The Boyle County girls relays are on a roll at just the right time.
The Rebels set a school record in the 800-meter relay and won the 3,200 and 1,600 relays Saturday and rolled to the team title at the Class AA, Region 5 meet at Boyle.
The Rebels won six events, finished second in three¿others and scored 132 points, easily beating Rockcastle County (97). Mercer County, with five wins and four seconds, took the boys team by edging West Jessamine 111.5-107.
Rachel Ditto led the way for the Boyle girls, taking the 1,600 (5:38.02)¿and 3,200 (12:32.03)¿and teaming with Nikki Coffey, Logan Arnold and Maddie Kriz to win the 3,200 relay in 10 minutes, 15.27 seconds.
“My times aren’t as fast as I want, but I guess winning isn’t that bad,” Ditto said of her individual races. “It’s exciting for our four-by-eight, we’re ready for that. We didn’t run our fastest time, but I don’t think we should worry about it. We’re just excited to go to state and compete and have some competition.”
That competition Ditto was referring to would be North Oldham and South Oldham. And Ditto said the Rebels may want to emulate their rivals to the north come Thursday.
“One thing, when all of us have started out too fast and that’s one thing we need to work on for Thursday,”¿she said of the 3,200 relay. “I feel like South Oldham and North have a pretty good sense of pace on their first lap, and we sometimes go out and kill ourselves on the first lap.”
The surprise of the day may have come from the squad of Katie Lester, Arnold, Natalie Settle and Kate Carman, who teamed to win the 800 relay in a school-record time of 1 minute, 49.42 seconds, beating the old record of 1:51.3 set in 2001.
“I was injured my sophomore year and didn’t get to run so I really wanted it, I really wanted state. And it was the only event I could run to go to state,” said Lester, who noted her team had perfect exchanges. “We almost had stopped sometimes (in exchanges), and this time we just handed it right in, it was really good.
“We usually run around a 1:54, so we were aiming for 1:53. So this was awesome.”
Coffey used a furious kick on her second lap to pass Arnold and win the 800-meter run.
“Coach (Brent Wagner) has been pushing us all year, he’s been talking about this forever. First and second, me and Logan,” Coffey said. “I was trying to push Logan, she was trying to push me. And I¿heard the other girls coming, and I heard everybody screaming and I just got it. I thought, ‘This is what we’ve been working for every day,’ and I wanted it.”
Coffey said she has gotten a lot of support from her neighbors
“Everybody in the community, they’ve been like, ‘Nikki, you’ve been working hard, don’t let anybody take it from you.’ I got really mad when I let somebody in front of me in the four-by-eight (relay), so I was like, ‘You’ve got this Nikki.’”
Boyle added another win when Settle, Kate Carman, Tabitha Evans and Arnold teamed to win the 1,600 relay in 4:16.08.
On the boys side, Isaiah Burrus won the 400 (50.17) and 200 (22.49), and helped Mercer take first in two relays. Burrus is the defending champion in the 400, but was not thrilled with his time in that race.
“I was out in the sun, and it drained me. I was disappointed,” said Burrus, who was hoping to get a good lane assignment for state. “But last year, I was in lane seven and won.
“My 200, my best is 22.41 so I wasn’t too bad with that.”
Burrus also teamed with Landon Souder, Matthew Gammon and Anthony Smith to win the 3,200 relay in 8:17.04 and the 1,600 relay in 3:34.77. Souder said the Titans finally had their full squad competing, which made a huge difference.
“We haven’t really been able to get a good time down. Because, like me, we have another kid who misses for soccer. So we haven’t been having our full squad down for a good time. And we finally today, we had a full squad in. Because once we knew once we got our full squad in, our time would drop tremendously.”