Bryant boys open with strong effort in home meet

Photos courtesy of Julie Shelby

Landon Abernathy scored in both hurdles races for Bryant. (Photo courtesy of Julie Shelby)

Landon Abernathy scored in both hurdles races for Bryant. (Photo courtesy of Julie Shelby)

John Carder and Cole Watson went 1-2 in the 3200-meter run while Devon Davis scored in three events as the defending Class 7A State champion Bryant Hornets opened the 2016 outdoor track and field season with only home meet Tuesday.

The Hornets finished second as a team with 73 points. Conway won the 22-team meet with 85 points. Little Rock Parkview was third with 71 points followed by Cabot (65.5) and Lake Hamilton (60).

“I’m really happy with how we competed,” said Hornets coach Steve Oury. “Obviously it’s a new era for our track program. Last year’s seniors led the way to a State championship, but they didn’t do it alone. We have several returning scorers from that team and we have some emerging younger athletes who are progressing nicely. Finishing second in a meet of this size showed that we are ahead of schedule.”

Malik Dockery (Photo courtesy of Julie Shelby)

Malik Dockery (Photo courtesy of Julie Shelby)

Carder won the 3200 in a time of 10:43.01 with Watson close behind at 10:46.42. Beebe’s Gus McCoy was third at 10:47.71 then there was a gap before the rest of the field finished.

Davis was second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:05.06. He was second only to Conway’s Toler Freyaldenhoven at 2:00.76 and just ahead of Hot Springs’ Joe Sartini (2:05.62).

Davis was also second in the long jump, covering 21’3.5”. Parkview’s Kolby McNeal won with a leap of 22’8”.

In the triple jump, Davis was third at 43’6.5”. Parkview’s Amari James (44’9.5) and McNeal (44’9”) finished 1-2.

“Devon Davis had a great meet, setting big personal records in both the long jump and triple jump, then running a very smart 800-meter to place second,” Oury said. “John Carder and Cole Watson both did very good jobs in the 3200, placing first and second.”

The Hornets earned third-place finishes in two other events. In the 1600, Charlie Terry turned in a 4:45.28. In the 4×400 to close out the meet, the quartet of Landon Abernathy, Matthew Bagby, Pierce Finney and Diante Woodson took third in 3:33.56.

Abernathy also scored in both hurdles races. He was fifth in the 110 in 15.99 and eighth in the 300 with a time of 43.19.

Bagby, Finney, Andre White and Woodson teamed up for a fourth-place finish in the 4×100 relay, clocking in at 44.00. Finney added a sixth in the 400 with a time of 51.97.

Pierce Finney (Photo courtesy of Julie Shelby)

Pierce Finney (Photo courtesy of Julie Shelby)

In the 4×800 relay, Joey Colvert, Travis Cummings, Justice Pryor and Eric Stewart picked up sixth-place points with an 8:57.79.

Dany Murillo, Kobi Riffe and Madre Dixon each scored for the Hornets in the throwing events. Murillo was seventh in the discus with a throw of 123’0” while Riffe’s throw of 120’10” took eighth. Dixon’s shot put of 43’9” was good for eighth.

“We had several personal records set among our sprinters, which is encouraging,” Oury related. “Overall, a very solid first meet of the season. We will have our work cut out to close the gap on Conway, but I think the boys are looking forward to the challenge.”

The Hornets are set to compete next on Tuesday, March 29, at the Panther Relays in Cabot.

Regarding the success of the huge home meet, he added, “The track coaching staff greatly appreciates all of the volunteers and coaches from other sports who make our track meets happen. We couldn’t do it without them.”

Landon Booth (Photo courtesy of Julie Shelby)

Landon Booth (Photo courtesy of Julie Shelby)

Bryant's Mondale Messer (left) battles Bauxite's Tyler Wilson during Tuesday's meet. (Photo courtesy of Julie Shelby)

Bryant’s Mondale Messer (left) battles Bauxite’s Tyler Wilson during Tuesday’s meet. (Photo courtesy of Julie Shelby)

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