The Wildcats would have to go up against two-time defending state champion Bardstown, who brings one of the deepest squads to Lexington every year.
Second, the addition of Fort Campbell to Class A this year meant less depth for Trigg after losing those qualifying spots to the Falcons at the region meet.
Add in a few athletes who were dinged up and injured, and you could say Trigg County’s fourth place finish Saturday was about as well as could be expected.
Bardstown became the first 1A school since Bellevue (1991-93) to win three straight boys’ titles, scoring 92 points to Fort Campbell’s 72. Bishop Brossart was third with 62.5 points, and Trigg County was fourth with 53 points – the first time since 2003 that the Wildcats finished outside the top three.
Trigg County was able to repeat as state champions in the 800-meter relay, winning the event for the third straight year.
The quartet of Scott Mayes, Greg Acree, Stephon Smithers, and Jeremy Jones completed two circuits around the track in 1:32.38, which was about two seconds slower than the state record set by Trigg County in 1982.
Trigg edged Murray and Bardstown by nearly a second.
The Wildcats did see their win streak come to an end in the 400-meter relay.
After winning the event the past two years, the team of Jones, Rick Woods, Brandon Bridges, and Jalik Alexander finished seventh in a time of 45.89 seconds.
After posting only the fifth fastest time in the preliminaries, the 1600-meter relay team fell just short in their bid to repeat as state champions.
The team of Kevin and Stephon Smithers, Acree, and Tommy Woodall finished second to Fort Campbell in a time of 3:32, which was about a half-second behind the Falcons.
Jeremy Jones’ bid to repeat as state champion in the high jump fell an inch short to region rival Kenton Cage of Russellville.
Jones, who won the title with a height of 6-feet, 4-inches last year, was able to clear 6-feet, 2-inches Saturday, which was an inch behind the Russellville junior.
Stephon Smithers, who was seventh in the high jump last year, tied for 11th this year with a jump of 5-6.
Jones also fell victim to another junior in his attempt to repeat as long jump champion.
Chrys Jones of Harrodsburg beat Jones by two inches in the long jump – 21-feet, 10-inches to a 21-feet, 8-inch distance for the Trigg senior who only needed 20-feet, 10-inches to win the title last year.
Sophomore Scott Mayes could have struck casino gold with three seventh place finishes on the day, but did pick up six points for the Wildcats.
Mayes finished seventh in the long jump with a top distance of 19-feet, 11-inches.
He also took seventh place in the 100-meter dash in a time of 11.5 seconds and seventh in the 200-meters in 23.31 seconds.
Fort Campbell’s Derrick Stallworth won both events, setting a new state record in the 200-meters with a time of 22.08 seconds. The old mark of 22.20 seconds was set by Lanie Fomas of Paris in 1986.
Stallworth’s winning time of 11.01 seconds in the 100-meters wasn’t fast enough to eclipse the state record of 10.70 seconds set by Trigg County’s Al Baker in 1985.
Trigg senior Greg Acree, who barely grabbed one of the final two qualifying spots in the 400-meter preliminaries, ran a season-best 52.24 to claim third place in one of the most anticipated events of the state meet.
Frankfort’s E.J. Fields nipped the favorite, Bardstown’s Kwasi Obeng, at the finish line to end Obeng’s two-year reign in the event.
Rozelle Boyd finished fifth in the triple jump, clearing 42-feet, 10-inches.
Wildcat senior Taylor McGee finished tenth in the shot put for the second straight year with a distance of 42-feet, 5-inches.
Competing in his first state meet, Trigg County freshman Zach Storms finished 16th in the pole vault with a height of 8-feet, 6-inches.