MOUNT VERNON — Most runners aren’t much for sharing. Ask any one of them, and they’ll tell you they’d much rather win by a nose than share a title. But, Friday night at the Mount Vernon News SpecTRACKular, two East Knox runners were more than willing to share the glory.
Bulldog senior Taylor Jones and freshman Jordan Coffman shared Most Valuable Competitor honors at the 31st edition of the all-star track meet at Mount Vernon High School.
“We’re the first two people from East Knox to win Most Valuable Competitor. That feels pretty good,” said Jones.
“It feels pretty good to have two East Knox people win. Two is definitely better than one,” said Coffman. “Actually, I didn’t think this would happen. I’m pretty stoked. This definitely put a smile on my face.”
The Bulldog duo were part of a record-setting 4x200-meter relay team. The team finished first with a time of 1:31.30, beating last year’s Mount Vernon squad’s record time by almost half a second. They also teamed up on the 4x100 relay team that finished second.
“Running the SpecTRACKular is tough. There’s good competition. It definitely keeps us humble,” Coffman said.
Jones won his second straight 200, edging Mount Vernon’s Chris Walters at the wire in a time of 23.47. EK’s Khai Haralson was third. Jones also finished third in the 100.
“What feels good is being back-to-back 200-meter champ,” Jones said. “I think I ran pretty well on all, but the 100. That was not good, but I pulled out third magically.”
Coffman won the 100 in a time of 11.51, edging Mount Vernon’s Leevi Stump (11.54) and Jones (11.73). He also finished third in the long jump at 19-foot-7.
“I thought I could have done better (in the 100). I slipped in the blocks. It was a good race — right down to the wire,” Coffman said.
There were several other strong performances on the night. Stump won the long jump, finished second in the 100 and was a member of the 4x400 relay team that finished third and the 4x200 relay team that was second. Mount Vernon’s Caleb Thomas was first in the 300 hurdles (41.25) and fourth in the 110 hurdles (16.59).
“I didn’t feel very good (before the 300 hurdles). My legs were weak, but I came around the last curve and said this was my last home meet of the year. I was going to make myself known,” said Thomas. “I didn’t think about the wind. Nothing was going to stop me.
“I was disappointed in the 110. It was real hard because of the wind.”
Thomas edged Fredericktown’s Garrett Gatton (41.60) and Centerburg’s Dillon Eppich (42.94) in the 300.
Fredericktown’s Isaac Potes won the 1,600 in a time of 4:45.38, beating Northridge’s Tyler Harriman (4:49.66) and Mount Vernon’s Jarod Vance (4:51.00). Potes also finished third in the 800 (2:04.14). Fredericktown’s Delaney McGuire (2:01.75) won the event with East Knox’ Joey Montoya second (2:02.61).
“I used a different strategy (in the 1,600),” Potes said. “I stayed with the pack for 800 and then the last 800 I sped up and got it done.”
Jordan Tackett of Clear Fork won the 110 hurdles (16.09) in another close race for Gatton (16.13). Utica’s Austin Morgan was third (16.43).
Mount Vernon’s Lucas Armstrong cruised to victory in the 400 (49.98), beating East Knox’s Dakota Anderson (50.72) and Clear Fork’s Cole Pollard (51.82).
Mount Vernon’s Nathaniel Schultz won the 3,200 in a time of 10:25.84, easily outdistancing Fredericktown’s Sean Kennedy (10:33.24). Brice Emler was third in 10:36.55.
Utica won the 4x100 relay in a time of 44.63, edging East Knox (44.78) and Mount Vernon (44.97).
Mount Vernon finished second to East Knox in the 4x200 relay, running in a time of 1:31.83. Clear Fork was third in 1:34.07.
The Bulldogs also won the 4x400 relay in a time of 3:32.84. Clear Fork was second (3:33.94) and Mount Vernon third (3:35.41).
The 4x800 relay was won by Fredericktown (8:32.30). East Knox was a distance second (8:38.60), followed by Clear Fork in third (8:43.61).