Lady Marshals to 14th
By David Green
LOUISVILLE – Lauren Miller had already made four trips to the state Class 3A track and field meet. The past two years, her high hopes came crashing down as she fell after contact with a hurdle.
The fifth time was the charm for the Marshall County senior, who brought home a second-place finish in the 100 meter hurdles Saturday at Owsley B. Frazier Cardinal Park.
“It was really exciting just to finish,” Miller said. “FInishing second was just icing on the cake.”
Devan Doss claimed another high finish for the Lady Marshals, taking third in the pole vault.
Miller also scored two fifth-place finishes, in the 300 hurdles and long jump.
“I was so happy for Lauren,” Lady Marshals coach Cory Westerfield said.
“[Boys coach Jared Rosa] said she got a big smile on her face about three hurdles out from the finish because she knew she was not going to fall,” Westerfield said. “I know it has been very frustrating for Lauren the last couple of years.”
Miller, who has signed a track scholarship at Murray State, confirmed that as she approached the last four barriers, she began to feel confident.
“Once I was getting toward the end, I said, ‘I can do this,’” Miller said. She told herself, “It’s time to crush ‘em all.”
Miller also had a pair of fifth-place finishes in the 300 hurdles and long jump.
Miller swept the 100 and 300 hurdles in the Region 1 meet for the third year in a row. At state, she ran the 100 in 15.38 seconds, second to a 15-flat by Dominique Edmonds of Louisville Male.
In the 300, Miller lowered her personal best time to 46.52.
“What’s odd about that is that 46.52 would win our state meet most years, but this was just a crazy good year for great times in that race,” Westerfield said. “The winner [Christina Heilman of Campbell County] ran a 44 [44.64]and I don’t remember that kind of time being run for a long time.”
Tatiyana Dean of Tates Creek, Jordin Fender of Paul Dunbar and Kristin Matula of Sacred Heart were second through fourth, all with times in the 45-second bracket.
Miller and Doss led the way as the Lady Marshals finished 14th in girls’ team standings.
Melanie McKendree, also making her fifth trip to the state meet, was 11th in the high jump and the 4x200 relay team of Alli Fuqua, Tory Fehrenbacher, Alyssa Barnard and Miller posted a 13th-place finish.
Stephanie Russell, who also qualified in the hurdles, finished 16th in the 100 and 300 in the state meet and Alyssa Barnard was 16th in the 400 meters.
“I was very, very pleased with our performance at the state meet,” Westerfield said. “As a team, we finished 14th out of 44 teams that did score.
“There may have been a few more teams there that did not score, so I felt very good about the team finish.”
The top five teams in girls’ standings were Louisville Assumption (63 points), North Hardin (52), Louisville Manual and Louisville Male (tied at 43) and Lexington Dunbar (42).
In boys’ competition, freshman Skyler Van Meter scored a point with an eighth-place finish in the high jump. The Marshals tied for 34th place with Graves County.
“I am proud of the guys,” Rosa said. “All year they worked hard to be in the positions that they are in.”
Other performances by the Marshals included a 12th-place showing by the 4x800 relay team of Hunter Hillmann, Kyle Barry, Nick Gibson and T.J. Lampkin and another 12th by Lampkin in the 800 meters.
Cody Gregory scored 16th in the long jump.