May 17th, 2018

HC boys place fifth, Gupton and Thornsberry win titles

Block_screenshot 2018-10-06 at 2

Conor Revell

Staff Writer

HC boys place fifth, Gupton and Thornsberry win titles
Keeton Thornsberry and Caleb Bolus / photo by Conor Revell

LEXINGTON, Ky. - It was a bittersweet day for the Holy Cross boys track and field coming in fifth place with 57 points at KHSAA Class A State Track and Field Meet Thursday night at the University of Kentucky Outdoor Track and Field Complex.

“They knew what they had to do today,” Holy Cross head coach Lad Dillard said. “I don’t think we had a lot to do with it. From what I heard, the distance races were crazy. Keeton did what he was supposed to do. It was one of those days where every team gave 130 percent while we gave our 100 percent. It was just one of those days.”

Danville won with 73 points. Walton-Verona (63), St. Henry (58.66), and Fort Knox (58) followed. A bittersweet ending after finishing as state runner-up the past two seasons.

“I don’t think we should be disappointed,” Caleb Bolus said. “Every gave it all they got. They did as much as they could. We just didn’t succeed. That’s all I can say.”

Keeton Thornsberry had what many would call a great day, but for him, it was quite disappointing, winning the 1,600, but placing fifth in the 800 and 3,200, the latter, he had won the past two years.

“I think anytime you do as good as you expect, you’re going to walk away disappointed,” Thornsberry said. “But, we gave it, it’s not like we just lost, we got beat, the other teams were better than us today.”

The junior clocked a 4:19.97  to win the 1,600 for a second straight year and beat second-place Dedrick Troxell by just over two seconds.

“It seemed liked the first 200 meters went by really quick,” Thornsberry said. “But, then everything seemed to slow down and it felt like I was gaining ground and I was able to make my passes.”  

But, Thornsberry fell short in his next four races.

“I saw him a couple of times during the 3,200,” Dillard said. “He was gasping for air and just trying to gut it out. But, he finished strong. To run three times after running a PR in the nike, I’m proud of him. It’s one of the toughest things in the world to run four times.”   

And, running in four races alone is quite a feat.

“I’m just completely exhausted,” Thornsberry said. “I gave it all for my team. The first two events went pretty quick. I suffered for it and I didn’t come back as strong as I thought I would in the 3,200. I puked twice within 100 meter. I did what I could.”

Bolus recorded a 9:54.29 to come in third in the 3,200, St. Henry’s Ethan Snyder who won the event and Bracken County’s Jared Jefferson.

“Basically, I just wanted to give it my all,” Boluts said. “I wanted to come in the top two, but obviously I fell short. Next year hopefully I can get top two again. However, I gave it my all, I can’t say anything else.”

Nolan Siegrist had a jump of 42-07.25 to placed third in the triple jump. Fulton County’s Andreous Smith won the event and Morgan County’s Michael Prater placed second.

Bricklen Avdevich, Austin Keen, Nolan Siegrist, and Luke Davis ran the 4x200 meter relay in 1:31.76 to come in third. Fort Knox clocked a 1:29.00 to win.     

“The distance was tough today,” Dillard said. “The field events wasn’t that bad. We had one score that wasn’t supoose to and another that didn’t score that was suppose to score. The field didn’t lose as many points as I thought we did. Like I said, the distance, from what I heard, it was crazy. It’s something you can’t control. They gave everything they got.”

Perhaps the race of the day was when the Cougars (Caleb Bolus, Josh Smalley, DK Schneiders, and Thornsberry) clocked an 8:17.38 and placed fourth in the 4x800 relay.

“That was an awesome finish, we were banking on not getting any points that race,” Smalley said. “Everyone went hard. Keeton had a nice kick at the end. This will help our team score a lot. This was a race we didn’t think were we going to get any points in.”

Their regional time was ninth fastest which would have netted zero points, instead the fourth place finish was rewarded with five points.

Mario Convenuto (shot put, fifth place) and (discus, seventh place), Thornsberry (800 meter, fifth place), Demetrius Dillard (discus, sixth place), and Bricklen Avdevich, Austin Keen, Nolan Siegrist,  and Luke Davis (4x100, sixth place) netted points for Holy Cross in their respective events.


Nevaeh Gupton of Holy Cross, only a freshman, and running in her third meet ever, made a splash, and the rest of the track and field world now know who she is.

“In softball they wanted all of us to do it for conditioning,” Gupton said. “I just stuck with it after that.”

Gupton won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.62, just .03 ahead of Collegiate’s Gionna Combs.

“She’s a multi-threat, she is good at every sport she does” Holy Cross girls track and field coach Kendall Hammerstrom said. “She has had to balance softball and track and field. She’s a state champion in softball and she added another one tonight. She’s so talented and has so much potential  and I’m blessed to coach her.

The freshman plays volleyball, basketball, and softball, where the freshman starts at shortstop on a team ranked eighth in the state.

“I just wanted to have a good start,” Gupton said. “Then I wanted to race strong for 100 meters, not just 95 meters.”

She’s the first Holy Cross girl to win a state championship since Karly Gawarecki won the 1,600 four years ago.

“She takes off really, really well,” Hammerstrom said. “With the limited amount of practice she has had, hopefully she can build off of that and work on her speed a bit more and win another state title.”  

The nerves didn’t overcome her.

“I was definitely nervous, no doubt,” Gupton said. “I took a couple of deep breath and that was it.”

Ann Oakley (100 meter, seventh place) and Amaya Allen (triple jump, eighth place) also scored in their event.

Holy Cross finished with 12 points and came in 21st place.


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