VAN BUREN — The Bryant Hornets scored a total of 53.5 points to earn a sixth place finish[more] at the 7A-West Conference Track Championships Thursday in Van Buren.
The Hornets saved their best performance for the last race of the night, winning the 4 x 400 meter relay in a season best time of 3:27.31. The Hornet quartet of sophomore Steven Murdock, freshman Pierce Finney, junior Darian Jarrett, and sophomore John Winn, pushed ahead in the last 100 meters to win the title.
Rogers Heritage won the team championship with a total of 137 points.
Also scoring for the Hornets was Spencer Sullivan in the 110 meter hurdles (3rd in 15.57), and the 300 hurdles (2nd in 40.66), John Winn in the 400 meter dash (2nd in 50.19) and the 200 meter dash (5th in 23.26), Darian Jarrett in the long jump (5th at 21' 6.75"), Justin Combs in the pole vault (tied for 5th at 11' 6"), the 4 x 100 meter relay team of Jalen Bell, Makiya Hunter, Steven Murdock, and Sullivan, Murdock in the 200 meter dash (6th in 23.27), Pierce Finney in the 400 meter dash (8th in 52.10) and Clifton Hampton in the 1600 meter run (8th in 4:38.96).
Those who finish third or better earn all-conference honors.
"This was an introduction to the 7A West for us, and it was an eye-opening experience for a lot of the athletes,” noted Bryant coach Steve Oury. “The level of competition is just unbelievable and, for the most part, we competed very well.
“We had our share of disappointments and unfortunate injuries, but we also had some breakthrough performances,” he noted. “John Winn ran a great race to earn a runner-up finish in the 400, and I can't say enough about our 4 x 400 relay. All four of them just ran great. Pierce Finney stepped in for an injured Brenden Young and ran a great leg.”
In addition to Young, Sullivan, a school record-holder in the hurdles, was battling knee problems, Oury mentioned.
“Spencer ran a couragious race in the 300 hurdles,” he stated.
“While we would have qualified a lot more athletes if we were competing in our old conference, I feel like the kids who did qualify for the State meet next week in Bentonville have a great chance to do well," Oury concluded.
This is the first year for Bryant to compete in the West Conference after many years in the Central.