Lady Hornets close 3rd at State Indoor
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At the AAAAA State Indoor Track Championship held Friday at the University of Arkansas Tyson Track Center, the defending champion Bryant Lady Hornets finished third overall in the closest team competition in the history of the meet. The top five teams were separated by a mere 13 points with Fayetteville taking the title scoring 68.25 points. Fort Smith Northside edged ahead of the Lady Hornets in the last event to take the runner-up trophy, scoring 63 points. Bryant finished with 60.25 points, Russellville took fourth with 60 points, and Camden Fairview was fifth with 55.25 points.
Throughout the entire meet Bryant and Fayetteville traded out holding the lead in the team scoring, but in the end the Lady Hornets could not overcome the sensational performance of Fayetteville senior Sidney Scarbrough, who scored 38 points by herself. Fort Smith Northside took second from the Lady Hornets by virtue of winning the 1600-meter relay, the final event. Northside won the relay running out of the second heat, while Bryant took third in the fast heat.
Although it was not the final result that Coach Danny Westbrook was hoping for, he was very proud of his team’s performance.
“This was just a great track meet with the best of Arkansas track and field going head-to-head,” Westbrook said. “Our girls were right in the thick of it till the very end. Last year we won the title with 55 points and this year we scored 60.25 and finished third. We simply got beat in a close finish by two really good track teams.”
Bryant’s only event victory came in the 3200-meter relay. Samantha Montgomery, Mary Edwards, Kim Bergen, and Brooke Higgs ran 9:59.3 to secure a streak of five straight years finishing first in the event. Bryant currently holds the state record in the event, which they set last year.
Members of the Lady Hornets that garnered top eight places included Higgs who ran a season best 2:22.6 to get second in the 800-meter run. Kelsey Mitchell picked up third place finishes in the 55 meter hurdles (8.76) and the long jump with a personal best of 16’6″. The 1600-meter relay team of Amber Bengtson, Edwards, Mitchell, and Higgs also placed third with a time of 4:16.2. Bengtson cleared 4’10″ to earn fourth place in the high jump and she finished fifth in the 55 meter hurdles with a time of 9.29. Edwards picked up another fifth place for Bryant in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:45.03 and she also took seventh in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:34.3. Other seventh place finishes came from Jessica Sowell in the 1600-meter run (5:52.9) and Jessica Norris in the triple jump, where she reset her school record mark to 32’4″. Eighth place finishers for the Lady Hornets were Chelsea Mansfield in the 1600-meter run in 5:53.4, Tonya Fowler with a jump of 4’8″ in the high jump, and Mitchell in the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.7.
“I am extremely proud of these ladies,” commented Westbrook. “They have worked hard and they gave a valiant effort till the very end. Now we’ll set our sights on the outdoor season and maybe vie for the outdoor state title in May.”
The outdoor track season will begin at Bryant on March 29 with the Bryant Invitational.