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PREP TRACK: Taylor's Mosley wins state title

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By Josh Claywell

Ciara Mosley was on her way home Saturday when a teammate texted her.

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The Taylor County sophomore left the University of Kentucky’s track complex after competing in the shot put during the Class 2-A KHSAA State Track and Field Championships.

Her teammate texted Mosley to let her know she had just won a state championship.

Mosley won with a throw of 37 feet, 8 inches – edging Mercer County sophomore Zoe Yeast by 2.25 inches to win the title.

“I knew that only two people threw 37 feet, so I knew I was either first or second,” Mosley said in a text message Monday night. “On my way home, my friend had texted me saying I had won and she was asking me where I was. It was a bit hectic.”

Mosley entered state competition ranked sixth after clearing 34 feet in the 2-A, Region 2 meet at Bardstown. The top-seeded thrower was Brenna Hayes, a Casey County junior who threw 36-9.75 at her region meet.

Mosley had a lot of ground to make up, but believed she could do it. She didn’t start throwing the shot put until midway through this season, but none of that mattered at state.

“When I was throwing, especially in the prelims, I kept telling myself ‘If you throw it just a bit further, you’ll make it to the finals and have three more throws,’” Mosley said. “And to keep my nerves in check, I didn’t make state seem like such a big deal. So when I got there, I just relaxed. I made it seem like it was just another meet.”

Keeping that mindset was crucial to her success. It allowed her to relax more when she was competing and it made for a more carefree experience.

“It was really important for the simple fact that I didn’t want to show up and psych myself out,” Mosley said. “I knew some of them were really good and had more years of experience than me, so I had to show up with what I had.”

First-year Taylor County coach Chris Jelks knew Mosley had what it took to succeed in the event. Mosley got more comfortable with the nuances of the shot put and the results got better and better each time she threw.

“She took to it like a fish to water,” Jelks said. “The future is very bright for her. She picked it up, and that was all it took. I think it started around the conference meet and went into regionals. You could just see her getting stronger. Once she got it down, it was perfect. I cannot wait to see her take on even tougher competition going into the following year.”

Mosley showed up and showed out at state, outperforming her ranking by a large margin.

“Rankings and seedings don’t mean anything,” Jelks said. “Anyone who follows the NCAA basketball tournament knows an upset can happen in the first round. If it can happen in basketball, it definitely can happen in track.

“I was (surprised) but I wasn’t,” he added. “Ciara has the natural talent, the God-given talent.”

Mosley was also entered in the triple jump, but she missed that event because she was so focused on the shot put.

Missing the event doesn’t weigh on her now, especially not with a state championship under her belt.

“It was a bittersweet feeling,” Mosley said of finding out she had won. “When I realized I had won, I also realized that I missed my other event – the triple jump. Looking back, though, it’s really exciting and feels unreal.

“Not only am I representing myself, but Taylor County track as well,” she added. “And that feels amazing.”

While Jelks wasn’t exactly surprised at how fast Mosley progressed, Mosley admitted to being caught a bit off guard. She didn’t think she’d get this good this fast in the shot put.

“The day of state, I was throwing very inconsistently,” said Mosley, who was also 10th in the discus. “So when I threw 37-8, it was unbelievable – especially since my farthest throw was only 35-1.”

Paced by Mosley, the Lady Cardinals placed 19th out of 35 scoring teams with 10 points. Freshman Maddie Riley placed 16th in the 3,200-meter run, while Riley, eighth-grader Carly Johnson, freshman Emma Maynard and sophomore Natalie Reynolds placed 17th in the 4x800 relay.

The Cardinal boys, meanwhile, produced four medalists.

Sophomore Ryan Maynard was fourth in the 3,200 run and eighth in the 1,600, sophomore Tre Goodin took sixth in the 100 dash, and Maynard, freshman Dalton Nunn, sophomore Davin Phillips and senior Will Miller placed seventh in the 4x800 relay.

“The 4-by-8, they did great. We wanted a top-eight finish and we got that,” Jelks said. “Ryan Maynard in the mile and 2 mile is where we figured he’d be. Tre Goodin, the sky’s the limit for Tre. For him to go to state his first year and get on the podium in the 100 is incredible.”

Goodin was also 10th in the 200 and Nunn placed 14th in the 800.

Sophomore Matthew Oliver was ninth in the discus, which Jelks called his “biggest surprise.”

“He was only two feet from placing and he (achieved a personal record) by five feet,” he said. “His final throw was 125 (feet). That was incredible.”

The Cardinals placed 20th out of 36 scoring teams with 11 points.

Jelks said he was pleased with how things went in his first season after coming over from Elizabethtown.

“There’s some things we need to work on. But all in all, I’m pretty happy,” he said. “I think people know Taylor County’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. We’re not going to be overlooked. We’re just getting started.”

 

Hazelwood places ninth in 400-meter dash

Campbellsville sophomore Taliyah Hazelwood was ninth in the girls’ 400-meter dash during the Class 1-A meet last Thursday. Hazelwood, with a time of 1:01.67, narrowly missed a spot on the medal podium by .02 seconds.

Hazelwood was also 14th in the 200 (27.62 seconds) and 19th in the 100 (13.46).

Junior Natalie Caldwell was 11th in the discus throw with a heave of 95 feet, 7 inches.

Juniors Jackson Hinton, Charlie Pettigrew, Joe Pipes and Daesean Vancleave were disqualified in the 4x200-meter relay because of an illegal exchange.