Yearly results list season-to-date times for all runners, with matching times from past years for returning runners. Junior high races range from 1.55 to 2 miles, and may vary from meet to meet and sometimes from year to year at the same meet. The tables generally make note of that.
5A East Championship, Joe Mack Park, Jonesboro, Thursday, Nov. 3
The Pioneer senior high boys completed the threepeat at the 5A East Championship in Jonesboro’s Joe Mack Park, taking five spots in the top 15. Jillian Jones won the girls title by more than 2 minutes, with fellow freshman Lauren Cowden taking ninth in her first senior high race.
Sophomore Alex Keister pushed the boys pace early, leading through the first mile under 5:40. Classmate Corbyn Snell and senior team leader Trey Peugeot were in two packs about five and 15 seconds behind and freshman Peyton Fowler held on with a third group at 5:55. Peugeot had closed the gap and was pushing to the front with Keister trying to hang on as they were in second and third at the 2-mile mark just under 12 minutes. Snell was a few seconds back fighting for a top 5 spot. Fowler was working his way up through the pack in the top 10 just under 13 minutes.
Senior Jacob Smith was digging hard just under 14 minutes with several Greene County Tech runners to catch to defend the team title. With about 3/4 of a mile to go, Jacob still had targets. As Coach Wilson told him he needed to catch a group, he answered back, “They are not going to beat me!” Jacob had told coach at the beginning of the season his goal was for the team to win conference for the third year in a row. He ran the second-fastest race of his career to make it happen. His only faster race: The inaugural Pioneer Invitational at Sulphur Rock in 2015. Jacob runs his best when motivated by team and home.
The victory was truly a team triumph, with the rise of freshman Fowler and senior Smith to the fourth and fifth scoring spots. Fowler made all-conference in only his second senior high race, beating his debut time by a few seconds. The team title would have been lost without either of these top performances by the freshman and the senior.
The Lady Pioneers are looking to the future, with only two freshmen running and no scoring team in the conference meet. But both made all-conference with top 10 finishes. Jillian Jones led wire to wire, a minute ahead at the mile mark in just under 6 minutes. Lauren Cowden was in a pack about 90 seconds behind, gradually working her way forward throughout in her senior high 5K debut. Jillian was running against the clock at mile 2 in about 12:40, and closed right at 20 minutes. That was about 15 seconds slower than her previous race, breaking a string of four straight PRs that had dropped her time from 21:29 to 19:43. Lauren kept churning into ninth place in 24:21, and should quickly drop her time as she gains experience and adds miles. The junior Pioneers boast three strong eighth graders who run with Lauren and look like a formidable conference crew with Jillian next year.
Next up: The 5A State Championship at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Saturday, Nov. 12.
Junior Wal Mart XC Invitational, Austin Cross Country Course, Monday, Oct. 29
The Pioneer Junior High girls wrapped up their season with a championship run at the Junior Wal Mart XC Invitational put on by Cabot. All five Pioneers won top 30 medals as they took the title among nine teams and 195 runners.
Seventh grader Maggie Walton won the race in her 2-mile PR of 12:47 (6:23/mile). (Our Jillian Jones won in 2015 in 12:59 on the same course in a muddy downpour.) Eighth grader Kaylee Clark, who has been leading the team most of the season, finished close behind in third at 13:11. Freshman Lauren Cowden, who will move up to run the state championship with Jillian at Oaklawn Nov. 12, grabbed sixth in 13:27. Eighth grader Tori Roddy gave us four in the top 10 as she raced to eighth place in 13:39. Eighth grader Madelyn Cunningham improved more than a minute from her 2-mile personal best a week before at Oaklawn, taking 28th in 14:18.
All of the girls ran a minute faster than their previous bests, all at the Lake Hamilton Invitational the week before except Lauren’s, which was at her 2-mile debut at Heber Springs in September.
I’ve been home the past two weekends with injuries and illness of my own, but Maggie looks great running alone in front in pictures from today’s meet, and Kaylee is in good form in the clear in the same photo series. The eighth graders have continued to work hard and steadily improve from their good start last year, and Lauren has been doing very well in her first year, despite missing some time nursing injuries. It’s been especially rewarding to see Maggie grow from an enthusiastic member of the 2015-16 after-school running program at Eagle Mountain Magnet Elementary into a competitive junior high racer.
This is a strong core for a varsity team next year, as the eighth graders move on to ninth and step up. Looking forward to track season and beyond!
