Friday, April 06, 2012

SPORTS >> Cabot teams place high in Panther relays

Leader sportswriter

Cabot teams took second place in both boys and girls competition at the Panthers’ own Walmart Invitational track meet at Panther Stadium on Tuesday.

The Lady Panthers won seven events on their way to a runner-up finish to Bryant, which scored 155 points to Cabot’s 107. Conway finished a close third with 105 points, followed by Jonesboro and Marion.

The Conway boys took top honors with 163 points followed by Cabot with 101.5 points. Marion was third with 89.5 points while West Memphis and Bryant rounded out the top five.

Cabot coach Leon White was pleased with the strong overall team performances, but said the main goal of the meet was to get individuals qualified for the 7A state track meet early next month.

“We felt pretty good about it,” White said. “We mainly wanted to get people qualified for the state meet, and we did that. The girls did really well, and they also did well on the boys side. It was a good meet.”

Cabot senior Emily Myers was the heavy favorite going into the girls long-distance events, and lived up to expectations with wins in the 1,600 meter and 3,200 meter runs. Myers, who is signed to run college track at the University of Nevada at Reno, practically strolled to victory in the 1,600 with a time of 5:11.99, almost 20 seconds better than second-place finisher Claire Kane of Mount St. Mary. Myers’ teammate Allison Sinning took third place by finishing the event in 5:37.38.

Myers and Sinning swept the top two spots for Cabot in the 3,200-meter run, as Myers ran an 11:50.67 and Sinning ran a 12:06.42.

“She was the favorite,” White said. “She kind of coasted in. We wished there would have been somebody there to push her a little harder, but that didn’t happen. That’s what happens at some of these smaller meets sometimes. At the conference meet and then at state, she will get all the competition she wants.”

Junior Marlene Sheehan won the 800-meter run for the Lady Panthers with a time 2:36.03, and was also part of the winning girls 4x800-meter relay team along with Myers, Sinning and junior Meagan Duncan. The group ran a 10:09.74, besting the Bryant team by almost 20 seconds.

Lady Panthers senior Sabrina Antimo lifted Cabot’s stock with a great showing in the sprint events, as she won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.55 to qualify for state. She also took first place in the 200-meter dash by running a 26.11 to edge out Conway’s Kiahna Doby.

“She was already qualified for state in the 100,” White said of Antimo. “She had a good meet, and also got qualified for the 200. We didn’t jump her any; she’s been having knee trouble, but we hope to try and let her jump a little bit as the year goes along.”

Cabot’s tradition of dominating the girls pole vault event continued as senior Julia Gairhan easily took first place by clearing 10-2, while teammate Haley Troutman measured an even 8-0 over the standard for third place.

“She’s been hurt, so that was her first time to compete in several weeks,” White said of Gairhan. “She qualified for state, and that was the only thing she competed in this time. By the conference meet, we’re hoping her leg will be better.” Gairhan has suffered inflammation around her Achilles’ tendon in recent weeks.

The Panther boys team did not have as many wins as their female counterparts, but were consistent overall with a number of top-three and top-five performances.

Sophomore Jordan Burke finished second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.79 while senior Caleb DeLaPaz won the 800-meter run, clocking in at 2:03.16. Junior Scott Foltz finished third in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:36.96, and Forrest Lair took second in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:35.80, just ahead of teammate Alex Simpson in third place.

The Panthers also won the 4x800-meter relay event on the boys side, as DeLaPaz, Lair, Foltz and Simpson left the Bryant team in the dust at 8:16.81, compared to an 8:41.72 for the Hornets.

“That’s the first time we’ve run these four together this year,” White said. “They all did really well. That time should be even better by the time we get to the state meet.”

The Panthers were lean on high finishers in the field events, with sophomore Heath Pledger tying for third in the discus throw with a distance of 124-10.

Cabot wrapped up the week with a trip to Russellville for the Cyclone Relays yesterday, and will take part in the Wampus Cat Relays at Conway on Thursday.