Photos courtesy of Cynthia Austin
The Bryant Hornets hosted the annual Bryant Hornet Invitational on Saturday at Bishop Park, welcoming athletes from over 30 different schools. The Hornets earned a second-place finish, scoring 68 points to finish behind team champion Maumelle (58 points). A total of 29 schools were represented in the race with 16 complete teams.
The race of the meet took place at the front of the pack, with Bryant senior John Carder dueling with Dylan Douglas of Maumelle. Douglas is the defending Meet of Champions winner in the 3200-meter run this past track season. As both runners approached the line together, Carder surged and seemed to get the victory, but the chip timing system indicated otherwise. Douglas’ winning time of 15:59.40 was only .07 ahead of Carder.
The rest of the Hornet top seven were Chris Barrientos (7th in 16:45), Enrique Ramos (17th in 17:18), Eathan Devine (27th in 17:53), Kaine Villareal-Hurst (28th in 17:54), Decatur Austin (38th in 18:18), and Chris Morgan (42nd in 18:24).
“John Carder and Dylan Douglas of Maumelle both ran such a great race and I have no doubt that if it had been a track meet with fully automated timing that John would have come out on top,” he added. “The chip timing system is great for handling large numbers in an efficient manner but with the chips attached to the shoes, sometimes you see this happen. While John had his chest ahead, Dylan had his foot with the chip on it ahead, while John’s non-chip foot was reaching ahead. Just a fluke thing. Both guys ran so well. It was really fun to watch.”
The coach added, “I was also very pleased to see the gap from John back to our fifth runner, Kaine Villareal-Hurst, go under two minutes for the first time this season. Kaine and Eathan Devine both dipped under 18 minutes for the first time, which was really nice to see. Devine had been battling an illness for a lot of the week so we weren’t even sure if he would compete.
Bryant competes at the Conway Invitational at Lake Beaverfork next Saturday, Oct. 15.
The Bryant Junior Hornets rode the perfect weather at Bishop Park Saturday morning to a second-place finish behind team champion Conway (20 points). The Junior Hornets scored a total of 60 points.
A total of 14 complete teams competed in the two-mile race.
Bresner Austin led the way for Bryant with a sixth-place finish in a time of 10:59. The rest of the Junior Hornet top 7 were Dylan White (11th in 11:14), Chris Herrera (12th in 11:16), Luis Martinez (18th in 11:40), Christian Brack (21st in 11:43), Brandon Mann (24th in 11:48), and Jackson Meshell (25th in 11:49).
“We ran a very good race,” Oury said. “Any time you put your top 7 in the top 25 then you’ve had a good race. Conway just has a special group this year. They won the junior boys division at Chile Pepper last week and have been dominant all season. We just need to keep trying to close that gap.”
Oury added, “I would like to thank everyone who helps to make this meet possible. It’s a huge undertaking and we couldn’t do it without the many parent volunteers who eagerly sign up to help. Also, it was great having former girls coach Danny Westbrook on hand as the honorary starter. He was a great help to Coach (Keith) Dale and I in setting up the course and we really leaned on his wisdom in running off this meet.”