By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter
Highlands team members placed first or second in 13 of 18 events at the Class 2A, Region 4 boys track meet on Wednesday and took home the championship trophy for the second straight year.
The Bluebirds finished with a 167 points in the meet at Scott. Lexington Catholic took second place with 132.
Highlands senior sprinter Jake Welch won gold medals in the 100, 200 and 400 dashes and 4×400 relay. The team also had a triple-winner as senior Thomas Gray-Torsell placed first in the 800 run and was a member of the winning 4×400 and 4×800 relays.
The other Bluebirds who won individual events were sophomore Malcolm Robertson (3200) and junior Aiden Nevels (110 hurdles).
Highlands placed second behind Bourbon County in the Class 2A, Region 4 girls meet. The Bluebirds finished first in two events and second in six others.
The team’s two event winners were senior Jade Rehberger in the 100 hurdles and junior Haley Zell in the triple jump. Scott also had two individual champions — Maddie Strong (3200) and Autumn Ponder (high jump).
In the Class 3A, Region 5 meet on Wednesday at Ryle, the Covington Catholic boys and Dixie Heights girls finished on top in the team standings with Ryle placing second in both meets.
CovCath’s scoring leader was senior Reid Hummel, who won the 100 dash, finished second in the 200 and 400 and was on the winning 4×100 relay team. The Colonels’ other first-place finisher was freshman Will Sheets in the 3200 run.
The meet’s only triple-winner was Ryle sophomore Ben Coker in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. Simon Kenton senior Xander Ritter won the 110 and 300 hurdles.
Athletes from six teams won events in the girls Class 3A, Region 5 meet with Dixie Heights athletes receiving gold medals in four of them, including three relays.
The Colonels’ team leader was junior Abigail Kopp, who placed first in the 400 dash, second in the 100 dash and was on the winning 4×100 relay team.
The meets double-winners were Conner sophomore Isabella VonLehman (100, 200 dashes), Campbell County freshman Olivia Holbrook (800, 1600 runs), Ryle senior Madison Rabe (100, 300 hurdles) and Grant County senior Brooklyn Hammons (shot put, discus).
Complete results for the Class 2A, Region 4 and Class 3A Region 5 boys and girls track meets are available on the ky.milesplit.com website.
Region baseball tournament games moved back to Saturday
The final first-round game of the 9th Region baseball tournament between Beechwood and Dixie Heights was postponed by rain once again on Thursday and will now be played Saturday morning at Thomas More University Stadium in Florence.
A starting time for the game will be posted on Friday. It will have to be played early because the region semifinal games are scheduled for Saturday evening.
Highlands will take on St. Henry at 5 p.m. and Newport Central Catholic will face the Beechwood-Dixie Heights winner at 8 p.m. with the winners advancing to the championship final at 3 p.m. Sunday.
The 10th Region championship game was also postponed by the weather on Thursday. Campbell County will play George Rogers Clark in the title game on Saturday, but a starting time has not yet been posted.
Semifinal games in the 8th Region tournament on Friday are Walton-Verona vs. North Oldham at 6 p.m. and Simon Kenton vs. Woodford County at 8 p.m. at the University of Louisville.
Pairings set for opening rounds of region softball tournaments
The first round of the 9th Region softball tournament is scheduled for Sunday with four games at the home fields of district champions.
The matchups are: Villa Madonna at Highlands, Cooper at Notre Dame, Newport Central Catholic at Dixie Heights and Beechwood at Ryle. The game at Highlands will begin at noon and the other three will begin at 1 p.m.
The 10th Region softball tournament will begin Saturday at Tommy Reffitt Field in Mounty Sterling. The first two games will be Campbell County vs. George Rogers Clark at noon and Brossart vs. Bracken County at 2 p.m.