CONWAY — The team of Erik Gonzalez, Drew Upton, Jessie Kinder and Michael Higgs turned in a 9:05.62 clocking to pace the field in the 4×800-meter relay on Thursday at the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference championship meet.
That performance highlighted the Bryant Hornets freshman team’s effort at the meet as they earned a third-place finish in the team standings with 88 points.
Lake Hamilton won the team title with 123 points. Russellville was second with 102. North Little Rock finished fourth with 71.
As usual, Bryant entered only freshmen in the competition while the other eight schools deployed seventh and eighth grade athletes along with their freshmen. As it turned out, in every event, a seventh and/or eighth grader scored points.
I would like to commend this group on their character and work ethic,” said Hornets coach John Orr. “They challenged each other every week for positions in events. That constant competition made us better in every aspect.
I predict a bright future for these track athletes as they continue to work through their high school years,” he added. “There is a lot of talent in this group.
I want to thank the high school track coaches, Steve Oury and Brad
Stroud for the time and effort they put in working with the runners and jumpers this year,” the coach concluded. “We scored a lot of points and they were instrumental in the success that we had.”
The Hornets’ effort was also highlighted by the 4×100 relay team’s second-place finish, in nearly a dead tie with Conway Blue. Diante Woodson, J.C. Stickels, Makenzie Martindale and Isaiah Ash combined on a 46.17, just 0.01 behind Conway Blue.
Woodson also scored in four individual events, Ash two, Neal Brenton two and Kobi Riffe two.
Bryant had three entrants in the long jump score points led by Dalton Long who was third at 18’7”. Woodson was fifth at 18’5” and Reggie Clemons eighth at 17’7.75”. In the high jump, Tristan Calhoun was third, clearing 5’6” with Woodson sixth at 5’4”. In addition, Woodson picked up sixth-place points in the triple jump, covering 38’4”.
Ash was fourth in the 100 and 200. He ran a 12.05 in the 100 with Stickels eighth in 12.17. Ash ran a 24.21 in the 200 with Woodson sixth in 24.47.
Brenton was fourth in the 110 hurdles, turning in a 17.75. He was fifth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 46.72. Brandon Murray was seventh in 47.64.
Riffe was fifth in the discus with a fling of 137’3”. His shot put throw of 44’3” was good for fifth with teammate Nathan Thompson garnering eighth with a toss of 42’2.75”.
The Hornets’ quartet of Higgs, Kane Villareal-Hurst, David Ocampo and Antonio Fuller clocked in at 3:55.68 to place fifth in the 4×400. Individually, Higgs was sixth in the 800 with a time of 2:17.18 and Fuller was seventh in the 400 in 57.20.
Gonzalez joined Colby Harvey in scoring performances in the 1600. Harvey was sixth in 5:10.42 with Gonzalez eighth in 5:11.87.