Official Results: Junior High Girls
Lake Hamilton Invitational, Oaklawn Race Track, Hot Springs, Saturday, Oct. 22
The Pioneers got big results despite taking a small squad to the Lake Hamilton Invitational because of other school commitments for many on the team. Freshman Jillian Jones finished third against the best competition in the state, marking her fourth consecutive PR and dropping her 5K time to 19:43. At 6:22 a mile, she has put herself among the top 5A senior girls and will contend for the state title back on this Oaklawn course Nov. 12. She’s knocked two minutes off her time since the end of September, and the PR is reported as a “US Second Team” Elite performance at MileSplit.com.
Following in Jillian’s footsteps in junior high is seventh grader Maggie Walton, who “ran lights out” Saturday, Coach Diane Treadway said. Maggie finished 15th of 291 runners, second of only three seventh graders in the top 30. Her time of 13:54 is the first sub-14 two-mile time by a Pioneer junior girl other than Jillian Jones in the past three years. Maggie has worked her way up through our junior high ranks week by week and this was her first time to lead the scoring. And the team ran quite well right behind her, too, with Kaylee Clark 18th, Tori Roddy 31st, Lauren Cowden 47th, and Madelyn Cunningham 59th, adding up to fourth place overall. All ran their two-mile PRs except Cowden, who has only run the distance twice and still missed by only 15 seconds in her second week back from injury time off. That’s the makings of a powerful senior team in years to come.
The senior boys had breakout performances of their own as sophomore Alex Keister clocked the best Pioneer time of the year in 18:21, his personal best by 40 seconds. Not far behind was classmate Corbyn Snell in his personal best of 19:01. Making a splash in his senior high debut, freshman Peyton Fowler showed he’s ready to be our fourth scorer, finishing his first school 5K in 19:47. We have not had a fourth scorer under 21 minutes yet this year. The rest of the senior high squad stayed home, but the results bode well for the upcoming conference championship Nov. 3 at Joe Mack Park in Jonesboro. We need a strong run from our fourth and fifth scorers, and Peyton fits the bill.
Only eighth graders Austin Scott and Brandon Grant traveled for the junior high race, but both had their best-ever two-mile runs by about 30 seconds. Austin finished 67th in 13:06 and Brandon 83rd in 13:21, with 351 in the race. Like the girls, the boys look to have the stuff of a solid senior team in the years ahead.
Pioneer Invitational, Sulphur Rock Magnet Elementary School, Monday, Oct. 17
The Pioneers put on a good show and proved to be good neighbors and hosts at their second Pioneer Invitational. Jillian Jones registered her third consecutive PR in the 5K at 20:00 as she left the rest of the senior girls behind.
Melbourne eighth grader Kiley Webb won the junior high girls race with Pioneer Kaylee Clark in third. Lauren Cowden finished 10th, staying on track in her return from injury. Tori Roddy finished 13th and Madelyn Cunningham 17th. With seventh grader Maggie Walton nursing blisters, classmate Lexie Hulen stepped up as fifth scorer for the Pioneers, 67th of the 139 competitors. The junior course was a bit longer than the 2015 version, but the returning girls still ran faster or close to their times a year ago.
Our neighbors in Cave City looked good in the boys’ races as Kendall Townsley and Marcus Rudick went 1-2 in seniors and Luke Walling finished second in juniors. Senior Trey Peugeot led the Pioneers, working his way to eighth place, with sophomore Corbyn Snell fighting up to 14th in 19:10, just a second off his PR. Classmate Alex Keister finished 18th and Brian Briesmeister registered his PR of 21:53 as he stepped up as fourth scorer for the first time, just ahead of senior Jesus Figueroa. Senior Jacob Smith and junior Hunter Barnett rounded out the team, with Hunter marking his season’s best at 23:45.
The junior boys have formed into a fast pack that will get better and better as they challenge each other. Austin Scott in 11th at 10:32 nipped Kaden Shaw by less than a quarter second, with Brandon Grant in 17th at 10:37 and Peyton Fowler hanging on from a fast start to finish 21st in 10:49. Brandon knocked a minute off his 2015 time despite the longer course this year. Lane Lambert was fifth scorer at 11:43 in 44th place out of the 166 racers. Gage Baker improved 10 seconds from 2015 on the longer course and Devin Rice matched his past. Seventh graders Matthew Fretwell (14:04) and Chase Beckdoldt (15:36) keep working and improving.
