Bryant girls double up at OBU
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ARKADELPHIA — Bryant Lady Hornets cross country coach Danny Westbrook wanted pack running at the Ouachita Baptist Univeristy Invitational meet on Saturday, Sept. 10, and pack running is what he got.
The Lady Hornets paced six runners in the top 15 and, led by senior Mary Edwards’ fourth-place finish overall, produced a perfect team score of 15 points to win the meet. Beebe was a distant second with 79 points in the meet which featured seven teams and 100 runners.
Likewise, the Junior Lady Hornets took top team honors with seven runners in the top 20 including second-place individual Brittany Hairston.
“Our senior girls put on a clinic on how to win a cross country meet today,” declared Westbrook. “I could not have scripted it any better. They packed together and just systematically picked people off toward the end of the race. We’ve really been stressing how important our ‘pack attack’ strategy is going to be this year and they worked it to perfection today. Our first to fifth time gap was only 60 seconds.”
Edwards turned in a time of 20:57 over the 5K course. Nicole Darland was right with her teammate, running a 20:58 to take seventh. Close behind was Kim Bergen with a time of 21:04 to place seventh.
Senior Jessica Sowell’s 21:53 was good for 11th with Chelsea Mansfield right with her, finishing 12th in 21:57. Though out of the scoring, Lennon Bates was there as well. Her 21:58 was good for 13th.
Along with our top six, I thought sophomore M’Kenna Moore had a great performance today,” Westbrook stated.
Moore led the rest of the Lady Hornets, running a 23:58 to finish 36th, just ahead of teammate Sam Wirzfeld who finished 39th in 24:08.
Amber Westbrook finished in 24:16 followed by Cecily Davis (24:49), Sara Coker (24:53), Sam Montgomery (25:37), Paula Barrientos (25:38), Kimberly Womack (29:35) and Lori Williams (31:24).
The junior girls finished with just 29 points to far out-distance second-place Lake Hamilton (73) and third-place Des Arc (79) in the nine-team, 107-runner event.
Hairston’s second-place time was 12:37, eighth grader Samantha Cyz was fifth overall with a time of 13:13.
Melanie Bergen (11th in 13:38), Lola Fleming (13th in 14:01) and Mekayla Speak (14th in 14:04) completed Bryant’s scoring group with eighth grader Jessica Shepard (16th in 14:10) and Mellanie Johnson (17th in 14:13) also earning top 20 finishes.
“I am so proud of our junior girls,” Westbrook enthused. “From our first girl to our last, they are getting better every day. There is a lot of talent in this group and they have already learned the importance of pack running. I believe they are going to be extremely hard to beat this season.”
The Bryant junior contingent also included Andrea Savage (14:49), Christen Kirchner (14:54), Miranda Wilkerson (15:32), Jessica Salyers (15:40), Meredith Scott (15:45), Kristin Morehart (16:25), Martha Swaty (16:35), Shelby Wyatt (16:36), Kayla Randolph (17:15), Michelle Goodson (17:19), Hailey Walker (17:40), Kelsey Caddy (17:46), Madison Smith (18:18), Tiffany Rogers (18:19), Maria Pinkerton (18:20), Karlee Porter (18:21), Lindsey Blakley (18:36), Alisha Gathright (19:24), and Emily Gathright (19:25).
This Saturday, the Bryant teams will host the Bryant Invitational at Mills Park.