Hornets beat the rain and the field at UALR
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).
LITTLE ROCK — The Bryant Hornets cross country team, ranked third in the State’s top classification by arkansastrackstats.com, placed seven runners in the top 16 finishers led by individual medalist Ethan Blakley, to ease to the championship of the UALR Invitational at Rebsamen Park on Saturday, Sept. 23.
The senior boys and the junior teams were able to get their races in on the hot, windy and humid morning before a strong thunderstorm roared through stopping the senior girls run midway through.
In the junior races, both Bryant teams were second only to their counterparts from Lake Hamilton.
The teams are set to run at the Russellville Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 30.
The Hornets finished with 38 points to earn the senior boys title. Cabot was a distant second with 59 points in the field of 13 teams and 119 runners. Blakley built a large lead early in the race and was never threatened. He finished in 16:38.
Todd McAdoo was Bryant’s second runner, finishing sixth overall in 18:12 with Josh Harrison also finishing in the top 10 (eighth) in 18:21. Joey Fuoco was 11th in 18:51 and Cody Fiser 12th in 18:52 to complete the scoring combination. Alvin Rapien was not far behind in 15th with a time of 18:58 and Ben Higgs was 16th in 19:19.
In addition, Preston Adami finished 22nd in 19:48 followed by Brandon Mueller (33rd in 20:37), Brandon Barnes (49th in 21:30), Daniel Hall (50th in 21:32), Remell Allen (53rd in 21:41), Nick Pultro (58th in 22:02), Drew Persinger (61st in 22:15), Homer Coleman (72nd in 22:57), Jeremy Cox (79th in 23:45), Trenton Palmer (80th in 23:46), Ben Griffin (83rd in 24:03), and Aaron Cathcart (98th in 25:53).
“We did a great job of getting our pack out to the front this week,
which we did not do at our home meet last week,” said Hornets head coach Steve Oury. “We had to do some soul searching after last week, and Ethan Blakley did a great job during the week of exerting his leadership with this team. He has done exactly what you would expect a team captain to do. Todd McAdoo and Josh Harrison stepped up this week, and Alvin Rapien had his best performance of the season.
“At Russellville, we are going to have to step it up again because the level of competition will be extremely tough with teams like Conway, Van Buren, Catholic and possibly other northwest Arkansas teams,” he added.
The senior girls race reached about the halfway point of the 5k when officials stopped it due to the storms.
“I hate it that our senior girls did not get to finish their race,” said Lady Hornets coach Danny Westbrook. “It was shaping up to be another close battle between Mount St. Mary, Cabot, and Bryant. Our girls were packing well and they were looking strong before they stopped the race.”
The junior girls, meanwhile, were denied the meet title for the first time this season. Lake Hamilton put all five scoring runners in the top 15 to finish with 39 points. Bryant put three in the top 10 but finished with 50 points to place second in the seven-team, 84-runner field.
“Our junior girls ran a really good race,” Westbrook said. “We simply got beat by a better team. Lake Hamilton is a good team and you can bet we will have them in our sights at Russellville next week. I thought our top seven girls really ran well and Madison Smith, Natalie Graham, Sarah Cockerham, and Allison Evans all competed hard.”
Eighth-grader Kaytlyn Stracener paced the team, finishing sixth overall with a time of 12:26. Freshmen Andrea Savage (eighth, 12:28) and Karlee Porter (10th, 12:33) also earned medals for finishing in the top 10. Adding to the scoring group were freshmen Kayla Randolph (15th in 12:54) and Shelby Wyatt (18th in 13:14).
Other finishers were Callie Smith (20th, 13:24), Maria Christmon (22nd, 13:31), Madison Smith (32nd, 13:56), Natalie Graham (34th, 14:03), Sarah Cockerham (35th, 14:05), Allison Evans (38th, 14:09), Maria Pinkerton (51st, 14:46), Kari Henderson (61st, 15:50), Mary Nance (69th, 16:37), Emily Pilcher (71st, 16:50), and Ashley Johnson (82nd , 19:17).
Jacob Clark again led the Junior Hornets. His 10:08 clocking was good for seventh overall with teammate Dillon Rhodes on his heels, eighth place in a time of 10:16. Devon Norris ran a 10:17 to finish 10th. Jacob Goff (12th in 10:21) and Chris Dubose (15th in 10:49) completed the scoring quintet with Austin Benning right there in 16th (10:50). Johnathon Chapman was 21st in 11:07 followed by Lude Lindsley (23rd in 11:09), Matt Hill (27th in 11:22), Logan Howard (28th in 11:23), Kevin Nalley (35th in 11:37), Ian Russell (36th in 11:38), Wayne Hall (42nd in 11:51), Ashton Arnoldy (43rd in 11:54), Daniel Tucker (45th in 12:00), Ken Vega (46th in 12:01), Ben Ackley (53rd in 12:21), Tyler Nelson (57th in 12:32), Austin Kimbrough (73rd in 13:13), Colton Branson (75th in 13:15), Dylan Ball (78th in 13:27), Michael Ma (82nd in 13:39), Nathan Breeding (84th in 13:47), Spencer Arendt (86th in 13:48), Travis Ferguson (103rd in 14:32), Tanner Morris (108th in 14:49), and Nick Love (109th in 14:50).
“The guys ran really well,” Oury said. “They competed extremely hard and ran smart, strong races. Lake Hamilton just happens to have one of the better junior high teams that I’ve seen in a while. Their top three runners will probably move up to their senior high team later in the season and they will really help them at the senior high level. We just have to keep working hard and good things will happen.”