“She’s everything,” he said. “She’s the foundation of our girls track program. We have a lot of small pieces that make up the rest of our team, but Valesha is worth 40 points a meet. When you lose 40 points, it’s hard to win a championship like that. That’s what she provides for us. I’m really proud of her. She’s come a long way and I’m really proud of her.”
Senior leadership has been at the forefront of the middle distance and distance races for the Lady Tornado, too. Carrying those groups have been twin sisters Addie and Kate Rogers.
“They’re like coaches,” Wyatt said of the twins and thrower Jonce Caldwell. “And, that’s a blessing to have those type of girls on your team keeping the team up and keeping the morale up. I’ve been really proud of those girls.”
Capping the night for the twins was Addie’s win in the 3,200-meter run.
“It’s my last race here (at Tilghman)," she said after crossing the finish line in 3 minutes, 6.54 seconds. “The 2-mile has been my race since I came in as an eighth-grader. It’s just really special to me to get to run that as my last race.”
Tilghman boys run away with regional title
Paducah Tilghman’s boys, with 207 points, finished 98 points ahead of Calloway County on Monday.
Leading the pack for Tilghman was junior Jayden Freeman, who individually and as part of relay teams accounted for 28 points – including wins in the 100 (11.10 seconds) and 200 (22.52).
“Today, I felt great,” Freeman said. “All the handoffs were great. I believe everybody did good today.”
Wyatt said he was proud with the way Freeman's improved as an upperclassman.
“He’s our top sprinter,” Wyatt said. “He has been for the last few years. He started out a little rough, but he’s been able to bring his times down. That’s the thing. Just staying the course. And, he has been.”
Freeman said: “We have a very young team right now and the development of our team will be fine in the next couple of years. I believe we’ll be good.”
Wyatt said only one thing stands in the way of the boys and girls teams and a state championship next week.
“Tilghman,” he said. “That’s just the bottom line. Don’t get me wrong. Mercer County on the girls end is solid. Boyle County, on the boys end, they’re solid as well. All I’m asking of our kids is to go out and give 110 percent and be able to look themselves in the mirror and say, ‘I gave it all I had.’
“Win, lose or draw, I can live with that.”