Newport Central Catholic scored a dominating victory Friday in the girls' Class A State Track and Field Meet, while runner-up Sayre was merely fantastic.
The Spartans got all 56 of their points from "The Fantastic Four." Ann Eason, Philippine Couturier, Maddox Patterson and Bea Cameron sported T-shirts bearing that nickname on the back with the message "it's quality ... not quantity." On front of the shirt: "Are we outnumbered? Doubt it."
NewCath totaled 85½ points at Louisville's Owsley Frazier Cardinal Park to win its third straight title. After Sayre came St. Henry with 53¼.
Eason, a senior bound for Eastern Kentucky, was Sayre's Miss Everything. She anchored the Spartans' winning 4-by-800-meter relay, placed second in the 1,600 and 800, then won the 3,200. Her teammates dominated the relay. Sayre finished in 9:59.83, runner-up Lexington Christian in 10:07.61.
Eason ran strong from the front in the 1,600, but defending champion Kaitlin Snapp of Danville ran her down in the last 50 meters. Snapp clocked in at 5:03.03, Eason in 5:03.52. Then came St. Henry's Ashley Svec, Owen County's Danielle Hoop and Sayre's Patterson.
"I've been up and down this year," Snapp said. "I got mono for a little bit, so to overcome it, it's very nice. That was a miracle — I don't know what happened."
Said Eason: "I race better when I'm the one trying to catch people at the end.
"But I learned."
Lesson learned, Eason sat back in the 800. With 200 meters left, she blew past Snapp to take the lead.
However, Owen County's Hoop was keying on Eason. Coming off the final curve, Hoop took the lead.
They ran stride-for-stride down the straightaway, both crossing the line in 2:21.79. A photo finish broke down the times further, with Hoop the winner by five-thousandths of a second in 2:21.782.
Svec placed third, followed by Lexington Christian's Maddie Boone.
"I just gave it all I had because that was my last race to top off my senior year," Hoop said. "... I couldn't feel anything. I just ran.
"I took the lead and I knew that somebody had to be coming, and I heard (Eason) breathing. Then I just gave it everything I had."
Said Eason: "That was the strategy — sit and kick. Danielle had an awesome race."
Still not done, Eason came back and, with Patterson, gave Sayre a 1-2 finish in the 3,200. Eason covered eight laps in 11:15.00, her eighth-grade teammate in 11:31.88.
That Eason just missed the state record of 11:13.82, set by Maureen Egan of St. Henry in 1993, didn't diminish her joy.
"I've thought about this moment, this race, this meet for so long," she said. "It was on my mind every single run, every single workout.
"My coach (Scott Geisinger), he's just been awesome. He told me I could do it and he pushed me. I wouldn't have done the 800 if he hadn't told me I could do it. ... He made us work so hard and he is the reason for a lot of our success."
NewCath's only first place came in the 4-by-200 relay. Chandler Cain, Morgan Dubuc, Kiley Bartels and Aubrey Muench combined to run two laps in 1:47.27.
The Thoroughbreds got 2-3 finishes in the shot put and 300-meter hurdles, and second-place finishes in the discus and 4-by-100 relay.
Danville, which tied Lexington Christian for ninth in the team standings, got a first-place finish from Diamond Pace in the 300-meter hurdles. Running in perfect stride — "That's the first time that's ever happened," she said — Pace lowered her personal best from 47.3 to 47.01.
Beechwood senior Brianna McCarthy had the lone meet record of the day, in the discus with a toss of 125 feet, 9 inches. She also won the shot put.
Ballard Memorial's Brandi Jones also was a double winner, in the long jump and triple jump.