March 29 in Bryant athletic history: 2004

Bryant girls pace the field 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, will continue posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).

Teammates Kelsey Mitchell and Brooke Higgs dueled for individual high-point performance leading the Bryant Lady Hornets to a dominant performance that earned top team honors at the annual Hornet Relays at Bryant Stadium Monday, March 29.

Mitchell took high point honors with 35.5 points and the Lady Hornets amassed 163.5 points, well ahead of second-place Russellville (106) and third-place Conway (105.5) in the nine-team event.

“I’m excited about that,” stated Lady Hornets head coach Danny Westbrook, “especially being one week after spring break, too. We’re still trying to get spring break out of us, so that’s exciting. Our kids competed hard. We’ll see how it goes from here.

“Russellville, I don’t think, was full strength today,” he noted. “They’ve got one really good girl that’s down with some injuries right now. But we’re going to their meet Friday, so it should be interesting up there. I’m sure some of those teams from the (AAAAA) West will be coming down, Fayetteville and Rogers and some of those teams. It should be interesting.”

School records were broken in two events including Mitchell’s second-place sprint through the 100 meter hurdles. She ran a 15.36 but was edged out by Russellville’s Whitney Anderson at 15.31.

“That hurdle time, even though Kelsey got second, that’s probably going to be the two top times in the state, her and the girl that beat her,” Westbrook asserted.

In addition, Jessica Norris topped the school mark in the triple jump, covering 32 feet, 7 inches. 

“We went 1-2-3 in the triple jump and normally that’s not going to happen,” Westbrook noted. “And we had several other personal bests.”

Mitchell was second (31-4.5) and Whitney Wingard was third (30-4) in the triple jump. That was just one of seven events Bryant performers won.

Higgs scored a rare triple win, pacing the field in her specialty, the 800 meters but also winning the 400 (1:00.68) and 3200 meter runs. Teammate Mary Edwards won the 1600 in 5:42.37.

Edwards also contributed a leg to the winning 3200 meter relay team, joining Sam Montgomery, Kim Bergen and Nicole Snider.

Mitchell added to her point total with a first-place finish in the long jump, leaping 17-3, then joining Higgs, Amber Bengston and Edwards in the 1600 meter relay that finished third in 4:27.93.

The Lady Hornets’ team of Reagan James, Brittain Owens, Michelle Ford and Wingard was sixth in the 400 meter relay (57.49).

Bengtson contributed a fifth place finish in the 100 hurdles (17.53). In the 300 meter hurdles, Mitchell was fifth (52.12), Bengtson sixth (53.06) and Owens seventh (54.66).

Mitchell added a fifth-place finish in the 200 (28.15). In the 800, Higgs was followed by Edwards (2:28.81) and Montgomery (2:31.84) in second and third, respectively. In the 1600, Jessica Sowell joined Edwards in scoring for Bryant, finishing fourth in 5:59.22. And, behind Higgs in the 3200, Nicole Sample (sixth in 13:12.59) and Finley (seventh in 13:18.65) added points.

In the field events, Bengtson added a fourth (16-1) and Wingard a sixth (15-8) behind Mitchell in the long jump. In the high jump, Liz Griffis cleared five feet to finish third with Bengtson garnering sixth at the same high and Tonya Fowler seventh (4-10). Rachel Burnette cleared 7-6 in the pole vault to take fourth.

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