SPRINGDALE — Landon Abernathy captured an individual State championship with a 39.00 in the 300-meter high hurdles Thursday to highlight the performance of the Bryant Hornets at the Class 7A State track and field meet at Har-Ber High School.
The Hornets, who won the 7A-Central Conference championship last week, turned in third-place finishes in four other events as they accumulated 52 points to finish sixth in the team standings. Bentonville won the title with 107 points against the 16-team field. Har-Ber was second with 95 followed by Fayetteville (86), Rogers (69) and Conway (59).
“We had some ups and downs, but I am really proud of how the boys competed,” said Bryant head coach Steve Oury. “The winds were consistently in the 20-30 mph range, blowing directly into the home stretch, which made for some slow times in the sprint races. We had some bad breaks in the sprint and hurdle prelims where two of our top athletes got stuck in heats in which the wind gusted much harder than the other heat, and consequently they were unable to advance to the finals because of it. That’s just the way it goes when prelims are run in extreme conditions.”
“I knew it would be a challenge to score points in some of the events we did well in at conference meet,” he mentioned. “The 7A-West is really loaded, so the dynamic changes when they are brought into the picture.
“Despite some of the setbacks we encountered, we were still pretty close to the point total I had us projected for,” he concluded.
Abernathy’s time topped Conway’s Kevon Holder at 39.55.
“Landon Abernathy did a great job in the 300 hurdles of battling through the wind in the home stretch and staying strong,” Oury said. “Hopefully he will get some good weather to run in at the Meet of Champions. I think he has the potential to run quite a bit faster.”
Among the third-place finishers was John Carder in the 3200-meter run with a time of 9:47.75 just shy of second-place Anton Michna of Fayetteville at 9:47.57. Fayetteville’s Camren Fischer won in 9:43.61.
“John Carder ran a really gutsy race,” Oury said. “He pushed pace and fought the wind, which allowed two Fayetteville runners to draft off of him and they ended up passing him at the end. However, we felt that if he didn’t push the pace that even more runners would still be sticking around at the end of the race and we didn’t want it to turn into a slow, tactical type race.”
Madre Dixon was third in the shot with a throw of 45’11.5”. He was sixth in the discus with a throw of 130’8”.
“Madre Dixon had a nice day in the throws,” Oury said. “Hopefully, he will qualify for the Meet of Champions in the shot.”
The Hornets picked up third-place points in two relays. The 4×100 team of Mackenzie Martindale, Andre White, Diante Woodson and Randy Thomas ran a 43.50 to place third. In the 4×400, Josh Robinson, Dockery, Woodson and Abernathy combined on a 3:24.73.
“Both sprint relays took care of business,” said Oury. “You can never take points for granted in the relays, especially the 4 x 100, so it was nice to see them get the baton around the track. I think both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays will qualify for the Meet of Champs.”
The Meet of Champs will be held in Russellville on Saturday, May 13.
Also contributing points for the Hornets at State:
Robinson, sixth in the high jump, clearing 6’.
Brandon Murray, sixth in the triple jump, 42’4.5”
White, sixth in the 200-meter dash, in 23.79
Thomas, seventh in the 200, in 23.90
Dockery, seventh in the 400, in 51.58
Chris Barrientos, eighth in the 1600, in 4:37.97
The 4×800 relay team of Hunter Ulmer, Joshua Nelson, Logan Kretsch and Enrique Ramos, eighth in 8:47.88.