November 11 in Bryant athletic history: 2006

Lady Hornets take fourth

EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).

HOT SPRINGS — The Bryant Lady Hornets ended their 2006 cross country season Saturday, Nov. 11, with a fourth-place finish at the Class 7A State Championship held at Oaklawn Park.   The Bryant girls packed together throughout the initial stages of the race, but did not have enough of their scoring runners finish close enough to the front to challenge for the championship. Pre-meet favorite Bentonville won the championship with 46 points with Rogers taking the runner-up trophy with 59 points. Fayetteville took third with 101 points and Bryant had 171 points for fourth. There were 14 total teams in the race.

“Our goal was a top-three finish because that was where we were ranked going into the meet,” noted Lady Hornets coach Danny Westbrook. “Fayetteville ran really well to take third away from us, but we shot ourselves in the foot by holding back at the start of the race. In a race of this caliber it’s critical that you go out hard, and we didn’t.” 

Leading the way for the Lady Hornets was sophomore Brittany Hairston, who finished 28th in 21:13. Other finishers for Bryant were Sara Coker (34th, 21:41), Nicole Darland (38th, 21:59), Lennon Bates (40th, 22:03), Chelsea Mansfield (42nd, 22:05), Melanie Bergen (45th, 22:25), M’Kenna Moore (49th, 22:37), Samantha Wirzfeld (51st, 22:48), and Sammy Cyz (61st, 23:24).

“Although our state meet didn’t go as well as we wanted I am extremely proud of this group of girls,” Westbrook added. “They far exceeded the expectations I had for them before the season started. We lost some really talented runners to graduation last year and the big question going into the season was how they would respond. They ended this year’s season having won four invitational meet titles and the 7A-Central Conference championship. I would say, all-in-all, they responded pretty well.” 

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