Mitchell, Edwards lead Lady Hornets at State
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CABOT — Seniors Kelsey Mitchell and Mary Edwards both captured individual State titles to lead the Bryant Lady Hornets to a fourth-place finish in the team competition at the Class AAAAA State Track and Field Championship meet on Wednesday, May 17.
The Lady Hornets accumulated 52 points. Camden Fairview won the team crown with 90 points. Russellville was runner-up with 63.
Mitchell extended her undefeated streak in the 100 meter hurdles by taking the lead after the first flight of hurdles and cruising to the victory with a season-best time of 14.8. In the 300 meter hurdles, Mitchell finished third with a personal-best time of 46.7.
Edwards had a much tougher time securing her State title in the 800 meter run. She and Van Buren’s Erin Gatling were locked in a two-way battle coming down the final stretch. As they neared the finish, Edwards gave one last lunge, lost her balance and fell right across the line. After several minutes of reviewing the finish video, she was awarded the hard-earned victory in a season-best time of 2:19.7. Gatling was timed in 2:19.8.
“Both Kelsey and Mary won the same two events at the State Indoor meet so this makes a sweep for them this year,” noted Lady Hornets head coach Danny Westbrook. “We work a lot on accelerating through the finish line in practice and that really paid off for Mary. She ate some track and got scratched up a bit, but she got the win.”
Allison Lowery earned second-place points for the Lady Hornets in the high jump when she cleared 5 feet. Several competitors went out at 5 feet, Westbrook noted, but Lowery had not missed any attempts up to that height and was awarded second place with fewer misses.
Brittany Johnson, out with a knee injury most of the season, re-set her own school record in the discus with a throw of 116’9″, good for a third-place finish.
Edwards joined Jessica Sowell, Kim Bergen and Lennon Bates in the 3200 meter relay, running a 10:18 to place fourth. Bates added a sixth place finish in the 3200 meter run (12:54) with Nicole Darland close behind, taking seventh in 13:04.
Sowell added an eighth place finish in the 1600 (5:47), Bergen was eighth in the 800 (2:29.6) and Tiffany Ward was eighth in the 300 meter hurdles (50.2).
“I thought it was a good State meet for us,” Westbrook said. “We actually scored more points than I anticipated. Almost everyone on the team ran personal best, which is what you look for at the state meet.”
Mitchell, Edwards, Lowery, and Johnson were all named All-State for their top three performances. All four and the Lady Hornets’ 3200 relay team should qualify to compete at the 2006 Meet of Champions which was to be held at Hot Springs on Wednesday, May 24.