Bryant girls sweep meet
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The Bryant Lady Hornets placed five runners in the top eight and seven in the top 14, cruising to the team title in a field of 11 teams and 120 runners at the annual Bryant Invitational cross country meet at Mills Park on Saturday, Sept. 20.
In addition, the Junior Lady Hornets earned team honors in an 11-team field of 128 competitors.
The Bryant senior girls, ranked No. 2 in the state coming into the weekend, finished with a miniscule 26 points, far out-distancing second-place Russellville (83).
The results were noticed across the State. Tuesday, the new coaches’ poll was released at www.arkansastrackstats.com and the Lady Hornets were the new No. 1 team in the state.
“It’s always great to win your home meet,” declared Bryant head coach Danny Westbrook. “These ladies just keep amazing me each week. They are students of the sport and they know the strategies of how to be successful in cross country racing and they go out and make it happen every race. Today’s victory was just an outstanding team effort. Everybody did their job and the results prove it.”
Though obviously disappointed she didn’t win the race, junior Brooke Higgs led the Lady Hornets’ charge finishing second only to Russellville’s Jamie Blackmon. Higgs and sophomore Mary Edwards, who wound up third, led through the first mile but Blackmon took over the lead midway through and finished in 15:09. Higgs crossed the finish line in 15:25, Edwards in 15:49.
Bryant’s “pack attack” group sealed the team victory. Junior Nicole Sample, senior Jessica Finley and sophomore Jessica Sowell were sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. Sample’s time was 16:35, Finley’s 16:43 and Sowell’s 16:44.
Bryant’s Nicole Snyder, Cari Odle and Teresa Alverio also finished in the top 20. Snyder clocked in at 17:36 with Odle right wither her at 17:42 as they finished 13th and 14th overall. Alverio’s 18:10 was 20th.
The Lady Hornets’ contingent also included Michelle Ford (18:59), Amy Whitworth (19:20), Jamie Waldron (19:33) and Lindsay Miller (20:01). Injuries continued to sideline Samantha Montgomery, Kim Bergen and Amber Bengston.
The junior girls showed they were learning for their older counterparts with some pack running of their own. The Junior Lady Hornets finished with 45 points. Beebe was second with 82.
Chelsea Mansfield paced the team’s effort finishing second in 7:33. Sara James finished fifth in 7:43.
Nicole Darland, Sara Coker and Samantha Wirzfeld completed the Junior Lady Hornets’ scoring five. Darland earned a top 15 trophy by finishing 12th in a time of 7:59. Coker was 18th in 8:18 with Wirzfeld on her heels at 8:20, good for 20th.
Lennon Bates finished with Wirzfeld. Her 8:22 was good for 21st.
“Our junior girls team is now 2-0 on the season,” Westbrook noted. “They are learning fast the team strategy for winning races and it’s showing big time. Almost every one of the 25 Bryant junior girls that ran today improved their times over what they ran on this same course two weeks ago. That says a lot about how hard they’re working and that our training is paying off. I’m proud of every one of them.”
The Junior Lady Hornets also included M’Kenna Moore (8:45), Brittany Dunlap (8:46), Kimberly Womack (8:50), Amber Westbrook (8:54), Sarah Finley (8:54), Bryanna Austin (8:55), Cecily Davis (9:28), Sarah Davis (9:36), Laci Rowland (9:36), Ashley Tyhurst (9:40), Kelsey Ross (9:52), Abby Teeter (10:02), Briana Ginn (10:25), Lori Williams (10:34), Leslie Walker (10:35), Shelby Owens (10:42), Courtney Hollis (10:56), and Jennifer Tucker (12:29).