Bomber Invitational, Mountain Home High School, Tuesday, Oct. 11
The junior girls celebrated the return from injury of ninth-grader Lauren Cowden and seventh-grader Lexie Hulen with a team victory on the hills at Mountain Home High. Both girls ran PRs after missing the previous two meets. Lauren returned from two weeks on the sidelines to grab 10th place in her PR of 10:28, just behind Kaylee Clark in fifth at 10:18. Kaylee matched her PR of the week before. Tori Roddy was another 10 seconds back, 10:39 in 17th, and Maggie Walton ran 10:52 in 21st. Madelyn Cunningham rounded out the scoring in 32nd at 11:35. Madelyn finished between the fourth and fifth scorers for Quitman, who finished just two points behind the Pioneers.
It was a good day for the ladies, as Jillian Jones won the senior girls race. She ran a 40-second PR in 20:20 and her victory came a bit easier than the junior team title: Jillian was a minute ahead of second place, and it was again a minute back to third and yet another minute to fourth.
The junior boys found a crowded field of nearly 200, giving several of them a fight to the finish. Austin Scott came of age with a 30-second PR to finish 16th in 9:26, with Peyton Fowler battling to 22nd, beating five of six runners within 2 seconds of him. Kaden Shaw and Brandon Grant finished challenging each other in 30th and 31st, 9:47.77 and 9:47.97. Kaden bettered his PR from the week before by a fraction of a second. Lane Lambert fought off two of three runners within half a second of his PR of 10:24.39. Behind the five scorers came Devin Rice in a 25-second PR of 11:12, and Gage Baker in his PR of 12:19, a fraction of a second faster than his best the week before at Salem. Seventh graders Matthew Fretwell and Chase Beckdoldt ran well in the hills and crowd, but a little off their times in the previous week. Matthew beat two of three within a second of his 12:35.9.
The senior boys finished in the middle of a smaller pack of 12 teams and 120 runners. Trey Peugeot finished 33rd in 19:22, sophomores Alex Keister 38th in 19:32 and Corbyn Snell 43rd in 19:44, seniors Jesus Figueroa 87th in 22:48 and Jacob Smith 89th in 22:59, and junior Hunter Barnett 102nd in 23:48.
The official results include some unregistered chip reassignments, as junior girls Lexie Hulen and senior boys Brian Briesmeister are both listed as running in what would have been PRs, but neither competed. Their unused chips were returned and apparently given to athletes from other schools, but the changes were not recorded in the computer listings.
Salem Invitational, Salem High School, Tuesday, Oct. 4
The junior high teams are catching fire as the weather cools! Nearly every junior high runner sped to a PR at Salem. Kaylee Clark again led the girls with a strong third place finish in 10:18, her PR by 25 seconds. Tori Roddy steamed in not far behind with her 40-second PR of 10:31 in ninth, and seventh grader Maggie Walton earned a medal in 13th in her own 40-second PR of 10:40. Madelyn Cunningham had a 25-second PR in 11:06, and Kori Davidson just missed by 6 seconds matching her PR from the week before.
Peyton Fowler showed the way as the junior high boys hit the gas, too. He again lost a shoe in the finishing sprint to his PR of 9:24 in 12th place. Brandon Grant made a big leap forward with another excellent kick for a 30-second PR of 9:36 in 15th. Kaden Shaw and Austin Scott just missed medals in 21st and 22nd, but hit PRs of 9:49 and 9:52. Lane Lambert put on a great fight in a crowd to finish 44th in his PR of 10:35. Devin Rice officially matched his PR of 11:38 on the same course last year. Gage Baker dropped another 20 seconds from his PR two weeks before, while seventh graders Matthew Fretwell, Ian Seymore and Chase Beckdoldt all went at least 50 seconds faster than ever before.
The senior girls race again was a solo affair for Jillian Jones, running steady mile splits around 6:45 to set her PR of 21:00, 90 seconds ahead of her nearest pursuer.
An extra week of practice instead of racing helped the senior boys as Trey Peugeot dropped under 19 minutes for the first time this season, holding off three challengers to finish eighth in 18:38. Sophomores Alex Keister (12th, 19:01) and Corbyn Snell (13th, 19:10) both broke 20 minutes for the first time. Seniors Jacob Smith (21:31) and Jesus Figueroa (21:51) along with junior Hunter Barnett (23:56) ran season’s bests. Sophomore Brian Briesmeister worked hard to close one spot back of Figueroa in 21:56, never having been under 23:00 before.
