As he blazed around the final turn in the 800-meter run at last weekend’s Eastern Relays, Butler High School’s Tretez Kinnaird was right where he wanted to be—alone.
The 11 runners who started the event with him at the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Park were now distant background figures as the junior raced against time.
“I knew that last lap I was going to be all by myself and I needed to make a move no matter how much I was hurting,” said Kinnaird, who is the defending Class AAA state champion in the 800.
For months Kinnaird had trained to break the 1:50 mark and now he wanted more than anything to do it here, in his hometown, for all his family and friends to see.
“With about a hundred (meters) to go I kicked it into another gear,” recalled the Louisville commit. “… I saw 1:49 and just ducked my head and hoped for the best.”
When he raised his eyes, the scoreboard read 1:49.97, a new personal best and the third fastest 800 in the U.S. this year.
Kinnaird’s 800 was just one of several memorable performances from the elite meet held April 27 and 28.
Holy Cross junior Jacob Thomson bested a strong field and set a record for the fastest 3,200 ever in Kentucky when he clocked an 8:58.62 on the meet’s first night. The reigning Class A state champion in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 broke former St. Xavier standout Bobby Curtis’ decade-old mark of 8:59.63.
“I knew it was going to be a fast race,” said Thomson, who also notched a personal best in the 1,600 (4:10.69), good for third place. “With about two laps to go I realized we had a shot to break 9:00 and that was definitely a little bit of motivation.”
Ronnie Baker, a 2011 All-American and senior at Ballard, won the 100-meter dash in 10.59 and followed it up with a 400 victory in 47.42. Trinity junior James Quick took the 200 in 21.64 and Will Short of Manual claimed the 2,000-meter steeplechase title in 6:39.71.
Assumption’s Katherine Receveur won the 1,600-meter run (4:56.84) and teammate Emily Bean was tops in the 3,200 (11:05.80). The Rockets won both the 4×800-meter relay (9:21.43) and 1,600 sprint medley relay (4:22.39) to clinch the girls’ team title. Houston High from Tennessee won the boys’ title.
Other local winners were Sacred Heart’s Jazmin Smith (high jump, 5-4), North Oldham’s Brianne Brown (long jump, 18-9), Male’s Kenya Johnson (triple jump, 34-8 ¼) and Central’s Jaylyn Johnson (300 hurdles, 46.57). Ballard won the girls’ 800-meter sprint medley in 1:50.21.
- Christian Academy seniors Haley Rose (tennis, Georgetown College) and Matt DeVries (lacrosse, Wheeling Jesuit University) recently signed national letters-of-intent.
- Cole Killion, a senior at Trinity, signed to play lacrosse at Bellarmine.
- St. X’s Alan Donhoff was recently voted 2012 Athletic Director of the Year by members of the Kentucky High School Athletic Directors Association.
Contact columnist Chris Cahill at email@example.com.
Photo by CHRIS CAHILL | Contributing Photographer