Tuesday, May 01, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot ladies win Central

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Lady Panthers brought home the 7A Central Conference championship from last Thursday’s district meet at Scott Field in Little Rock, with 12 qualifying for the upcoming 7A state meet in Rogers tomorrow.

The Lady Panthers scored 158 total points to take top honors, with Bryant finishing second with 131.5 points and North Little Rock in third with 101.5 points.

On the boys’ side, the Panthers finished fifth with 80.5 points, but qualified 14 people, including two groups of relay teams.

“This is kind of a reward for working hard all season,” Cabot coach Leon White said. “For everybody who gets to go to the state meet, it’s an honor to get there, and then they’re still competing for a chance to go to the Meet of Champs.”

Senior and University of Nevada signee EmKay Myers continued her successful outdoor season by qualifying for four separate events. Myers is currently second in the state to Rogers junior Maggie Montoya for fast times in the 800 and 1,600-meter events, and easily swept the long distance events at the Central Conference meet. She also holds all of Cabot’s school records in distance events.

Myers won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:25.12, while junior Marlene Sheehan qualified for state in the event by finishing fifth with a time of 2:34.30.

Myers continued her domination by winning the 1,600-meter event, edging Bryant’s Hannah Raney with a time of 5:29.04. Sheehan and sophomore Allison Sinning also qualified for state in the event, finishing third and fourth respectively.

Myers swept the long-distance events by winning the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:36.71, which gave her a more comfortable cushion to Raney with a 12:01.39. Sinning finished a strong third with a 12:11.64, more than a minute ahead of fourth place teammate Sheehan with a 13:15.21. Junior Meagan Duncan was the next Lady Panther to qualify for state with a time of 13:28.53, good for a fifth-place finish.

Senior Sabrina Antimo won the high jump with a height of 5-10, and also took top honors in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.57. She added another victory in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.83, and picked up her fourth win of the meet in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.75.

That qualified Antimo for five events including the 4x400 relay.

“We probably won’t make her do all that,” White said. “I’m going to guess that she will probably want to do the 100 and 200, and we’re probably going to try and do the high jump, and maybe come back and finish up with the mile relay. We’ll probably take the open 400 out so it won’t be such a hard day on her.”

Junior Haley Buford finished fifth in the discus throw with a distance of 90-7, and also qualified for state in the shot put by finishing sixth with a distance of 29-7. Teammate Carlee Wright just missed qualifying, finishing seventh with a distance of 29-3.

Cabot dominated the pole-vault event with Lady Panthers claiming the top four spots. Senior Julia Gairhan won the event with a height of 9-6, followed by senior Haley Troutman, sophomore Anna Applegate and senior Katie Qualls.

The Lady Panthers backed their strong individual performances with impressive showings in the relay events. The team of Applegate, Antimo, Rachael Hall and Courtney Briswalter took sixth-place in the 4x400 relay with a time of 4:25.38 to grab the final state qualifying spot. In the 4x800 relay, it was the team of Sheehan, Duncan, Sinning and Myers taking the overall win with a time of 10:07.28 to give Cabot a clean sweep of all long distance events.

“It’s our bread and butter,” White said of long-distance events. “We try real hard every year to have a good cross-country team, and that team carries over into track. So it’s kind of the nucleus of the team.”

Sophomore Jordan Burke was the strongest Panther in the sprint events, finishing fifth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.14.

Senior Forrest Lair took second place in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:01.88, while junior Scott Foltz led a strong contingent of Cabot runners in the 1,600-meter event with a third-place run of 4:35.28. Teammate Clay Killingworth was one spot behind Foltz while senior Caleb DeLaPaz grabbed the final qualifying spot in sixth place. Foltz also took fourth place in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:33.55, just ahead of junior teammate Alex Simpson in sixth place with a time of 10:37.23.

Junior Tyler Gilbertson finished fourth in the discus throw with a distance of 129-10, and sophomore Heath Pledger also qualified in the event with a sixth-place throw of 125-0.5. Pledger and teammate Alec Ramirez added their names to the list of qualified discus throwers with a fourth-place finish for Ramirez after a throw of 46-3.5 and a fifth-place for Pledger.

Junior Jesse King added another state qualifying spot in field events with a tie for fifth-place in the pole vault, reaching an even 11 feet along with D.J. Alven of Conway.

Cabot’s chances of qualifying for all three relays events fell just short when a mishap with the baton in the 4x400-meter event relegated them to an eighth-place finish, but the team of DeLaPaz, Simpson, Lair and Foltz came up big in the 4x800 by winning the event with a time of 8:21.61.

Chris Henry, Jordan Burke, Max Carroll and Zach Launius also qualified for state together in the 4x100 relay by finishing fourth with a time of 43.63.