Photos courtesy of Julie Shelby
RUSSELLVILLE — Freshman Chris Barrientos started the 2016 track season running for the Bryant Junior Hornets. Little did he know then that he’d be finishing it at the Meet of Champs competing with athletes two or three years older.
And how could he have dreamed that he would actually finish with all-State honors by finishing second among the best 3200-meter runners in the state from every classification.
But that’s what happened. Barrientos ran a 9:52.24 finishing only behind Dylan Douglas of Maumelle, who ran a 9:45.27.
The Hornets’ John Carder was ninth in the event at 10:15.64.
In addition, the Hornets’ 4×400 relay team of Malik Dockery, Diante Woodson, Landon Abernathy and Matthew Bagby scored a fifth-place finish with a time of 3:28.71. Individually, Abernathy was sixth in the 300 hurdles in a time of 40.96.
“I’m very proud of all six boys who competed for us,” said Hornets coach Steve Oury. “It’s always an honor to compete at the Meet of Champs and we never want to take that opportunity for granted.
“Chris Barrientos had the performance of the meet for us,” he acknowledged. “HIs time of 9:52 is one of the best times ever recorded for a freshman in Arkansas. He ran a very smart and gritty race, beating some very good runners in the process. I’m looking forward to seeing him continue to progress over the next few years. Both he and John Carder will be leading the way for us in cross country this fall.”
The Bryant boys track season will conclude this Wednesday and Thursday as Abernathy and Bagby compete in the State Decathlon competition in Cabot.