Photos courtesy of Cynthia Austin
CABOT — The Bryant Hornets rode individual champion John Carder to a second-place team finish at the 7A-Central Conference Cross Country Championships on Monday at Rolling Hills Country Club in Cabot.
Carder pulled away late from runner-up Eli Johnson of Little Rock Catholic to win the 5k race in a time of 16:23.
Catholic High won the meet with a total of 28 points, with Bryant (49), and Cabot (54) rounding out the top three teams.
Joining Carder on the All-Conference team are Chris Barrientos, who placed fourth in a time of 16:52. The rest of the Hornets’ top seven were Enrique Ramos (12th in 17:39), Kaine Villareal-Hurst (14th in 17:47), Eathan Devine (22nd in 18:15), Decatur Austin (37th in 18:53), and Edgar Tejada (39th in 18:57).
“I’m very proud of these young men,” stated Bryant coach Steve Oury. “We were picked third coming into the meet and we had several guys who either ran personal records or came very close on what was a pretty tough day to run.
“I can’t say enough about John Carder,” he added. “He’s the first individual conference cross country champion we’ve had since Ethan Blakley in 2006. He ran a very smart race and kept his cool. He really exerted his strength in the last quarter mile.
“Chris Barrientos bounced back from a rough meet at Lake Hamilton and ran a great race,” the coach noted. “Kaine Villareal-Hurst ran a seven-second personal record as he and Enrique Ramos passed several runners in the last mile.”
The Hornets qualify to compete in the Class 7A State meet which will be held Nov. 12, at Hot Springs.
“Congrats to Catholic High on a great meet,” Oury said. “They have a very good team. Our focus now will turn to preparing for State.