Bryan Station's boys and Paul Laurence Dunbar's girls ruled Saturday's Class 3A, Region 6 track and field meet.
Host Bryan Station piled up 162 points in the boys' events. Henry Clay, led by triple winner Brandon Nichols, took second in the eight-team field with 95 points.
Dunbar's girls totaled 146 points, followed by Tates Creek with 981⁄3.
The top two finishers in each event advance to Saturday's state meet at the University of Louisville. Also, the top 10 athletes in each event from across the state who did not place first or second in a region will advance.
Duncan leads Defenders
Tre Duncan was the Bryan Station boys' lone individual winner, taking the long jump (22 feet, 6 inches) and a second straight triple jump (43-0) crown. The junior also ran second in the 200 and on the winning 4-by-100 relay (43.48 seconds).
Duncan's long jump was a personal best by seven inches. Teammate Ora Johnson placed second.
"My goal is to mainly shoot for a 23 (footer) in state," Duncan said. "That'll get me first, hopefully."
Bryan Station also won the 4-by-400 relay.
"I think we're going to give those Louisville schools a little bit of a run for their money this year," Coach Kathy Broadnax said of the Defenders' state outlook. "I think that we have some strength and I really believe that my guys are ready to compete."
Henry Clay's Nichols, a University of Kentucky signee, swept the 100 (11.26), 200 (22.17) and 400 (48.53), and also anchored the Blue Devils' second-place 4-by-200 relay.
The 200 is "the main race I'm working on this year," he said, having false-started out of last year's state meet.
He is two-time defending state champion in the 400.
"Hopefully, at state I'll have somebody out there to push me," Nichols said.
Successfully defending region titles were Nichols in the 200 and 400, Dunbar's David Tooley in the shot put (47-3), Woodford County's Patrick Brown in the pole vault (12-3) and Scott County's Dominique Norris in the 110-meter hurdles (39.66).
Norris also passed Bryan Station's Jacob McLimore on the final straightaway to snare the 300 hurdles (39.66).
"I hit one bad hurdle over here," Norris said, noting the start of the curve, "but I just did one of those mental things where you say 'it doesn't matter, you can keep going.'
"Then got over in this corner (the end of the curve) and I just said to myself 'I cannot stutter or he's going to get me.' And I didn't."
Lafayette's Jud Weaver took the 1,600 (4 minutes, 35.65 seconds), 3,200 (10:20.69) and helped the Generals win the 4-by-800 relay (8:19.20). Relay mate Miles Kilgore captured the 800 (1:57.23).
The ol' 1-2 punch
Dunbar's girls totaled 54 points in three events, getting 1-2 finishes in the 1,600, 3,200 and triple jump.
Seniors Megan Klein (5:19.18) and Amanda Hancock went 1-2 in the 1,600, then switched order in the 3,200 (11:52.72). They also ran on the Bulldogs' winning 4-by-800 relay (10:05.35).
"Very exciting. I'm glad we got to contribute our senior year because I wouldn't say we've been running our best times this year compared to all four years," Klein said. "It's been kind of rough coming back from injury, and both of us have got a lot going on with school and everything in senior year."
Hancock noted that the weather — sunny, about 80 degrees — was a big change from recent cool, wet days.
"The weather was definitely hard to deal with just because we're not acclimated," she said. "But this is probably how it's going to be at state, so we had that in the back of our minds all day. Just hydrate and prepare like we know how to."
Kierra Mohammed (36-2) and Allison Grewe swept the triple jump.
"She's just incredible," Coach Killian Timoney said of Mohammed.
"This year was frustrating, just with the weather, so for the kids to do as well as they did today was a big plus."
Dunbar's Sierra Guy defended her shot put title (36-0).
Tates Creek won the 4-by-100 (48.05) and 4-by-200 (1:41.88). Tamyah Pipkin ran on both relays, repeated as champ in the 100 (12.25) and placed second in the 200.
Bryan Station's Sariah Edwards, nipped by Pipkin in the 100, reversed the finish in the 200 (24.94).
The Defenders' Labi Frazier defended her 400 title (59.87), as did Carynn Stewart in the discus (95-7¼).
Scott County's Christiana Harris swept the high jump (4-10) and 100-meter hurdles (16.23).