Bryant boys welcome Blakley’s return to form
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ARKADELPHIA — After struggling with illness through the first part of the season, Ethan Blakley appears to have returned to form for the Bryant Hornets track team, winning the 1600 and 3200 meter runs to spark the team to a fourth-place finish at the Badger Relays at Arkadelphia High School on Friday, April 8.
Blakley and pole vaulter Spencer McCorkel accounted for Bryant’s trio of first-place finishes. The Hornets finished behind only Camden Fairview, Lake Hamilton and Little Rock Parkview, scoring 65 points.
In the 1600, Blakley won in a time of 4:43. His 3200 meter effort concluded in 10:12 with teammate Alvin Rapien finishing fifth with a time of 11:25.
McCorkel continued to set the pace in the state at pole vault. His winning height at Arkadelphia was 15-6. Senior Blake Zuber cleared 14-6 to finish third in the event.
The Hornets garnered second-place points in the 3200 meter relay with Rapien and Blakley teaming with Chris Robinson and Steven Bright to run an 8:39. The Hornets’ 1600 meter relay team of Ryan King, Zach Barnes, Robinson and Bryant finished in 3:40 to place sixth.
Individually, Bright finished second in the 400 meters with a time of 51.2. Robinson scored in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:02, and Barnes was eighth in the triple jump covering 39-2.
“This was our best team performance of the season so far,” declared Hornets head coach Steve Oury. “Chris had a nice breakthrough with his time in the 800 and Steven did a wonderful job in his first-ever competitive 400. Ethan’s times were pretty much the same as what he has been running lately, but he ran tactically smart races and came away with the victories.
“Our pole vaulters did a good job but both of them are close to going higher,” added the coach. “Blake was so close to clearing 15 feet. He’s going to do it soon, and when he does, he’s probably going to keep going higher and higher. Spencer was wanting to get back over the 16-foot barrier again and was close to doing it. They will both have several more good opportunities in the next few weeks.
“Alvin did a nice job in his first 3200 of the season,” Oury noted. “I think he will improve quite a bit before the end of the season.”
The Hornets were scheduled to resume competition on Thursday, April 14, at the Wampus Cat Relays at Conway High School.