was a highly competitive meet with an excellent field of teams, several of whom are at the top of their respective regions. Our guys came out focused and ready to compete and it showed,” Harlan County coach Ryan Vitatoe said. “We talked before the meet started about how the season is a process of developing as both individuals and as a team and tonight was a great step in the right direction. This is a special group of guys and I’m really excited about the direction they are heading in. Big things are ahead.”
Kaleb McLendon led Harlan by finishing first in the high jump.
Williamsburg won the girls team competition with Mikkah Siler and Lylah Mattingly each winning two events. Harlan County was second with 113.75 points, just ahead of North Laurel, County Laurel and Leslie County.
Peyton Lunsford (1,600) and Lindsey Browning (discus) set school records for the Lady Bears.
“I’m very proud of the girls. Like the boys field, this was a solid field of teams with several regional contenders in their respective classes,” Vitatoe said. “We are still early in our process of development with so many girls only being with us for a few weeks since the conclusion of fall sports. We’ve talked about the need for patience with individual development as many of our team members are just now getting their feet under them. I’m very proud of how hard they competed. They have come a long way in a very short time and big things are ahead for them as well. Both of these groups are about the group and not themselves. That bodes well for our progress this season.”
Other winners for HCHS included Mekenzie Cornett in the long jump, Kassy Owens in the triple jump and Abby Vitatoe in the pole vault.
Marissa Marlowe led Harlan as she placed first in the shot put.

Coal Miners Invitational
Boys Team Results
1. Harlan County 154.50, 2. North Laurel 150, 3. Williamsburg 98, 4. Middlesboro 59, 5. South Laurel 58, 6. Knox Central 32.50, 7. Harlan 31.50, 8. Perry County Central 28, 9. Leslie County 22, 10. Bell County 16, 11. Letcher County Central 12, 12. Whitley County 11, 13. Oneida Baptist Institute 9, 14. Clay County 7, 15. Barbourville 0.50.

100 meters — Gavon Thomas, Williamsburg, 11.77; Grant Woods, North Laurel; Kaige Witt, Perry Central.
200 meters — Gamarious Isby, North Laurel, 23.76; Kaige Witt, Perry Central; Jayden Rainwater, Williamsburg.
400 meters — Justin Sparkman, North Laurel, 53.09; Austin Gibbs, Whitley County; Will McCowan, South Laurel.
800 meters — Caleb Rigney, Harlan County 2:03.75; Jacob Tapscott, South Laurel; Cole Osborne, North Laurel.
1,600 meters — Caleb Rigney, Harlan County, 4:29.20; Will Stanko, South Laurel; Jacob Tapscott, South Laurel.
3,200 meters — Will Stank, South Laurel; 10:19.31; Nicholas Stewart, Bell County; Brayden Thomas, Oneida Baptist.
110-meter hurdles — Nathan Napier, Middlesboro, 17.75; Matt Yeary, Harlan County; Dallas Sergent, Harlan County.
300-meter hurdles — Matt Yeary, Harlan County, 45.32; Brady Adams, Perry Central; Nathan Napier, Middlesboro.
4 x 100 meter relays — Williamsburg, North Laurel, Harlan County.
4 x 200 meter relays — Harlan County, North Laurel, Knox Central.
4 x 400 meter relays — North Laurel, South Laurel, Harlan County.
4. 800 meter relays — North Laurel, South Laurel, Harlan County.
High jump — Kaleb McLendon, Harlan, 5-06.00; Devon Butcher, Knox Central; Jayden Rainwater, Williamsburg.
Long jump — Alex Garcia, North Laurel, 19-00.50; Kaleb McLendon, Harlan; Gavon Spurlock, Harlan County.
Triple jump — Alex Garcia, North Laurel, 38-06.75; Gavon Spurlock, Harlan County; Aaron Dean, Bell County.
Pole vault — Hunter Mefford, Harlan County, 10-00.00; Aspen Sizemore, North Laurel; Grant Woods, North Laurel.
Discus — Luke Robinson, North Laurel, 132-11.75; Hunter Blevins, Harlan County; Zach Tong, Middlesboro.
Shot put — Hunter Blevins, Harlan County, 49-09.50; Bronson Bates, Williamsburg; Zach Tong, Middlesboro.


Girls Team Results
1. Williamsburg 141, 2. Harlan County 113.75, 3. North Laurel 105, 4. South Laurel 75.50, 5. Leslie County 72, 6. Middlesboro 37, 7. Perry County Central 34, 8. Harlan 26, 9. Knox Central 18.75, 10. Letcher County Central 16, 11. Red Bird 14, 12. Lynn Camp 9, 13. Whitley County 9, 14. Oneida Baptist Institute 8, 15. Bell County 6.

100 meters — Mikkah Siler, Williamsburg, 13.67; Zoie Brown, Williamsburg; Brooklyn Sandlin, Perry Central.
200 meters — Daniella Jackson, North Laurel, 27.61; Mikkah SIler, Williamsburg; Lylah Mattingly, Williamsburg.
400 meters — Danielle Jackson, North Laurel, 1:02.88; Mikkah Siler, Williamsburg; Olivia Rudder, North Laurel.
800 meters — Neveah Warren, Williamsburg, 2:34.28; Taylor Allen, North Laurel; Makenna Gayheart, Perry Central.
1,600 meters — Phoebe McCowan, South Laurel, 5:01.02; Nevaeh Warren, Williamsburg; Peyton Lunsford, Harlan County.
3,200 meters — Olivia Rudder, North Laurel, 12:12.59; Nevaeh Warren, Williamsburg; Taylor Allen, North Laurel.
100-meter hurdles — Lylah Mattingly, Williamsburg, 17.75; Mekenzie Cornett, Harlan County; Iris Napier, Leslie County.
300-meter hurdles — Lylah Mattingly, Williamsburg, 50.98; Iris Napier, Leslie County; Mekenzie Cornett, Harlan County.
4 x 100 meter relays — Harlan County, Leslie County, Middlesboro.
4 x 200 meter relays — Leslie County, Harlan County, Middlesboro.
4 x 400 meter relays — South Laurel, North Laurel, Williamsburg.
4. 800 meter relays — North Laurel, Williamsburg, Harlan County.
High jump —Mikkah Siler, Williamsburg, 4-06.00; Isabella Frost, Knox Central; Kassy Owens, Harlan County.
Long jump — Mekenzie Cornett, Harlan County, 14-03.75; Autumn Bales, South Laurel; Gracie Turner, South Laurel.
Triple jump — Kassy Owens, Harlan County, 31-03.00; Gracie Turner, South Laurel; Kennadi Larew, Middlesboro.
Pole vault — Abby Vitatoe, Harlan County, 7-06.00; Ashley Chapman, Williamsburg; Sabrina Lewis, Williamsburg.
Discus — Grace Lewis, South Laurel; 100-03.00; Madison Gritton, Oneida Baptist; Mackenzie Lawson, Red Bird.
Shot put — Marissa Marlowe, Harlan, 29-10.50; Mackenzie Lawson, Red Bird; Taylor Caldwell, Leslie County