LEXINGTON — In the end, all that was left to do was try.
Frankfort High senior Shantiqa Shaw, hindered by illness and shin splints, competed in four events at the KHSAA Class 1A State Track and Field Championships Saturday at the University of Kentucky.
She did so despite being in obvious pain.
“I’ve been having really bad shin splints all season,” Shaw said. “They just got the best of me today.”
FHS junior Jalen Acree, in his first year on the track team, placed fourth in the shot put with a personal best throw of 46 feet, 3 inches.
Acree’s previous best came in the regional meet two weeks ago, when he placed second with a throw of 42 feet.
“I’m in the weight room a lot,” said Acree, who’s also a member of the FHS football team. “I’ve been working with Coach Preston (Herron) of Western Hills, and he told me the shot put is like bench pressing.
“You have to press the shot up and launch it out.”
Green County’s Andrew Hedgespeth won the shot put with a throw of 47-11.75.
Acree was pleased with his performance if not satisfied.
“It’s like football,” he said. “I expect our team to do the greatest things. I thought about gold, but I’m happy with what I did and proud of myself.”
Acree said things started to click with the shot put during the county championships April 22.
“I won that meet on the last throw,” he said. “I thought I’ve got to throw it this far to win. After that I started to throw in the 40s and farther.”
Shaw had a tight schedule Saturday, having qualified for state in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles, the 100-meter dash and the long jump.
The long jump started at 9 a.m., followed by the 100 hurdles at 9:50 and the 100 dash at 10:10. The 300 hurdles race was run at 11:50.
“It might have been because I started with the long jump,” Shaw said about the trouble with shin splints in her right leg. “That’s the foot I plant on.”
Shaw made it through the 100 hurdles, placing 12th in 17.79 seconds, but the pain became evident to the casual observer when she ran the 100-meter dash. She finished the race in 14.75 seconds for 22nd place.
She completed three jumps in the long jump, placing 16th with a jump of 13-10.50, and she considered not running the 300 hurdles, her favorite event.
“I didn’t want to be hurt forever,” she said. “I have soccer to play.” Shaw has signed to play soccer at the University of Pikeville.
“Maybe because it’s my senior year, but I wanted it really bad.”
Shaw ran the 300 hurdles, placing 18th in 54.78.
“You win some, you lose some,” she said. “You have to take that and keep pushing.
“It’s not a state championship, but I have my regional championships and that’s better than not-hing.”
Click here for more photos from the state meet