Sloan-Hendrix Invitational, Old Davidsonville Park, Pocahontas, Tuesday, Sept. 27
Junior girls started things off at Old Davidsonville on hard-packed woodland trails and rolling hills, with eighth grader Kaylee Clark fighting to the finish in fourth at 10:48, outkicked by a few seconds for second and third. Melbourne eighth grader Kylie Webb won in 10:07, breaking Jillian Jones’ course record of 10:17 set last year. Pioneer seventh grader Maggie Walton took another big step forward, showing a strong kick to finish 12th in her best ever 11:19. Tori Roddy was in the neighborhood at 11:25 and Madelyn Cunningham was another 30 seconds back. Kori Davidson ran 90 seconds faster than the week before as she keeps working. Teams were not scored, but Southside had four in the top 10 and Melbourne and Batesville each had three in the top 15 and four in the top 25.
The junior boys continued their march forward as well, with all returning runners improving 30-90 seconds with the added year of maturity. Peyton Fowler ran his PR of 9:32 with a stirring battle the last 200 yards to finish seventh. Brandon Grant is growing stronger and more confident, too, also displaying grat finishing form as he also hit a PR of 10:04 in 20th place, a step ahead of Kaden Shaw (21st, 10:05). Austin Scott rounded out the trio in 25th at 10:19. Lane Lambert took a tumble in the woods and had to fix a shoe, losing a little time on his way to 64th in 11:17 as our fifth. Devin Rice took 45 seconds off his 2015 time; Gage Baker improved 1:20; seventh grader Matthew Fretwell made his 2.5K (1.55 miles) debut in 13:34 and classmate Ian Seymore ran a solid 13:24 in his first race. Chase Beckdoldt kept up his week-to-week progress, dropping another 45 seconds off his time to finish in 15:15.
The junior high squads all made their way out to observation points to watch Jillian Jones run away with the senior girls title. Jillian went to the front early, leading by more than 45 seconds before the first mile and steadily pulling away to win in 21:45. She was the only freshman in the top 20, and more than two minutes ahead of the field.
With no team title on the line, the senior boys stayed home for tougher practice and more speed work, looking ahead to bigger races.
Eagles Invitational, Greers Ferry Westside, Tuesday, Sept. 20
The junior boys showed solid improvement in the third outing of the year, with several running PRs and nearly all considerably faster than at the same course in 2015. Four finished in the top 20, with Peyton Fowler in 12th, despite losing a shoe finishing hard in the home stretch. Kaden Shaw (15th) broke 10:00 for the first time, while Austin Scott (18th) and Brandon Grant (19th) were just seconds behind, all about 45 seconds faster than 2015. Greenbrier placed five in the top 25 to win the team title, followed by Clinton and the Pioneers. Freshman Lane Lambert (40th) improved by a minute from opening week, running 10:42 as our fifth scorer and almost catching Clinton’s fifth finisher in 39th at 10:41. Gage Baker ran his best ever by 35 seconds at 12:43 and Chase Beckdoldt ran a minute faster than his debut two weeks before.
The junior girls came out strong as well, with Kaylee Clark charging to fifth place in a PR of 10:41, almost a minute faster than over the same course in 2015. Tori Roddy (17th) and Madelyn Cunningham (22nd) also have grown a minute faster, and seventh-grader Maggie Walton is progressing fast with each week of practice. Maggie closed fast on Madelyn to finish 23rd in 11:33, a minute faster than her debut two weeks before. Classmate Lexi Hulen improved by a minute and a half from her debut, rounding out our scoring in 35th, giving the team a solid third-place finish close behind Quitman and Southside. Injured ninth grader Lauren Cowden sat out the race, and likely would have provided another top 20 finish, making the team score even closer. Seventh grader Kori Davidson showed her fighting spirit at the finish and gets better as the practice miles add up.
Senior boys still seem to be wrestling with heat. Steady second scorer Alex Keister missed the meet but sophomore classmate Corbyn Snell stepped up with his 5K PR in 20:05, running hard on the heels of team leader Trey Peugeot, who was 13th in 19:27. Jacob Smith had his season’s best by 90 seconds in 22:02 while Jesus Figueroa fought illness to finish as fourth scorer in 22:57. Sophomore Brian Briesmeister stepped into the fifth runner spot in 24:13. Sophomore Nathan Harris battled to the last step to edge a runner from Shirley High at 31:04. The team notched a third place finish behind Heber Springs and Quitman.
