Tomorrow night at 8:30, apart from the Oaks and Derby, another premier racing event will be held in the state of Kentucky. No it will not take place at Churchill Downs, but our very own St. Xavier High School, and no there will not be horses. Rather, there will be three of our student-athletes from the Tiger Track and Field team who will compete in the Dream Mile.
The Dream Mile is an annual event held at St.X that pits the Top 16 Girls and Boys one milers in the state of Kentucky against one another, making it the best race in the state and one of the best in the nation.
This year, the eight annual Dream Mile features three of St.X’s own one milers, the most by one school in the field. Here’s a look at the full lineup and seed times for the boys:
- Yared Nuguse (Manual, 4:14.33)
- Trevor Warren (Trinity, 4:22.46)
- Grady Shiflet (St. Xavier, 4:23.10)
- Alex Mortimer (Tates Creek, 4:23.12)
- Keeton Thornsberry (Holy Cross, 4:24.31)
- 6. Dylan Allen (Male, 4:25.38)
- Logan Greco (Meade County, 4:25.82)
- Austin Matthews (Paul Dunbar, 4:25.93)
- Alex McCarty (North Oldham, 4:26.35)
- Cooper Marchal (St. Xavier, 4:28.41)
- Josiah Harp (Central Hardin, 4:28.58)
- Spencer Carman (Lexington Catholic, 4:29.15)
- Jacob Burnham (Trinity, 4:29.30)
- Ryan Guenthner (St. Xavier, 4:29.46)
- Luke Spurrier (South Warren, 4:30.68)
- Garrett Hadaway (Oldham County, 4:30.74).
Good luck to all these guys and Go Tigers!
Yesterday, 12 athletes from 9 different sports signed on to play to the next level. Congrats to all these guys for all the hard work they have put in, it has certainly paid off. Good Luck to all these guys in college. Go Tigers!
Jake Zickel – Lacrosse (University of Indianapolis): Zickel is a three-year Varsity Letterman and two-year starter at midfield for the Tigers. In 2016, he was the team’s 4th leading scorer with 23 goals and 7 assists. This year, he has displayed skill as one of the best ball handlers around the crease, while racking up 17 goals and 11 assists.
Nic Malubay – Lacrosse (Centre College): Nic is a two sport Varsity Letterman, earning honors as an Attack on the Tiger Lacrosse team and as a Defensive Back on the Tiger Football team. After scoring 5 goals and assisting on 11 in 2016, he has emerged as the team’s second leading scorer this year with 25 goals and 11 assists.
Spencer Blandford – Tennis (University of Southern Indiana): Blandford was a state semi-finalist in Doubles this past season. Presently, he is a team captain and carries an 11-2 record in singles and 13-0 record in doubles this year. He is a four-year Varsity tennis Letterman, and his singles victory in 2015 and come from behind doubles court victory in 2016 helped the Tigers capture two recent team titles.
Ryan Guenthner – Cross Country and Track (University of Cincinnati): Ryan was the top senior finisher for St.X at the KHSAA State Championship meet in November, finishing 4th overall in 15:58. He was a 2017 Team Captain, a state competitor for 2016 &2017 back-to-back state Championship squads, and an integral member of the 2017 Nationally Ranked Cross Country team this past fall. During his four years at St.X, he has earned five varsity letters – 2 in Track and 3 in Cross Country.
Andrew Edwards – Track and Cross Country (Centre College): Andrew was one of the top seniors and a Team Captain as the 8th runner for the 2017 State Championship and nationally ranked Tiger Cross Country team this past fall. During his four years at St.X, he has earned four varsity letters – 2 in Track and 2 in Cross Country
Martin Nitzken – Swimming (Miami of Ohio): Martin was a four-year Letterman for the Tiger Swimming and Diving team. In 2017, he was a State Captain and a state finalist for the third time. For the second consecutive year he, along with his teammates, broke the Kentucky state record in the 200 yard medley relay at the KHSAA State Meet, earning both All-State and All-American honors.
Owen Johnson – Football (Elon University): Owen was the Tiger Football team’s 3rd leading scorer, kicking 8 field goals and 41 extra points. In addition, he was a valuable member of the kick-off team, consistently booming his kicks into the end zone, eliminating any chance for a return. Owen earned 2nd team All-Metro Area Kicker honors from the Courier Journal for his accomplishments this year.
