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, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
MAUMELLE — The Bryant cross country teams wrapped up the regular season on a positive note Saturday at the Central Arkansas Christian Invitational.
Though the competition wasn’t up to recent standards, the Lady Hornets, led by freshmen Gina Messina and Mandy Medlin, won the senior girls event by a whopping margin (23 points to second-place CAC’s 72).
The Hornets, meanwhile, turned in a second-place performance, topped only by Conway, a darkhorse for the Class AAAAA State championship which will be held this Saturday at Pottsville. Bryant finished with 95 points to outdistance Sheridan (117) and CAC (121) in the nine-team meet. Conway, however, dominated with a score of only 17.
The Bryant Junior High teams finished the season trailing only Gardner Junior High of Russellville, as they have all season. But the gap continued to dwindle. In fact, the Lady Mustangs were only beaten out by 3 points (32-35). The Mustangs finished with 34 points to Gardner’s 22.
In the latest coaches poll in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Lady Hornets are ranked 5th in the state and the Hornets 10th. Of the State meet, head coach Dan Westbrook said the girls would be aiming to challenge Fayetteville for second while not conceding anything to top-ranked Bentonville.
“If Bentonville has someone fall out, we could be right there if we can compete with Fayetteville,” he noted. “Both of those teams are strong.”
Concerning the Hornets, Westbrook indicated the goal is a top 5 finish against the rugged competition that they’ll face.
At CAC, Messina took individual honors among the senior girls, running a 15:29. Medlin finished third in 16:15 with sophomore Denise Whitworth and junior Angela Garner also making the top 10. Whitworth’s 16:59 was good for 5th overall. Garner was 10th with a time of 18:05.
Senior Jill Glenn completed the Lady Hornets’ top five, finishing 11th in 18:16.
The Lady Hornets’ team also included Whitney Hall, who finished 15th in 18:38; Johnna Harrison (21st, 19:19), Jennifer Smith (24th, 19:41), Carrie Jackson (28th, 19:53), Courtney Brown (58th, 22:59), Carly Harris (64th, 23:25), Candace Fletcher (66th, 23:37) and Jessica Adams (75th, 25:48).
The Lady Hornets’ State Meet contingent will include Glenn and fellow senior Ashley Leonard; juniors Garner, Hall and Harrison; Whitworth; and freshmen Melanie Steele, Medlin and Messina.
The Hornets will be represented by seniors Tim McCall and Travis Bull, juniors Tim Dennis and Jason Mazurek, sophomores Nick Taylor and Chris Brewer and freshmen David Stafford, Casey Jacuzzi and Graham Linder.
At CAC, McCall paced the Hornets as he has all season, running a 17:45 to finish 13th overall. Brewer also ranked in the top 20. His 17:54 was good for 16th.
Stafford stepped up and finished as Bryant’s third runner, ranking 24th overall with a time of 18:30. Taylor was 29th in 18:49 and Bull was 32nd in 18:57.
Dennis finished on Bull’s heels, 33rd overall with a time of 19:01. Mazurek ran 36th in 19:19 followed by Wade Tollett (44th, 20:05), Matt Standfill (50th, 20:18), Andrew Jones (65th, 21:16), Nate Johnson (89th, 23:16), Josh Roberts (102nd, 26:13) and David Glenn (104th, 27:57).
The Mustangs’ top runner was Jacuzzi, fourth overall with a time of 11:41. Five other Mustangs finished in the top 10. Stafford was 6th in a time of 11:57 and Linder was 7th in 12:00. Joe Holland also also ran a 12:00 to finish 8th and Ryan Witherspoon was right there at 12:02 to take 9th. Stephen Heasley’s 12:04 completed the top 10.
Ethan Thompson, Allan Stanford and Geoffrey Edwards finished in the top 20 for Bryant. Thompson’s 12:58 was good for 16th with Stanford 18th in 13:08 and Edwards 20th in 13:13.
Jonathan Hensley was 22nd with a time of 13:22. He was followed by Chris Moore (22nd, 13:22), Justin Cochran (25th, 13:30), Zeke Bryant (26th, 13:31), Cody Walker (27th, 13:33), Aaron Watkins (30th, 13:51), Johnathan Tebbetts (33rd, 14:11), Greg Prewett (35th, 14:16), Cody Burton (40th, 14:27), Rusty Hobbs (42nd, 14:28), Brad Burnette (45th, 14:45), Bryan Smith (47th, 14:54), Jacob Carson (48th, 15:03), Kyle Johnson (50th, 15:12), Chris Donovan (53rd, 15:35), Scott Johnson (58th, 16:02), Stephen Heard (63rd, 16:52), Anthony Richter (64th, 17:18), Nathan Jones (65th, 17:23), Troy Vaughn (66th, 17:33), Chris Claypool (67th, 17:39), Michael Parker (68th, 17:46) and Hunter Morrow (70th, 17:59).
Steele led the Lady Mustangs. Her 10:05 clocking took 7th overall. Candice James was 9th with a time of 10:17.
Brooke Sutton, Audrey Manna and Ashleigh McCorkel completed the team’s top five finishing 11th, 12th and 13th overall, respectively. Sutton ran a 10:30, Manna a 10:32 and McCorkel a 10:36.
Also among the top 20 finishers were Judy Manna and Megan Moss. Manna was 16th with a time of 10:44 while Moss was 20th in 10:54.
Robin Thompson was 31st with a time of 11:43 followed by Amanda Freeman (33rd, 11:48), Amanda Young (37th, 11:59), Amy Griffin (38th, 12:01), Melissa Robinson (41st, 12:16), Courtney Alexander (42nd, 12:17), Jennifer Pierce (43rd, 12:25), Alicia Wallace (46th, 12:45), Megan Sanchez (51st, 13:22), Amanda Williams (52nd, 13:23), Amy Hansen (53rd, 13:30), Ginger Spencer (55th, 13:43), Michelle Lewis (56th, 13:49), Heather Toopes (59th, 14:30), Amanda Baumbeck (62nd, 15:09), Jessica Ringo (63rd, 15:11), Meghan Quinn (64th, 15:20), Lizelle Hattingh (65th, 15:23) and Mary Knetzer (66th, 15:55).
“Our junior teams have really worked hard this year,” Westbrook said, “and I’m proud of each and every one of them.”