Lady Hornets finish third at conference meet
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RUSSELLVILLE — After being on the verge of bowing out of the high jump competition early on, Bryant’s Allison Lowery came back to win the event in record fashion at the 7A-Central Conference track championship on Thursday, May 10.
Lowery provided 10 points, Tiffany Ward 15 and Ashley Petz 12 as the Lady Hornets earned a third-place finish in the team competition with 86 points. Pine Bluff won the league title with 149 points. Russellville was second with 147. After Bryant came Little Rock Central (77), Conway (76), Cabot (61), Mount St. Mary’s (30) and North Little Rock (25).
Lowery missed twice on jumps early in the competition but, with a determined effort, came back and eventually cleared 5-2 on her first attempt at that height to set a new conference record and win the event.
“Allison showed a lot of fortitude by coming back and winning after those early misses,” acknowledged Lady Hornets head coach Danny Westbrook.
Ward finished second in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 48.5. She was third in the 100 meter hurdles in 16.3.
Petz finished third in the long jump covering 16-8 and, like Ward and Lowery, earned all-conference honors.
She also finished sixth in the 400 meter run (63.3) and eighth in the triple jump (31-4) while contributing to a pair of relay teams. In the 4×400, she joined Mikayla Speake, Melanie Bergen and Sara Coker for a fifth-place finish in 4:20. In the 4×100, it was Bergen, Ward, Taylor Henley and Petz turning in a 53.4 to finish fifth.
“I was proud of Tiffany Ward in the hurdles,” Westbrook said. “She ran well even though she had problems adjusting to the starter’s commands. Ashley Petz had a good meet and I thought our distance runners ran strong.”
Also earning all-conference honors was the 4×800 relay team of Lennon Bates, Sara Coker, Sam Wirzfeld and Bergen who turned in a time of 10:10 to place second.
The Lady Hornets had three runners score in the 800 meter run and the 3200 meter run and two placed in the 1600. In the 800, Bergen led the way, finishing fifth (2:30) followed by Coker (2:31) and Wirzfeld (2:32). In the 3200, senior Chelsea Mansfield was fifth in a time of 12:39 with Bates sixth (12:44) and Lola Fleming seventh (13:10). In the 1600, Nicole Darland finished in 5:44 to take fifth and Brittany Hairston turned in a 6:06 clocking to finish seventh.
In the field events, the Lady Hornets benefited from the efforts of Catherine Fletcher in the pole vault (fourth place, clearing 8-0) and, in the shot put, by Christan Kirchner (fourth with a toss of 34-0) and Rachel Davidson (seventh, 31-4).
“The top 6 finishers in each event qualify for the state meet, so we will have a strong contingent of Lady Hornets representing Bryant,” said Westbrook.
The Class 7A State Meet was also scheduled to be in Russellville on Wednesday, May 16.