Bryant’s Tolbert leaps into Meet of Champs

CONWAY — Tanner Tolbert scored 19 of Bryant's 22 points to lead the Hornets to an eighth-place finish at the Class 7A State Track and Field Championships Saturday at Conway High School.

Tolbert earned a state championship in the long jump with a dramatic last attempt of 21' 11.75", which narrowly edged Fort Smith Soutside's Neal Braddy by one-fourth of an inch.

Tolbert also improved on his triple jump school record by seven inches to earn a runner-up finish in the triple jump with a leap of 43' 6.75". Both performances earned Tolbert a trip to Wednesday's Meet of Champions at Lake Hamilton High School.

Tolbert finished up his evening with aneighth place finish in the 200 meter dash.[more]

Also scoring for the Hornets were the 1600 meter relay team of Tyler Freshour, Stanley Oxner, Michael Smith, and James Glasper, who placed 7th in 3:33. The 3200 meter relay team of Freshour, Smith, Colton Klaus, and Brandon Mueller placed 8th in a time of 8:44.

"This was a bittersweet meet for us," said Hornets coach Stever Oury. "Tolbert exceeded expectations in the jumping events and earned a state championship, which is great. At the same time, we had a dropped baton in the 400 meter relay, which may have cost us a third or fourth place finish, along with Tolbert not making it out of the prelims in the 100 meter dash, where he could have contended for the title.

"All in all, the guys competed hard and you have to take the bad with the good," he added. "By the time the 200 came around, Tanner was just exhausted, which is what happens when you have prelimsand finals all on the same day. He is one of the best athletes in thestate, and he's only a sophomore."

"I'm elated with Tolbert's performance," added Bryant assistant coach Brad Stroud. "He's a good athlete and a hard worker. He did a great job out there for us in the jumps. He's worked hard on the triple jump in practice and it paid off with a school record and a second place finish. The long jump was just Tanner stepping up and getting it done when he had to. "

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