HCHS boys, Leslie girls are winners in Coal Miners Memorial Invitational

The Harlan County boys placed first among nine teams and the girls were second to Leslie County as athletes braved frigid temperatures on Friday in the Coal Miners Memorial Invitational at HCHS.
The Black Bears finished with 223 points, well ahead of Letcher Central’s 87 points. Whitley County was third with 67 points, followed by Leslie County with 62, Harlan with 44, Bell County with 36, Pineville with 12, Barbourville with 10 and Red Bird with two.
“I’m very proud of both of my teams tonight in one of the toughest set of meet conditions I’ve seen. I’m proud of how focused they were and their ability to block out the cold, rain and snow,” Harlan County coach Ryan Vitatoe said. “The guys were fantastic tonight. They are working really hard and they are trending into uncharted territory as a team. I’m really excited about their progress and where they are heading.”
Leslie County finished with 182 points in the girls division, three ahead of the Lady Bears. Pineville was third with 34 points, followed by Letcher Central and Harlan with 31 each, Whitley County with 23, Bell County and Red Bird with 22 each and Barbourville with two.
“The girls ran great. We were a bit shorthanded due to spring break, but they competed their tails off tonight,” Vitatoe said. “This loss falls 100 percent on me, and these girls have nothing to hang their heads about. We will look at needed adjustments going forward as we get back to work this week.”
Matt Yeary and Gavon Spurlock each won in two events to lead the Black Bears with Yeary taking first in both the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles and Spurlock winning in the long jump and triple jump. Dallas Sergent was second in the 110-meter hurdles.
Thomas Jordan was first in the 200 meters and Demarco Hopkins was first in the 100 meters. HCHS freshman Luke Kelly was second in both races as the Bears continued to excel in the speed events.
The relay team of Luke Carr, Jordan, Hopkins and Luke Kelly placed first in the 4 x 200 meters and 4 x 100 meters.
Harlan County’s Seth Robinson won the mixed shot put unified.
Cade Middleton led the Harlan boys as he won both the shot put and discus.
Peyton Lunsford won in both the 800 and 1,600 meters.
Paige Phillips was first in the high jump and second in the 100-meter hurdles.
Maddi Middleton won the long jump, while Taylor Lunsford was first in the shot put and Lindsey Browning was first in the discus.
Ella Karst won the 100 meters, just ahead of Harlan’s Emma Owens.
The 4 x 200 relay team of Emilee Eldridge, Karst, Taytum Griffin and Brianna Howard placed first. The 4 x 100 relay team of Karst, Griffin, Eldridge and Phillips also won.