HENDERSON -- Graves County's Sophie Galloway earned three top finishes in all three of her events Tuesday to return to the KHSAA state meet.

Galloway, who won the long jump last year at state with an 18 foot, 4 inch jump and also set a new state record in the triple jump (38-10), improved on those numbers with a 40-07 triple jump and 18-07 in the long jump.

She also took the 100-meter hurdles with a 14.49 second time.

With countless accomplishments on the track already, Galloway is nearly as fast with her answer as she is running that it is her family and coaches that drive her.

"I just want to do good for my coaches and my family," she said at the conclusion of her day at Henderson County High School. "My aunt and uncle drive at least two hours to watch every meet. It just makes me happy that I have people who care and I try to work hard for them."

But she admitted to a mean streak when it comes to her competitiveness, especially with herself.

"I put a whole lot of pressure on myself," Galloway added. "If I don't jump an inch further every time, it makes me really mad. But I have to keep calm and remember my training has got me where I am. The more I focus, I'll be fine."

Madding takes it step by step

Kyler Madding has taken his approach to the jumps, literally, step by step. His improvements in both the long jump and triple jump have already earned him school records.

Tuesday, it earned him a shot at competing at the state level with a runner-up finish in the long jump.

"Just learning techniques," he said of the work that led to his 19-8.5 long jump. "Basically, getting your steps and learning how to hit the board right.

"Steps are all the matter," Madding added.

When he first broke Graves County's triple jump record of 41-07.75, set by Jason Doughty, last month, Madding said he felt it was coming together. Now, his goal is to win a state long jump championship.

"I know it's way up there, but I think I could," he said.

Eric Walker is the sports editor for The Mayfield Messenger. He has also worked as a staff writer for the Messenger, editor for the Murray Ledger & Times, and in public relations. He is married with two sons.