4A State Championship at Oaklawn, Nov. 9
Junior Gunner Shell earned all-state honors for the second time as he led the Batesville Pioneers to a strong fourth place Saturday in the 4A Cross Country Championship at Oaklawn.
Shell finished 16th of 218 with a time of 18:08.1, improving from 17th in 18:50 last year. Classmate Brandon Grant, also all-state last year (16th at 18:49), was under the weather but fought to 34th in almost the identical time of 18:47.4 for the 5K this year. Shell and Grant have traded top spot for the Pioneers throughout the past two years, with Shell winning the 4A-3 district title in 2018 and Grant edging him by a second this year on Oct. 28.
Saturday, senior Lane Lambert finished his career with his best time ever, 18:34.3 in 25th place, just outside of the top 10 percent of the field earning all-state designation. Sophomore Trey Moody also recorded his personal best in 41st at 18:53.3. Junior Kaden Shaw stayed close for 45th in 18:57.2, his first time sub-19:00. The team performance with five scoring runners under 19:00 is one of the strongest ever for the Pioneer boys, unmatched in at least the past 20 years.
Senior Peyton Fowler, 64th in 19:21.1, improved by a minute from state last year. Coach Stan Fowler, who also coaches the defending state champion Lady Pioneers basketball team, praised the senior leadership his son and Lambert provided. The pair wrap up their Pioneer days with three district team titles and second place by a single point this year, topped off with this best-in-decades finish at state. The Pioneers won a state title long ago in 1973 as a 2A school but have been no higher than sixth since 2000.
Others finishing Saturday and looking ahead to next year are junior Devin Rice in 20:54.1, sophomore Noah Chaffin in 21.19.9, and junior Anthony Sonnier in a personal best 21:41.6.
4A-3 district champions Valley View finished third behind Huntsville and DeQueen in the team standings.
The Lady Pioneers fielded a scoring team of five for only the third time all year, led by returning 2017 and 2018 all-state senior Lauren Cowden. Just back from injury rehabilitation, Cowden toughed out a 48th-place finish in 22:58.7, only a few seconds off her 2018 time. Her all-state teammate from last year, Reese Gardner, now a senior transfer at Southside, climbed to sixth this year in 20:35.7. Batesville finished 10th of 21 scoring teams and the Southerners 14th.
For the Lady Pioneers, junior Tori Roddy ran a career best 23:43.10, sophomore Maggie Walton ran 24:15.4, ninth-grader Jocilyn Crain hit 24:43.9 for her first time under 25:00 in only her second senior high race 5K, and junior Madelyn Cunningham finished in 25:12.3.
District champion Valley View finished second to Harrison in the girls team standings.
Official results at Milesplit: https://ar.milesplit.com/meets/361144/results#.XcrkB5JKjOQ
Photo albums at Milesplit: https://ar.milesplit.com/photos/albums/46178?tag=4A+Boys, https://ar.milesplit.com/photos/albums/46178?tag=4A+Girls
4A-3 Championship, Joe Mack Campbell Park, Nov. 28
Batesville junior Brandon Grant won the 4A-3 cross country individual title Tuesday at Joe Mack Campbell Park in Jonesboro, edging classmate and defending champ Gunner Shell.
The 1-2 finish wasn’t quite enough to give the Pioneers a sixth straight district championship though, as Valley View put five runners in the top 10 to squeak out a 30-31 victory.
Shell went to the front early and Grant stayed close throughout the first two miles. Valley View’s senior Avery Aquino and sophomore Britt Hawkins closed in near the two-mile mark before the Pioneers finished with a flourish. Grant ran a career best 18:15.89, just ahead of Shell in the final sprint at 18:17.37.
Not far behind the leaders, Pioneer senior Lane Lambert lost a shoe in a mud puddle early on and ran most of the 3.1 miles without it. He ran a gritty race side by side with Highland’s Camden Morris and Valley View’s Jacob Austin and Coy Morris, charging ultimately to a seventh place finish in 18:53.42, less than a second behind Austin.
Senior classmate Peyton Fowler finished just out of the medals in 11th for the Pioneers at 19:14.38 and junior Kaden Shaw took 12th at 19:32.80. Remaining Pioneers were Devin Rice 22nd in 21:19.99, Anthony Sonnier 24th in a personal best 21:51, Tanner Queary 25th in 21:54.37, and Jacob Dorris in a personal best 23:37.80.
