Harlan County’s Daniels ranked first in the nation among sixth-graders


Harlan County’s Tanner Daniels is ranked No. 1 in his age group in the 1-mile run, according to Mile Split USA. Daniels a sixth-grader, was undefeated in the regular season this fall.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

With multiple meet wins to his credit this fall, Harlan County’s Tanner Daniels was clearly the dominant sixth-grade runner in this part of Kentucky.
As it turns out, Daniels’ dominance this season covers a much wider area. Daniels, a sixth-grader at Wallins Elementary School, was selected by Mile Split USA as the top runner in his age group in the 1-mile run for the entire nation.
“I’m very proud of Tanner. This type of success doesn’t happen by chance. It happens when talent meets hard work,” Harlan County coach Ryan Vitatoe said. “Tanner works incredibly hard. He’s had a great season. He was undefeated throughout the year and came very close to a state championship. He has a bright future ahead of him.”
Daniels, who has been part of the HCHS program for four years, was the elementary champion this season in the conference, area and regional races, as well as winning in races at Lynn Camp, Bell County, Wayne County and Harlan County. He will compete in the national race on Nov. 6 in Louisville.
Ranked first in the state in his age group in both the 1,600-meter and one-mile races, Daniels finished fifth in the state in his cross country division after a tripping incident that reportedly cost him a chance to win the state title.
“It’s a shame. I think it definitely hurt his chances at the title,” Vitatoe said. “One thing about Tanner is he will use this as motivation when he runs nationals next month. That’s the kind of kid he is.”