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Means takes third in shot put

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And he set a new school record at state meet

By Stephen Lega

Marion County senior Chris Means ended the 2009 track season with the best performance of his career.

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Means finished third in the shot put with a throw of 50 feet, 9.75 inches in the 2A state meet Friday at the University of Louisville.

Not only was that Means' personal best, it was also a new Marion County High School record.

"It may be a long time before we have anyone throw that far again," Marion County track coach Robby Peterson said.

Junior Tyrell Williams of Calloway County won the 2A shot put with a throw of 51 feet, 9.25 inches.

Means also competed in the discus at the state meet. He finished 20th in that event with a throw of 98 feet.

Willis also won the discus, with a throw of 148 feet, nine inches.

Means was one of five Marion County athletes who competed at the state meet. He and senior Jermaine Porter competed in multiple events.

Porter's best finish was in the triple jump. He was 16th with a distance of 40 feet, 2.5 inches. Thomas Washington of Logan County won the event with a distance of 45 feet, four inches.

In the pole vault, Porter finished 20th after clearing nine feet, six inches. Greg Phillips of Knox Central won the state pole vaulting championship by clearing 12 feet, six inches.

Porter finished 18th in the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, nine inches.

But he wasn't the only Knight in the long jump. Marion County sophomore Kendall Taul finished ninth after jumping 19 feet, 11.75 inches.

R.J. Fields of Harlan County won the boys long jump with a leap of 22 feet, five inches.

On the girls’ side, Lady Knight freshman Shaina Litsey was 15th in the long jump after going 14 feet, 11.5 inches.

Junior Samantha Smith of Rockcastle County won the girls 2A long jump title with a jump of 17 feet, 2.75 inches.

In the triple jump, Marion County sophomore Natavia Young finished 15th with a distance of 30 feet, 11.5 inches. Highlands senior Anna Goetz won the event with a distance of 35 feet, 3.75 inches.

Means and Porter graduate this spring, and Peterson said that will be a big loss for his team.

"They always showed up. They always showed good leadership," Peterson said.

He continued to say that Means and Porter scored a lot of points for Marion County this year, but they also helped the younger members of the team in their respective events.

For the returning athletes Knights and Lady Knights, the state meet experience is something they can build on for next season, Peterson said.

"It was a good day," he said. "I think all the kids enjoyed it."

And he wasn't just talking about Marion County's competitors. He said a group of track athletes attended the meet to support for their teammates.

"It gives them something to shoot for next season," Peterson said.