The race is a promising preview of the upcoming state championship Nov. 9 at Oaklawn Park, as Valley View, Batesville, DeQueen, and Huntsville all have registered similar times and performances for their five scoring runners throughout the season. Batesville ran Tuesday with Noah Chaffin and Trey Moody, two of their usual top six, out for injury or illness and will figure to be stronger at state. The teams met earlier in the Lake Hamilton Invitational Oct. 19 at Oaklawn. Among 1A-4A schools there, Valley View finished second, DeQueen third and Batesville fifth with Grant absent that day for the Pioneers. At full strength, the Pioneers are evenly matched with the best in the state in 4A.
Meet host Valley View also won the girls title with seven runners in the top 10, led by champion Kendal Minton, a ninth-grader, in 20:45.17. Southside’s Reese Gardner finished second in 21:03.73 and sister Brett Gardner ninth in 22:44.99, propelling the Southerners to the team runner-up trophy. The sisters ran for Batesville in 2018.
Batesville senior Lauren Cowden, second at district last year, returned from a few weeks of precautionary rest and just missed the medals in 11th place in 23:38.47. Sophomore Maggie Walton was 12th in 23:48.97 and Tori Roddy was 14th in 24:22.59. Madelyn Cunningham finished in 25:56.34, with Batesville one runner short of a team score.
In the junior boys race at the longer two miles instead of the usual 1.55 miles, Batesville’s Grant McDonald finished just out of the medals in 11th at 13:36.09 with seventh-grade classmate Isaac Wehrung 14th in 13:47.15. Freshman Andrew Wixson ran 16:39.63.
For the junior girls, seventh-grader Kennedy Johnson ran well in her first time at the longer distance in 16:42.54, and eighth-grader Kinley Dorris finished in 18:07.96.
Click for official results: https://ar.milesplit.com/meets/368078/results
Next up: 4A state championship, Saturday, Nov. 9, Oaklawn, senior high only, boys at 9 a.m., girls at 10.
Lake Hamilton Invitational, Oaklawn, Saturday, Oct. 19
With two of their usual top five absent, the Pioneer boys nevertheless turned in a strong performance at Oaklawn Park looking ahead to the district and state championships.
The Lake Hamilton Invitational at the horse track Saturday featured 69 schools and more than 1,500 runners in four races: boys and girls divisions each in junior and senior high.
Junior Gunner Shell, back from injury rest, finished 19th among 1A-4A runners in 18:13.17. With classmate Brandon Grant out of the lineup for a major band competition in Little Rock, senior Lane Lambert stepped up to second scorer. He ran a sparkling career best by more than a minute to finish 31st at 18:48.59. Sophomore Trey Moody, finally clear of nagging illness, likewise came up big as he chopped 90 seconds off his best to claim 34th in 19:02.27.
Senior Peyton Fowler in 19:37.74 and junior Kaden Shaw in 20:30.48 rounded out the scoring five for Batesville. Freshman Tanner Queary improved to 21:16.48 in his second senior high contest, while junior Anthony Sonnier ran 22:43.14. Sophomore Jacob Dorris joined the ranks making a leap forward as he too took a minute off his career best in 23:44.48.
District rival Valley View finished second in the 1A-4A standings among 41 schools fielding 23 scoring teams. In all, 579 boys finished and 1A-4A results were separated electronically from 5A-6A.
State 4A contender DeQueen finished third, with the Pioneers a solid fifth. With Grant in the lineup in his usual position, the Pioneers would figure to claim third ahead of DeQueen. Also out Saturday were sophomore Noah Chaffin, usually right with Lambert in the scoring five, and junior Devin Rice, who has been performing well in the team’s deep group sharing the load as the “displacers” — sixth and seventh scorers.
The district championship Oct. 29 looks to be a battle royale between the Blazers and Pioneers, where any side by side finish could be decisive. Valley View will have plenty of motivation to end the Pioneer streak of five district championships, as they also are this year’s meet hosts at Joe Mack Campbell Park.
At Oaklawn, the Lady Pioneers also had a grand day in good weather on the fast course, with junior Tori Roddy running 23:56.9, her first time breaking 24:00. Sophomore Maggie Walton ran 24:54.15, junior Madelyn Cunningham hit 25:06.28, and ninth-grader Jocilyn Crain made an encouraging senior high debut in 26:09.73. The field consisted of 365 girls, with 34 schools and 11 scoring teams represented in 1A-4A. Valley View won the girls 1A-4A team title.
Click for official results: https://ar.milesplit.com/meets/361137/results
Next up: 4A-3 district championship, Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Joe Mack Campbell Park, Jonesboro, senior girls at 3 p.m.