Freshman Jillian Jones finished second in 21:31 as three girls ran away from the rest of the field, but the leader from Lonoke turned an ankle in the woods near the two-mile mark and did not finish. She had a 300-yard lead on Greenbrier’s Rachel Barnhardt at the time, followed about that far back by Jillian. Barnhardt, a junior, won in 20:25.
Josh Park Memorial Invitational, Heber Springs, Tuesday, Sept. 13
Peyton Fowler had less trouble with his allergies and jumped back to the front for the junior boys on the tough climbs of the damsite park trails, at 13:16 dropping 20 seconds off his 2015 race there. Kaden Shaw and Austin Scott followed less than 20 seconds behind, both improving by nearly 1:30 from last year. Brandon Grant was another 30 seconds back, with an even bigger improvement of 1:45 on the two-mile course. Lane Lambert continued to improve as our fifth scorer. Eighth grader Gage Baker made his 2016 debut and managed his PR at the two-mile distance at 18:26, topping his Valley View run last year of 19:27. Seventh grader Matthew Fretwell ran steadily in his first competition at 16:04. The team finished fourth among 5A-7A schools.
With Jillian Jones up to senior high, Kaylee Clark took top spot for the junior girls, in fifth place 5A-7A in her two-mile PR in 14:19. Lauren Cowden finished seventh half a minute behind. Seventh grader Maggie Walton, racing two miles for the first time, made a big leap forward to shine as our third scorer, 13th in 15:29, followed by Tori Roddy, 18th in 15:55. Fifth scorer was Lexie Hulen, 31st in 16:56, also in her first time at the two-mile distance. The girls were second behind Vilonia.
Senior boys ran a bit better with another week of practice under their belts, as Trey Peugeot (12th in 5A-7A), Alex Keister (20th), Corbyn Snell (24th), and Jesus Figueroa all ran 20-80 seconds faster than at Melbourne. Jacob Smith stepped up as fifth scorer with Brian Briesmeister working hard as our sixth. Sophomore Nathan Harris pushed all the way in his first race.
Jillian Jones made her senior debut with a solid sixth place finish in 22:19.
Melbourne Bearkatz Invitational, Tuesday, Sept. 6
The junior high boys team got the Pioneer cross-country season off to a strong start with four boys in the top 20 at the Melbourne Bearkatz Invitational. Eighth grader Austin Scott led the way in 9:59 for the 1.55 miles, followed closely by Brandon Grant (also eighth grade), Peyton Fowler (ninth), and Kaden Shaw (eighth). Peyton fought through an allergy attack that slowed him from the pace he has shown in practices, but he still improved on his time at the same meet in 2015. Austin improved by two minutes from the previous year, while Brandon dropped nearly five minutes off his debut race in 2015, and Kaden improved by a minute. Ninth grader Lane Lambert made a strong start to his first season in 11:49 as our fifth team scorer, giving the team third place. Eighth grader Devin Rice dropped 20 seconds from his 2015 run, and seventh graders Keegan Sudol, Chase Beckdoldt and Casen Campbell ran hard in their first competition.
Ninth grader Jillian Jones, soon to move up to senior high competition, led the junior girls with a third-place finish in 10:32. Eighth grader Kaylee Clark followed in fourth, 45 seconds faster than 2015 in 10:50, with ninth grade newcomer Lauren Cowden fifth in 10:55. Returning eighth graders Tori Roddy (18th) and Madelyn Cunningham (23rd) made big improvements from 2015 and rounded out our top five scorers, while seventh graders Maggie Walton (25th), Lexie Hulen, and Kori Richardson did a good job in their first competition.
Trey Peugeot led the way for the senior boys, fighting his way to seventh place. Texas transfer Ezekquil Gonzalez showed a strong track background with a big kick to finish 13th in 20:57 as our second scorer. (He has since returned to Texas and this was his only race.) Corbyn Snell (19th) and Alex Keister (20th) ran together just under 22 minutes and Jesus Figueroa (33rd) pushed to finish as our fifth scorer at 23:23, with Jacob Smith close behind and Brian Briesmeister and Hunter Barnett just over 25 minutes on the hilly, sandy course.