Friday, March 20, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot girls second at Bryant

Leader sports editor

The Lady Panther outdoor track team hasn’t competed at full strength yet, but still managed a second-place finish at the cold and breezy Bryant Relays on Thursday. The hosting Hornets won the girls’ meet with 131 points while the Lady Panthers finished with 103, but Cabot still managed wins in several individual events.

Senior distance runner Micah Huckabee set a personal best time of 5:09.61 in blowing away the field in the mile. She eclipsed her previous best time of 5:10.40, and beat second place by more than 19 seconds.

Huckabee has battled various illnesses and injuries for more than a year, but says she finally feels 100 percent healthy as she sets her sights on the school record in the 1,600-meters.

“I’d say for about two weeks I’ve felt really good,” said Huckabee. “It’s been hard dealing with everything but I’ve also learned that you never know when your last race will be, so when I’m healthy I really want to go for it and go for some fast times.”

Huckabee missed about two weeks last year dealing with problems with her sartorius muscle. She also ran into a steeplechase hurdle during cross-country season last year, which left a nagging hip injury for the rest of the year. She then had an appendectomy in January that has slowed her down for the past two months.

But Thursday’s time in the mile, combined with her win in the two-mile, has her feeling confident and setting her sights on some lofty goals. She is five seconds off the school record in the mile set by Emkay Myers three years ago, but has even bigger goals than that.

“I have the Texas relays coming up next week and I want to break five minutes in the mile,” Huckabee said. “Coming back right after having my appendix removed, it took me a while to get back into it. I wasn’t really sure what kind of shape I was in, but after tonight I just have that confidence. I really feel like that could be a really good meet to do it, and if not, there are plenty more left in the season.”

Huckabee also won the 3,200-meter race on Thursday, finishing in 11:47.47. Her teammate, Samantha Nickell, took fifth with a time of 12:33.20.

Pole vault prodigies Lexi and Tori Weeks didn’t have their best performances, but still finished tied for first, each clearing 13 feet, but both failed to clear 13-7, which would have placed them in this year’s national rankings. Both sisters have cleared more than 14 feet in indoor competition, with Lexi Weeks holding the national indoor record at 14-3 1/4.

Each sister won two other events as well. Lexi took first place in the long jump with a leap of 17-11, and won the 400-meter dash with a time of 58.27. Tori won the triple jump with a jump of 36-9, and took first in the 300-meter hurdles, posting a 46.29.

They also ran two legs of Cabot’s second-place 4x400 team and the third-place 4x100 team. Alyssa Hamilton started the 4x400 and Caytee Wright finished it for a time of 4:19.81. Madison Barnhill took Wright’s spot for the 4x100 for the third-place showing.

Wright also took second in the high jump for Cabot.

The Sylvan Hills Lady Bears also performed well in a few events. The 4x800 team of Dallyn Stubbs, Justis Jakes, Erykah Sanders and Chloe George took third overall. The 4x100 team of Mya Graham, Charnae Cannon, Jahnay Duncan and Brielle Hayes took sixth place for three points.

Hayes also finished fifth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 18.02. Duncan tied for seventh in the high jump and Sa‘maya Farmer finished seventh in the shot put.

Two Cabot boys took second place. Brandon Jones flung the discus 136-06, just three feet behind the winner. Braxton Burton took second in the pole vault with a 12-6 jump. The Panthers’ 4x100 relay team of Austin Morris, Connor Daigle, Britton Alley and Rocky Burke finished fourth. Alley also scored one point in the 200, as did Nick Davis in the two-mile race.

For Sylvan Hills, Knoa Smith finished fifth in the shot put and Anthony Duncan took sixth in the 110 hurdles.