Bald Knob Invitational, Tuesday, Oct. 8
The Pioneers got another good look at 4A-3 District rival Valley View at the Bald Knob XC Invitational on the country club course Tuesday.
Brandon Grant ran behind Cave City’s Luke Walling and Fischer Miller in third place much of the way, and hung on for eighth in 18:36 in senior boys. Junior classmate Gunner Shell rested aching knees and did not race in the 5K field of 198.
Behind Grant, Valley View put five runners ahead of seniors Peyton Fowler (41st, 20:02) and Lane Lambert (42nd, 20:02.1), who ran strong races on the challenging hills. Sophomore Noah Chaffin stuck close to finish 50th in 20:19, with his classmate Trey Moody in 60th at 20:40. Junior Kaden Shaw was right behind at 20:44 in 64th. Junior Devin Rice kicked in to take 96th in 21:30, and freshman Tanner Queary made his senior debut in 120th at 22:30. Junior Anthony Sonnier ran his season’s best by 30 seconds at 23:00. Sophomore Jacob Dorris approached his best on this more difficult course at 25:54.
Valley View finished second to Benton, with the Pioneers sixth and having some work ahead to defend the district title. With a deep Pioneer crew all running faster year-to-year times and fairer weather ahead, the season should see a rousing fast finish.
The Pioneers are shorthanded elsewhere, with three junior high boys, two junior high girls and three senior girls running. The senior girls should have a scoring team for the remaining meets at Oaklawn (Lake Hamilton Invitational), Joe Mack Campbell Park (4A-3 District) and Oaklawn again (4A State).
Sophomore Maggie Walton ran comfortably in the cooler temperatures and lower humidity, finishing 37th for senior girls in 24:27, her best since state championships last November. Tori Roddy ran her second-fastest ever in a strong, steady effort at 24:44 for 44th place among 136. Madelyn Cunningham ran a solid first mile beside her teammates before stepping off in distress.
Freshman Jocilyn Crain had her best race of the year at 13:43, 34th of 193 junior girls on the 1.8 mile course. That’s about a quarter-mile longer than the usual distance. Eighth-grader Kinley Dorris finished right in the middle of the field, 93rd in 15:13, faster than her PR pace, and more than two minutes faster than last year at the same race.
Grant McDonald led the junior boys in 12:39, 72nd of 248, with seventh-grade classmate Isaac Wehrung right behind, 75th in 12.44. Those are equivalent to personal bests over the usual 2.5K distance. Freshman Andrew Wixson ran 13:30, which also translates to close to his best and is half a minute faster than at the same course in 2018.
Results: http://live2.macdonaldtiming.com/#event4, awaited at ar.milesplit.com
Next up: Lake Hamilton Invitational, Oaklawn, Saturday, Oct. 19, senior high only, boys at 10:30 a.m., senior girls at 11.
Caveman Open, Tuesday, Oct. 1
The Pioneer depth was put to the full test in oppressive heat Tuesday at the second Caveman Open in Cave City. Nagging strains and high temperatures on a dry course knocked out Gunner Shell and Sherlyn Orantes in the senior high 5Ks, while Lauren Cowden, Kaylee Clark, Grant McDonald, and
Kayden Kaden Shaw were unavailable to start.
The senior boys met an even deeper team for the first time in weeks, as 5A powerhouse Mountain Home grabbed 10 of the first 30 places, despite their top three runners sitting out ahead of the showcase
Chili Chile Pepper Festival upcoming on the weekend in Fayetteville. Bombers finished 3-4-5-7, with only Pioneer Brandon Grant breaking up the pack in sixth at 19:36.19.
The course changed from the previous year, with a difficult hilly woodland section removed in favor of flatter field, but the extreme temperature kept things difficult enough. Pioneer times were slower than previous weeks but in general solid improvements over the previous year. Grant was nearly two minutes faster trading the challenging heat for last year’s hills.
The Pioneers were the only other team with three runners in the top 30 earning T-shirts, as sophomore Noah Chaffin fought off a late challenger for 22nd in 21:13 and senior Lane Lambert closed in at 24th in 21:17. Lambert improved by 90 seconds over 2018, and Chaffin had not yet come up from junior high at the race last year. Senior Peyton Fowler ran 22:04 in 34th and figures to improve with less divided energy as his tennis season has ended. Sophomore Trey Moody nipped a Cave City runner by less than a tenth of a second for 42nd in 22:32.99.
