Photos courtesy of Cynthia Austin
RUSSELLVILLE — Though the Bryant Hornets finished seventh in the field of 19 at the Cyclone Invitational cross country meet hosted by Russellville High School on Saturday, head coach Steve Oury said, “We actually ran pretty solid. The third through seventh place teams were tightly bunched together, and we were right there in them mix.”
Fayetteville took top team honors in the Class 5A-6A division of the race. Lake Hamilton was second at 117 followed by Springdale Har-Ber (120), Rogers Heritage (129), Cabot (142), Conway (152) and Bryant (156).
The Hornets were paced by the trio of Bresner Austin, Chris Herrera and Brady Bingaman. Austin was 14th overall in a time of 17:06.5. Herrera was 21st in 17:33.1, and Bingaman was 29th in a time of 17:45.
It was the second week in a row that they led the way for the Hornets.
“I think we will see some other athletes working up closer to them in the weeks to come,” said Oury.
Jaxon Holt was Bryant’s fourth runner. He was 49th in 18:10.8. Drew MacIntire completed the scoring five, finishing 56th in 18:18.3.
Ammon Henderson (61st, 18:23.1) and Mason Lewis (72nd, 18:36.9) completed Bryant’s top seven.
“It was definitely a step up in competition over last week,” Oury noted. “It was great to get back out to the course at the river after several years running on the Arkansas Tech campus. Lots of hills and ditches to deal with, which makes it a great challenge.”
Meanwhile, the Bryant Junior High boys finished second to Fayetteville in their division, which included 16 teams including the Bryant White eighth graders and the Bryant Blue eighth graders.
The freshman Hornets finished with 66 points to Fayetteville’s 57. Fayetteville Ramay Junior High and the Cabot South tied for third with 118 points apiece.
Bryant’s Payton Brack and Brandon Avila finished second and third overall behind only Conway’s Max Henry, who finished in 10:51.4. Brack was right with him at the finish, clocking in at 10:52. Avila’s third-place time was 11:16.6.
Angel Vargas was 19th in 12:14.7 with Jack Landrum 23rd in 12:19.2 and Dylan Middleton 25th in 12:20.7 to complete the Hornets’ top five.
Daniel Barrientos (83rd, 13:19.6) and Carter Cobb (109th, 13:39.2) were in the top seven for Bryant.
Bryant White’s top finisher was Grayson King (114th, 13:45.9) and Bryant Blue’s was Spencer Ruff (143rd, 14:16.4).
“Coach Sontreka Johnson and Coach Nicole Bradbury are doing a great job with the junior high boys,” said Oury. “Payton Brack and Brandon Avila are running very well and may have a chance to help the senior high team later this season.”
The teams are scheduled to compete at the Wampus Cat Invitational in Conway next Saturday, Oct. 3, then host the annual Danny Westbrook Invitational at Bishop Park on Tuesday, Oct. 13.