Despite missing pieces, Bryant boys finish third at league meet

CABOT — Dany Murillo, Pierce Finney and the quartet of Matthew Bagby, Malik Dockery, Finney and Diante Woodson captured 7A-East/Central Conference championships in their respective events for the Bryant Hornets on Thursday.

In addition, Bryant garnered 15 qualifiers for the Class 7A State meet along with three relay teams as they accumulated 119 points to finish third. Cabot won the team title with 175 points. Conway was second with 161. North Little Rock took fourth with 64 points followed by Van Buren (58), Little Rock Central (34), Little Rock Catholic (23) and West Memphis (23).

The State meet will be held in Conway on Thursday, May 5.

“We knew coming into this meet that we probably didn’t have the numbers to compete with Cabot and Conway for the title,” said Hornets coach Steve Oury. “We were missing Devon Davis, who had a family emergency, and was projected to score over 20 points. Also, we were without the services of senior distance runner Charlie Terry because of injury. We were projected to score around 120 points with those two, and we ended up scoring 119 without them, which means we had some guys really step up.

“As a coach I can’t ask for any more from my team than to perform at our highest level when it means the most,” he emphasized. “We will work to carry this momentum in to next week’s state meet.

“Coach Brad Stroud has done a great job with our jumpers as usual, and I know Coach John Orr was happy for Dany Murillo for winning the discus,” Oury added. “Also, Keith Dale has done a great job with our hurdlers and vaulters.”

Murillo’s winning throw in the discus went 142’8”. Austin Morris of Conway was second at 141’7” and Bryant’s Madre Dixon finished eighth with a fling of 122’4”.

Murillo was also second in the shot with a toss of 45’4.25”, finishing only behind Conway’s Zack Mills (47’00.5”). Dixon took third with a heave of 45’2”.

Finney earned his league title in the 200-meter dash. His 22.60 beat out Britton Alley of Cabot (22.74).

Bryant 4×400 relay team won in a time of 3:24.22, narrowly breaking the tape ahead of Cabot (3:24.65).

Bagby finished second in the individual 400 with a time of 50.70, just off the pace of Catholic’s Kieran Taylor at 50.01. Finney was third in 50.77 and Dockery took eighth at 52.01.

Bagby, Finney, Andre White and Woodson combined on a 44.20 to finish third in the 4×100.

In the hurdles, Landon Abernathy ran a 40.48 in the 300, which was second only to Cabot’s Mark Odom (40.15). Raney Singleton added to Bryant’s point total with an eighth-place run at 42.63.

Abernathy was fourth in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.35.

The Hornets piled up points in the distance events. In the 3200, Chris Barrientos was third (10:09.06), John Carder fourth (10:14.39) and Cole Watson fifth (10:24.10). In the 1600, Carder finished fourth (4:39.28) and Christian McIntosh sixth (4:40.22).

In the 4×800 relay, Joey Colvert, Justice Pryor, Enrique Ramos and Eric Stewart teamed up on an 8:52.36 clocking to take fourth.

In the field events, Finney picked up fifth in the triple jump at 41’11.5” with Randy Thomas adding a sixth-place finish in the long jump at 20’1.75”. Brandon Murray was seventh in the high jump, clearing 5’10”. In the pole vault, Sam Perryman earned seventh-place points by getting over 9’6” with Kaine Villareal-Hurst taking eighth at 9’6”.

“I am thrilled with how well we competed,” stated Oury. “We were setting personal records all over the place. Pierce Finney had the meet of his life and Dany Murillo took care of business in the shot and discus. The 4 x 400 meter relay team finished off the evening with a great win.

“We also had some stellar performances from Landon Abernathy, John Carder, Christian McIntosh, Chris Barrientos, Cole Watson, Matthew Bagby,” he added. “All those guys set massive personal records as they qualified for State in their events.”

The Hornets who finished in the top three in any event earned all-conference honors.

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