Brad Middleton – Soccer (Bellarmine University): Brad was a 2 year Letterman at striker for the Tiger Soccer program. During his career, he scored 12 goals and had 4 assists to help lead the Tigers to 34 wins. With 8 goals and 4 assists this season, he was the team’s leading scorer.
Chris Esselman – Baseball (Centre College): Chris has been a varsity starter for the past two seasons as an infielder and right-handed pitcher. In 2016, he hit .278 with 4 doubles and was 1-0 pitching with 3 saves. In addition, he hit .364 in last year’s KHSAA State Tournament, helping the Tiger Baseball team claim their second title in three years. Currently, Chris is hitting .386 with 21 RBI and has earned two victories on the mound.
Joshua Schmidt – Wrestling (Lindsey Wilson College): Josh has earned four varsity letter in Wrestling and two more for the Tiger Powerlifting team during his four-year career. In 2017, he was a State Champion powerlifter as well as Jefferson County and Region 4 Wrestling Champion at 113 lbs. He also earned victories in the first two rounds of the KHSAA State Wrestling Tournament for the state-runner up team.
Sam Wilson – Baseball (Earlham College): Sam has been a stalwart on the mound for the past two Tiger Baseball seasons. In 2016, he had a 1.46 ERA in 24 innings pitched. In 2017, he has a 1.24 ERA in 22.2 innings while striking out 25 opposing batters and earning 3 wins in 6 appearances.
Ian Waldrop – Soccer (Hanover College): Ian was a two-year varsity Letterman for the Tiger Soccer program. During his career, he scored 5 goals and had 5 assists to help lead the Tigers to 34 wins. With five assists, he was the team’s second leading facilitator for the team in 2017.
Last season, the Tiger Track and Field Team over-performed in the State Meet. Heading into the day, they were predicted to finish 13th, but had a stellar performance and finished 6th overall. This year, the Tigers are poised to win their first state title since 2003. The Tigers are led by a large group of seniors, something they did not have the benefit of last year. They are rounded out by a strong class of juniors. As the first official meet of the year approaches, how does the Tiger Track and Field stack up this year?
The Tigers lose a major contributor from last year’s team in the form of Matthew Thomas. Thomas was one of the top runners in the State of Kentucky and has gone on to run at UK this year. In the State Meet, he placed 2nd in the 1600 and 6th in the 800.
This year, however, the Tigers still return the vast majority of their scorers from the State Meet. Headlined by senior Ryan Guenthner, juniors Patrick Schaefer and Cooper Marchal, and sophomore Zach Larkin. All four of these guys are coming off of a terrific Cross Country season in which they went to Nationals, and are ready for a big season on the Track.
Last season, Guenthner finished 7th overall in the 3200 and Schaefer finished 5th. While Cooper Marchal did not run in the 3200, he will vie for a top two spot this season, but look for these three guys to be interchangeable in the event. Zach Larkin placed 6th in the 1600 last season as a freshman, for look for him to make some noise this season,
Outside of this top group, sophomore Grady Shiftlet is coming off a big cross country season and looks to carry that momentum into track. Shiftlet is a strong 800m runner and will be a dark horse to make it to the state meet this year.
The Tigers have the strongest group of sprinters they have had in quite a few years. They will not lose a single person who competed in Regions last year.
Leading the charge for the sprinter group will be seniors Max Masterson, Ricky Garr, and Jax Goldberg. Both Masterson and Garr have four years of Varsity experience and have a relatively good shot of making state in the individual 100 and 200. Last season, Masterson placed 5th in Regions in the 200, while Garr placed 7th in Regions in the 100. On the other hand, Goldberg will be an all-around runner, who can run in the 100, 200, and 400.
Past these three guys, there is a slew of runners who could step up in the individual events. In the 100, sophomore Nick Erwin is looking for a big campaign. In the 200 and 400, guys like seniors Tanner Boling and James Bryant, junior Brock Mayer, and sophomores Beck O’Daniel and Clay Erwin all want to compete for individual spots in these events.
The Track and Field team returns every major contributor in the field events from last season. In the Jumps, senior Max Masterson leads the way. Last season, Masterson placed 8th in Long Jump at State, and is currently in the Top 3 for returning jumpers in Class AAA. Along with Masterson in the long jump, the high-flying sophomore Nick Erwin is looking to make some noise and is a dark-horse to make state this year in the event.
