Conway depth holds off Lady Hornets again at conference meet

CABOT — Senior Haley Hood captured conference championships in two individual events and contributed to a league-best 4×400-meter relay team with Amanda Burt, Zeia Robinson and Jadyn Lewis as the Bryant Lady Hornets finished second at the 7A-East/Central Conference meet on Thursday.

Hood, a senior, finished with 32.5 points and Lewis, a junior, compiled 27.5 points. Freshmen Deborah Shaw and Zhania Hall pitched in with 11 points each.

The Lady Hornets qualified several athletes for the State meet at Conway on Thursday, May 5, They’ll be represented in 15 of the 17 events. In all, the Lady Hornets had 11 earn all-conference honors by finishing in the top three in either individual or relay events.

In just about every meet this season, Bryant finished second to Conway. This time, the Lady Wampus Cats piled up 210 points. Bryant had 134.5 despite a pair of unfortunate mishaps. West Memphis finished third with 120 points followed by Van Buren (66.5), Cabot (62.5), Little Rock Central (35.5), Mount St. Mary Academy (19) and North Little Rock (12).

“We kept the team score close for while,” noted Lady Hornets coach Danny Westbrook, who will be retiring after 35 years of coaching following this season. “But Conway’s depth just came through at the end. I have to give Conway a lot of credit. They are a very good track team.

“Haley Hood and Jadyn Lewis both had an awesome day and freshmen Deborah Shaw and Zhania Hall came through with outstanding performances,” he noted. “Taylor McKinney really shined in the throws today.

“My assistant coaches Keith Dale and Beth Solomon have done a magical job of getting the sprinters and jumpers ready to compete this season,” Westbrook noted.

Regarding the rough spots, the coach related, “Just like every meet, we did have our share of heartache. Senior distance ace Hannah Shelby was leading the 3200-meter run after five laps but went down with a leg injury. She did not qualify for the State meet in the event. I hate it for her because she has been such a positive influence and outstanding performer for us.

“Also, Deborah Shaw was leading the 100-meter hurdles and fell coming off the last hurdle,” he added. “Rather than winning the conference title she had to scramble across the line for seventh place.”

Hood wound up winning the 300 hurdles in a time of 44.43. The next closest was 46.77 by Cabot’s Lauren Turner. Kayla Scott finished seventh for Bryant in a time of 49.86.

In the 100 hurdles, Hood won in 15.73, well ahead of Conway’s Aly Brinkley (16.87). Freshman Cassie Ray was fourth in 17.03 with Scott sixth in 17.42 and Shaw, after getting up from her spill, finishing in 17.88.

The winning effort in the 4×400 to close out the meet produced a time of 4:03.29, beating Conway’s second-place 4:10.29.

The Lady Hornets picked up points from three athletes in the long jump. Lewis was second to West Memphis’ Paris Perkins (17’7.75”) with a leap of 17’2” with Hood third at 17’0.5” and Shaw eighth at 16’1.25”.

Lewis was also second in the 400 with a time of 58.35 with Perkins winning in 57.83. Hall finished third in 1:00.14 and Robinson was seventh in 1:02.16.

McKinney earned second-place points in the discus. Her throw was 97’11”. Adara Russell of West Memphis won with a toss of 105’10”. Bryant’s Kaycee White finished seventh at 89’7”. McKinney added a sixth-place finish in the shot with a distance of 30’8.25”.

Bree Hood took second in the pole vault for Bryant, clearing 8’10” with Jadah Meyer of Conway winning at 10’. Kristin Garner cleared 7’ to finish fifth for Bryant while Maggie Laws got over at 6’ to take seventh.

The Lady Hornets 4×800 relay team of Megan Lee, Shelby, Laws and Hall turned in a 10:16.73 to pick up third-place points.

Lewis ran a 26.02 to finish fourth in the 200 and a 12.60 in the 100 to place fifth. Haley Hood and Shaw each cleared 5’ to tie for fifth in the high jump. Hall’s 2:32.24 in the 800 garnered fifth-place points.

In the 4×100 relay, Burt, Daelyn Young, Robinson and Ti Foote took fifth with a time of 51.13.

Shaw’s 33’1.75” in the triple jump was seventh and Foote was eighth at 32’2”. Bailey Brazil ran a 5:34.83 in the 1600 to take seventh and Lauren Hart was eighth in the 3200 with a time of 12:50.39.

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