September 23 in Bryant athletic history: 2009

Pack attack garners home meet championship; junior girls second only to Russellville

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).

With six runners finishing in the top 20, the Bryant Lady Hornets captured the championship of the team’s lone home cross country meet, the Hornet Invitational at Mills Park Tuesday evening.

Bryant finished with 54 points. Cabot was runner-up with 75 followed by Russellville with 85. Eight teams and 112 runners competed in the 5K race which was originally scheduled for earlier in the month but was delayed a week by rain.

Bryant did not have anybody score in the top eight places but used their “pack attack” strategy to perfection by taking five of the next six spots.

Leading for the Lady Hornets was freshman Hannah Raney who was ninth with a time of 21:24. Stacy Emmerling was close behind finishing 10th in 21:31. Lauren Rogers (12th, 22:28), Sammy Cyz (13th, 22:30), Ashlyn Lessenberry (15th, 22:33), and Skylar Oswalt (18th, 22:39) sealed the deal for Bryant with their close finishes.[more]

Heather Rankin. (Photo by Rick Nation)

Cabot’s Emily Myers was individual medalist with a time of 20:04. Kaitlin Bounds of Russellville was second at 20:15.

All six Lady Hornet runners received one of the top 20 individual medals handed out.

Jessica Shepard was Bryant’s seventh runner and barely missed out on a medal by finishing 21st place in 23:03.

“I thought our senior girls ran great today,” stated Lady Hornets coach Dan Westbrook. “Cabot was ahead of us early, but we didn’t panic and just methodically picked them off toward the end of the race. Stacy Emmerling and Sammy Cyz really stepped it up today, and Lauren Rogers had an awesome finish by flying by several people in the last half mile.”

Also running for the Lady Hornets were Kaytlyn Stracener (23:29), Kaitlin Nickels (23:30), Sarah Brooks (24:07), Stacie Waite (24:15), Courtney Hodge (24:23), Katrina Ragsdale (24:40), Grace Finley (25:17), Morgan Humbard (25:31), Sydney Hall (25:34), Jahaira Juarez (25:43), Kari Henderson (26:29), Karlee Porter (26:50), Maria Christman (26:52), Charlie Hunnicutt (27:08), Bailey Freyaldenhoven (28:14), Bailee Seelinger (29:02), Bethany Smith (30:04), Manuela Debacker (33:16) and Summer Nichols (33:20).

In the junior girls two-mile race the Lady Hornets were runners-up behind a strong performance by Russellville. The Whirlwinds won the meet title with 28 points while Bryant was runner-up with 64. There were seven full teams and 111 total finishers.

The Junior Lady Hornets garnered five of the top 20 medals given out. Mikayla Douglas was Bryant’s leader finishing seventh in a time of 14:11. Right behind her was Kat Bolton in ninth with a time of 14:23. Marley Adams (15th, 14:46), Kayla Nickels (16th, 14:48), and Caroline Cato (19th, 14:58) also received top 20 individual medals.

Top finisher among the junior girls was Russellville’s Beth Smith with a time of 13:15. Teammate Ciera Wesley was a distant second with a time of 13:38.

Finishing out the top seven for Bryant was Tara Shewmaker (21st, 15:01) and Paola Marrero (26th, 15:19).

“Our junior girls made a huge improvement this week,” Westbrook declared. “Last week at Conway, we finished eighth in the team scoring and this week we were runner-up. Mikayla Douglas and Kat Bolton have been doing a good job of going to the front of the race early and finishing there.”

Also running for the Junior Lady Hornets were Randie Owens (15:26), Skylar Combs (15:29), Sam Macchi (15:32), Stephanie Cyz (15:33), Lauren Stiles (15:38), Madison Rhodes (15:56), Savannah Reep (15:58), Ashton Eley (16:00), Carley Cato (16:00), Haylee Campbell (16:25), Maddi Wells (16:38), Becca Henderson (16:42), Rachael Owens (16:53), Rachel Bacon (17:09), Kyanne Lawrence (17:30), Shelby Woodall (17:34), Reagan Norris (17:35), Emma Shock (17:38), Kathleen Stalter (17:59), Miranda Pelzel (18:03), Jade Hampton (18:11), Josie Hill (18:16), Santana Turnbough (18:22), Kayla Yarberry (18:26), Briana Rutherford (18:28), Kimberly Mayfield (18:29), Taylor McKnight (18:52), Jessica Gray (18:59), Tori Moore (19:21), Katy Davis (19:29), Morgan Dreher (19:41), Emily Ball (19:42), Samantha Hill (19:54), Kathlein Napoles (20:25), Janna Wilson (20:36), Ashleigh Wofford (20:58), Adrienne Merriott (21:31), and Sarah White (21:56).

Complete results of all the races can be found at

Next up for the Bryant teams will be the Russellville Cyclone Invitational on Oct. 3.

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