In the High Jump, Jax Goldberg and Nick Erwin will compete. In his first season, Goldberg qualified for the State Meet in the event and tied for 11th. His PR last year was 6’0″ and if he can improve on that, will easily score in the event this year.
In the Pole Vault, senior Barry Banta returns after missing all of his junior season with a back injury. During the Indoor Season, Banta came back and already tied his PR of 12’0″. Banta will be one of the top vaulters in the State and has said that anything less than being State Champion would feel like a disappointment.
Lastly in the Throws, seniors G.J. Wellinghurst and Justin Voelker lead the group. Wellinghurst has a great chance at placing in the Top 5 if not the Top 3 of the shotput this year. He placed 3rd in Region in his first year of competition and did not make the state meet, but with another year under his belt, has the capability of throwing around the 50 foot mark which should place him into Top 3 contention.
St.X has been known to bust out some of the top hurdlers in the State of Kentucky. This year will be no different. After losing current hurdler for the University of Indianapolis Dallas Ford to graduation, a few guys are looking to step up this year.
Those two foremost guys will be senior Jonny Dumuolin and sophomore Beck O’Daniel. While Dumuolin is sounder in form and rhythm, O’Daniel is the faster of the two. However, both of these guys are poised to make it to the State Meet in the 110m Hurdles and the 300m Hurdles.
Dumoulin is the only hurdler returning from the State Team last year. In the 300m hurdles, he placed 19th overall, but with a lot of the top guys leaving after graduating, Dumoulin will be in contention to score some points for the Tigers.
While O’Daniel may have not competed in either events last year, he has already shown that he is making strides in both events and has the ability to score points in State as well.
While the Tigers may never have the fastest individual guys, you can bet on them scoring points in every relay. This season, the Tigers are poised to place at least in the Top 5 in the 4×800, 4×400, 4×200, and 4×100 relays. On all four relays, they only lose two seniors in Cole Bollinger (4×800) and Matthew Thomas (4×400).
One year removed from St.X’s state record 4×800 team, the Tigers replaced every guy in their lineup. While Thomas was on the team, it was hard to replace Ben Kleine-Kracht, Eli George, and William Mulloy all at the same time.
This year, however, the Tigers return three guys from last year’s team who placed 5th in the State Meet. Ryan Guenthner, Grady Shiftlet, and Nick Poole all return for the Tigers, and will contend for a top spot in the State.
The 4×400 team, who placed 8th last year, loses Matthew Thomas, but the team has a lot of depth in the 400 this year. Returning runners for the relay include Ricky Garr, Jonny Dumuolin, and Beck O’Daniel. However, due to their depth, look for guys to change in and out through the year. Brock Mayer, Jax Goldberg, and Tanner Boling will all compete to be apart of that relay.
To round out the bunch, the 4×200 and 4×100 Relay teams return all four of the same guys in the event. Seniors Max Masterson, Ricky Garr, and Jax Goldberg, along with sophomore Beck O’Daniel are looking to improve on their finishes from last year. In the 4×200, the foursome placed 5th, while in the 4×100 they placed 9th. Depending on the events that O’Daniel performs in, he may be ousted in place of sophomore Nick Erwin, but there is not a drop off between the two.
There are not many other teams in the state that can boast the all-around team strength that St.X has this year. Yes there are some strong team’s in the sprint sides (Ballard and Central) and some strong teams in distance (Manual); overall, St.X’s main competition will come from Paul Dunbar and that team on Shelbyville Road.
The Distance team is coming off of a National-caliber cross country season, while the sprinters are the most well-rounded the team has had in years. The Hurdlers have the ability to make some noise, and almost all the field events have the possibility to score some major points. I believe it is safe to say that the 2017 Tiger Track and Field team has the most realistic shot to win their first state title since 2003.
Next Race: Saturday, March 18th @ CAL
The new KYtrackXC.com was released, and the Tiger Cross Country team remained number 1 in class 3A. In the individual rankings, Junior Spencer Hayden is 3rd, Junior Matthew Thomas is 13th, Sophomore Ryan Guenthner is 18th, Senior Andrew Garvey is 28th and Senior Ben Kleine-Kracht is 30th.
Class 3A Rankings
1. St. Xavier
2. Daviess County
5. Tates Creek
7. North Hardin
8. South Oldham
10. duPont Manual