Tuesday, March 18, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers win Searcy meet, ladies second

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panthers finished atop the team standings in the Lion Relays last Thursday in Searcy. The boys scored 96 points to beat defending class 5A state champion Vilonia by five. Conway was third with 90 points. Marion and Batesville rounded out the top five with 81 and 63 points.

The Lady Panthers piled up 118 points, but it was three shy of relay winner Lake Hamilton. Little Rock Parkview finished third with 83 points. Conway had 76 and Vilonia totaled 67 to round out the girls’ top five.

The Panthers have sprinters this year, and it was evident when Jordan Burke and Alley Layton finished one and two in the boys’ 100-meter dash. Burke won the event with a time of 11.13 seconds and Layton finished in 11.54. The entire top three came from Heat 4, as Heber Springs’ Marcus Robinson was third with a time of 11.67, beating Marion’s Dmarius Guy by one-one hundredth of a second.

Burke also brought in eight points with a second-place finish in the 200-meter dash. Timing had to go to the thousandths of a second as he and Searcy’s Karonce Higgins both finished with a time of 22.92.

Burke and Layton also helped Cabot win the 4x100-meter relay. The Panthers ran it in 44.49 seconds, beating Batesville by more than half a second, and everyone else by at least a second and a half.

Cabot’s 4x400 team finished sixth, afull 11 seconds behind Marion’s blistering winning time of 3:33.13. The 4x800 team finished fifth with a time of 8:58.02.

Cabot scored no points in the middle-distance races, but Parker Dey finished second in the 3200-meter race with a time of 10:20.77. He was seven seconds behind Vilonia’s Zachary Rail.

Keith Pledger and Aaron Henry scored for Cabot in the shot put, and Pledger won the discus throw. Pledger threw the discus 135-9 to beat Conway’s Austin Norris by three feet and eight inches. Pledger was second in the shot put with a toss of 46-3.5. Marion’s Caleb Brown won with a distance of 48-4. Henry finished seventh and brought home two points with a toss of 42-10.5.

Hayden Richey finished third in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 44.44. He was not far behind Marion’s Fernando Smith and Russellville’s Rashaad Jackson. Richey also finished eighth in the 100-meter hurdles to score one point for Cabot. His time of 18.56 was almost two seconds behind Jackson.

Peter Seyler tied for fifth in the high jump, clearing 5-4. Three competitors cleared at least 6-0 in the event. Tripp Reed of Vilonia cleared 6-3. Kennedy King of Conway reached 6-2 and Rail cleared 6-0.

Two Cabot girls combined for six first-place finishes. The Lady Panthers made it a Cabot sweep of the 100-meter dash, with junior Lexi Weeks winning with a time of 13.19. Miranda Walker added two points for Cabot by finishing seventh with a time of 14.14. Weeks also won the long jump by four inches over Searcy’s Arabriaun Mack with a jump of 17-1. Sophomore Miranda Walker was sixth for Cabot in the long jump by leaping 14-3.5.

Tori Weeks won the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.76. She also won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 49-14, and won the triple by bounding 35-9.

Marquetta Magwood took eighth in the 300 hurdles for Cabot and Walker was third in the triple jump. And as has become a pattern, Lexi and Tori finished one and two in the pole vault.

Lexi won the event by clearing 13-4, while Tori cleared 13-0. Both were far higher than anyone else in the competition. Three competitors tied for third place with heights of 9-6.

Junior Micah Huckabee garnered another first-place medal in this event with a win in the 3200. She blew away the field with a time of 11:47.94, almost 54 seconds ahead of second-place Angel Crawford of Lake Hamilton. Cabot sophomore Samantha Nickell also scored in the event, finishing in seventh place.

Cabot also won the 4x400 relay by a wide margin. The team finished with a time of 4:14.93, more than eight seconds ahead of second-place Lake Hamilton. The Lady Panthers also took third place in the 4x800 relay.

The Cabot girls didn’t show extremely well in the middle distances, but weren’t shut out of points like the boys. Sophomore Ashley Gore took seventh in the 1600 while Seaton Howard finished eighth in the 400-meter race, making it once around the track in 1:09.45.

Magwood finished seventh for Cabot in the 100-meter hurdles to add two points to Cabot’s total.

Rachael Hall added three points to Cabot’s total with a sixth-place finish in the high jump, and Lauren Backus finished seventh in the shot put for the Lady Panthers.