Photos courtesy of Julie Shelby
ARKADELPHIA — By a single point, the Bryant Lady Hornets finished second to the rival Mount St. Mary Academy Belles for top team honors at the season-opening Bob Gravett Invitational cross country meet at Ouachita Baptist University on Saturday.
Bryant finished with 67 points to the Belles’ 66. Senior Hannah Shelby paced the Lady Hornets with a second-place finish overall in a time of 22:35.
Lake Hamilton was third with 72 points followed by LR Christian (80), Russellville (172), Vilonia (182), Pulaski Academy (194) and Sheridan (200). There were 11 full teams and 153 total runners in the race.
Senior Reagan Smith finished 14th with a time of 20:14 followed by senior Haley Hood (16th, 22:59), junior Bree Hood (18th, 23:15), and sophomore Lauren Hart (26th, 23:36).
Sophomore Kaylin Watts (41st, 24:58), senior Melissa Barrientos (51st, 25:32), and junior Esmeralda Limon (52nd, 25:35) finished out the top eight for Bryant.
“We lost seven out of our top nine runners from last year’s team so I really didn’t know what to expect this year,” said Bryant coach Danny Westbrook. “I was pleasantly surprised with our effort. Hannah did a great job going to the front and staying there. Reagan ran an outstanding race. The Hood sisters, Haley and Bree, who were running their first real cross country race, did awesome. Lauren Hart had a good performance as well”
The Junior Lady Hornets were just barely second as well. Vilonia scored 48 points to take the team title with Bryant scoring 59 points. Freshman Bailey Brazil turned in a time of 14:14 to take second overall. Seventh-grader Sydney Dettmer also placed in the top 10 for the Lady Hornets, taking seventh in a time of 15:01.
In the team standings, Little Rock Christian took third with 70 points followed by Russellville (98), Lakeside (140), Lake Hamilton (155), Bismarck (166), Magnet Cove (195) and Pulaski Academy (254). There were 196 total runners in the race.
For Bryant, eighth-grader Olivia Orr took 14th with a time of 15:17, followed by seventh-graders Jillian Colclasure (17th, 15:23) and Madison Dettmer (20th, 15:37). Eighth-grader Mika Johnson (25th, 15:55) and freshman Zhania Hall (30th, 16:18) finished out the top seven for Bryant.
“Bailey Brazil turned in an outstanding performance today,” Westbrook said. “I was very proud of our middle school athletes that contributed. A lot of credit goes to our middle school coaches Deanna Porter and Denise Smith for getting their athletes ready to compete.”
Bryant runs next this Saturday in Little Rock as part of the Minuteman Invitational at Western Hills Park.