August 31 in Bryant athletic history: 2002

Westbrook pleased with girls’ spacing

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).

Candice James and Brooke Higgs paced the Bryant Lady Hornets cross country team through their annual intrasquad meet at Mills Park on Saturday, Aug. 31, but it was the close proximity of the next three runners that had head coach Dan Westbrook encouraged about the 2002 season.

Bryant begins the season in earnest this Saturday at the UALR Invitational.

“We had a 36-second gap between our first and fifth runners,” Westbrook noted. “If we can do that on a 4K course, I will be extremely happy. This Saturday at UALR will tell us where we stand.”

The girls ran a 2K for the event with the junior high and senior girls combining to form two teams, blue and white. With James and Higgs leading the way, the White team took team honors with 161 points to the Blue team’s 190.

“Of the girls that ran this same course last year, we improved our time for everybody with the exception of two girls,” Westbrook noted. “That’s a positive sign.

“I had a few question marks going in, like how Brooke Higgs would do racing for the first time,” he added. “She came through with flying colors and I know she will just keep getting better with racing experience.”

James finished in 7:21 with Higgs crossing the finish line in 7:35. Blue team members Jessica Graham, Mary Edwards and Kim Bergen finished third through fifth, respectively. Graham finished in 7:48 with Edwards at 7:51 and Bergen at 7:57.

Both Edwards and Bergen are freshman who will compete on the senior high squad.

“They both really came through,” Westbrook mentioned.

Three more freshmen were sixth through eighth overall, respectively. For the White team, Cari Odle was sixth with a time of 8:09 and Jessie Sutton was eighth in 8:30. For the Blue, Samantha Montgomery clocked in at 8:20, good for seventh.

“Both junior high teams competed well especially since we had several racing for the first time,” Westbrook said. “We will have to improve our time gaps between runners to compete for any team titles. Cari, Montgomery and Sutton looked strong.”

High school runners also included, for the White, Nicole Sample (9th in 8:35), Jamie Waldron (11th in 8:44) and Amy Whitworth (21st in 10:00). For the Blue, Tonya Fowler finished 12th overall in 8:52, Teresa Alverio was 14th in 9:16, and Jessica Finley was 24th in 10:37.

Other junior high runners were Mikki Eichenberg (10th in 8:40), Lindsey Herrick (15th in 9:22), Cecily Davis (22nd in 10:02), Diana Brewer (23rd in 10:35), Jessica Sowell (25th in 10:46) and Tori Pearson (26th in 10:51) for the Blue; and Sarah James (13th in 9:07), Bryanna Austin (16th, 9:38), Lindsay Aldridge (17th, 9:43), Chelsea Mansfield (18th, 9:49), Rachel Menges (19th, 9:50) and Hanna Bettoney (20th, 9:59) for the White.

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