Freshman Hornets capture team titles at two meets

After a narrowly being denied a team title (and not without controversy) at the Junior Hornet Relays, the Bryant Hornets freshman team has won two team titles in subsequent meets. On March 31, they amassed 178 points including a high-point performance from Diante Woodson, in winning the Junior Rams Relay at Hot Springs Lakeside. On April 7, they piled up 201 points to win the Junior Trojans Relays at Hot Springs.

At Lakeside, Lake Hamilton was second in the seven-team field with 148.5 points. Benton was third with 105.

At Hot Springs, the Junior Wolves were again second, this time with 172.5 points. Lakeside was third with 86 in an eight-team field.

“This group continues to impress us with their work ethic,” stated Bryant coach John Orr. “They come out and compete for spots every workout. There is a strong competitive nature in this group. They are constantly trying to outwork and outscore each other every day to take the spots in the events.”

At Lakeside, the Hornets won four individual events and had second-place finishes in six as well as the 4×800 relay.

Woodson won the 200-meter run with a time of 24.68 and the triple jump covering 37’4”. In addition, he was fifth in the high jump, clearing 5’4” and contributed a leg to third-place effort in the 4×100 relay, joining C.J. Stickels, Isaiah Ash and Brayan Flores on a 50.01 clocking.

“I have to congratulate Diante for earning the High Point award,” Orr said. “He is getting stronger each week. Neal Brenton continues to score a lot of points for us in the hurdles.”

Brenton won the 110 hurdles with a time of 18.64 with Darius Crawford second in 19.15. Clay Campbell was second in the 300 hurdles (48.75) with Brenton third (49.31).

Dalton Long added a first-place finish in the long jump with a leap of 18’6”. Crawford was fifth at 16’8”. Tristan Calhoun was second in the high jump at 5’6”, while Ash finished second (12.16) and Jerran White third (12.26) in the 100-meter dash.

Kobi Riffe garnered second-place points in both the shot and the discus. His put was 42’4.5” with Preston Kyzer third at 40’5”. His throw in the discus covered 118’2” with Nathan Thompson sixth at 109’6”.

The Hornets earned second-place points in the 4×800 relay as well. Colby Harvey, Jesse Kinder, Drew Upton and Uriel Velazquez combined on a 9:24.73 clocking.

J.C. Stickels picked up third-place points in the 200-meter run, with a time of 25.26. Antonio Fuller was third and Kaine Villarreal-Hurst fourth in the 400. Fuller finished in 56.79 with Villarreal-Hurst at 57.60. Michael Higgs was third in the 1600, turning in a 5:15.33. Erik Gonzalez was fifth in 5:19.26.

In addition, Fuller, Higgs, Villarreal-Hurst and Campbell combined on a 3:58.84 in the 4×400 relay, earning third-place points.

Jake Forst was fourth in the triple jump at 36’2”. In the 800, Colby Harvey ran a 2:20.97 to place fifth with teammate Uriel Velazquez right behind him in sixth with a time of 2:21.66. In the pole vault, Hunter Apel cleared 7’7” to take seventh.

“We had a great meet at Lakeside,” Orr said. “I can’t say enough about the way our athletes have worked lately. They have really committed themselves to improving and they won in convincing fashion after a very narrow loss at our last meet. Our jumpers really established themselves and scored a lot of points for us. We continue to improve across the board.”

The Hornets’ success continued at Hot Springs when they turned in first-place performances in eight different events and seconds in six more.

Woodson again scored big with wins in three individual events while adding a leg to a winning effort by the 4×100 relay team. Along with Woodson, Ash, Stickels and Flores turned in a 47.19 clocking.

“Our 4×100 meter relay team was drastically improved,” said Orr. “Handoffs were clean for the first time this year. Stickels, Ash and Fuller are getting faster each week and Diante continues to impress.”

Woodson won the 200 with a time of 24.37 with Stickels on his heels for second in 24.73. In the long jump, Woodson won with a leap of 18’8”. Long, who won the high jump, was second in the long jump at 17’9.5”.

Long’s winning effort in the high jump, cleared 5’6” with Calhoun third at 5’4”.

Woodson also won the triple jump, covering 38’11”. Forst was fourth at 35’4.5”.

Brenton continued to shine in the hurdles. He won the 110 in 18.49 with Crawford third in 19.31. Brenton’s 48.25 was second in the 300 hurdles with Campbell third in 49.06.

Fuller won the 400 in 56.40. Jacob Thomason was fourth with a time of 59.00.

And Riffe was strong once more in the throws. He won the discus at 138’9” and finished second in the shot with a toss of 43’1”. In the discus, Trey Workman was fourth (112’0”). In the shot, Kyzer was fourth (40’0”).

Higgs turned in a second-place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:16.33. Harvey was fourth in 2:25.16. In the 1600, Erik Gonzalez was third in 5:18.11 and Decatur Austin fourth in 5:32.54.

Ash (11.97) was third and Woodson (12.11) fourth in the 100.

The Hornets were second in two relays. In the 4×400, Fuller, Higgs, David Ocampo and Campbell combined on a 3:53.52. In the 4×800, it was Harvey, Kinder, Drew Upton and Velazquez teaming up on a 9:32.00 clocking.

“We had another strong performance at Hot Springs,” Orr said. “We moved some athletes around in the jumping events and they responded with another very strong performance. We are still trying to find the best combination as we get nearer to the conference meet.

“Dalton Long won the high jump in his first time competing in the event this year,” he noted. “Neal Brenton continues to be a force in the 100 meter hurdles and Eric Gonzales turned in a gutsy 800 meter run. He had to hold off a charge from another runner and finished extremely strong.”

The freshman Hornets return to competition on Thursday, April 16, at Conway.


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