May 18 in Bryant athletic history: 2006

McCorkel’s record-setting vault highlights Hornets’ effort at State

EDITOR’S NOTE: In this time of COVID-19, with no sports action, will be posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).

CABOT — Spencer McCorkel made it official. Already owning the highest pole vault clearances in Arkansas history, the only thing left to complete his already lengthy resume was to add state meet and overall state records to the list.

Wednesday, May 17, at the State Track Championships, McCorkel set a new Class AAAAA and overall state record by clearing 16′ 8″. The previous overall record holder, Morry Sanders, is McCorkel’s pole vault coach at the Arkansas Vault Club and was on hand to see his record fall.

McCorkel now owns the state indoor and outdoor pole vault record, along with being the national indoor record holder for 11th graders. 

McCorkel’s 10 points helped Bryant to a 14th place finish with 20 1/3 points. Forrest City easily won the team championship with a dominating performance.

“I was very glad to see Spencer have a successful state meet,” said Hornets head coach Steve Oury. “He was wanting to get into the 17 foot range, but considering that last year he didn’t even get to compete after he cut his hand on a broken pole in warmups, it’s nice to get the victory and the record. He can try to break his own overall record at the Meet of Champs.”

The Meet of Champs was scheduled for Wednesday, May 24, at Hot Springs and McCorkel will be joined there by teammate Ethan Blakley who overcame the effects of strep throat to post a third-place finish in the 1600 meter run and a fifth-place finish in the 3200 meter run at the State meet. Blakley posted times of 4:32 in the 1600 and 9:54 in the 3200 after winning both along with the 800 at the AAAAA-Central Conference meet the previous week.

“I felt very bad for Ethan that he got sick just after the conference meet,” Oury commented. “It just shows how strong a competitor he is that he ran as fast as he did. He will get to run in the Meet of Champs in the 1600 for sure and possibly also the 3200. Had he been healthy, I feel certain that the results would have been quite different. Hopefully, he can get his strength back and have a great Meet of Champions.”

Zack Orick added an eighth-place tie in the high jump with a clearance of 5′ 10″ to close out the scoring for the Hornets. 

“Although we didn’t finish as high as we could have, it certainly was not for a lack of effort,” said Oury. “We have all of our points coming back next year along with some good athletes like Ben Griffin, Ben Higgs, Todd McAdoo, and several others who have the potential to be scorers at State next year.”

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