HCHS boys, girls each finish in top four at regional


Demarco Hopkins, Thomas Jordan, Luke Kelly and Luke Carr will represent Harlan County in the 100 and 200 relays at the Class 2A state track meet.

Madison Daniels won a regional title in the pole vault.

Taking on several of the top Class 2A programs in the state, the Harlan County girls finished in a tie for third and the HCHS boys finished fourth in the Region 5 meet earlier this week at Mercer County High School.
“I’m so proud of these kids. Without a doubt, this is the deepest and toughest region you’ll find in 2A, and maybe in any class. Our kids really showed up to compete and were able to shake off a three-hour bus ride to perform well,” Harlan County coach Ryan Vitatoe said. “Although we sit with three automatic qualifiers, I suspect we will place many more in the state meet once the at-large bids are determined. They competed hard and went toe-to-toe with some of the best programs in the state.”
Mercer County won the girls competition with 137 points, followed by Rockcastle County 85, then Corbin and HCHS tied with 63 points. East Jessamine was fifth with 60 points, followed by Lincoln County with 51, Boyle County with 38, Knox Central with 19, Wayne County with 17, Garrard County with nine, McCreary Central with seven, Casey County and Bell County with six each and Russell County with two.
Mercer County was also first in the boys division with 146 points, followed by Corbin with 99, Casey County with 69, Harlan County with 63, Boyle County with 50, East Jessamine with 48, Bell County with 32, Garrard County with 22, Knox Central with 14, McCreary Central with eight, Wayne County with four, Russell County with two and Clay County with one.
“When you look at the rankings, there are five of the top 15 boys teams in the state in this region, and four of the top 15 girls teams,” Vitatoe said. “To come out finishing third and fourth says a lot about where our program is. We were in striking distance for a trophy on both sides until deep into the meet. They have nothing to hang their heads about.”
Madison Daniels captured the only first place title for HCHS as she won in the pole vault.
“I’m so proud of Maddie. It’s hard to win a regional championship in any event,” Vitatoe said. “She has worked so hard this year, and she deserves this moment. She has such a bright future ahead of her, and this is just the beginning.”
Vitatoe listed the state qualifiers on the HCHS track site:
Paige Phillips – 100 hurdles, 4×100 relay
Ella Karst – 4×100 relay, 4×200 relay
Emilee Eldridge – 4×100 relay, 4×200 relay
Brianna Howard – 4×200 relay
Taytum Griffin – 4×100 relay, 4×200 relay
Peyton Lunsford – 1,600 run, 800 run, 3200 run
Taylor Lunsford – Shot put
Lindsey Browning – Discus
Taylor Clem – Pole vault
Madison Daniels – Pole vault
Andrew Yeary – 4×800 relay, 800 meter run
Austin Crain – 4×800 relay, 4×400 relay
Caleb Schwenke – 4×800 relay
Daniel Joseph – 4×800 relay, 1600 run, 3200 run
Matt Yeary – 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 4×400 relay
Dallas Sergent – 110 hurdles
Demarco Hopkins – 100 dash, 4×100 relay, 4×200 relay
Luke Kelly – 4×100 relay, 4×200 relay
Luke Carr – 4×100 relay, 4×200 relay
Thomas Jordan – 4×100 relay, 4×200 relay
Cooper McHargue – 4×400 relay
Hunter Collett – 4×400 relay
Connor Blevins – Shot put
Gavon Spurlock – Long jump, High jump
Landon McCreary – Pole vault
Jayce Brown – Pole vault
Seth Robinson – Unified shot
William Jones – Unified shot
Kaleb Michael – Unified shot
Tanner Griffin – Unified shot