PULLING OFF THE TRIFECTA: South Laurel's Phoebe McCowan's three first-place efforts lead the way during Class 3A, Region 7 meet

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May 28—LONDON — Dave Evans' South Laurel Cardinal and Lady Cardinal track and field teams both turned in impressive efforts during Thursday's Class 3A, Region 7 meet with both teams sending student-athletes to the Class 3A State Track and Field Meet.

The Lady Cardinals placed fourth with 85 points while scoring 11 points in sprint events, six points in hurdle events, 20 apiece points in both distance and throw events, nine points in jump events, and 19 points in relay events.

Evans explained there are two ways to qualify for State — No. 1: The top two competitors in each event at the region meet automatically qualify for the state meet. No. 2: The next 10 best times/heights/marks from the state-at-large (other six class AAA regional results) qualify for the state meet.

There continues to be a chance South Laurel could add boys' and girls' qualifiers over the next week as the other region meets are held.

So far, South Laurel has five girls attending the state meet:

—Senior Phoebe McCowan turned in another impressive effort, placing first in three events:

1600m run — 1st place- 4:56.85 1st in the state, Region meet record, North Laurel Stadium record, South Laurel School record.

400m dash — 1st place- 56.81 — 1st in the state, Region meet record, North Laurel Stadium record, South Laurel School record.

800m run — 1st place — 2:14.64 — Region meet record, North Laurel Stadium record, South Laurel School record.

—Grace Leis continued her dominance in both Shot Put, and Discus, placing first in both events:

Shot Put — 1st place: 30-3

Discus — 1st place: 100-11

—South Laurel's 4x400 Meter Relay Team of Autumn Bales, Lindsay Cox, Gracie Hoskins, and Phoebe McCowan also captured first-place honors and will be advancing to state:

1st place — 4:06.53 — 1st in the state, Region meet record, North Laurel Stadium record, South Laurel School record.

"I am so proud of our girls' team," Evans said. "They competed hard all day, as we knew coming in that West Jessamine would be tough to beat, but we set our sights on the runner-up trophy. We came up three points short but these girls never quit and did everything we asked of them. Phoebe gets a lot of well-earned attention, but Grace Leis is so consistent in the throws. I feel so confident in what she does for our team and you know what to expect from her. She is not in the spotlight on the track but she's in the throwing areas often hidden by the stadium or a half-mile away. Winning Shot and Discus at this meet is very impressive."

"For the last five years when you think about girls track in this area and our region, you think Phoebe McCowan," he added. "Thursday was a crowning performance for her. Phoebe won three individual gold medals, and led our girls 4x400 Relay to gold, too. For her to accomplish that in the heat in some of the most physically taxing events is just amazing. She didn't just win her events, she had record-breaking performances.

The girls' 4x400 Relay Team is awesome. They improve every time they run that event and beat out two other top eight teams in the state. It took all four of those girls to win the event and it was so exciting to watch, I can't wait to watch them perform at State."

On the boys' side, Will Stanko advanced to the State meet after placing second in the 1600 Meter Run while Stanko, Chris Greer, Jake Tapscott, and Will McCowan Each played a big part in the 4x800 Meter team's first-place effort which moves them on to State.

—Will Stanko

1600m run — 2nd place — 4:33.17

—4x800m Relay

Will Stanko, Chris Greer, Jake Tapscott, and Will McCowan

1st place — 8:21.64 — Top 10 in the state, North Laurel Stadium record, South Laurel School record.

"On our boys' team, we often refer to Will Stanko as a machine, and the region meet showed why," Evans said. "His performances in the 4x800 Meter Relay, 1600 Meter Run, and 3200 Meter Run were amazing. He seems to improve each time he competes and has an amazing drive to perform. I know I can count on him to compete at State. The Boys 4x800 Meter Relay has really found a new gear in recent weeks and should compete for a podium spot at state.

"Overall, I'm proud of both our boys and girls teams' performances at the region meet," he added. "It felt so good to have a season and to be able to see these student-athletes get to shine on such a grand stage."

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