Hornets second only to dominant Rockets at Bryant Invitational

Photos by Kevin Nagle

The Bryant Hornets earned their second runner-up finish of the season Thursday afternoon in[more] Bishop Park at the annual Bryant Hornet Invitational cross country meet. The Hornets placed all five of their scoring runners in the top 25 to compile a total of 91 points.

Little Rock Catholic won the meet in dominating fashion, placing all five scoring runners in the top seven to score a total of 22 points. Noah Finley of Catholic captured the individual crown for the third year in a row.

De Queen placed third with a total of 98 points, followed by Russellville (102). Cabot (139 points) rounded out the top five teams. A total of 15 teams and 205 runners completed the 2.82 mile race.

Leading the way for the Hornets was sophomore Connor Wilson, who placed 12th in a time of 15:18, followed closely by junior Tyler Purtle (13th in 15:21). Freshman Charlie Terry (17th in 15:36), sophomore Nicholas Schmidt (24th in 15:48), junior Clifton Hampton (25th in 15:50), sophomore Mark Winn (43rd in 16:35), and sophomore Jim Dellorto (44th in 16:37), completed the top seven for the Hornets.

"First of all, congrats to Little Rock Catholic,” said Hornets coach Steve Oury. “They have a veteran, talented team and they have a legitimate shot to challenge Bentonville for the state title this year.

“Given the quality and size of this field, I am very pleased with a runner-up finish, especially considering how young our team is,” he added. “It was great to get Connor Wilson back in the lineup. He and Tyler Purtle did a great job leading the way for us. Charlie Terry ran a super race in his first high school competition after being moved up from the junior high team.

“Nick Schmidt and Clifton Hampton were the key,” the coach noted. “We only had a 32-second gap from our first to fifth runner, and Nick and Clifton really pulled each other through the course to help make sure we would get second."

The Hornets will be in action again on Sept. 22, in the Bryant Magic Mile Festival at Hornet Stadium.

"Putting on a meet like this takes a lot of work and is no small undertaking,” Oury said of Bryant’s lone home meet of the season. “We couldn't do it without the help of so many volunteers. They are what make this program special. Lots of parents gave up time to help us set up the course, run the concession stand, design the meet t-shirt, etc. Our entire coaching staff is truly grateful for all the hard work they put in."

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