RUSSELLVILLE — The Bryant Hornets saw several of their top runners make big improvements over their[more] season-opening performance over two weeks ago to take a sixth place finish at the Russellville Cyclone Invitational Saturday. The Hornets scored 215 points to finish behind Little Rock Catholic (71), Cabot (76), Russellville (78), Little Rock Christian (98), and Heber Springs (115). Twenty-two teams and 251 individuals completed the 5-kilometer race.
Tyler Purtle was the first Hornet finisher, placing 29th in a personal record time of 17:47. Clifton Hampton (39th in 18:10), Alex Hunt (49th in 18:25), Peter Alverio (60th in 18:46), Nick Ballew (62nd in 18:47), Damian Kropp (93rd in 19:36), and Spencer Adami (104th in 19:50) rounded out the Hornets' top seven. Hampton, Hunt, Ballew, and Adami all ran personal record times.
"We had a very solid meet,” said Hornets coach Steve Oury. “I had several goals for this meet, and we met them. I told the guys we needed to cut the time gap not only from our first to fifth runner, but from our first to second runner, and we did. We had a gap of exactly one minute from our first to fifth runner, which was a huge improvement.
“I also wanted to get our pack under the 19-minute barrier, and we did that as well,” Oury added. “We are a very young team, so it was great to see that kind of progress made from the first meet to the second."
The Bryant cross country teams will be back in action next Saturday at the Lake Hamilton Invitational at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs.