Photos courtesy of Jamie Hester
CONWAY — The Bryant Lady Hornets scored in 11 events, highlighted by a first-place performance in the 100 yard backstroke by junior Lindsey Butler in a massive 20-team meet at Hendrix College on Saturday.
Bryant finished a close fourth with 228 points. Bentonville won the team title with 338 points, just edging Conway (336). Fayetteville (239) nipped Bryant (228) with Springdale fifth (165).
The meet, the first Conway Invitational, also included 7A teams from Little Rock Central, Rogers Heritage, Springdale Har-Ber, North Little Rock, and Rogers. It included over 400 swimmers.
Conway High School hosted the meet after new coaches at Hendrix decided to discontinue to 56-year-old Hendrix Invitational, according to Bryant coach Angel Dale.
Butler turned in a 1:01.30 to win the 100 back. She was second in the 50 free with a time of 25.94. Hope Ernhart of Bentonville eked out the win in 25.26.
The Lady Hornets earned third-place points in two relays. In the 200 medley, Butler, Libby Thompson, Katie Higgs and Ploy Freebairn combined on a 2:02.88. In the 200 free, Higgs, Kalee Jackson, Freebairn and Butler turned in a 1:50.32.
Freebairn and Thompson each came through with individual fourth-place finishes. Freebairn’s came in the 500 free, which she finished in 5:55.81 with teammate Rachel Vos seventh in 6:04.89. Thompson’s fourth came in the 100 breast stroke. She clocked in at 1:20.32 with Jacey Bittle adding 11th-place points in 1:22.62.
Higgs was fifth in the 100 butterfly, turning in a 1:09.61. She was also ninth in the 200 IM in 2:32.81.
Three Lady Hornets scored in the 200 free led by Freebairn who was eighth in 2:12.52. Vos was 10th in 2:16.33 and Jackson 14th in 2:18.18.
Individually, Jackson finished ninth in the 100 free (1:03.01) and contributed a leg to the sixth-place performance of the 400 free-style relay. She, Bittle, Vos and Reagan Smith combined on a 4:23.51.
Bryant is set to host a final regular-season home meet on Tuesday, Jan. 28. After a meet at UALR on Saturday, Feb. 1, the Lady Hornets will host the South District meet on Feb. 14.