Isaiah McCall was a menace on the hurdles track all season long. Saturday’s state-title races were no different.
McCall, a senior at Bryan Station, swept the 110- and 300-meter hurdles at the KHSAA Class 3A State Track and Field Championships at the University of Kentucky. His time of 13.76 in the 110 broke the longstanding meet record of 13.80 set by Manual’s James Triplett in 1975.
He finished sixth in the 100 and anchored Station’s 4-by-200 relay team that finished second to Trinity, helping contribute a total of 31 points to the Defenders’ second-place overall finish in the team standings.
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“I knew I had it in the tank because coming into regionals I ran a 14.1 and I backed off at the end so I just knew if I got off the blocks good and over the first three (hurdles), it was gonna be a good race,” McCall said of his record-setting performance early in the meet.
McCall’s time of 38.85 in the 300 hurdles was 1.02 seconds short of matching the state-meet record set by John Hardin’s Brandon Bagley in 2010. He ran the 100 and 4-by-200 relay in between that race, events in which he doesn’t typically compete.
“I wanted to set both (records),” McCall said. “ … I was real drained for the 3(00)s but, I mean, it just feels good to come out here and get both wins.”
Bryan Station pole vaulter Jordan Hampton was almost disqualified on a time fault before attempting a jump of 13 feet, 6 inches.
That wasn’t too long after he was cautioned by officials that the white pants he’d worn all season could be grounds for disqualification since they weren’t “school-issued,” even though he bought them with his coach’s approval.
“I should have been given a verbal warning by whoever calls the names or whatever,” Hampton said of the time incident. “I never got that. The flag literally went up and went down. I saw the flag go up and said, ‘Okay, 15 seconds.’
“I re-centered myself, picked up my pole, step back and the lady’s sitting and once I focus on the pit, all I see is the lady standing up with a red flag. It doesn’t take me 15 seconds to go.”
Hampton, who entered with the best seed mark of 14-7, ultimately won a protest but was unable to clear 13-6, the mark cleared by titlist Sam Martin of Woodford County.
Lafayette’s Kristina Leggas, who’s seed mark of 13-02.25 was the best in the girls’ competition, also finished second. For the second year in a row she was upended by Jaci Bickett, a junior from Henderson County who set a new state record of 13-03.
Leggas, who’s signed with Tulane, took the result in stride.
“It’s okay, it happens,” Leggas said. “Everybody has a bad day. You can’t come out and expect every meet to be a big, state-record-breaking meet. So it’s no big.”
High jump surprise
Tates Creek senior Patrick Kelly won the high jump with a mark of 6 foot, 8 inches. It was a mark he hadn’t cleared all season but hit in last season’s championship.
The only problem last year was All-American high jumper Jaron Brooks was in front of him with a 6-10.
“It’s just a crazy feeling that before I graduate I get to win state,” Kelly said. “I’m pretty much speechless.”
Kelly’s track career ended Saturday. He plans to study pre-law at the University of Kentucky and wants to go into politics.
“It’s just the state that the country’s in and there’s so much unrest around the world, and I want to be able to come in and change that and be a person that people can look up to,” Kelly said of when asked about the his motivation to become a politician.
Scott County’s strongman
Bryan Hudson, a standout offensive lineman at Scott County who’s already been offered by some of the nation’s top programs, swept the boys’ discus and shot-put competitions.
The sophomore was pleased with his shot put effort (59-09.25) but not so much with his discus day (175-05). He’s shooting for national records.
His future’s in football, but Hudson takes track and field seriously. He’s competed in the New Balance Indoor Nationals and hopes to attend the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in the summer.
“That’ll be fun,” Hudson said. “Statistics show that (coaches) love two-sport and three-sport athletes, and it helps a lot. They both kind of complement each other.”
Go (South)west, young man
J.P. Vaught, a sophomore from Southwestern High School in Pulaski County, claimed wins in the 100- and 200-meter races.
He set a personal record of 21.33 in his 200 win, resulting in an enthusiastic “Oh my God!” as he looked up at the time board after crossing the finish line. His previous best time was a 21.69.
“I was kind of looking for a 21.4, I really wasn’t expecting a 21.3,” Vaught said. “So I’m pretty excited about that.”
Vaught’s emerged as one of the state’s best wide receivers in the Class of 2019. He was third in Class 5A with an average of 95 yards per game last season.
“I’d love to run track at the next level, but then again I’ve been playing football since I was a kid,” Vaught said. “So it’s hard to give up.”