This spring Elkhorn Middle School fielded the first track and field team anyone at the school can remember, and the Elks ended up sending 12 student-athletes at the state middle school championships.
“For the first year, I couldn’t have dreamed it better,” EMS coach Phil Smith said.
Smith, who is also Elkhorn’s football coach, ran track at Kentucky State.
“Coach (Dennis) Ledford talked to me and said they were starting a track team,” Smith said about Elkhorn’s athletic director.
“I’d been involved in track, and I do some personal speed training on the side for football,” Smith added. “He knew about my track background.”
Over 70 students showed up for the track team’s first meeting.
“We cut a few, and some fell off,” Smith said. “When the season started we had a little over 50 kids, and we finished with about 42 kids.
“That’s not bad. We cut some runners, and going forward I think we’ll keep more than we did this year. I’d like to have about 60 kids next year.”
Smith estimates that 98% of the team had no experience running track when the season started, but that didn’t seem to hinder the Elks.
Among EMS’ state qualifiers were seventh-grader Bria Wilson and eighth-grader Rebecca Bloemer, who also competed in the Class 2A KHSAA State Track Championships.
Wilson was part of the winning 4x100-meter relay at the KHSAA state track at the University of Kentucky with Brooklynn Miles, Laken Ellis and Shavi Kennedy.
At the middle school state championships May 25 at the University of Louisville, Wilson and teammates Deon Echols, Jayden Dummitt and Deloris Boateng were second in the 4x100-meter relay in a time of 52.97 seconds.
Wilson also competed in the 100-meter dash, where she finished third, and she took sixth in the 200 meters.
Bloemer was fifth in the discus at the state middle school meet, and eighth-grader Peyton Ledford was eighth in the shot put.
Gavin Hurst, an eighth-grader, qualified for state in the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump and 4x100-meter relay but had to miss the state meet because of an injury.
“Our goal next year it to double our numbers for state,” Smith said. “We’re hoping to qualify 20 to 30 kids for state.”
Elkhorn’s girls team finished 11th in the field of 61 teams.
Bondurant and Second Street also had competitors at the state meet.
Here are the results for the local competitors.
100-meter dash: 3. Bria Wilson (E) 12.99, 29. Katie Norman (SS) 13.99.
4x100-meter relay: 2. Elkhorn (Deloris Boateng, Jayden Dummitt, Deon Echols, Bria Wilson) 52.97.
200-meter dash: 6. Bria Wilson (E) 27.78, 33. Katie Norman (SS) 29.53.
400-meter dash: 13. Katie Norman (SS) 1:04.80.
Shot put: 15. Rebecca Bloemer (E) 30-09, 25. Amyah Robinson (SS) 28-08.50.
Discus throw: 5. Rebecca Bloemer (E) 85-04, 29. Amyah Robinson (SS) 59-09.
4x200-meter relay: 32. Elkhorn (Greg Anderson, Hunter Gotshall, Dominick Taylor, William Howard) 1:50.73.
4X100-meter relay: 27. Elkhorn (Hunter Gotshall, Dominick Taylor, Greg Anderson, Shaukar Muhammad) 52.00.
Shot put: 8. Peyton Ledford (E) 40-00.75.
Discus throw: 11. Peyton Ledford (E) 114-03.
3,200-meter run: 44. Jon Cameron Eades (B) 12:56.32.
Triple jump: 28. Tyler Withers (B) 31-09.25.