LEXINGTON — Frankfort freshman Will Lairson started the track season with plans to get faster for soccer.
He ended it with two state championships, two state records and one bronze medal in the Class A KHSAA State Championships Thursday at the University of Kentucky.
“I had one goal, to win the 2x200,” Lairson said about the state meet. “I wasn’t expecting to win two of them.”
Lairson competed in the 2x200-meter relay unified, the mixed long jump unified and the mixed shot put unified, winning the 2x200 with Jevon Bush and the long jump with Will O’Bryan.
He took third in the shot put with Callie Perry.
“I was so happy for Will and proud of the kids for the way they supported him,” FHS coach Jackie Duvall said. “It was awesome to see them show up to support him.
“Unified was brand new for us this year, and I’m really excited he made it to the end. He really has a niche in track and field, and he really loves it.”
According to the KHSAA website, a unified student-athlete has been identified by an agency or professional as having one of several conditions that requires or has required specially designed instruction.
Lairson won two events with first-time partners. Bush found out about a week ago he would be competing with Lairson in the 2x200 relay, and O’Bryan was asked by coaches if he would do the long jump while on the bus to UK. He readily agreed.
“His partner couldn't make it,” O’Bryan said of the long jump, “and the coaches asked if I could do it. They said to go out and do the best I could, and hopefully something would happen.”
What happened is the pair set a state unified record of 31 feet, 5.75 inches. In the event, each student-athlete gets to take two jumps, and the two best jumps, one from each athlete, are added together for the final jump.
“I was really excited for Will, especially after the 2x2,” O’Bryan said. “He not only won two state championships but set two state records. That’s really awesome.”
Lairson and Bush set a Class A state record of 52.58 seconds in winning the 2x200-meter dash.
The two had practiced once before state.
“I was kind of nervous,” Bush said. “I wasn’t sure how this worked or anything, but it was great to help him get another state record.”
Lairson and Perry, Lairson’s partner in the 2x200 during the season, took third in the shot put with a throw of 46-04.
“I just love him,” Perry said. “I want to get him to the finish. I do it for him.”
FHS had athletes in three other events.
Seventh-grader Katie Norman ran the 100-meter dash and finished 18th in 13.50 seconds.
“I was so happy for her to get to state,” Duvall said. “It was her second-fastest time, and she held her own. I hope she’s as proud of herself as we are of her.”
Junior Ronnie Moore competed in the long jump and placed 15th with a jump of 18-2.25.
“He didn’t jump his best jumps today,” Duvall said. “I know it was pouring down rain as they were getting in their second and third jumps. But I’m proud of the fact that he got here and he’s already setting some goals for next year.”
The boys 4x200-meter relay team of Bush, Moore, O’Bryan and Henry Higbee was 19th in 1:37.48.
“We hadn’t had qualified any relays in I don’t know how long,” Duvall said, “so I was happy they were in it. They didn’t have any problems like a dropped baton or exchanges outside the zone.
“They’ve run together the entire time, so getting to state is a great accomplishment. It was a new place, a new event, and a different platform. I think some were a little awestruck.”