Strong showings by Mackenzie King and Emma Bianchi helped the Harlan Lady Dragons place 13th on Saturday in the Class A state track meet at the University of Kentucky.
King, a sophomore, placed third in both the shot put and discus. Bianchi, a junior, was third in the high jump.
With a throw of 33-06.25, King finished third in the shot put. Green County senior Mikayla Talbott was first and Owensboro Catholic junior Alli Thompson was second.
Murray junior Sarah McDowell was first and Thompson was second in the discus. King placed third with a throw of 101-08.
Bianchi had a jump of 5-02 to place third in the state in the high jump. Murray junior Grace Campbell was first. St. Henry senior Janelle Tobler was second.
“Emma performed really well. She is a terrific athlete with lots of God-given abilities,” Harlan coach J.B. Donahue said. “Mackenzie had a good day with a PR in discus. This was an exceptional performance since she had to make adjustments to technique due to a recently injured ankle.”
It was the second straight year that King qualified for the state meet. She finished sixth last year in the discus and put herself in position for a state title the next two years with the strong performance Saturday.
“I was a little concerned competing at state because I sprained my ankle earlier in the week,” King said. “I had to change my form and technique and really didn’t know how it would work out. It turned out pretty good. I got a new personal record in both shot put and discus, and that’s pretty much what everyone wants to do, throw your best at state.”
Bianchi qualified for the state despite not competing as a sophomore. She said she wasn’t at her best Saturday.
“I was not happy with my performance Saturday at the state meet. With a personal best of 5’5, jumping 5’2 was pretty disappointing. I would’ve liked to have cleared 5’4, at least,” Bianchi said. “But ending up as the third best high jumper in state isn’t that bad. I’ll take it.”
The Lady Dragons finished with 18 points to finish 13th out of the 36 teams to qualify for the state meet. Murray won the Class A state title with 106 points.
Other Harlan athletes who competed in the state meet included Natalee King, Caleb Adkins, Brady Brock, Noah Busroe, Kilian Ledford, Trent McKenzie, Mason Miller and Thomas Morgan.
Harlan County High School athletes who competed in the 2A state meet on Friday included Katie Graham, Allison Cornett, Taylor Rowe, Samantha Howard, Madison Blanton, Phebe McHargue, Kali Nolan, Katelyn Johnson, Reanna Middleton, Kassyee Owens, James Dean, Alex Lewis, Cody Howard, Zach Hunting, Kyton Joseph and Jake Bush.