Bryant girls win Indoor Classic
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FAYETTEVILLE — Behind strong performances by senior Kelsey Mitchell, freshman Christen Kirchner, and the Lady Hornet distance squad, the Bryant Lady Hornets track team edged out a narrow, come-from-behind victory at the Arkansas Track Coaches Association Indoor Classic Saturday. In a field of 34 teams, the Lady Hornets scored 57 points to win the title by only two points over runner-up Fort Smith Northside. Russellville was a close third with 54 points. Ten points was all that separated the top five teams.
“This was a huge victory for our track program today, especially when you consider the size of the field and that all the big track schools were here,” stated Lady Hornets head coach Dan Westbrook. “At this meet, you compete against all the best competition in Arkansas because they do not separate the score by classification.”
Mitchell was Bryant’s leading scorer with 21 points. She cruised to an easy win in the 55 meter hurdles with a time of 8.71 and then jumped a personal best 33’7″ in the triple jump to take third. She also added a fourth place leap of 15’6″ in the long jump.
Kirchner provided nine big points for Bryant as she set two school records. She vaulted 10 feet in the pole vault to finish fifth while tying the Lady Hornet school record. She also established a new school indoor shot record by throwing 33’6″ to take fourth place.
Bryant athletes finished second in three events: Allison Lowery, clearing five feet in the high jump; Mary Edwards, turning in a 2:27.2 in the 800 meter run; and the team of Samantha Montgomery, Edwards, Sara Coker and Melanie Bergen in the 1600 relay, clocking in at 4:23.3.
In addition, the 3200 meter relay team of Jessica Sowell, Kim Bergen, Lennon Bates and Montgomery finished third with a time of 11:19.7.
The Lady Hornets will travel back to Fayetteville on Saturday, Feb. 25, for the Indoor State Championship and will attempt to win their third state title in the last five years.
“I don’t really know how much you can project the win today toward the state meet, because this meet involved all classifications together,” Westbrook commented. “I do know that we have a great group of competitive athletes and a great coaching staff. If we can stay healthy and work hard the next three weeks we will have as good a chance as anyone to win the state championship.”