Royal, Murdock earn all-State honors despite dreary conditions at 7A meet

BENTONVILLE — Senior Alexis Royal and junior Melinda Murdock earned all-State honors with[more] top three finishes under dismal weather conditions at the 2013 Class 7A State Track championship meet on Thursday at Bentonville High School.

Royal scored 18 points and Murdock 10 as the Lady Hornets finished seventh with 38 points in the 16-team field. The hosting Lady Tigers captured the title with 139 points with Fayetteville second with 101.

The next six teams finished in a bunch with Sprindale Har-Ber third (57) followed by Cabot (50), Fort Smith Southside (46), North Little Rock (41), Bryant and Rogers (35).

Royal earned all-State honors (and will be a candidate to compete in the Meet of Champs at Lake Hamilton on May 11) by finishing second in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.5 and third in the triple jump with a leap of 34’11”.

Murdock gained all-State status (and will likewise be a candidate for the Meet of Champs) with a third-place finish in the 800-meter run. She turned in a 2:28 clocking.

The duo combined with Feniece Boone and Leah Ward in the 4×100 relay, which narrowly missed earned all-State recognition. The quartet ran a 51.7 to finish fourth.

Murdock added one of three sixth-place performances for the Lady Hornets, turning in a 16.7 in the 100 hurdles. Boone was sixth in the 400 (1:02.7) and the 4×800 team of Hannah Raney, Talyn Billins, Haley Hood, and Caitlyn Bell combined on a 10:30 time to earn sixth-place points.

Royal was seventh in the long jump (16’6”) and eighth in the 300-meter hurdles (54.0), while Ward added an eighth-place finish in the long jump with a leap of 16’5”.

“The weather conditions were probably the worst I have ever seen for a track meet,” declared Lady Hornets coach Danny Westbrook, who is in his 33rd year of coaching. “It was borderline un-safe for some of the events. But having said that, I was a little disappointed how we seemed to let it affect us more than some other teams.

“I thought Alexis and Melinda really fought hard in all their events and I’m really proud of how they competed,” he asserted. “I am hoping their performances will qualify them for the Meet of Champs next Saturday.”

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