Curlin leads local athletes into state meet

By Linda Younkin Published:

Anna Curlin will be competing in four events at the KHSAA State Track and Field Championships Friday, but there’s one event that stands out for the Western Hills senior.

That’s the 400-meter dash, which she won last year at the Class 2A state meet.

“I really want to repeat,” Curlin said about the 400. “I really want to win state again.”

Last year at state Curlin medaled in all four events in which she competed — the 400 (first), the long jump (third), the 100-meter dash (fifth) and the 200 (seventh).

She’ll be competing in the same events Friday.

“The 400 is my favorite event,” Curlin said. “I’m strongest in it, but it’s for sure way harder than everything else. It’s a full sprint the whole way.”

Curlin signed a track scholarship with Murray State University earlier this year, and that’s taken some pressure off this season.

“Now instead of running for a good scholarship, I’m running for myself,” she said. “I’m definitely not slacking off. It’s different, and I have more fun when I do what I want to do instead of what I need to do.”

Curlin’s best time in the 400 is 57.73 seconds, which she ran last year at state.

“I’m really happy with my season,” she said. “My times this season have improved from last year, and if it’s the same this year I should be a lot faster on Friday.

“All last year I ran 60, 61, and then at state I ran a 57. This year I’ve been running 58 and 59.”

Curlin won the 400 at the regional meet two weeks ago with a time of 59.40 seconds. She also won the 100 and 200 and was runner-up in the long jump.

The state meet closes out the high school portion of Curlin’s track career, which started when she was in the sixth grade.

“I’ve made a lot of friends with different girls who run the 400 across the state,” Curlin said. “It’ll be sad to stop seeing their progress. Track is so much more social. You have so much time waiting for your race.

“I think it’s going to be way different (at Murray), but I’m excited for it. I’m definitely really excited.”

>Western Hills has two athletes who won two events at the regional meet — Cameron Murphy in the boys 110 and 300-meter hurdles and Aja Leachman in the girls shot put and discus throw.

Teammate Alaina Hall won the 300-meter hurdles, and she qualified for state in the 100-meter hurdles.

The three will be competing at state along with teammates D.J. Green in the 100, JP Isaacs in the 200 and 400, Annie Cunningham in the pole vault, Nick Raymond in the long jump and triple jump, Dove DeNigris in the 3,200 and the boys 4x200 relay team and 4x400 relay team.

Franklin County has two athletes who’ll compete in two events at state — Ashley Lawhorn in the 800 and 1,600 and Kristen Ellis in the shot put and discus throw.

Also going to state from FCHS are Kerrigan Brown in the shot put, Kirsten Pilcher in the discus throw, Lexi Abbott in the 100 hurdles and the girls 4x400-meter relay team.

The Class 2A state meet starts at 4:30 p.m. with the girls discus throw and boys shot put and the girls 4x800-meter relay.

The final event is the boys 4x400 relay at 8:55.

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