Hornets open outdoor season with solid performance

BENTON — John Carder won the 3200-meter run and Brandon Murray took top honors in the triple jump to lead the Bryant Hornets track team to 139 points and a third-place finish at the McCauley Relays at Benton High School on Thursday.

Benton won the meet with 155 points with Lake Hamilton second at 146. North Little Rock was fourth with 95 points in the 11-team field.

“I was very pleased with our performance,” said Hornets coach Steve Oury. “Even though we came up short in the team standings, we had several breakthrough performances that bode well for the season ahead. The objective for this meet was to get as many people competing as possible and I greatly appreciate the coaches at Benton allowing us to enter extra athletes. They ran off a quality meet.”

Carder won with a time of 10:00.34. Lake Hamilton’s Omar Ramos was second in 10:12.90 with Kaine Villareal-Hurst taking third in 10:27.97 and Decatur Austin eighth in 10:56.49.

Murray’s winning distance in the triple jump was 41’4.75”, topping the 40’7” turned in by Benton’s Dalton Brown. Malek Holman added fifth-place points for the Hornets at 39’2.5”.

Hornets were second in five other events including a pair of relays. In the 4×400, Andre White, Diante Woodson, Josh Robinson and Randy Thomas took second in 3:35.08, just off the pace of Lake Hamilton’s 3:29.16. In the 4×100, Mackenzie Martindale joined Thomas, White and Woodson on a 43.65, second only to North Little Rock’s 42.88.

In the 4×800, Christian McIntosh, Joshua Nelson, Demondre Johnson and Enrique Ramos turned in an 8:47.17, which was good for third.

Robinson was second in the high jump, clearing 6’. Benton’s Brandon Hunter made it over 6’3”. Murray was third at 5’10”.

Chris Barrientos renewed his rivalry with Lake Hamilton’s Colby Swecker in the 1600. In nearly a dead heat, Swecker won in 4:28.61 to Barrientos’ 4:28.99. Bryant’s Eathan Devine was eighth at 5:00.76.

Raney Singleton earned a second place finish for the Hornets in the 300-meter hurdles. His time of 43.50 was second only to the 43.22 turned in by Benton’s Mark Allison. Neal Brenton was fourth at 45.17 and Jacob Loomis sixth in 45.34 to add to the Bryant point total.

Brenton took third in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 17.28. Loomis was eighth in 17.97.

Woodson added a third in the 400 with a time of 52.80 while Madre Dixon finished third in the discus with a throw of 118’3”.

Dixon was fifth in the shot put with a toss of 41’7.5”. Bryant’s John Burton was seventh at 40’9”.

White and Thomas scored in the 200. White’s 23.39 was good for fourth while Thomas took seventh in 23.53.

Ramos also added fourth-place points with a 2:06.55 in the 800.

Thomas leapt 20’4.25” to take fifth in the long jump. Murray was eighth at 20’0.25”.

Villareal-Hurst contributed a sixth-place finish by clearing 10’6” in the pole vault while Martindale added a seventh in the 100-meter dash, clocking in at 11.74.

“I thought we had some strong performances in all phases of the meet,” Oury said. “John Carder and Chris Barrientos both ran great races in the distance events. Our 4×100 relay ran a very good time. Our jumpers showed a lot of promise and I look for them to just keep getting better. Brandon Murray really stepped up in the triple jump, as did Josh Robinson in the high jump.

“We will look to keep improving at the Hornet Relays on Tuesday,” he added.

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