Friday, April 26, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Panthers just seven points short

Leader sportswriter

Seven points was the difference for the Cabot Lady Panthers at Thursday’s 7A Central Conference track meet at Fort Smith Southside.

The Lady Panthers came close to capturing the league title, but fell just short with 140 points to winner Fort Smith Southside’s 147 points. North Little Rock was a distant third with 109 points, followed by Little Rock Central and Mount St. Mary.

“It was a really good meet for the girls,” Cabot track coach Leon White said. “There were a couple of events where we didn’t do as well as we thought we would, and that came back and hurt us at the end. We felt like we had a chance. They had a good effort and tried hard, but we just came up a little short.”

Sprint events were the Achilles heel for Cabot, but sophomore Lexi Weeks turned in a good performance in the 400-meter dash with a second-place overall time of 59.66. Weeks also finished fifth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.87, and finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.95. Weeks capped off her strong performance with a second-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 48.60. Junior Rochelle Mallory also qualified for state in the event, finishing fourth with a time of 50.31.

Sophomore Micah Huckabee finished third in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:29.11, and led a Cabot-dominated 1,600-meter run with a first-place time of 5:35.72, while senior Marlene Sheehan finished third in the event with a 5:39.89. Senior Meagan Duncan also qualified for state in the event with a sixth-place time of 6:01.25.

The Lady Panthers long-distance runners were not able to win the 3,200-meter event, but did sweep second through fourth with Sheehan leading the way in second with a time of 12:25.11 in front of Duncan’s third-place time of 13:00.33. Huckabee finished fourth with a 13:10.54 time.

The girls 4X100-meter relay team of Ladaysha Evans, Miranda Walker, Rachael Hall and Mallory grabbed the final state-qualifying spot in that event with a sixth-place time of 51.83.

Evans and Mallory joined Tori Weeks and Lexi Weeks in the 4X400-meter relay to finish second with a time of 4:09.22. For the 4X800-meter relay, it was the team of Ashley Gore, Seaton Howard, Sheehan and Duncan with a third-place finish of 10:35.66.

Lexi and Tori Weeks put twins’ power to work in the pole vault, sweeping the top two spots. Lexi took first and Tori finished second with both clearing 12 feet, with the next best height an 8-4 from Fort Smith Northside’s Madeline Hanna. Evans was fourth for Cabot with a 7-6/

Lexi Weeks also finished second in the long jump with a distance of 17-6.75, while sister Tori took fifth in the triple jump with a 35-3.75.

The Panther boys track team finished seventh overall with 37 points. North Little Rock won the event with 175 points while Conway was runner up with 119 points and Little Rock Catholic a close third with 113 points.

Cabot senior John Sowden finished fifth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:05.61, while junior Hayden Richey took fifth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.33. The 4X100 relay team of Layton Alley, Zach Lanius, Seth Hoggard and Hempfield finished fifth with a time of 44.65. Sowden, Hoggard and Lanius joined Caleb Duerkop in the 4X400-meter relay to grab the final state-qualifying spot with a sixth-place time of 3:37.06.

Sowden was also part of the 4X800-meter relay team along with Clay Killingsworth, Dylan Ball and Riley Hillegas as part of a third-place finish with an 8:40.30 time.

Senior Peter Seyler qualified for state in the high jump with a height of 5-8 while junior Heath Pledger took fifth in the discus with a distance of 132-8 as the only two Cabot participants to qualify for state in field events.

Though a close second for the girls was somewhat of a letdown, White noted that the majority of the girls’ team are underclassmen, and will return next year.

“We’re not strong enough to win state, but we will have enough to have a good showing,” White said. “We’re a young team for the most part, so we feel like there’s going to be a chance to build a good team that can compete at that level next year.”