FREDERICKTOWN — The annual Mount Vernon News Spectrackular has had its share of excitement over the years. From record-setting performances to great competition between athletes in the area, the Spec has always thrilled fans and athletes alike.
This year’s version expects no difference. The top track and field athletes from Centerburg, Danville, East Knox, Fredericktown, Highland, Mount Vernon, Northridge and Utica will all participate in the event Friday at Fredericktown HIgh School.
A couple of records may be in jeopardy, but the most exciting part of this year’s event is the competitiveness which should prevail. There are several events where fractions of a second are all that separate the top qualifiers.
Case in point is the boys 100-meter dash. Centerburg’s Tyler Boales is the top qualifier for the event, recording a best time of 11.05. But, Highland’s Brock Veley should be right there at the finish line with him as his best is 11.06, just 0.01 behind. Add in Fredericktown’s Zayde Zolman, who has run an 11.25 and the boys 100 may be the most exciting race of the night.
The boys’ mid-distance races also should be entertaining for the fans. Fredericktown’s Paden Spencer and Mount Vernon’s Logan Meyer are one and two in the 800 and 1600 with just a few ticks of the clock between them.
The 400 relay may also get the audience in an excited state of mind as just barely more than half a second separates Fredericktown, Centerburg and Highland’s best times
Besides the 100, there are a few other events on the boys side where a SpecTrackular record may be in jeopardy. East Knox’s Jake Gibson’s furthest shot put is just a few feet away from the 1999 record of Mount Vernon’s Brett Coffing; Meyer is about a second away from the fastest 800 time (Clear Fork’s Chris McClelland, 1999); and Mount Vernon’s Cory Berg is a fraction away from the fastest 300 hurdles time (Clear Fork’s Tim Mowry, 1991).
But, if any records go down, they may be at the hands (and feet) of Mount Vernon’s Sam Bethea. The Jacket junior’s best leap is just three inches short of Highland’s Dan Bright in the long jump, and his 110 hurdle time is just one-tenth of a second shy of Mowry’s record in 1999.
The girls’ side has some compelling stories as well, led by Mount Vernon’s Jada Kennerly, who will look for her second Most Valuable Competitor trophy. Kennerly has the best seed time in the 100 and 200, but she will be pushed by Danville’s Makayla Rolince, who was second to her in the MVC race two years ago.
Those two will also be competing against each other in the long jump, but Mount Vernon’s Delaney Short may have something to say about who wins that event.
The best chance for a record to be broken may come from Northridge’s Olivia Carpenter. The Viking runner’s best time in the 100 hurdles is just 0.01 shy of the 2008 record set by Mount Vernon’s Danae Rockwell and her 300 hurdles time is just one-tenth of a second off the record set by Rockwell that same year.
Fans may be seeing red when it comes to the distance races, as Fredericktown has a huge portion of the qualifiers on both the girls and boys’ sides.
The Lady Freddies have four in both the 1600 (Nichole Groseclose, Molly Linhares, Lydia Stute and Miranda Baker) and the 3200 (Baker, Ashlyn Shrimplin, Macy Thorne and Georgie Caputo), and have another three qualifiers in the 800 (Stute, Linhares and Lauren Davis).
On the boys’ side, five Freddies qualified for the eight spots in the 1600 (Jack Stalnaker, Titus Krabill, Connor Riley, Paden Spencer and Thomas Caputo) and 3200 (Krabill, Riley, Stalnaker, Caputo and Ethan Dudgeon). They will also have three runners in the 800 (Spencer, Dakota Smith and Roghan Roddy).
The SpecTrackular kicks off with the field events at 4:30 p.m. The running events will begin at 5:45 p.m.