Hornet harriers finish strong to take fifth
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CABOT — With the heightened quality of the 7A-Central Conference in cross country this season, the Bryant Hornets, despite one of their best performances of the season, could only manage a fifth-place finish at the league’s championship meet at Rolling Hill Golf Club on Tuesday, Oct. 28.
The Hornets scored 143 points to finish behind Conway (19), Cabot (73), Russellville (78), and LR Catholic (109). Van Buren (146) placed sixth with LR Central (192) and North Little Rock (235) rounding out the competing teams.
The Hornets advance to run in the Class 7A championship meet in Hot Springs on Saturday, Nov. 8. They will be represented by their top nine runners including sophomore Luke Lindsley who paced the team at Cabot by placing 27th in a time of 17:44. The team’s scoring quintet also included Colton Klaus (29th, 17:48), Logan Howard (30th, 17:51), Jacob Clark (32nd, 17:56) and Dillon Rhodes (35th, 18:07). Joining them at the State meet will be Daniel Hall, who finished 36th in 18:08 at the league meet, Brandon Mueller (44th in 18:33), Jacob Pultro (46th in 18:46), and Remell Allen (50th in 18:40). Kevin Nalley (51st in 18:43) will serve as an alternate.
“We ran a very solid race today and we certainly have nothing to be ashamed of,” stated Hornets coach Steve Oury. “We knew coming in to this season that it would be a challenge for us, since the fastest 5k personal record of any of our runners was 18:24. If you would have asked the guys at the beginning of the season if they would take the times they ran today, I’m sure most of them would have said yes.
“I’m very proud of these guys,” he added. “They are fun to coach and it was nice seeing several of them set personal records today.
“The quality of our conference has just grown leaps and bounds,” Oury acknowledged. “I think for the first time that the 7A Central can honestly match up with the 7A West in terms of quality and quantity. A few years ago, we could have run the same times we did today and may have won the meet. This year, Conway has as good a team as I have seen in awhile. They have a great chance to win the state championship and break Rogers’ six-year winning streak. Cabot and Russellville are both very solid, and LR Catholic has a couple of strong front runners.
“We have just been missing that thoroughbred athlete who can compete for the title,” he noted. “We have some guys who may develop into that type of runner down the road, but this year we just haven’t had one. Our focus now is to prepare for the state meet and try to gain some ground on the teams that finished ahead of us today. Things can change when all the other schools in 7A are added in to the mix.”