Lady Jumpers gunning for state title after runner-up finish last season

STEVE CORNELIUS

Somerset High School junior Kendall Burgess won two state track titles and placed state runner-up in two other events, as she helped lead the Lady Jumpers track team to the 2019 Class A state runner-up team title.

The Somerset High School girls track team is coming off an historical 2019 state runner-up season, and could very well be in the hunt for another shot at a state crown with all of their state-meet scorers returning from last year.

Junior Kendall Burgess (who scored 36 points in the 2019 state meet) won state crowns in both the long jump and the triple jump, and won state runner-up titles in the 100 meters and 200 meters. Senior Lauren Foutch (who scored six points) placed third in the state in the discus event. Juniors Lexie Herndon placed fifth in the high jump and Madison Garland placed ninth in the shot put.

The Somerset track team did lose three outstanding seniors to graduation in Will Perkins, Audrey Anderson, and Payton Ellison. All three of them had successful careers at Somerset High School and contributed a ton to the program, while also placing at the state level.

For the Somerset girls, Kendall Burgess, Lexie Herndon, Madison Garland, Lauren Foutch, and Emily Ham all competed at the state meet last season. Lucy McArthur, Kennedy Boots, Angelica Hernandez and Trinity Burkett all gave the Lady Jumpers points at Region. According to Somerset track coach Brandon Hall, the Briar Jumpers track team has added several new and talented girls for this season, who are ready to help us win a region championship.

"For the guys, we are a little thin this season," Hall stated. "Jayden Gilmore and Cole Blakeman return after making it to state last year. We have an extremely talented group of freshmen and eighth-graders this season, as well as a couple new seniors who will contribute instantly."

After a historic Lady Jumpers season last spring, Hall is hoping for even more success this season.

"Last year, led by Kendall Burgess' 36 points, our girls finished second in Class A state and lost to Beechwood by a mere 1.5 points," Hall boasted. "That was the highest finish in SHS history. The girls were also region runner-up."

"Our jumpers are solid this season," Hall vaunted. "Kendall, Lexie, Jayden, and Emily lead a talented group that all contributed last season. Daniel Richardson, Guy Bailey, and Jesse Zaragoza are capable of scoring us points as well. Our throwers Madison Garland, Lauren Foutch, Trinity Burkett, and Jacob Thayer all have a ton of experience and will score points at just about every meet. Our distance girls have improved vastly from last year as well."

"A majority of our sprinters are new to track this year, so it's taken some time to work on blocks and handoffs," Hall explained. "However, they've done well so far. We also do not have a full men's distance team, so that'll hurt us as well, since we cannot fill those races up."

STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at sports@somerset-kentucky.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.

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