August 31 in Bryant athletic history: 2002

Walker paces Hornets; Blakley leads Mustangs

EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).

Senior Cody Walker underscored his leadership position on the Bryant Hornets cross country team by pacing his teammates through the annual intrasquad meet held Saturday, Aug. 31, at Mills Park.

Walker’s pace-setting time of 19:30 over the 5K course, helped the Bryant Blue team edge the White 215-220.

The winner of the junior high race over a two-mile course was eighth grader Ethan Blakley who’s 12:02 clocking was more than 30 seconds faster than any other junior high runner.

The Bryant teams officially open the 2002 season at the UALR Invitational on Saturday.

“Cody stepped up to win the high school race,” commented Hornets head coach Bodie Nance. “Everyone else performed as expected.”

Zach Roberson, running for the White team, finished second among the high schoolers in 19:38. He was followed by White teammates Josh Wright (20:41), Bryan Ballew (20:45) and Michael Parker (22:47). 

Blue team member Mark Pagan finished in 23:15 followed by Chris Outlaw (23:18) and Zack Williams (25:33).

“The big surprise of the day was Ethan Blakley,” said Nance. “I knew he was good and he could win but the ease with which he won was remarkable. He could really go far in this sport if he wants to.”

“Blakley looked really good,” added coach Dan Westbrook. His test will come Saturday against a strong Russellville junior squad.”

Though Blakley topped the junior boys, Blue team members Allen Trotter (12:35), Chris Robinson (12:57) and Robert Graham (13:21) finished in the next three spots. Josh Woodell of the White team rounded out the top five with a time of 13:24, closely followed by teammate Justin Hefner (13:25).

Also for the White team, Ryan Hill was seventh (13:55) and Nick Carter eighth (13:56). Adam Schneider finished 11th (14:45) followed by Alvin Rapien (12th, 15:05), Nick Outlaw (13th, 15:29), Jay Pruitt (18th, 15:44), Garrett Brown (19th 16:47), and Will King (22nd, 19:31).

For the Blue team, Nick Whitten finished ninth in 13:58 followed by Jeremy Accord (10th, 14:37), Marcus Meier (14th, 15:33), Jason Griffin (16th, 15:42), Jeff Ward (17th, 15:43) and William Wilson (20th, 18:20).

“Both the boys and girls junior high teams competed well, especially since we had several racing for the first time,” Westbrook noted. “We will have to improve our time gaps between runners to compete for any team titles though.” 

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