Medlin shines at UALR Invitational
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).
LITTLE ROCK — Mandy Medlin picked a good time to run her best race of the high school cross country season so far.
At the UALR Invitational at Murray Park, Medlin, running in the lead pack most of the race, put in a blistering kick in the last mile to garner third place overall with a time of 16:16. It was her best finish and best time of the season so far and it just so happened that UALR coach Kirk Elias was on hand. Elias is considering the signing of Medlin to a scholarship to run for UALR after her high school career.
Behind her third-place finish, the Lady Hornets came in second in the team competition with 85 points to team champ Mountain Home’s 75.
In junior girls competition, the Lady Mustangs were also second with 40 points, finishing behind only Russellville (21 points).
“Mandy Medlin ran a great race today and I was proud to see her do well here at UALR,” stated Lady Hornets coach Danny Westbrook. “Even though we finished second today as a team, I was very encouraged that we continue to decrease our time gaps. Our goal is to get our first through fifth gap below 1:30 and today we went 1:58. Our times today were much improved from the last time we ran here about four weeks ago, so that is a positive sign.”
Junior Candice James also finished in the top 10 for Bryant. Her 16:24 was good for sixth. Jessica Graham ran 15th in 16:55 with Melanie Butler and Jamie Waldron completing the scoring quintet. Butler’s 18:10 was good for 30th with Waldron right behind in 31st with a time of 18:15.
Amy Whitworth and Stacy Hunt ran 41st and 42nd, respectively, in 19:02 and 19:07, followed closely by Melanie Steele (19:13). Tonya Fowler turned in a 19:34 with Amy Griffin at 21:40 and Amanda Young at 24:34.
Eighth grader Mary Edwards made a bid to win the individual junior girls title.
“She had her best race of the year with a fantastic kick in the late stages of the race,” Westbrook reported.
Edwards ran a 9:04 to finish just :03 seconds behind the eventual meet champion Jamie Blackmon of Russellville. Bryant’s Kim Bergen also had what Westbrook called her best race of the year finishing fifth in 19:21. Nicole Snyder also broke into the top 10, finishing eighth in 8:34.
Nicole Sample was 12th in 9:42 and Jessie Sutton finished 13th in 9:45 to complete the scoring group.
The Lady Mustangs and Lady Whirlwinds continued a season-long rivalry at the meet.
“Our lead pack broke up a little more this week than I would like but we still put all our five scorers in the top 13 places,” Westbrook noted. “That is pretty good in any meet.
“Mary’s finishing kick was really spectacular,” he added. “She is a definite contender for the individual title in any meet she runs in. Kim Bergen also gave an outstanding effort today.”
Two other Lady Mustangs broached the top 20. Cari Odle’s 10:11 was good for 17th and Mikki Eichenberg was 20th in 10:18.
Laura Mackey wasn’t too far off that pace, running a 10:24 to finish 23rd. She was followed by Teresa Alverio (10:40), Jennifer Long (10:42), Tori Dunn (10:45) and Diana Brewer (11:57).