Bryant track teams head to Van Buren for 7A-West Conference meet today

If everyone stays healthy and performs to their usual standards, the Bryant Lady Hornets should[more] have a very good chance at capturing the 7A-West Conference track championship today at Van Buren.

That’s based on the results from a meet in Russellville early in April that was the only time Bryant faced off against a field that included almost all of the Class 7A schools including those from the West. The Lady Hornets edged out Fort Smith Southside for the meet title. In the process, they set three meet records, a school record and qualified for State in eight events.

The Bryant boys also faced off against those West teams but injury and illness hampered their point totals as a team, though they had some top-notch individual performances.

So health will be key for both teams at the league meet.

The Lady Hornets found out the hard way last year how quickly fortunes can change. Alexis Royal, who regularly accumulates a whopping 40 points or more — she had 35 at Russellville — injured a hamstring during last year’s 7A-Central Conference championship meet. She was still able to manage 18 points before having to bow out and the Lady Hornets wound up second with Leah Ward and Melinda Murdock leading the way.

Because of the injury, Royal, now a senior, was robbed of a chance to show her abilities at the State meet and the Meet of Champs as well.

The Hornets, meanwhile, will start with a full contingent as well in hopes of finishing higher in the pack. They were missing sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers at the Russellville meet but senior Spencer Sullivan came through with top-notch performance, though short of his school-record time, in the hurdles.

Last year, Bryant finished seventh in the Central Conference meet. The Hornets appear to have a greater depth of talent this year sparking hope for a higher finish.

Field events are set to begin at 11:30 a.m.

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