Smith, Tolbert turn in top five finishes to lead Hornets at Indoor State

James Glasper reaches back for the baton from Michael Smith during the 4x400 relay Saturday at the State Indoor. (Photo courtesy of Carla Thomas)Photos courtesy of Carla Thomas

FAYETTEVILLE — The Bryant Hornets placed in the top 10 in seven different events and finished[more] seventh in the team standings at the Class 7A-5A State Indoor Track Championship meet Saturday at the University of Arkansas’ Randall Tyson Indoor Track Complex.

Caleb Thomas set personal best times in the 60 pre-lims and finals. (Photo courtesy of Carla Thomas)

Fayetteville won the meet for the second year in a row with Fort Smith Southside finishing second. The Hornets compiled 24 points to finish seventh.

“Overall we didn’t score as well as I had hoped, but given the weather issues we have all faced, it’s not surprising that we were a little up and down,” commented Hornets head coach Steve Oury.

Michael Smith led the effort with a second-place finish in the 800 meter run, turning in a time of 2:03. Tanner Tolbert was fifth and Caleb Thomas sixth in the 60-meter dash. Tolbert finished in 7.15 while Thomas crossed in 7.16.

Tolbert also collected a fifth place finish in the long jump, covering 20 feet, 10 inches.

Senior Luke Lindsley scored in a pair of events as well. He was eighth in both the 1600 (4:41) and the 3200 (10:06).

The Hornets 1600 meter relay team of Troy Smith, Dillon Winfrey, Smith and James Glasper turned in a 3:36 clocking, good for sixth.

“I was very pleased with Michael Smith and Luke Lindsley,” Oury stated. “They both ran good races in the distance events. Luke has been struggling a little lately, but he ran like his old self Saturday and I think he should be ready for the outdoor season. Michael did a great job pacing himself in the 800 was able to have a strong last 200 and hold his position.

Dillon Winfrey, right, competes with a runner from Bentonville. (PHoto courtesy of Carla Thomas)

“We didn’t score as many points in the sprint races as we had hoped, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort,” the coach continued. “The sprint races had some outstanding performances, so points were hard to come by. Tanner Tolbert ran faster in the 60 finals than he did two years ago when he earned a runner-up finish. This year, it was only good enough for fifth. Tanner has been nursing a little muscle strain in one of his legs, so he is not long and triple jumping as well as he would like. Caleb Thomas did a great job in the 60, setting personal records in both the prelims and the finals.”

The Hornets open the outdoor season with a practice meet at Conway on March 8 then host the Hornet Relays on Thursday, March 17, to officially lift the lid on the 2011 campaign.

“We are going to go back to work and get ready for the outdoor season,” Oury noted. “Hopefully, all of the bad weather is behind us and we can get some consistency in our training.”

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