LITTLE ROCK — The Bryant Lady Hornets finished seventh in a field of 14 in the senior division while the Junior Lady Hornets took second in the junior high division on Saturday at the Little Rock Cross Country Classic at War Memorial Park. It was the first meet of the season for both teams.
McKenzie Hicks led the Bryant varsity with a 17th-place finish with a time of 23:15. Brylee Bradford and Aryn Stiles finished 26th and 29th, respectively. Bradford ran a 24:00.94 and Stiles turned in a 24:02.41.
The scoring quintet also included Ashleigh Byles (53rd, 25:52.33) and Heather Hammett (56th, 26:07.27) finishing just ahead of Maddie Nelson (57th, 26:08.08). Miranda Merkel (71st, 26:50.98) completed Bryant’s top seventh.
The Lady Hornets finished with 163 points. Lake Hamilton took team honors with 82 points. Cabot was second at 92 with Vilonia third with 105.
Madison Hagan, Kennedy McGuire and Colleen Squires also competed for Bryant.
“This race is very deceiving,” said Lady Hornets coach Keith Dale. “Lots of long hills that cap off with steep inclines to really burn the legs, mixed with wet areas creating conditions that will push any runner’s physical ability and stamina. I don’t see us breaking any records on this course, but it shows us how much perseverance we have and gives us a great grasp on our current abilities.”
The Junior girls finished with 94 points. Conway had 52. Vilonia was third with 105 then Lake Hamilton (146) and Little Rock Episcopal (152).
Haley Avila paced the Lady Hornets finishing eighth overall in a time of 15:01.64. Lillian Miller was 13th in 15:15.72.
Bryant Blue runner Dakota McNab finished 18th in a time of 15:46.31 with freshman Arion Pegram 19th in 15:47.42.
Julianne Arnold finished 28th for Bryant Blue in a time of 16:15.42. Freshmen Grace Taylor (29th, 16:16:62), Caitlyn Phillips (31st, 16:21.35, Sydney Pomtree (37th, 16:34.53) and Gracie Rocha (40th, 16:43.65) completed the freshman team’s top seven.
Also running for Bryant was Adalynn Mellon, Shaquan McFarlane, Addison Taylor, Colter Blessing, Loren Honeysuckle, Caylee Dymond, Riley Eby, Rylee Gaines, Chloe Dymond, Riley Miller, Emily Burns, Megan McKinney, Sarah McCaleb, Aleah Kirtley, Jaylene Martinez and Zoe Tucker.
“Our junior high coaches have been working really hard to get these athletes ready for the season,” Dale noted. “Coach Bradburry, Johnson, Smith, and Porter have always had the children’s best interest at heart and that helps build our high school program.”
Bryant is scheduled to run at the Russellville Cyclone Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 26.