Monday, April 15, 2013

SPORTS >> NLR boys first, Cabot girls rising

Leader sports editor

The North Little Rock boys track team got its first big win of the season, taking first place in the Wampus Cat Relays at Conway High School on Thursday. The Charging Wildcats scored 155.5 points to easily outpoint the host team, which scored 117. The Cabot boys were a distant third with 68 points while Little Rock Central and Benton rounded out the top five.

The Cabot girls had one of their best outings of the season, but lost again to the Bryant Lady Hornets, though Thursday’s results show the Lady Panthers might be inching closer. Bryant won with 148.5 points, but Cabot was close behind with 126. Little Rock Central took third in the girls while Conway and Vilonia took fourth and fifth. North Little Rock girls were sixth with 49.5 points.

“We are closing the gap,” Cabot assistant track coach Chris Beavert said. “We’re looking forward to our meet Tuesday. Our girls want to put on a show. There should be some great weather, fast times and good performances.”

Conway’s Brandon Cox won the 100-meter dash like he has in every meet this year, but North Little Rock’s Altee Tenpenny turned in his best performance of the season with a second-place finish. Cabot’s Jordan Burke, who has beaten Tenpenny twice this year and has been Cabot’s best sprinter, had an off day, finishing in 11.9 and out of the points. Cabot still got points in the race as junior Zach Launius took third. North Little Rock’s Rodney Bryson was fourth and Sylvan Hills’ Quincy Flowers remains among the top sprinters with a sixth-place finish.

Kavin Alexander won the 200-meter dash for the Wildcats while Launius took third in that event as well.

North Little Rock sprinters also won the 4x100 relay while Cabot won the 4x400. The Wildcat team of Martinez Butler, Alexander, Tenpenny and Bryson finished with a time of 42.74. Cabot’s Burke, Launius, Seth Hoggard and Layton Alley finished third with a 44.05 time.

Burke, Hoggard, Launius and John Snowden finished the 4x400 in 3:33.24, just ahead of Central’s 3:33.91 and at least five seconds ahead of everyone else, a somewhat surprising feat since Cabot finished out of the points in the 400-meter race.

Kaleb Jones got a second-place finish for North Little Rock in the 800-meter race.

North Little Rock picked up 16 points in the 110 hurdles. Martavious Strozier won the event while Ed’Zemien Lyons was third. Lyons also won the high jump while teammate Marquez Jones took second place points with the same leap of 5-9.

Another Wildcat duo brought home 18 points in the 300 hurdles. Brad Agee just beat out teammate Anthony Louden by a half second with a time of 42.40.

Hoggard took second in the long jump behind Greenbrier’s Seth Peters, and Butler won the triple jump for North Little Rock by bounding 46-1.

North Little Rock also won the shot put with Marcus Lindsey’s throw of 46-5 1/2. Cabot’s Keith Pledger was fourth at 42-2 1/4.

Beavert says the boys are also getting better.

“The boys are steadily improving and we’re figuring out who’s going to dig bait or fish,” Beavert said. “We should see some great performances from the guys as well, especially the seniors.”

Cabot’s Lexi and Tori Weeks brought home many of the Lady Panthers’ points. The sophomore duo finished one and two again in the pole vault. Tori Weeks went 12 feet while Lexi cleared 11-6. Both have gone well over 12 feet this year, but Thursday’s lower effort was still two-and-a-half feet better than third place.

Tori Weeks also took second in the triple jump behind Bryant’s dominant Alexis Royal, but was within 15 inches of Royal in Thursday’s meet. Teammate Rochelle Mallory was eighth for a point. Lexi Weeks was second in the long jump and Cabot’s Ladaysha Evans was sixth. Lexi was second in the 400-meter race just a half second behind Central’s Jasmine Blunt, who finished in 1:00.52. Lexi also got a single point for taking eighth place in the 200-meter dash. Tori took third in the 300 hurdles while Mallory was fifth. Rachael Hall and Mallory took seventh and eighth in the 100-meter hurdles. Tori was also on Cabot’s second-place 4x100 relay team along with Evans, Mallory and Hall. They finished nearly two seconds behind Bryant’s winning time of 50.08. Both sisters joined up with Evans and Marlene Sheehan to finish second in the 4x400 relay, but again finishing more than 10 seconds behind Bryant’s winning time of 4:05.35.

Sophomore Micah Huckabee swept the distance races. She won the 3200 with a time of 12:20.52. Her teammate Meagan Duncan finished fourth for five points. Huckabee won the 1600 with a 5:29.43 time. Sheehan earned a point by finishing eighth.

Buford Haley threw the discus 95-3 for a first-place finish. Carlee Wright took fifth in the shot put while Buford was sixth.

The Cabot teams will host their annual Panther relays on Tuesday. It was originally scheduled for April 2 but was postponed due to bad weather.