ROGERS — Sometimes the injuries and illness all comes at the[more] wrong time.
The Bryant Lady Hornets won four meets during the regular season but when the conference and State meets rolled around, the team wasn’t complete. Despite a valiant effort, they just couldn’t overcome the loss of their top two scorers, junior Alexis Royal and sophomore Leah Ward.
At the 7A State Track & Field Championship held at Rogers Thursday, the Lady Hornets finished in eighth place. Bentonville won the State title with 168 points. There were 16 teams in the meet.
Royal, after having a hamstring injury knock her out of the conference meet, made the trip but after warm-ups it became clear to head coach Danny Westbrook that she just couldn’t go. Suffering from a stomach ailment, Ward couldn’t make the trip to Rogers.
Sophomore Melinda Murdock led Bryant with 14 points. She took fourth in the 800-meter run (2:24.5), sixth in the 100-meter hurdles (17.2), and sixth in the long jump (15’4”). She was also a member of both sprint relays.
The 4 x 800-meter relay team of Stacy Emmerling, Sam Macchi, Hannah Raney, and Anna Smedley finished fifth with a time of 10:19.
Raney added a sixth place finish in the 3200-meter run with a time of 12:18.
The 4 x 100-meter relay team also finished sixth with a time of 51.5. That team included Sarah Evans, Mekaylah Muhammad, Gabby Allen, and Murdock.
Muhammad finished seventh in the long jump with a leap of 15’3”.
The 4 x 400-meter relay team of Randie Owens, Emmerling, Macchi, and Murdock took eighth place with a time 4:22.5
“Individually, I thought Melinda Murdock had an outstanding state meet,” Westbrook noted. “As for as our team performance, it was not the outcome we thought we could accomplish. We really had a promising start to the season, winning four straight meets. The end of the season turned into a train wreck with all the injuries and sickness we’ve had.
“A big positive we can take away from this season is that we have most of this team coming back next year and our freshman class has some really good track talent in it,” he concluded