Freshman leads as Hornets exceed expectations at State meet

HARRISON — On a challenging course none of them had run before, the Bryant Hornets cross country team[more] fought their way to an eighth-place finish at the Class 7A State cross country championships on Saturday.

Bentonville won the title, edging Catholic and Fayetteville. Cabot, Springdale Har-Ber and Rogers Heritage followed. Bryant was followed by Springdale and North Little Rock.

Connor Wilson, a freshman, led the Hornets with a time of 19:14, placing 48th overall. Tyler Purtle was 53rd in 19:24 followed by Clifton Hampton(55th in 19:28), Peter Alverio (65th in 19:49), Spencer Adami (80th in 20:22), Nick Ballew (81st in 20:30), Damian Kropp (83rd in 20:43), Alex Hunt (94th in 21:13), and Austin Middleton (101st in 22:34).

"That was literally the hardest cross country course I've ever seen,” stated Bryant head coach Steve Oury. “The hills were long, steep, and plentiful. I'm proud of how we ran. I thought we had a shot at top 9, so we were a little ahead of where I thought we might be.

“We had a freshman and three sophomores in our top five, so we have something to build on,” he noted. “We just have to dedicate ourselves to improving and being ready to step up and run with the top teams next year. We have potential, but that can only take you so far. We have to work hard to reach that potential.”

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