McLendon, Akal power Dragons in strong showing at Leslie race

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, May 2, 2024

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Brought to you by Harlan County Sports.

By Abby Sherman
Contributing Sports Writer
The Harlan and Harlan County track teams traveled to Leslie County to compete in an open meet last Tuesday.
Harlan placed third overall with 114 points in the boys division, while the girls were fifth overall with 28 points. Leslie County won both divisions.
Kyler McLendon and Darius Akal both broke the previous school record in the 100-meter dash, with McLendon setting the new standard by .01 second.
“I was really impressed in the 100-meter dash performances from Tuesday. The competitive nature of these two is fun to watch because they push each other in a positive way,” Harlan track coach Dakota Owens said.
To lead the Dragons, McLendon won the 100-meter dash. Nate Montanaro won the 110-meter hurdles. Tayquan Vick won the 300-meter hurdles. Izack Saylor won high jump. Akal, McLendon, Vick and Noah Sharp won the 4 x 100-meter relay. Vick, Akal, Sedrick Washington and Jonah Sharp won the 4 x 200-meter relay.
“The 4 x 100- and 4 x 200-meter relays finished strong,” Owens said. “I was glad to see them push all the way through the line, but we still need to fix handoffs and get the spacing right.”
In the 100-meter dash, Akal finished second. He was immediately followed by Vick. Jonah Sharp was sixth. Brayden Doan placed ninth, while Washington was 12th.
“Tayquan also had a huge PR with an 11.91,” Owens said.
Jonah Sharp placed fifth in the 200-meter dash. Saylor was seventh.
Saylor finished sixth in the 400-meter dash. Hunter Clem was 10th.
Gabriel Xavier Farley placed eighth in the 800-meter run and 12th in the 1,600-meter run.
Doan placed third in long jump.
Montanaro was second in high jump.
“In high jump, eighth-grader Izack has been really impressive all season with a best of 5’10 and Nate with a 5’10 as well,” Owens said. “I’d like to see both of these guys in the 6’ range before the end of the season.”
In discus, Trenton Childers placed fourth. Clem and Jordan Rodriguez were seventh and eighth, respectively. Isaiah Sage was 17th. Talon Huff placed 19th. Malachi Rodriguez was 22nd, while Cameron Reynolds placed 23rd. Michael Lindsey was 26th.
In shot put, Childers placed second. Clem placed sixth. Jordan Rodriguez was seventh. Malachi Rodriguez and Sage placed 17th and 21st, respectively. Reynolds was 23rd, while Huff was 26th. Lindsey placed 30th.
Harper Carmical finished second in the 1,600-meter run to lead the Lady Dragons.
Emma Owens finished sixth in the 100-meter dash.
Owens placed fifth in the 200-meter dash. Jenna Nguyen was 29th.
In the 400-meter dash, Carmical finished eighth. Nguyen placed 13th.
Gwendolyn Toll was seventh in the 800-meter run.
Juliana Damaa finished sixth in the 1,600-meter run.
In discus, Abbiegail Elliott placed 12th. Anna Lawson was 14th.
Elliott was 14th in shot put.
“Throwers did great,” Owens said. “I had many PRs and Tara Bryson does an amazing job with them.
“My distance kids always impress me with their work effort and it keeps showing at meets. I have a young group of mostly eighth-graders and ninth-graders in these events and they are astonishing athletes.”
Harlan County traveled with a small group this meet, placing sixth in the girls division with 23 points and eighth in the boys division with 17 points.
To lead the Lady Bears, Addyson Caldwell placed second in shot put.
Ryleigh Lawson finished 22nd in the 100-meter dash. Trinity Jones was 24th.
In the 200-meter dash, Brianna Howard finished eighth. Lawson was 17th, while Jones placed 20th.
Howard was seventh in the 400-meter dash.
Jones placed seventh in high jump.
In discus, Caldwell placed ninth. Whitney Noe was 10th, while Addison Day placed 11th. Ali Hensley placed 17th. Mallory Long was 18th. Kaitlynn Smith and Samantha Henson placed 23rd and 25th, respectively. Kailey Shepherd was 25th.
In shot put, Hensley was eighth. Day and Smith placed 10th and 13th, respectively. Long was 15th. Shepherd was 21st, while Henson placed 22nd.
Jacob Shoemaker placed third in shot put to lead the Bears.
Brett Albergo placed 11th in the 800-meter run and 17th in the 1,600-meter run.
In discus, Peyton Jackson placed sixth. Brayden Clay and Bradley Henson were ninth and tenth, respectively. Shoemaker placed 12th. Sawyer Harris was 18th, while Johnathan Sergent placed 20th. Cooper Blevins was 25th. Aj Halcomb was 27th.
In shot put, Jackson placed fourth. Henson was fifth. Clay was ninth, while Sergent was 11th. Blevins placed 18th. Harris and Johnathan Bailey were 20th and 25th, respectively. Halcomb placed 29th.

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