The five gave the Pioneers 85 points for second behind Mountain Home’s 29. Cave City was third at 126. Devin Rice (23:47.50), Anthony Sonnier (24:09), and Jacob Dorris (29:37) dug down among the 122 finishers. Rice improved by nearly a minute over 2018, while Sonnier matched his time from the previous week in tougher weather.
The weather took its highest toll on the senior girls, as the early race leader collapsed in front near the halfway point and quickly received medical assistance. Junior Madelyn Cunningham ran well early and gritted her way through dehydrating distress to finish 21st (of 84) in 26:04, a minute faster than 2018. Tori Roddy also improved by a minute year to year at 28:16. Maggie Walton endured at 32:44.
Jocilyn Crain led the Pioneer junior girls in 14:00 for the 2.5K, with Kinley Dorris at 14:13 (half a minute better than 2018) and seventh-grader Kennedy Johnson making her debut in 14:47 among 158 finishers.
Freshman Tanner Queary grabbed a junior boys T-shirt for 29th in 10:40, with seventh-grader Isaac Wehrung seconds off his PR despite the conditions in 10:58. Andrew Wixson charged in at 11:50, a bit better than 2018, finishing 80th of 207 in the crowded field.
Click for official results: https://ar.milesplit.com/meets/355065/results
Next up: Bald Knob XC Invitational, Oct. 8, first race at 4 p.m.
Sloan-Hendrix Invitational, Tuesday, Sept. 24
The Pioneer pack again came through in a tough test with district rival Valley View as the senior boys triumphed Tuesday at the Sloan-Hendrix Cross-Country Invitational at Old Davidsonville State Park.
Cave City’s Luke Walling led Pioneers Brandon Grant and Gunner Shell from the start. Tuckerman’s Jayden Shannon, a basketball player leading the new program for the Bulldogs, closed hard over the last quarter mile to pass the Pioneers for second. Grant (19:16) edged Shell (19:19) for third of 122 on the hilly woodland trails.
Valley View senior Avery Aquino finished ninth in 19:54, with sophomores Hayden Oholendt 10th and Brit Hawkins 12th. The Pioneer pack then secured the win with senior Lane Lambert 18th, sophomore Noah Chaffin 19th, and senior Peyton Fowler 20th, just ahead of Valley View sophomores Coy Morris and Eric Fluke in 21st and 22nd. Batesville sophomore Trey Moody and junior Kaden Shaw were close behind in 24th and 25th.
The two teams took 12 of the first 25 spots with no other team taking more than two. The Pioneers totaled 58 points to edge the Blazers at 64.
Juniors Devin Rice (46th, 22:40) and Anthony Sonnier (70th, 24:11) and sophomore Jacob Dorris (27:35) ran solid races in the coolest weather of the season.
Most of the boys results were 60-90 seconds faster than over the same course a year ago, but there’s work to do to keep ahead of Valley View’s young depth.
Melbourne sophomore Kenley McCarn went to the front and stayed there in the senior girls race to win in 22:16, with a closing surge from Valley View sophomore Sophey Pope bringing her near at second in 22:33. Batesville senior Lauren Cowden ran a steady 23:26 for fifth out of 85.
Valley View took the team title with five runners in the top 25 for 43 points. Melbourne, Batesville, Bald Knob and Heber Springs had three each in the top 25.
Pioneer sophomore Maggie Walton continues her return to form, finishing 22nd in 25:31 with junior Tori Roddy keeping pace in 24th at 25:43. Junior Madelyn Cunningham finished 33rd in 26:49. Senior Sherlyn Orantes ran well with the group before an ankle injury stopped her a bit less than halfway. Four finishers left the ladies short of a team score.
In the junior girls race, ninth-grader Jocilyn Crain ran 13:48 for 71st, right in the middle of the field of 139. Eighth-grader Kinley Dorris was 88th in 14:24.
Isaac Wehrung ran 11:09, within a few seconds of his Salem PR on a much more challenging course, to finish 49th of 183. Times for Andrew Wixson and Grant McDonald were voided for starting line violation.
Click for official results: https://ar.milesplit.com/meets/359947/results
Next up: Cave City Caveman Open, Oct. 1, Junior girls at 3:30 p.m.
Salem Invitational, Tuesday, Sept. 17
A redesigned course at Salem High proved to the liking of the Pioneer senior boys as they placed seven runners in the top 16 to dominate the field of 81, their 29 points well ahead of Westside Greers Ferry at 110.
