By STEVE CORNELIUS, CJ Sports Editor
When everything was calculated and the results came in at the Class A Region 6 Track & Field Championships at the University of the Cumberlands on Saturday, the girls team from Richmond Model had apparently won the region team title with 144 points — Somerset High School Lady Jumpers finishing a close second place with 143 points. The one-point loss would have put an end to the Lady Jumpers’ hopes of a fourth consecutive regional team title.
“It was really tough to swallow that we lost by a single point,” Somerset track coach Steve Wallace commented. “So many scenarios run through my mind on points lost in different events.”
But after a casual conversation with his daughter on the bus ride home to Somerset, Wallace stumbled onto something that would turn the Lady Jumpers’ silver runner-up trophy into a fourth straight regional gold championship trophy.
“On the bus ride home I was talking to my daughter Jessica (Wallace), and in conversion I asked her about the pole vault and her thoughts on Halie Chamberlain finishing fourth – when she was ranked second coming into the meet,” Wallace explained. “Jessica then proceeded to question how Halie got fouth, and Jessica said that she definitely got third place. For the next 30 minutes on the bus, I began to make phone calls to figure out exactly what happened in the pole vault and eventually I spoke with the meet manager, who agreed there was a serious clerical error.”
At 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night – nearly 7 hours after the meet had concluded — Wallace got the call from the KHSAA official, who explained there was a mistake and that Somerset would be awarded an additional two points. And with those two corrected points, the Somerset High School girls won their fourth straight Region 6 team title with a corrected score of Somerset 145 to Model’s 144.
In contrast, there was no controversy – nor was the score even close – in the boys team standings, as Somerset High School breezed to an easy win en route to their sixth consecutive Class A Region 6 team title. The Somerset boys scored 180 points, while their nearest competitor Richmond Model was a whopping 87 points behind them.
Somerset sophomore Maranda Mills defended her regional crowns in both the long jump and triple jump events. Mills won the long jump with a 16’02.5” best and the triple jump with a 35’06” best. Mills is the defending Class A state champ in the triple jump and was state runner-up in the long jump.
Having not ran these races throughout her entire varsity career, Mills picked up a second place in the 200-meter dash and a third place in the 100-meter dash, to earn 14 valuable team points and upping her individual total to 34 points on the day.
Junior Kathryn Alexander won the pole vault event with a 8’02” best vault.
The Lady Jumpers foursome of Allie Brummett, Sam Heuer, Tristan Muse and Ariel McGinnis won the 3200-meter relay with a time of 12:25.01.
“I knew that the girls’ title was going to be extremely tight between Model, Williamsburg, and us,” Wallace explained. “With two events to go we led Model by 12 points, but Model had two of the strongest events left – the 3200 meter run and the 4x400 relay. I knew that I had to pick up at least 9 points in the 3200-meter run to try to offset some of Model’s assured 18 points.”
“Freshman Tristan Muse had not run for over two weeks due to severe sickness that led to the hospitalization on two occasions because of stomach cramps,” Wallace stated “Tristan and I talked before the race, she wanted to know if we could win the team trophy if she didn’t run. I simply told her that without her finishing in the top five in the 3200-meter run we had no chance of winning. Tristan said, ‘I am going to run if it means we still would have a chance to win team title’. About a mile into the race, Tristan’s pain was obvious by the tears rolling down her cheeks. I told her to drop out of the race if she started to hurt, but she refused and finished the race in fifth place.”
“Yes, track is a team sport, and if more kids — and adults for that matter — had a heart like Tristan Muse, the world would be so much better,” Wallace vaunted.
On the boys’ side, Somerset senior Tyler Megargel defended his two region hurdles titles, by winning both the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles. Megargel won the 110 hurdles in 17.74 and the 300 hurdles in 46.43.
Somerset junior Ensley Peters won both the shot put and discus. Peters won the shot with a best of 39’10.5” and won the discus with a winning mark of 115’08”.
Senior Jalen Jones won the long jump with a best of 17’10”. Jones finished second in the triple jump and fourth in the high jump.
Somerset took 1-2 in the pole vault, with senior Jonathan Baker winning the event with a 10’0” vault and junior Braden Bigelow finishing second with a 9’06” vault.
The Somerset boys dominated the sprint events with a ‘1-2’ finish in the 100 meters, a gold medal in the 200 meters and winning both the 400-meter relay and the 800-meter relay races.
Junior Cam Cheuvront won the 100 meters with a 11.18 clocking, while junior teammate Will Lange placed second with a 11.58. Lange won the 200-meter dash with a 23.12 clocking.
Cheuvront, Megargel, Castle Hatcher and Austin Hill won the 400-meter relay with a time of 46.14. Cheuvront, Hill, Lange and Megargel won the 800-meter relay with a time of 1:34.52.
The Somerset foursome of Carlos Canella, Nick Henry, Derek Hall and Tristan Krause won the 3200-meter relay with a time of 9:14.47.
Other top finishers for Somerset High School were Tristan Krause finished second in 800 meters, Shea Lee finished second in th shot put and second in the discus, Allie Brummett finished third in the 800 meters, Kaycee Rader finished third in the 1600 meters and third in the 3200 meters, Sydney Saindon finished third in the 300 hurdles, Halie Chamberlain finished third in the pole vault, and Rebecca Enda finished third in the shot put and third in the discus. The team of Emily Vaught, Katie Ulrich, Sydney Saindon and April Shelton finished second in the 400-meter relay. The foursome of Carlos Canella, Derek Hall, Nick Henry and Tristan Krause finished second in the 1600-meter relay.
Somerset’s state qualifiers will compete in the KHSAA Class A State Track & Filed Championships on Saturday, May 18 at the University of Louisville’s Owsley Frazier Cardinal Park.
Going ito the state meet, Maranda Mills is ranked first in the state in the triple jump and third in the long jump. Cam Cheuvront is rand second in the state in the 100 meters. Will Lange is ranked sixth in the 200 meters. The Somerset boys 400-meter relay and 800-meter relay teams are both ranked in the state’s top 8.