HIGH SCHOOL TRACK: O'Shea smashes two state records

·4 min read

Jun. 5—LEXINGTON — It was one of the most anticipated races of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association's Class 3A State Meet.

And with good reason.

The last time Madison Central's Ciara O'Shea and Oldham County's Tula Fawbush faced each other they posted the two fastest one-mile times by high school females in state history.

Fawbush (4:49.80) edged out O'Shea (4:49.90) to take the title at the Kentucky Dream Mile in Louisville on May 7.

The rematch came on Saturday at the University of Kentucky in the 1,600 meter state final.

"I was pretty stressed. Anyone would be who was coming into a race where they knew they had really strong competition," O'Shea said. "I was just trying to deal with those nerves and keep them pushed down so they didn't affect my race."

O'Shea certainly didn't look nervous.

The junior went to the front early — like she usually does — and ran away from Fawbush and the rest of the field. She posted a new all-class state record time of 4:52.67 and beat out Jessica Secor of Dupont Manual (5:00.78) by more than eight seconds.

"Once I stepped on the track, that feeling of calm just kind of washed over me, making me know that this is where I was supposed to be and that this is your race — just go out and do it," O'Shea said.

Incredibly, O'Shea claimed another state championship later in the day.

The junior took took the title in the 3,200 meters with another new all-class state record time (10:32.83). She won the event by almost 20 seconds.

O'Shea has won the 1,600 and 3,200 meters in each of the past two KHSAA state track and field meets and also has four KHSAA state cross championships.

"Each one just brings a new level of excitement," O'Shea said of her eight KHSAA state titles.

The previous overall record in the 1,600 meters was 4:53.66 by Gabriella Karas of Collins (Class AA) in 2015.

The record in the 3,200 meters was 10:35.36 by Michaela Reinhart of Lexington Catholic (Class AA) in 2017.

By the halfway point of the event's longest event, O'Shea had already pulled out to a big lead. With the outcome not in doubt, the only question remaining was whether the Central junior would break the state record.

As she came down the final stretch, O'Shea had to move to the right and spring past runners at the back of the pack.

"I tried to use them to chase, just so it just wasn't an open stretch of track," O'Shea said of the runners she passed at the end. "I used them to push myself."

Led by O'Shea, Madison Central accumulated 27 points and finished fifth in the girls team standings. Madison Southern had 3.5 points and finished 37th.

Three other Madison County athletes reached the podium on Saturday in Lexington.

Madison Central senior Kaitlyn Cain cleared a height of 11-06.00 and took second place in the pole vault. Sarah Ferguson of Lafayette took the title with a new state record of 13-06.00.

Cain entered the competition at 10-00.0 and had four-straight successful attempts before failing to clear 12-00.00.

Madison Southern senior Kayleigh Moberly took sixth in the high jump with a height of 4-10.

Madison Southern senior Nadia Meeks was eighth in the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 16.51.

Madison Southern's Kaylynn Wright was ninth in the long jump with a distance of 16-04.50.

Southern's 4x100 relay team — Wright, Faith Patton, Meeks and Morgan Flannery — was 20th.

Central had teams in all four girls relay events.

The Lady Indians were 12th in the 4x800 (Jamie Gugel, Amilya Reynolds, Meredith Campbell and Shelby Lamb), 13th in the 4x200 (Alycia Fain, Taniyah Hayden, Makyhia Hilson and Emma McDowell), 14th in the 4x400 (Reynolds, McDowell, Fain and O'Shea) and 4x100 in the 4x100 (Amelia Harrel, Hilson, Fain and Hayden).