Bryant clinches boys title at Hornet Relays in scintillating finish
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, BryantDaily.com will continue posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
The team championship of the annual Hornet Relays at Bryant Stadium Thursday night came down to the final event, the 4×400 relay. The Conway Wampus Cats led by 4.5 points so the Bryant Hornets needed to pick up that many points or more in the relay to win the meet.
Bryant’s quartet of Dylan Blasi, Tyler Freshour, James Glasper and Stanley Oxner did their point, holding off a valiant effort by the Catholic Rockets to win the race in a time of 3:29.78. They then needed the Wampus Cats’ foursome to finish no better than fourth. So when they crossed the line in eighth place, the Hornets celebrated their meet championship, completing a Bryant sweep of the team titles.
Bryant scored 114 points to earn the championship, with Conway (109.5), Cabot (55), North Little Rock (50), and Russellville (43) rounding out the top five. The Bryant “B” team placed 11th with a total of 27 pts. Twenty teams competed with 17 teams scoring.[more]
“Wow! What a meet!” Hornets head coach Steve Oury enthused. “There were so many guys who competed their hearts out, it’s hard to single any one person or event out as being any more important than any other. When a meet is that close, every point is precious.”This victory was a true team effort, and every guy on that team earned it,” he added. “I think this will help keep them motivated for the rest of the season, but we have to understand that to win at the conference meet and compete well at State we have to keep working hard to improve.
“It was especially fun to win after Coach (Danny) Westbrook’s girls won in dramatic fashion,” Oury mentioned.
One of the highlights of the meet for the Hornets came in the 4×100 meter relay when the team of Dillion Winfrey, Tanner Tolbert, Kendrick Farr, and Stanley Oxner set a new school record in a winning time of 42.84, crushing the old school record by a full second.
Oxner also won the 400 meter dash in a personal record time of 51.03, with Glasper placing fifth in 52.81, and Freshour placing eighth for the Bryant “B” team in a time of 53.87. Oxner added a fifth place finish in the 110 meter hurdles in a time of 16.17.
Tolbert added a victory in the triple jump (42′ 11.5″), a third place finish in the 100 meter dash (11.25), and a fourth place finish in the long jump (20′ 8″). Also in the long jump, Blasi placed second for the Bryant “B” team with a huge personal record of 21′ 2.5″. Caleb Thomas placed seventh with a distance of 19′ 8.25″. In the triple jump, Blasi added a fourth place finish with a leap of 40′ 1″.
Other Hornet scorers in the sprint races included Winfrey in the 100 meter dash (fifth in 11.42), Sammill Watson competing for the Bryant “B” team placed sixth in the 100 (11.42), while Farr placed 7th in the 100 in 11.56 competing for the Bryant “C” team. In the 200 meter dash, Winfrey placed third for the Bryant “B” team in a time of 23.24, while Watson (fourth in 23.35) and Farr (sixth in 23.56) scored for the “A” team.
“It was fun to watch the 4×100 relay team destroy the old school record, but at the same time it was tough to see Kendrick Farr, who is on that relay team, go down with a hamstring injury after the 200,” Oury commented. “We’re going to hope and pray that he has a speedy recovery. Dylan Blasi stepped up in the 4×400 in Farr’s absence and did a great job leading off for the team.”
In the distance races, Luke Lindsley led the way with a fine personal record performance in the 1600 meter run (fifth place in 4:36.87) and a sixth place finish in the 3200 meter run (10:09.07). The 4×800 meter relay team of Keith McDonald, Jacob Clark, Logan Howard, and Colton Klaus placed fourth in a time of 8:47.25. Michael Smith placed fifth in the 200 in a time of 2:07.8.
Troy Smith picked up a third place finish in the high jump (6′ 0″) and also placed eighth in the 300 meter hurdles (44.41). In the shot put, Josh Hampton placed second with a throw of 46′ 4″ while Austin Johnson placed sixth for the Bryant “B” team with a throw of 42′ 2″. O’Dell Lee placed fourth in the discus with a throw of 121′ 8.5″.
“Coach Brad Stroud has done a great job with our jumpers and Coach Keith Dale is really helping our hurdlers and vaulters,” Oury noted.
The Hornets will return to competition on Tuesday, March 30, at the Panther Relays in Cabot.