Harlan County placed fourth and Harlan finished fifth on Thursday in the Area 9 meet at Coal Miners Memorial Stadium.
Pike Central won the team competition with 135 points, 19 ahead of Leslie County. Perry Central finished with 114 points, followed by Harlan County with 95, Harlan with 50, Letcher Central with 23, Middlesboro with 15, Cordia with seven and Knott Central with two.
“I’m very proud of our guys tonight,” Harlan County coach Ryan Vitatoe said. “They’ve been working incredibly hard and have narrowed the gap between them and the region’s top teams. You can see definite improvement in their performances across the board.”
Alex Lewis, a sophomore, led the HCHS boys by winning the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200-meter run.
Kyton Joseph, a sophomore, won the long jump, placed second in the high jump and fifth in the triple jump.
Jake Bush, a junior, was first in the shot put, setting a school record in the process.
Lewis teamed with James Dean, Cody Howard and Zach Hunting to win the 800-meter relay.
Austin Adams, Hunter Owens, Matthew Brown and Dalton Shepherd placed second in the 100-meter relay. The same foursome placed fifth in the 200-meter relay.
Shepherd, Owens, Josh Lee and Cody Howard placed fourth in the 400-meter relay.
Dean was second in the 1,600-meter run and fourth in the 3,200-meter run.
Adams placed fifth in the 200-meter dash.
Dalton Shepherd was fifth in the 400-meter dash.
“Alex had a big night tonight, as did Jake Bush, Kyton Joseph, and our sprint relays were fantastic tonight as well,” Vitatoe said. “They’re beginning to see the fruits of their labor, and I’m hopeful it gives us confidence heading into region next week”
Trent McKenzie, a junior, led Harlan as he won the high jump.
Carter Barnes finished second in the long jump.
Thomas Morgan placed third in the shot put.
John Brock was third in the 110-meter hurdles.
Story Miller was fifth in the pole vault.
The team of Caleb Adkins, Brock, Kilian Ledford and Noah Busroe placed third in the 100-meter relay and third in the 200-meter relay.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134