Daniels captures state title in 800-meter run at middle school state championship

Published 5:32 pm Monday, June 10, 2024

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Brought to you by Harlan County Sports.

By Abby Sherman 

Contributing Sports Writer

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Middle-school athletes represented Harlan and Harlan County in the KTCCCA Middle School State Championship earlier this month in Louisville. 

Harlan’s Tanner Daniels won the 800-meter run and finished second in the 1,600-meter run. 

“Tanner had an incredible performance at the meet getting second in the 1600m run,” Harlan track coach Dakota Owens said. “I know his 1600m wasn’t the time he was hoping for but he was able to make up for it in his 800m run with an outstanding time of 2:01.”

Izack Saylor placed second in the high jump. 

“Izack has been very consistent all year and he has such a hard work ethic,” Owens said. He would message me on weekends asking if we could work on high jump some more and this type of mentality played a vital role in him getting second at state for his first season ever. These kids have grit and they continue to show it in their performances.”

Harlan County’s Lauren Lewis placed third in the 400-meter dash and 12th in the 800-meter run. 

“I’m proud of Lauren. A top-three finish at state is huge and she’s creeping up on a sub 60 400 meter, which is super fast,” Harlan County track coach Ryan Vitatoe said. “She also had a big PR in the 800.”

In the 3,200-meter run, Gracie Roberts was ninth. 

“Gracie had a great day as well. A top-10 finish is huge and her time was fantastic. She’s going to do great things for us,” Vitatoe said.

Kiera Roberts finished 17th in the 1,600-meter run. 

“Kiera ran well today, also. She has had an incredible season and it’s been so exciting watching her confidence grow since the fall,” Vitatoe said. “She’s got a bright future ahead of her.”

Addison Day was 24th in discus.

“Addi had a big day today. She really came on at the end of the season and nearly made varsity,” Vitatoe said. “She’s got a lot of talent and she works hard. She’s going to be a great thrower.

“I’m very proud of the four girls. They changed the qualifying standards this year and it made it very tough to get in. Simply qualifying means you’re one of the best in the state in your event, and I hope they realize that. These girls have a bright future ahead of them.”