High School Sports

St. Henry girls win Class A track and field title on last event

What a way to win a fourth consecutive State Track and Field championship.

The St. Henry girls came through in the 4-by-400-meter relay Saturday, inching past Murray for the Class A team title by a 91-90 margin.

"That's the most exciting State Meet I've ever been a part of," Crusaders Coach Tony Hardin said. "One point. It comes down to the mile relay, which as an athlete and as a coach has always been my favorite event."

Newport Central Catholic was third with 65 points at the University of Kentucky track complex.

Bishop Brossart took boys' honors with 70 points, 10 ahead of Murray. Walton-Verona edged Raceland for third place, 41-40.

[Class A track and field event-by-event results]

As for the St. Henry girls, they won the 4-by-400 in 4:06.90, while Murray lagged in fourth place.

"We were all pretty nervous," said Sammy Hentz, who anchored the winning relay. "Our coach came over and told us it was going to come down to the four-by-four. But he only told us that because he knew we could do it and he had faith in us. Coach Harden, he's a great coach. He's always motivated us. ... He trained us for this moment. We knew it would be close with Murray all year. It just came down to guts."

St. Henry's other wins came from Hentz in the 800 and Tina Felix in the 100-meter hurdles.

"We won three events," Harden said. "Last year, I think we won eight or nine. So it came down to nickel-and-diming points, and that was the difference."

Murray won two relays and three individual events. Grace Campbell led the way, winning the long jump and high jump.

She set a personal best of 17-10¼ in the long jump, but she was most pumped about the high jump.

"I did a lot better than I had hoped to," Campbell said. "I wanted to get 5-8 and I did it on my first attempt, so that was my best moment of today."

Sayre's Maddox Patterson won the girls' 1,600 meters, taking the lead with half a lap to go.

"I felt really good," said Patterson, a senior who will run for Florida next season. "The plan was just to sit and kick, and it worked out pretty well. So it went smooth.

"I knew I didn't want to start kicking right when I hit the 200, because I kind of made that mistake last year. So I just started picking it up and then the last 150 I just went for it."

Patterson later placed second to Presentation's Caroline Gosser in the 3,200. Gosser, the defending champion, set a Class A record of 10:55.11.

Bishop Brossart's Nicole Goderwis swept the 200 and 400, setting a meet record of 56.95 in the one-lap event.

Like St. Henry's girls, Bishop Brossart's boys won with only three event titles.

The Mustangs took the 4-by-800 and 4-by-400 relays, and Gabe Roberts bagged the triple jump.

"The guys did the work today," Coach Chris Davis said. "We stepped up in a few events when we came out in the second heat in a couple of events and scored points where we weren't supposed to score.

"I was pretty confident if we could win the first event, the four-by-eight, and the last event, the four-by-four, then we would get the job done in between. Murray really gave us a pretty big scare halfway through the meet, but I just knew we were pretty deep in our relays, and ... when the two-mile came through we started to pull away. I knew if it came down to the four-by-four, I liked our chances against anybody in the field."

Top individual of the day was Connor Messer, a Raceland senior who will play football and compete in track for Olivet Nazarene. Messer cleared a meet-record 14-7¼ in the pole vault to go along with first-place finishes in the 110-meter hurdles, high jump and long jump. His main competition in the hurdles, Danville's Anrique Ellery, was disqualified.

"He ended up false-starting, which I felt awful for him. Because I didn't think he false-started at all," Messer said. "But going in there and winning that gave me a little bit of energy to pole vault and do the long jump."

Ellery bounced back to win the 300-meter hurdles despite clobbering the final hurdle. He fell, but righted himself in time to win.

"I caught a cramp. I was trying to fight it, but I just couldn't get it up in time and I ended up falling," Ellery said. "I was hoping I didn't get DQ'd. ... Take my anger from that (earlier DQ) and put it into my other events."

Ellery ran on the second-place 4-by-100 relay and took fourth in the long jump.