Fuoco, Hornets return to form
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NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Buoyed by the return of Josh Harrison from illness and of Joey Fuoco to his usual form, the Bryant Hornets, ranked fifth in the state, finished second only to No. 2 Conway at the annual Bryant Invitational cross country meet on Saturday, Sept. 15, at Burns Park.
Fuoco, an all-State performer last year, was 32nd overall and his team’s third runner at the season-opening meet at Ouachita Baptist the week before. But he stepped up with a strong fifth-place finish overall to lead the Hornets at Burns Park. Harrison, who fell ill just before the OBU race, finished among the Hornets’ scoring group which accumulated 81 points to edge Cabot (89) for second place.
Conway won with 48 points with Russellville fourth and Sheridan fifth among the 20 teams and 230 runners.
The Junior Hornets, meanwhile, earned a team title with 58 points, placing three runners in the top 10 finishers.
The teams were set to run at the UALR Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 22.
For the senior boys, Fuoco finished in 17:32 with Todd McAdoo, the leader at OBU, 13th overall in 17:50 and Cody Fiser 18th in 18:15. Harrison ran an 18:25 to finish 22nd. Ben Higgs completed the scoring group, finishing 24th in 18:30. Jacob Clark (42nd in 19:00) and Jonathan Chapman (42nd in 19:04) completed the Hornets’ top seven.
“I thought we competed very well,” stated Hornets coach Steve Oury. “Joey had an outstanding race and it was nice to have Josh back this week. McAdoo did a good job of being aggressive early. He will only get stronger and stronger as the year progresses.
“I was also very pleased at how many of our runners took significant amounts of time off of their personal records,” Oury added. “That was very nice to see.
“Right now Conway is running very well,” he noted. “They have a good frontrunner in Marcus Pearson and they have very good depth behind him. However, I feel like that we should be able to run with them as long as we keep working hard and stay healthy.”
Jacob Goff, Lucas Caslteberry and Ashton Arnoldy were the top finishers for the Junior Hornets who edged Little Rock Catholic which finished ahead of Bryant at OBU. Goff was seventh overall over the two-mile course. Castleberry finished ninth with a time of 11:59 with Arnoldy on his heels to finish 10th in 12:00.
Luke Lindsley (12th, 12:03) and Ben Ackley (20th, 12:41) completed the scoring quintet.
“Our guys put on a clinic in pack running,” Oury commented. “Our top four ran together the entire race and did an awesome job. We also had several nice performances from some of our newcomers. Jesse Wolf really stepped it up this week and did great. Ben Ackley, Kevin Nalley, Forrest Fowler, Troy Smith, Brendan Guffey, and Michael Smith all ran well. We will have to continue to run well if we want to compete with Lake Hamilton, who I’m sure we’ll see at next week’s UALR Invitational.”