By STEVE CORNELIUS, CJ Sports Editor
After pulling off one of the program’s best-ever track and field state meet performances last spring, the Pulaski County High School boys track team followed it up with a runner-up finish in the Class AAA Indoor State Track & Field Championships this past weekend at Mason County High School.
The Maroons were just two points short of winning the team state title, as they scored 70 points to state champs Louisville Male’s 72 points.
Pulaski was led by individual state championship titles by Matthew Crawford, Austin Hyden and Kaleb Rowe. Also, Pulaski’s 3200-meter relay team claimed a state title in that event.
Crawford, a junior, won the boys 800-meter run with a time of 2:01.04.
Hyden, a senior, won the boys high jump with a best clearance of 6’6”, which was a National Elite mark. Hyden also placed third in he 400-meter dash with a clocking of 55.51.
Rowe, a senior, won the boys triple jump with a best mark of 43’11”. Rowe placed sixth in the long jump with a mark of 18’08.5”
The Pulaski boys’ 3200-meter relay team of Mason Blevins, Morgan Stevens, Matthew Crawford and Brennan Perkins won their race with a winning time of 8:55.49.
Pulaski junior Eulah Perkins won a state title in the girls shot put with a best mark of 31’03.5”
The Pulaski boys 1600-meter relay team of Austin Hyden, Kaleb Rowe, Matthew Crawford and Morgan Stevens placed second with a time of 3:50.72.
Mason Blevins, a senior, placed second in the boys 3000-meter run with a clocking of 9:12.06.
Also for the Lady Maroons, seventh-grader Devin Mayfield placed fifth in the 1600-meter run, and freshman Alyssa Hyden placed sixth in he 800-meter run.
“We ran about as good as we could have,” stated Pulaski County High School track coach Mike Morgan. “The weather has hurt our training so far, but they have worked very hard in the weight room and on the track. This bunch of athletes (boys and girls) are as dedicated as we have had here. Many of them are showing up at 7 a.m. to lift weights with Coach (Johnny) Hines or get extra running in. It is beginning to show.”
“Kaleb Rowe and Austin Hyden are two of the best jumpers in the state,” Morgan added. “I am expecting even bigger things for them this season and next. Both are being recruited by D1 schools. Mason Blevins, who signed to run at Morehead State, is the setting the tone for the work ethic, as always. He is our coach on the track and is showing great leadership.”
“Matthew Crawford is blooming into a great runner and is finding his niche in the 800 meters,” Morgan said. “Our girls’ team had their best finish in a state meet in a long time. We had a lot of first time runners in this meet and they are just learning but they performed well.”
“Eulah Perkins, who won shot put, has had about two days of practice,” Morgan stated. “So this is very encouraging, and we expect big things from her this year.”
“We have so many new faces, we are trying to figure out where these girls can help us,” Morgan concluded. “But we have a ton of talent now and we will be competing to win region by May, I am sure of that.”
The Pulaski boys middle school track team finished runner-up in the team standings.
Pulaski’s Zach Harris won the middle school shot put.
Pulaski middle teammate Tyler Harness finished runner-up in the long jump, second in he 55-meter dash and third in the 400-meter dash. Riley Crawford finished second in the 800-meter run.
Devin Mayfield finished second in the girls middle school 800-meter run.
Somerset will compete in the Class A indoor state track & field championships this upcoming weekend.