RUSSELLVILLE — At the Russellville Cyclone Track and Field Invitational Friday night, the Bryant Lady Hornets won their[more] third consecutive team championship. Having previously won at the Bryant Invitational and the Cabot Invitational, the Lady Hornets took the Russellville title scoring 98 points. Fort. Smith Southside finished runner-up with 64 points followed by North Little Rock (58), Russellville (58), and Vilonia (55). There were 17 total teams in the competition.
Once again Bryant was led by junior Alexis Royal, who scored 42 points. Royal continued her streak of three straight female high point awards. Also, so far this season she has finished first at every meet in the four individual events she competes in. At Friday’s meet Royal also set two new Cyclone Relays’ meet records as well as two Bryant school records. She set the records in the triple jump (38’1”) and the 300-meter hurdles (46.2). She also took first place in the long jump (17’4”) and the 100-meter hurdles (15.7). She was also a member of the 4×100-meter relay that finished third.
“Alexis Royal’s performance the past three meets is nothing less than phenomenal,” stated Lady Hornets head coach Danny Westbrook. “She not only has led our team to three straight team titles, but she has also established herself as one of the top athletes in the state in four different events.”
Sophomore Leah Ward added 17 points for Bryant with her second place finish in the long jump (16’6”) and fourth place in the triple jump (34’4”). She was seventh in the 100-meter dash (13.2) and was also a member of both sprint relays.
Sophomore Melinda Murdock scored 12 points with a third place finish in the 300-meter hurdles (48.6) and sixth in the long jump (15’10”). She was also on both sprint relay teams.
Distance runner Hannah Raney added 11 points with a fourth place in the 3200-meter run (12:07) and a fifth place in the 1600-meter run (5:42).
The Lady Hornets’ 4×800-meter relay team took first place with a time of 10:24. That team consisted of Stacy Emmerling, Sam Macchi, Raney, and Anna Smedley.
Other scorers for the Lady Hornets:
High Jump – Lauren Magneson – 3rd – 5’0”
400-meter dash – Randie Owens – 8th – 67.1
4×100-meter relay – Sarah Evans, Ward, Murdock, Royal – 3rd – 50.5
4×400-meter relay – Emmerling, Lauren Stiles, Owens, Murdock – 7th – 4:26.5
“I was very proud of our team effort tonight,” Westbrook said. “We moved some people around to experiment with different event combinations and those ladies responded extremely well. We are beginning to focus on who will compete in what events at the conference meet coming up in two weeks.
“Even though we have won all of the invitational meets so far, it looks like the conference meet will be a dogfight,” he added. “At conference, you can enter four athletes per event, and when you analyze previous results, Cabot and North Little Rock will be extremely strong.”