Friday, May 17, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Three area athletes in Top 11 at heptathlon

Leader sports editor

Three local athletes turned in good performances at the 2013 Arkansas Heptathlon this week at Fayetteville High School. Cabot sophomore sisters Tori and Lexi Weeks got Top 10 performances, finishing eighth and ninth respectively, while Beebe junior Madison Richey was just two places behind in 11th place after the two-day competition on Wednesday and Thursday.

This year 64 athletes assembled to compete in the seven-event contest. Crossett junior Kelsey Herman won the event with 4,844 points. Springdale Har-Ber junior Payton Stumbaugh was second with 4,538 and Bentonville junior Logan Morton was third with 4,100.

Tori Weeks totaled 3,889 points while Lexi Weeks had 3,865 and Richey 3,831.

“We felt like they had a chance to do really well,” Cabot coach Leon White said. “Unfortunately the pole vault is one of the events the boys do that the girls don’t get to. They’re the two best female pole vaulters in the state, but they still have done really well. And they’ll have a chance to do even better. They’re only sophomores.”

Herman and Stumbaugh each took first place in two events. Herman won the long jump and high jump. Stumbaugh won the sprints, setting a new heptathlon record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.42.

Bryant junior Melinda Murdock finished seventh overall, but set a new heptathlon record in the 800 with a time of 2:15.35.

The 800 was also the Weeks’ best event. Lexi was second and Tori third, with only one-one hundredth of a second separating them. Lexi finished in 2:23.80 while Tori crossed the finish line almost simultaneously at 2:23.81. The 800 was the last event of the competition, and the results moved Tori and Lexi into the Top 10.

Tori Weeks finished sixth in the discus with a toss of 79-2 for her only other Top-10 event. Lexi Weeks finished 10th in the long jump, 11th in the hurdles and 12th in the 200.

Richey also had two top-11 finishes, including a seventh place effort in the high jump, clearing 5-1, finishing 11th in the long jump with a 16-11 3/4 distance. She was also high in the 800 with a time of 2:35.94, good for 13th place.

Local boys weren’t quite as successful as the girls, but Cabot’s Seth Hoggard and Hayden Richey were 29th and 30th respectively in the 74-person decathlon.

Hoggard had a top-10 distance in the long jump, leaping 20-1 for 10th place. Hayden Richey finished 11th in the pole vault with a height of 10-6 for his best finish.