Freshmen effort paces Bryant win
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, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By ROB PATRICK
LITTLE ROCK — Freshmen Gina Messina and Mandy Medlin, in their first high school cross country competition, finished 1-2 over the 4,000 meter course at Murray Park, leading the Bryant Lady Hornets to the team title at the UALR Chase Race Saturday.
In boys action, the Hornets finished just one point behind the defending state champion Russellville Cyclones with Tim McCall finishing third.
Russellville swept the junior high meet with Bryant second.
The Lady Hornets finished with 38 points with Russellville second with 50 then Hot Springs Lakeside (71) and Mount St. Mary’s (119).
In the boys competition, Russellville finished with 27 points, Bryant 28 and Little Rock Mills 81.
“I’m real excited about the girls team title and those two freshmen finishing 1-2 in their first competitive meet is just awesome,” commented Bryant head coach Dan Westbrook. “But from the team aspect, we’ve still got work to do. We need to pack run more. Our third runner was 2:46 behind the first two.”
Messina ran a 16:37, Medlin a 17:12. Angela Garner was 10th overall, running a 19:23 for Bryant.
It may have helped plug the gap had senior Ashley Leonard been able to complete the race. “I think she started getting dehydrated,” Westbrook noted.
Johnna Harrison was Bryant’s fourth runner, finishing 12th in 19:44. She was followed by Denise Whitworth who was 13th in 19:50. Andrea Anders finished 14th in 19:57 and Whitney Hall 15th in 20:10.
Also for the Lady Hornets, Jill Glenn was 17th (21:13), Jennifer Smith 19th (21:55), Carly Harris 28th (24:33), Candace Fletcher 32nd (25:55), Courtney Brown 36th (27:26), Suzanne Gibson 37th (28:40) and Jessica Adams 39th (30:47).
Tim McCall was the Hornets’ top runner, finishing third in a time of 18:56. Matt Hill of Russellville won the event in 17:49 followed by Jon Allen of Newport in 18:53.
“I was really happy with the boys,” Westbrook said. “I was really pleased to be within one point especially considering we were running not knowing how we stood.”
The run was unique in that it staggered starts beginning with the slower groups and ending with the faster ones.
“Next week at Ouachita Baptist, we’ll go after Russellville again in a standard format and I think we’ll have a shot at them,” Westbrook added.
Chris Brewer was the Hornets’ second runner, finishing seventh overall with a time of 20:06. Travis Bull was right with him, finishing eighth with the same time. Cory Everett was just seconds behind them in ninth.
Tim Dennis was 11th overall with a time of 20:46 with Jason Mazurek 14th in 21:11. They were followed by Nick Taylor who finished 16th (21:44), Wade Tollett 19th (22:56), Matt Standfill 20th (22:58), Andrew Jones 26th (24:53), Nate Johnson 27th (27:34) and David Glenn 28th (28:10).
“The Russellville coach said he thought his junior high group was pretty good,” Westbrook said. “They had some talent. We’ll see them about every (junior high) meet so the battle lines have been drawn. We’ll see how we progress as the season goes along.”
For the Lady Mustangs, Melanie Steele was the top finisher, running a 10:20 over 2,400 meters to take third overall. Megan Moss’ 11:18 was good for ninth and Amy Griffin’s 11:21 took 11th.
Audra Manna, Candice James and Robin Thompson took 14th through 15th for Bryant. Manna ran an 11:35, James an 11:58 and Thompson a 12:06.
Also for Bryant, Stephanie Farish ran a 12:35 (18th), Jennifer Pierce 12:47 (19th), Amanda Freeman 13:00 (20th), Amanda Young 13:02 (21st), Judy Manna 13:12 (22nd), Ginger Spencer 13:14 (24th), Brooke Sutton 13:23 (25th), Megan Sanchez 13:51 (28th), Michelle Lewis 14:51 (29th), Amanda Baumbeck 14:55 (30th), Courtney Alexander 14:56 (31st), Heather Toopes 15:00 (32nd), Alicia Wallace 15:40 (33rd), Meghan Quinn 15:42 (34th), Amy Hanson 15:43 (35th), Jessica Ringo 17:24 (37th) and Mary Knetzer 17:54 (38th).
For the boys, Casey Jacuzzi’s 10:59 was good for second overall. Graham Linder was the second Mustang runner finishing seventh with a time of 11:19. David Stafford was right behind in eighth with a time of 11:29. Joe Holland completed the top 10, running an 11:45 with Stephen Heasley 11th in 11:52.
Bryant’s contingent also included Allan Stanford who ran a 12:09 to finish 15th, Ethan Thomason who ran a 12:16 to finish 16th and Jonathon Hensley who finished in 12:28 to take 17th.
Also, the Mustangs’ Rusty Hobbs ran a 13:05 (20th), Geoffrey Edwards 13:10 (21st), Justin Cochran 13:11 (23rd), Matt Burbank 13:14 (25th), Cody Burton 13:15 (26th), Ryan Witherspoon 13:24 (27th), Cody Walker 13:31 (28th), Aaron Watkins 13:42 (31st), Greg Prewett 13:48 (32nd), Chris Moore 13:53 (33rd), Kyle Johnson 14:53 (40th), Jacob Carson 14:53 (41st), Scott Johnson 15:06 (44th), Chris Donovan 15:14 (45th), Brad Denman 15:49 (48th), Zeke Bryant 15:55 (49th), Stephen Heard 17:31 (51st), Chris Claypool 17:32 (52nd), Nathan Jones 17:32 (53rd), Michael Parker 17:36 (54th), Hunter Morrow 18:13 (55th), Anthony Richter 18:55 (56th), Christopher Wyse 19:00 (57th) and Troy Vaughn 19:10 (58th).