February 4 in Bryant athletic history: 2006

McCorkel, Blakley lead Hornets’ effort

EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).

FAYETTEVILLE — The Bryant Hornets claimed two first place finishes along with several other encouraging performances Saturday at the ATCA Indoor Track Classic in Fayetteville.

Spencer McCorkel, who not only leads the nation this season in the pole vault but also has the best vault in the world so far this year for high school aged students, continued his domination in the event by winning with a 17’0″ clearance. He was three and a half feet above the second place height.

McCorkel also competed in the 200 meter dash for the first time, finishing 12th overall with a time of 23.51. Almost 100 athletes competed in the 200.   

The Hornets’ other victory came from Ethan Blakley in the 3200 meter run. Blakley took control of the race early and continued to extend his lead throughout the race. His time of 9:53.91 is the best in the state this season and also marks the first time Blakley has gone under the 10-minute barrier.  

Other Hornets who finished in the top 20 in their events were Zach Barnes in the long jump (14th with a leap of 19′ 4″), Zach Graham in the pole vault

(tied for 20th at a height of 10′ 6″), Ben Griffin in the pole vault (tied for 11th at 11′ 6″), Ben Higgs in the 3200 meter run (12th in 11:01.63), Todd McAdoo in the 800 meter run (18th in 2:13.07), and Zach Orick (tied for 10th in the high jump at 5′ 8″).

“This was a great experience for our track team,” stated Hornets coach Steve Oury. “We had several ninth graders who were competing in their first-ever track meet, and they all responded well.

“Spencer and Ethan were both outstanding as usual,” Oury added. “Spencer is competing in the Simplot Games in Idaho in two weeks, so hopefully he can break the national indoor record of 17′ 6.5″ while he’s there. He had some good attempts at 17′ 7” Saturday, so I think he has a great shot to break the record before the indoor season is over. 

“Ethan is running very well right now and is gaining confidence,” continued the coach. “He will be difficult to beat when the indoor state meet comes around in three weeks.”

In addition, Oury said, “I thought Ben Higgs, Todd McAdoo, and Ben Griffin all had breakthrough

performances. They are all sophomores and have all been working very hard. It’s always exciting to see athletes’ hard work rewarded with new personal records.”

The Hornets will next be in action at the AAAA-AAAAA State Indoor Meet in Fayetteville on Saturday, Feb. 25.

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