Friday, April 17, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot girls win at Beebe

Leader sports editor

Cabot track coach Leon White took an unusual approach to Thursday’s National Guard Badger Relays, opting not to enter many of his athletes in their best events. But their performance was still good enough for the girls to win the 25-school meet by a wide margin, while the boys finished third out of 25 boys’ teams competing.

Cabot was also, by a wide margin, the largest and only 7A school in the meet. Searcy was the only 6A team in the meet while every other team came from 5A or below.

“What we’re doing is, we’re using this meet, especially for the girls, to get some people qualified for state in some events that maybe they haven’t run much this year,” said White. “We’re just trying to get ready for state.”

Cabot has had its last three scheduled meets canceled. The Wampus Cat Invitational was rained out twice before finally being called off altogether. And the John McDonnell Relays, a college/high school duel event at the University of Arkansas, uninvited the Panther teams, opting to keep the high school portion of the meet limited to northwest Arkansas schools. They made an exception for Cabot’s Lexi and Tori Weeks, allowing them to compete since they had already signed NCAA letters of intent to compete as Razorbacks next year.

Both set school records in different events in Fayetteville. Lexi Weeks set the school record and inched ever closer to the national record in the pole vault, jumping 14-feet, 1 1/4 inches, just 1 1/2 inches away from the national record she’s been chasing since the beginning of the season. It wasn’t, however, a state record because it was not a state certified meet. She also set a school record in the 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.79.

Tori Weeks broke her own school record in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:19.6, and finished second in the pole vault at 13-2. Despite holding the school record in the 800, Tori Weeks won’t run the event at state because she’s also the school’s best 300-meter hurdles runner, and those two grueling events are back-to-back.

On Thursday, Lexi and Tori swapped events they both hold school records for. Tori ran the 100 hurdles and won it with a time of 16.20, while Lexi ran the 800 meters and won it with a time of 2:24.70. Both qualified for state.

Tori also set a new school record in the triple jump, leaping 37-6 to win that event, while Lexi won the long jump with a leap of 18-feet. Danielle McWilliams took fifth, jumping 15-11.

Beebe’s Taylor McGraw was sixth in the triple jump at 30-9.

Cabot senior Alyssa Hamilton set a personal record and finished second in the discus throw with a fling of 95-7, exactly three feet behind winner Amanda East of Vilonia. Beebe’s Tori Lovelady and Natalie Biggs were fourth and fifth in the event, while Cabot’s Caytee Wright placed sixth.

Cabot’s Anna Sullivan joined Wright in the points in the shot put as well, with Sullivan taking sixth and Wright seventh. Wright and Hamilton also placed in the high jump, finishing sixth and seventh, both leaping 4-9. Wright also finished second in the 300 hurdles and McWilliams took third in the 100 hurdles, her first time running it this year.

Micah Huckabee needed an 11:43 to qualify for state in the 3,200-meter race, and got it easily with an 11:14.26. Her teammate Samantha Nickell was second but still needs to shave some time to qualify for state.

Lexi Weeks won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.78. McWilliams won the 400 with a time of 1:01.82. Cabot did not enter its usually strong 4x100 relay team, and a shaken up 4x400 relay team won that event. The Beebe girls won the 4x800 by nearly 20 seconds with a time of 10:49.50.


Batesville won Thursday’s boys’ meet with 104 points while Beebe was second with 96 and Cabot third with 71.5. Searcy and Rivercrest rounded out the boys’ top five. The Batesville girls finished 46 points behind Cabot with 88.5 points. Vilonia was third at 85, Pulaski Robinson’s girls took fourth with 81 points and Beebe finished a distant fifth with 42 points.

Only one local athlete won an individual event in the boys’ meet. North Pulaski’s David Jackson edged out Beebe’s Dusty Grier in the shot put, tossing it 46-3 to beat Grier by 7.5 inches. Beebe’s Logan Yarborough was sixth.

Cabot sophomore Britton Alley set personal records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. He won the 200 with a time of 22.78, just ahead of Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter junior Jordan McNair’s 22.97. McNair also finished second in the 100 with a time of 11.17, while Alley was third at 11.35. Beebe juniors Connor Patrom and Jo’Vaughn Wyrick were sixth and seventh in the 100 while Jacksonville’s Jaylon Tucker finished eighth.

McNair also took fourth in the triple jump, leaping 38-9, while Beebe’s Tyler Childress and Nathan Clifton were sixth and seventh.

Patrom took third in the 400-meter race.

Abundant Life junior Daniel Carrell took fourth in the 800 while Beebe junior Chris Owen took sixth. Cabot senior Nick Davis took second in the 3,200 with a time of 10:52.46, barely edging out third place Gus McCoy of Beebe, by less than half a second. Beebe’s John Paul Savage finished fourth.

Cabot senior Brayden Mercantel finished third in the mile with a time of 4:48.49, while McCoy and Savage were sixth and seventh.

Beebe’s Keishaun Davidson was second in the 300 hurdles with a time of 43.85, while teammate Micah Dubose finished third and Cabot’s Connor Daigle took seventh. Trip Smith and Patrom were sixth and seventh in the 110 hurdles.

Cabot and Lighthouse took first and second in the 4x100 relay, while Beebe was fifth and North Pulaski seventh. Cabot was second and Beebe seventh in the 4x400, and Beebe was third, Cabot fifth and North Pulaski eighth in the 4x800 relay.

Beebe sophomore Kirkland Miller cleared 6-0 in the high jump to tie for third.

Cabot’s Rocky Burke set a personal best in the pole vault at 12-6, good for third place, while teammate Braxton Burton tied for fourth at 11-0.

Wyrick took sixth and Cabot’s Jacob Howard seventh in the long jump.

In the discus throw, Beebe’s Jesse Crisco was second with a toss of 135-8. Cabot’s Brandon Jones was third and Jacksonville’s Terry Brown took eighth place.