FAYETTEVILLE — The Bryant Hornets competed in the biggest cross country meet in the region Saturday, picking up personal records from two of their top five runners at the annual Chile Pepper Invitational at Agri Park on the University of Arkansas campus. The Hornets placed 28th out of 50 teams and were the 11th place Arkansas team.
Luke Lindsley earned a new personal record with a time of 16:46 in placing 43rd out of 391 finishers. Jacob Clark placed 126th with a time of 17:30. Jesse Wolf also earned a new personal record with 157th place finish in a time of 17:51.[more]
The rest of the Hornets competing were Logan Howard (228th in 18:24), Michael Smith (238th in 18:32), Kevin Nalley (266th in 18:52), Peter Alverio (271st in 18:57), and Dillon Rhodes (315th in 19:51).
"Luke, Jacob, and Jesse all had really strong races and competed well in the crowd,” stated Hornets head coach Steve Oury. “Logan and Dillon are still recovering from illnesses but I think they should be ready to go by the conference meet.
“In this race, it's amazing how many places can be packed into a short amount of time,” he observed. “We had a 33-second gap from our third to fourth runner, but there were 66 runners in that gap, which really adds to your score. I was proud of the effort and now we have to start preparing for the conference meet on Oct. 26."
The Junior Hornets made school history Saturday by being the first Bryant team to bring home a first place trophy from the Chile Pepper Invitational. They used a nice team effort to bring home the championship, scoring 153 points to edge out Springdale Central (164), Lake Hamilton (175), Russellville (179), and Siloam Springs (212).
There were a total of 34 teams and 372 runners in the Junior Boys 5k race. This is the only race that junior high runners compete at the senior high 5k distance.
Rodrigo Rodarte led the way for the Bryant, earning a top 15 medal for his 15th place finish in a time of 18:36. Bryan Riley was the next Junior Hornet, placing 23rd in a time of 19:05, followed by Josh Keyes (39th in 19:31), Damian Kropp (41st in 19:34), Nick Ballew (46th in 19:40), and Michael Nash (79th in 20:21).
"I knew we had a very good race as a team, but it was honestly a surprise when we saw that we had won,” Oury revealed. “I was guessing we were third or fourth after the race, so obviously I was very glad to be wrong. These guys have a chance to be a good high school team down the road if they stick with it and work hard.
"Coach Angel Dale and Coach Rhonda Hall at the middle schools had a big part in this win," Oury added, "since two of our top five were eighth graders. To see our guys standing on the winners’ section of that awards stand was sweet. Hopefully we can get there again."