McClain High School senior Kaylee Hurley repeated as state champion in the seated division girls 800-meter run on Saturday at the 2017 state track and field tournament finishing with a time of 2:29.80. Hurley also broke her own state record in the event as well as setting the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium record for the girls seated 800-meter run.
Hurley also competed in and won the girls seated 100-meter dash with a time of 20.64 and girls seated 400-meter dash with a time of 1:10.87, setting yet another state and venue record, bringing her total number of state championships to a staggering total of seven. Hurley plans to continue her athletic endeavors after high school by competing in national events and training to achieve her dream of becoming a Paralympic athlete.
Jeremy Hayton a senior at Hillsboro High School competed in the D II boys high jump on Saturday. Hayton was primed and ready for the event and had an outstanding performance for the Indians. Hayton finished in third place in the event with a height of 6-05.
“It was a great experience. I didn’t jump bad, I jumped really well. I saw video of my attempts at 6-06. I should have made it. I had good height. The other two competitors that beat me really showed up today. They jumped really well. You can’t be disappointed with the heights that everybody was getting. If it was lower I would be disappointed. The top three came here to jump, they just pulled it off better than I did.”
Hillsboro boys head coach Bud Marsh was full of praise for his senior saying, “I’m proud of him. He was jumping well. His last jump was a good one he just didn’t get his heels up. He rose to the occasion and you can’t take anything away from him.”
“His natural ability is off the charts. For him to take it upon himself to improve as much as he did is a testament to the work that he put in.” Marsh said.
Brandtson Duffie of Fairfield competed in the finals of the D III boys 800-meter run on Saturday finishing with a time of 1:57.96 to finish in sixth place in the event.
Duffie shared his thoughts after the race saying, “This is what I really wanted at the beginning of the year. Getting the chance to do it and performing the way I did was special for me.”
Despite his success Duffie indicated that he has bigger goals in mind when he said, “Next year my goal is to be in the top three or four. My senior year the ultimate goal for me is to win the state championship. This is a good standard for me. Being here and experiencing it. Knowing I’m capable of running at this level, that’s what I wanted.”
Fairfield High School also placed a runner on the podium in the D III boys 3200-meter run. Matthew Mangus finished in a time of 9:50.04 to place seventh in the state.
Noah Richmond, also of Fairfield, participated in the D III boys 1600-meter run finishing in a time of 4:38.79.
Chayden Pitzer of McClain High School participated in the finals of the D II girls 200-meter dash on Saturday afternoon. Pitzer finished the event with a time of 25.25.
All 15 athletes from Highland County represented their schools, the families, and their communities with pride and outstanding effort. The level of competitiveness and dedication it takes to make it to the state level is something that these young men and young women will be able to take with throughout the rest of their lives.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.