Vail paces Lady Hornets
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CONWAY — Sophomore Dylan Vail continued to pace the Bryant Lady Hornets as they finished fifth in the team standings at the 14-team, 154-runner Wampus Cat Invitational held Saturday, Oct. 11, at Beaverfork Lake.
Vail, the team’s only medalist, finished the course in 23:03 to place 19th overall. Lola Fleming (26th, 23:36) and Jordan Chadwick (37th, 24:05) packed together throughout the race. Stacie Waite (40th, 24:10) and Katherine Thompson (43rd, 24:16) completed the scoring quintet for the team with Morgan Seelinger (46th, 24:21) and Kaytlyn Stracener (50th, 24:41) close behind.
“The girls still have not put together a good race as a team,” said Lady Hornets coach Danny Westbrook. “I know the potential is there to be really good. We just have to eliminate our gaps between runners. I thought Jordan Chadwick gave an outstanding effort this week.”
The Lady Hornets were set to compete in the 7A-Central Conference meet at Cabot on Saturday, Nov. 8.
Also, at Conway, three Junior Lady Hornets, Stacy Emmerling, eighth-grader Hannah Raney and Skylar Oswalt finished in the top 20 and pulled off a surprising win in their division.
Bryant finished with 95 points to narrowly win team honors. Runner-up Russellville had 99 points. The race included a field of 16 teams and 221 total runners, the top four teams were separated by a mere 17 points.
Emmerling’s 13:22 was good for a fourth-place individual finish. Raney ran 13:47 to finish 13th and Oswalt’s time of 14:00 was good for 20th. Finishing out the scorers were Ashlyn Lessenberry (27th, 14:31) and Kaitlyn Nickels (34th, 14:43).
“The girls ran outstanding today,” Westbrook declared. “I am really proud of the effort I saw in them. We won this race with a total team effort. Stacy Emmerling, Hannah Raney, and Skylar Oswalt showed a lot of fortitude and finished strong. Ashlyn Lessenberry just keeps getting better every week. Kaitlyn Nickels, who has been our leader all season, was not feeling well, but she gutted it out and secured the victory as our fifth scorer.
This group is learning that to be successful in this sport you have to go the front, stay there, and finish there,” he added.