Gunner Shell sprinted off the line to lead the first quarter mile against Cave City standout Fischer Miller. The Caveman gradually went by and pulled away to win in 16:42, but Shell stayed steady in pursuit on his way to a PR in 17:46.00. Brandon Grant stuck with his teammate for most of the race, finishing third in his own PR of 18:20.48.
The new course removed a significant hill from past years, making a fairly flat loop with excellent turf and traction. The Pioneers took full advantage, with the pack separated by mere seconds: senior Peyton Fowler 10th in 19:30.31, junior Kaden Shaw 11th in 19:30.65, sophomore Noah Chaffin 12th in 19:31.65, and senior Lane Lambert 13th in 19:35.45. Shaw, Chaffin and Lambert ran career bests.
Junior Devin Rice just missed a medal in 16th at his PR of 20:21.17. Sophomore Trey Moody (22nd, 20:50.70), junior Anthony Sonnier (50th, 23:29.50) in his debut, and sophomore Jacob Dorris (58th, PR 24:48.28) rounded out the squad.
Lauren Cowden put up a strong fight in senior girls, running in second most of the way before being edged out late by Melbourne’s Kenley McCarn and last year’s all-state teammate Reece Gardner, now at Southside. Rural Special’s Abbey Linville won in 20:29.39 and Cowden claimed fourth in 21:09.11.
Pioneer juniors Madelyn Cunningham (24:27.07) and Tori Roddy (24:52.92) finished 17th and 19th. Senior Sherlyn Orantes (25:55.57) and sophomore Maggie Walton (27:37.19) completed the Batesville scoring in the field of 61. Most times were solid improvements over the week before at flat and fast Sulphur Rock.
The girls finished third with 63 points behind Westside Greers Ferry at 42 points and just edged by Melbourne with 62.
Freshman Jocilyn Crain was the first Pioneer junior high girl across among 123 competitors, taking 34th at 12:31.18. Eighth-grader Kinley Dorris raced to her career best in 45th at 12:57.51.
Tanner Queary led the field of 143 early in the junior boys race, driving to his fastest ever 2.5K in eighth at 9:20.32. Seventh-graders Isaac Wehrung (46th, 10:54.13) and Grant McDonald (57th, 11:05.72) continued to improve in their third time out. Freshman Andrew Wixson is closing back in on his best, finishing in 11:26.35.
Times, team scores at: https://ar.milesplit.com/meets/363892/
Next up: Sloan-Hendrix at Old Davidsonville, Sept. 24, Junior boys at 4 p.m.
Pioneer Invitational, Tuesday, Sept. 10
The Batesville Pioneers took the senior high team and individual titles in their home cross country invitational meet Tuesday at Sulphur Rock Magnet Elementary. Greene County Tech matched the feat in the junior high races.
Batesville juniors Brandon Grant (18:34.65) and Gunner Shell (18:37.91) ran first and second wire to wire to lead seven Pioneers in the top 15 on the 5K course. Tuckerman’s Jayden Shannon took third in 19:09.42 in the inaugural race for the school’s new athletic program. David Jennings, a senior at Cedar Ridge, finished fourth in a school record 19:30.66.
Batesville’s depth came through next with sophomore Noah Chaffin (20:22.00), and seniors Peyton Fowler (20:33.44) and Lane Lambert (20:35.68) taking fifth, sixth and seventh. Pioneer juniors Kaden Shaw (21:36.49) and Devin Rice (21:38.33) also won individual medals in 14th and 15th out of 60 runners. The Pioneers took the team title with a low score of 18, with Izard County Consolidated second with 86.
Two-time all-state Lady Pioneer Lauren Cowden also went to the front from the start to win the senior girls race in 21:59.13, nearly a minute ahead of Ali Ward of Pocahontas (22:47.96). Mckenzi Tribble of Pocahontas finished third in 23:43.21. The Lady Pioneers had five runners earn individual medals in the top 15, driving them to the team title as seven others in the top 15 were from schools with too few runners for a team score. Pioneer juniors Madelyn Cunningham (fifth, 25:06.35) and Tori Roddy (sixth, 25:14.88), sophomore Maggie Walton (10th, 27:08.85) and senior Sherlyn Orantes (15th, 28:06.70) rounded out the scoring. Junior transfer Riley Freeman finished in 29:55.12, 19th out of 43. Batesville’s 24 points outdistanced Viola with 51.
