Photos courtesy of Julie Shelby
Freshman Chris Barrientos led a trio of Bryant Hornets who finished in the top 10 as the team defended its home course by winning its annual home cross country meet, the Bryant Invitational, on Saturday at Bishop Park.
Barrientos finished fourth overall in a time of 17:05 with John Carder fifth in 17:09 and Cole Watson 10th in 17:32. Travis Cumming (11th in 17:35) and Eric Stewart (13th in 17:43) completed the scoring quintet for the Hornets who finished with 43 points.
Vilonia (58 points), Heber Springs (65), Trinity Christian (205), and Little Rock Catholic (210) rounded out the top five teams. Runners from 34 different schools completed the race. A total of 19 complete teams and 232 runners finished the 5k course.
Peyton Reber (21st in 18:14), and Edgar Tejada (24th in 18:22) completed the top seven finishers for the Hornets.
“First of all, it was great to actually have the meet this year since we have been rained out for the last two years,” stated Bryant coach Steve Oury. “I’m really happy for the boys. They have faced some adversity this season with several injuries to key athletes, but we’ve had others who have stepped up and got the job done. Today, our top five were a little under 40 seconds apart from first to fifth, which is very strong.
“Chris Barrientos runs fearlessly,” he noted. “He and John Carder are doing a great job of leading the way each week. Eric Stewart, Cole Watson, and Travis Cumming all had stellar efforts today, which was what we had to have to beat an outstanding Vilonia team.”
The Junior Hornets picked up their first meet victory of the season with a hard fought win over runner-up Hot Springs Lakeside. Bryant scored 47 points to edge out Lakeside (51 points). A total of eight complete teams and 148 runners completed the 2-mile race.
Luis Lara paced the Junior Hornets with a fourth place finish in a time of 11:20. Rounding out the team’s top seven were Matthew O’ Gary (9th in 11;37), Lance Andrews (11th in 11:51), Dylan White (13th in 11:55), Chris Morgan (14th in 11:55), Ben Sellers (15th in 11:59), and Blake Wilson (21st in 12:12).
“I’m glad these boys finally got to celebrate a victory,” Oury said. “They’ve come close more than once this season. They took it out hard at the beginning of the race and held on. Hot Springs Lakeside gave us all we wanted. We were fortunate to come out on top.
“We are very appreciative of all of the parents who volunteered to make this a successful meet,” he mentioned. “We can’t do it without their help.”
Next Saturday, the Hornets run at the Lake Hamilton Invitational at Oaklawn Park, the site of the 2015 Class 7A State meet on Nov. 7.