High School Sports

Brink's 3 wins lead Sacred Heart to Class 3A state track title

LOUISVILLE — While distance runner Emma Brink was leading Sacred Heart to team honors, the girls' Class 3A KHSAA State Track and Field Championship on Saturday was all about Louisville and Lexington.

Sacred Heart led five Louisville schools in the top 10.

Runner-up Tates Creek was the first of three Lexington schools to make the list.

"I feel amazing," said Brink, a North Carolina signee, after winning at 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters, and anchoring the second-place 3,200-meter relay. "It was a present for our team to go out and win, and I can't tell you how happy I am. I mean, this is such a fabulous feeling to have a win, not only as an individual but as a team."

The Valkyries totaled 57 points at the University of Louisville's Owsley Frazier Cardinal Park. Their only other team title came in 2004.

Tates Creek scored 50. Male edged defending champion Campbell County 47-45 for third place. Dunbar and Bryan Station placed 8-9.

Besides Brink's triple, Sacred Heart got a first-place finish from Kristen Matula in the 300-meter hurdles.

Top-seeded Tatiyana Dean of Tates Creek was battling for the lead until clipping the fourth hurdle and clobbering the fifth. She faded to sixth place, two spots behind teammate Natavia Barber.

However, Dean and Barber both had a hand in a pair of relay victories.

Dean, Barber, Michelle Tichenor and Tamyah Pipkin dominated the 4-by-200 relay in 1 minute, 41.92 seconds, then came back with a meet-record 48.18 in the 4-by-100. The former record of 48.60 was set by Bryan Station 29 years ago.

Pipkin also repeated as 100-meter champion, topping Bryan Station's Sariah Edwards by a hundredth of a second in 12.62.

Edwards turned the tables in the 200, pulling past the defending champion to win by 19 hundredths in 25.07.

"It felt good," said Edwards, who added she likely will run for Northern Kentucky University. "I felt like my hard work paid off in the end, so I'm actually quite happy."

"We've run back and forth since the middle of the season," Kentucky-bound Pipkin said after the 200, "so I knew this race would be no different — us head-to-head in the front. She came out on top, so she did really good. I congratulate her.

"Three victories, broke a state record, so I'm not complaining at all."

Pipkin stumbled out of the blocks in the 100 but quickly recovered.

Edwards also had a rough start, spiking herself on an ankle bone.

"It kind of made me mad," Edwards said. "I took my anger out in the 200."

In the record-setting relay, Dean led off.

"I felt like I got out really good," she said. "The baton pass was very nice and smooth, and I knew we were going to win at that point."

Barber ran second, with a stiff breeze at her back. That may have contributed to a "shaky" handoff to Tichenor.

"Our handoffs were a little shaky," Tichenor said.

"The third and fourth handoff was amazing," Pipkin added. "It was really smooth. It was no hesitation. Then, coming home, us and Male had the handoff at the same time, so it was a good battle for the ending."

Male came in at 48.83.

Dunbar's top result came in the triple jump, where Kierra Mohammed and Allison Grewe placed 2-5. Mohammed recorded a 36-foot, ¾-inch jump, just 3¼ inches shy of defending champion Halie Holloway of John Hardin.

Dunbar's Megan Klein anchored the fourth-place 3,200-meter relay, and placed fourth in the 1,600 and sixth in the 3,200.

A meet record also fell in the pole vault, as Ballard's Megan Zimlich cleared 11-9.