HOWARD — The East Knox boys and girls track teams put the Bulldogs at the top of the team standings at East Knox Tuesday, winning the team titles by a combined 52.5 points.
“It’s definitely a pretty big advantage to be able to know where everything is,” East Knox senior Ashley VanHoose said. “Especially for the 100 hurdles and 110, there’s a different start, but for us we have a different finish. It’s just easier for us and we don’t have to worry about it. All of our exchange zones, we know where everything is. I just feel like it’s a lot easier to be on your own track.”
The Bulldog girls got the job done all over the board on the track, winning seven running events, including three of the four relays. Molly Gebhart, Taylor Huggins, Joci Totten and Lilly Thomas won the 4×400 (4:51.43) and Gebhart and Totten linked with Alyssa Merritt and Taylynn Morningstar to win the 4×800 (11:53.65).
VanHoose played a large role in the two shorter relays, anchoring both. In the 4×100, she, Emily Opfer, Alexandria Magers and Thomas combined to win with a time of 55.11 seconds. Annett, Thomas, VanHoose and Taylor Huggins ran the 4×200 and finished just more than a second behind Danville to finish second (1:57.59).
“It’s pretty much that they set me up and then I finish it,” VanHoose said of anchoring two relays. “They get me in the best place that they can and go as fast as they possibly can and then it’s up to me to either maintain it or try and catch up.”
Individually, VanHoose also picked up a win in the 100 meter hurdles, turning in a time of 17.27 seconds, winning by more than a second. Joining VanHoose as individual winners, Magers won the 400 (1:06.07) and Opfer grabbed the top spot in both the 300 hurdles (50.63) and the 200 (27.65).
The East Knox girls won the day with 90.5 points, ahead of Fredericktown’s 79 points, while Northridge (75), Danville (59.5) and Mount Gilead (32) rounded out the field.
“Although there’s not a lot of teams here, it’s still good competition for us,” VanHoose said. “Especially just getting ready to go closer toward SpecTrackular and districts and everything. It’s a good way to just prepare yourself and get better.”
Fredericktown’s girls found their groove in the distance events. Molly Smith won the mile with a time of 6:38.27 and Sammy Maglott’s time of 13:59.07 gave her the win in the 3,200. The 4×800 team of Maglott, Cassidy Small, Kelly Sapp and Maureen Roddy turned in a time of 12:26.48 for second.
Makayla Brown had another stellar day in the throwing events to lead the Blue Devil girls. She won the discus with a throw of 85-feet-11 and secured the top spot in the shot put with a hurl of 30-3. Alenah Boeshart picked up an individual track win for Danville, securing the 100 win with a time of 13.27 to narrowly edge out her teammate Rachel Wilson (13.70), who finished second. Boeshart, Brooklynn Hess, Haley Furay and Wilson combined for the winning time in the 4×200 (1:56.42).
The Bulldog boys took care of business and smashed the competition away with 131 points, ahead of Fredericktown at 90. Northridge turned in 57 points, Mount Gilead 42 and Danville 19.
East Knox got accustomed to the top of the podium Tuesday, winning 10 of the 17 events.
Bryan Hockenberry had himself a day in the throwing events, launching a shot 40-7.5 and a disc 125-8, both of which earned him first. Also in field events, Anthony Gilmore won the high jump (5-8) just ahead of his teammate Chase Darr (5-6). Darr tasted first in the long jump, clearing 18-6.75.
On the track, the Bulldog boys won three relays. Nathan Whitney, Dawson Moreland, Dillon Moreland and Cody Cockrell won the 4×800 in 9:10.59, nearly 35 seconds faster than the second-place team, which was also a Bulldog squad. In the 4×100, Blake Kannady, Stephen Davis, Steven Lybarger and Gilmore combined to win (49.52) and Darr, Whitney, Gilmore and Dawson Moreland linked up for the 4×400 win (3:47.79).
Individually, Darr won the 400 (55.80). Dawson Moreland (4:55.41) and Dillon Moreland (5:01.48) finished back-to-back in the mile, while Whitney (2:15.83) and Dillon Moreland (2:20.79) snagged the top two spots in the 800.
For the Freddies, Tuesday was a day for a lot of JV competitors to see some action, and they still fared well. Corey Webb, Kailin Horlacher, J.J. Grennell and Xavier Platt combined to win the 4×200 (1:46.11). Colton Riel won the 300 hurdles (44.32), Chance Campbell won the 200 (24.72) and Roghan Roddy won the pole vault (11-3).
Campbell is normally an ace in the shorter distances for the Freddies, but he used Tuesday to branch out and try an event he normally doesn’t run, the mile. He finished ninth with a time of 5:32.73.
“You just have to work with your teammates. You have to ask them questions,” Campbell said of running a new event. “You have to ask coaches that specialize in those area questions. You just have to be open to advice. I think the great think about Fredericktown is we work together.”
Skyler Kerr had the best finish for the Blue Devil boys, nabbing second in the 100 (12.04), just ahead of teammate Aiden Bell (12.22). Kerr also finished third in the 110 hurdles (18.61) and the 300 hurdles (47.23).
Danville, East Knox and Fredericktown will all return to action Friday at the Freddie Invite in Fredericktown, with field events kicking off at 4:30 p.m.
“The Freddie Invite is always a really fun event,” Campbell said. “We’re all excited for it and we’re ready to show Fredericktown what we’ve got.”