BAXTER – The Pike County Central track and field program finished as the overall team runner-up in the Class 2A, Region 7 Meet at Harlan County on May 13.
The Hawks earned seven individual region championships and three region runner-up nods. Leading the way were highly-touted freshmen Kaitlyn Keathley and Dakota Starcher, who are among Class 2A’s top runners as ninth graders.
In Class 2A, Keathley is rated sixth in the state among all freshmen in the Girls’ 1,600 Meter Run (1 mile), eighth in the Girls’ 3,200 Meter Run (2 mile) and seventh in the Girls’ 800 Meter Run (1/2 mile).
Starcher is the top-ranked freshman in Class AA on the boys side in the 100 and 200 meter runs and is also ranked third statewide in the 400 meter event.
Keathley, who is also one of the top freshman guards in the 15th Region, won regional titles in both the mile and two mile events, edging out a home crowd favorite in each race. Harlan County’s Allison Cornett, who is a junior, placed second behind Keathley in both events. Keathley finished with a time of 5:57 in the one mile run.
Starcher, who also excels in the sport of wrestling, fared extremely well in three events. He won championships in the 100, 200 and 400 meter runs. Starcher also placed third with his teammates in the 4×400 relay event.
Pike County Central began the day by winning the Boys’ 4×800 Meter Relay event. The Pike Central 4×800 Meter Relay team is comprised of Kevin Keathley, Trinity May, Cory Roberts and Brian Boyer. The Hawks’ winning time was 9:05 — two seconds shy of a new school record.
Kevin Keathley, a junior, helped his team capture the 4×800 relay win and finished second in an exciting 1,600 Meter Run. Kevin Keathley placed runner-up to Johnson Central’s Shawn Curtis. Curtis won in 4:58, while Keathley finished with a time of 5:03. Both Curtis and Keathley earned a place in the upcoming Class 2A State Meet in Lexington. Kevin Keathley commented on advancing to the state meet with the Johnson Central runner.
“Shawn has been a tremendous competitor all season and I couldn’t be more proud to compete and represent Eastern Kentucky alongside him at the state championship in Lexington,” Kevin Keathley said.
In the Boys’ 800 Meter Run, Pike Central dominated the competition with sophomore Cory Roberts placing first and May finishing a close second. Both athletes also advance to the state meet. Pike Central relay teams won in 4×800 event and placed third in both the 4×400 and 4×200 races.
Another Pike Central competitor, sophomore Parker Eads, placed runner-up in Discus.
In all, Pike Central track and field athletes will compete in nine different events in the Class 2A State Meet at the University of Kentucky on Friday.