Murdock finishes fifth at Heptathlon; Ward 16th, Hood 19th
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CABOT — Bryant senior Melinda Murdock finished the second day of the 2014 Arkansas Heptathlon where she finished the first day, in fifth place overall but not until after she ran the best 800-meter run of the day, finishing in 2:17.28.
Murdock finished fifth overall with 4,135 points, behind champion Payton Stumbaugh of Springdale Har-Ber who accumulated 5,210 points, Kelsey Herman of Crossett (4,956), along with Lexi Weeks (4,423) and Tori Weeks (4,381) of Cabot.
“Melinda battled all day on Thursday to secure that top five spot,” noted Bryant coach Danny Westbrook. “The heat really took a toll and the 800-meter run, which is the very last event, was tough. Her victory in that event really sealed the deal for her.”
Leah Ward, another Bryant senior competing in the field of 66 athletes, wound up 16th with 3,671 points. Haley Hood, a Bryant sophomore, who was 39th after the first day, improved to finish 19th with 3,561 points.
The second day events were the high jump and the shot put along with the 800. Murdock cleared 4’6” in the high jump and threw the shot 22’9 ½”.
Ward ran a 2:46.88 in the 800 to go with a shot put of 28’ 1 ½”. She cleared 4’6” in the high jump.
Hood leapt 5’4 ¼” to go with a 2:27.93 clocking in the 800. He shot put went 24’7 ¼”. In three events on Thursday, she nearly doubled her point total through four events on Wednesday.
“I was really proud of all three of these ladies today,” Westbrook said. “They represented our school and community very well. It is bittersweet in the fact that it was Melinda and Leah’s last high school track competition. They have both meant so much to our program. It has been an honor to have coached them. Their commitment, desire, and leadership will be sorely missed. Melinda will be competing for the University of Memphis and Leah is headed to the University of Arkansas on an academic scholarship. I wish them well in their college careers.”