Photos courtesy of Jason Majors
ROGERS — Senior Melinda Murdock finished third overall and along with junior Caitlyn Bell, earned all-conference honors at the 7A-West Conference Cross Country Championship held Tuesday.
As a team, the Bryant Lady Hornets finished fifth. Rogers Heritage, with 60 points, won the title by one point over Fayetteville. Rogers was third with 79 points followed by Bentonville (91), Bryant (121), Springdale Har-Ber (132), Van Buren (173), and Springdale (188).
Melinda Murdock finished with a time of 19:30. Bell also took one of the top 20 medals with her 12th place finish in 20:21.
“Melinda and Caityln both had outstanding races,” stated Lady Hornets coach Danny Westbrook. “They both showed tremendous speed in the last stage of the race. It’s a credit to their great work ethic and their strong mental fortitude.”
Freshman Sydney Wilson was Bryant’s third finisher in 27th place with a time of 21:01. Junior Talyn Billins (37th, 21:23) and senior Gabby Crabtree (47th, 21:59) finished out the scorers.
Lady Hornets who also qualified for the Class 7A State meet were Hunter Delaney (51st, 22:09), Reagan Smith (54th, 22:18), Hannah Shelby (22:18), and Rachel Curtis (64th, 22:57).
“I thought as a team we ran fairly well, considering the five-hour bus ride before the meet,” Westbrook noted. “The 7A West Conference is pretty strong when it comes to cross country. We had some significant gaps between our top five that we really need to improve on before the state meet.
“I would also like to convey my appreciation for all the hard work displayed by the other four seniors that ran their last cross country race,” he added. “Marley Adams, Kat Bolton, Mikayla Douglas, and Anna Smedley have all worked hard and provided great leadership to our team.”
Bryant’s top nine runners will compete at the 7A State Championship meet at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs on Saturday, Nov. 9.