Greene County Tech’s George Vaughn led all the way for the junior boys in the 2.5K with a winning time of 9:53.58. Five teammates joined him in the top 10, giving Tech the team title with 20 points. Viola put four runners in the top 12 and claimed second at 50 points. Batesville’s Tanner Queary finished fourth in 10:04.03, with teammates Isaac Wehrung 17th in 11:01.88, Grant McDonald 20th in 11:13.96 and Andrew Wixson 27th in 11:41.96. The Pioneers did not have a team score with only four runners among the 55 finishers.
The junior girls contest proved to be the tightest race of the day, with Layne Phillips of Greene County Tech winning in 11:21.2, just ahead of Carly Tribble of Pocahontas in 11:29.80. Tech and Highland each had four girls in the top 15 and Pocahontas had three in the top 10, making for a close team battle. Tech nudged in front with 46 points, with Highland at 55 nipping Pocahontas at 57.
Batesville ninth-grader Jocilyn Crain made her cross country debut with a medal for ninth place in 12:30.27. Eighth-grade teammate Kinley Dorris finished 23rd of 45 in 14:24.58. With only two runners, the junior Lady Pioneers did not have a team score.
Next up: Salem Invitational, Sept. 17, Junior girls first at 4:30
Melbourne Bearkatz Invitational, Tuesday, Sept. 3
The 2019 Batesville Pioneers cross country season got off to a hot start Tuesday at the Melbourne Bearkatz Invitational, with junior Brandon Grant leading the way in a solid third-place finish in the boys race.
The oppressive heat prompted safety warnings from the race starter and made for difficult racing, but all the Pioneers fought through and most ran faster than last year at the same course. With injuries, illness, and newcomers on limited practice, only the senior boys had the five runners needed for a team score. They seized the moment, taking second place among nine scoring teams (16 schools, 80 runners).
Grant and junior classmate Gunner Shell went to the front behind Cave City’s Luke Walling right from the start. Grant ran alone in third after the first mile to finish in 20:11, 90 seconds faster than his 2018 race here. Shell battled all the way to a medal in 11th place at 21:26. Team champ Quitman, the 2018 runners-up in 1A/2A state championships, put three runners in the top 10 between the Pioneer pair to earn their low score. Both teams had five runners in the top 20, as sophomore Noah Chaffin finished in 16th at 22:15 just ahead of Quitman’s fifth runner. Junior Kaden Shaw was seconds behind in 18th at 22:27 and senior Peyton Fowler 19th at 22:36. Senior Lane Lambert pushed close at the finish in 21st at 22:45, more than a minute faster than same race in 20:18. Sophomore Trey Moody came back from minor illness for 34th in 24:22, with junior Devin Rice chasing in 25:08, close to last year’s time despite the adverse conditions. Sophomore Jacob Dorris ran 30:20 and Junior Alvarez toughed it out in 31:51 on limited practice.
The hallmark of this team is depth, as they are rated third in 4A on their top five returning times from 2018. Two of those five athletes are not running this year, but three other returnees step right into their places and will be pushing to maintain that rating.
The senior girls return rated fifth, but only had three finishers Tuesday with three sitting out and Madelyn Cunningham dropping out for safety in the heat after a strong run to the halfway mark. Junior Tori Roddy fought up to 25th place of 79 in 27:41 on light practice, still half a minute faster than last year here. Senior Sherlyn Orantes ran steadily to 37th in 30:06. Newcomer Riley Freeman debuted in 48th at 32:47, a good showing in a new sport as she splits time with tennis.
Junior high girls were represented by eighth-grader Kinley Dorris, who improved almost half a minute from her 2018 time to finish in 16:00. She will be joined as the season progresses by seventh-grader Kennedy Johnson, ninth-grader Jocilyn Crain stepping up from track, and returning eighth-grader Destiny Montalbo.
The junior boys return two freshmen and welcome two seventh graders. Tanner Queary stepped into leadership in an impressive ninth-place finish in 10:23. He’s been sidelined after an off-season fall. This is his third year on the course and all of his times are within a 10-second range. Given the heat, this was the strongest performance and he looks ready to be racing at the front of the junior high pack all season. Newcomer Grant McDonald was the fastest seventh-grader in the field, finishing 34th overall in 11:21. Freshman Andrew Wixson was 50th of 132 in 11:59, half a minute faster than last year at Melbourne. Seventh-grader Isaac Wehrung stuck close to his teammate in 53rd at 12:05, fourth among his class.
Official results are at https://ar.milesplit.com/meets/364791/results#.XXEzA5NKjOQ.
Next up: Pioneer Invitational at Sulphur Rock, Sept. 10