May 23 in Bryant athletic history: 2007

Pelletier captures pole vault title at Meet of Champs

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 — Though performing in the formidable shadow of teammate Spencer McCorkel all season, Jason Pelletier has been a standout in the pole vault for the Bryant Hornets. The junior finished second to McCorkel in every meet the duo entered.

Unfortunately, McCorkel suffered a bad cut on one hand before the Class 7A State meet. Pelletier, however, stepped up and not only won the 7A title but added a Meet of Champs crown with a personal record vault of 15-8, narrowly missing on attempts at 16 feet. Based on fewer misses at the 15-8 height, Pelletier won the title over runner-up Brent Sams of Alma who also cleared that height.

“Jason did a tremendous job,” commented Hornets coach Steve Oury. “It was a like a boxing match, with two athletes going back and forth and pushing each other to new heights.”  

The meet, held at Cabot High School on Wednesday, May 23, closed out the illustrious high school career of Bryant distance runner Ethan Blakley, who finished third in the 3200 meter relay and ran a leg of the 3200 meter relay.

Blakley ran a 9:33.48 in the 3200, setting a new Bryant High School record and places him on the Arkansas all-time best list. He finished just .08 behind second place finisher Johnny Purvis of Jasper. Josh Brewer of Lake Hamilton won the event in 9:23. 

“Ethan ran his heart out and proved that he is one of the elite distance runners in Arkansas high school history,” Oury noted. “To win a state championship and place third in the Meet of Champions in what has been one of the strongest years for distance runners in a long time shows what kind of ability he has. We will miss him next year.

“I’m proud of all of our athletes who made it to the Meet of Champs,” Oury added, “which is the ultimate goal of any track athlete in Arkansas.” 

In the relay, Blakley, Ben Higgs, Todd McAdoo and Josh Harrison combined on a time of 8:29 which was good for sixth.

The Lady Hornets were also represented well at the meet. Allison Lowery finished fifth, clearing five feet after finishing runner-up in Class 7A the week before going over 5-3.

“Allison just never could get comfortable with her approach,” commented Lady Hornets coach Danny Westbrook. “Although we were not on today, she has had a great year in high jump having won the indoor state title, the conference title, finishing second at outdoor state, and then placing fifth at the Meet of Champs.”

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