Young Hornet harriers get off to encouraging start

Sophomore Tyler Purtle finished in the top 20 to lead the Bryant Hornets to a fifth-place finish at the annual[more] Bryant Hornet Invitational cross country meet, held at Bishop Park on Tuesday.

The Hornets finished with 184 points. Little Rock Catholic, led by individual winner Noah Findlay who won the meet last year, took top team honors with 40 points. Russellville was second with 61 points followed by Cabot (71), and DeQueen (103).

In all 15 teams competed at the event.

Purtle finished 15th with a time of 17:56. Rounding out the Hornets’ top seven were sophomore Clifton Hampton (41st in 19:11), sophomore Nick Ballew (48th in 19:25), senior Peter Alverio (51st in 19:27), sophomore Alex Hunt (53rd in 19:29), junior Damian Kropp (57th in 19:37), and senior Brenden Guffey (82nd in 20:20).

“We had a pretty good meet,” stated Hornets coach Steve Oury. “We have a lot of young guys who don’t have much experience racing the 5k distance, so it was nice to get this meet under out belts.

“We have to keep working hard and have faith that, in time, we are going to start to bridge the gap from where we are now and where some of our competition is,” he added. “These guys are a blast to work with, so I have no doubt they will keep plugging away and trying to get better.”

Findlay’s winning time was 16:20.

The Hornets will participate in the Bryant Magic Mile in conjunction with Bryant Fall Fest on Saturday, Sept. 24. They are scheduled to compete next at the Russellville Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1.

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