Saturday, May 23, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Twins finish first, second by one point

Leader sports editor

Not only have they been the two most decorated track and field athletes in Cabot school history, they also have a flair for the dramatic. Lexi Weeks led twin sister Tori Weeks by six points when the last event in the 2015 Heptathlon at Panther Stadium began.

Even though Tori won the 800-meter race, Lexi won heptathlon – by one point. Tori needed to win by .50 seconds to eclipse Lexi’s lead going into the race, and even less to tie. She won by .34, leaving Lexi with 4,481 points to Tori’s 4,480.

“It was great,” said Lexi Weeks. “One point separating the two of us, you couldn’t ask for a better way to finish. I thought she had finished far enough ahead of me she would’ve passed me in points. I was following on her heels the whole way and coming out of the last curve she made a push. I decided to push with her but I didn’t know if I stayed close enough.”

Jada Baylark of Little Rock Parkview actually held the points lead over Lexi and Tori going into the 800, leading by 14 points over Lexi and 20 over Tori. But the triple-jump state record holder and Meet of Champs sprints champion finished fifth in the half-mile race, and more importantly, more than 12 seconds behind the twins, dropping her to third place with a final total of 4334.

To make the ending even more fitting, both athletes broke one last state record as they crossed the finish line in the 800m – and they were their own records. Lexi’s heptathlon point total is highest in school history – eclipsing last year’s mark, while Tori broke her own school record in the 800-meters by .19 seconds, finishing in 2:19.47. They each leave CHS with five school records in track and field events, as well as Lexi’s record in the heptathlon.

In the two-day heptathlon, Tori fell into a big deficit in the very first event – the 100-meter hurdles. She hit the first hurdle and finished with her slowest time all year at 16.01. Lexi finished second of all competitors at 14.86, and immediately jumped out to an 860-713 lead over Tori. Baylark had the fastest time and scored 880 for the overall lead.

Lexi had the best long jump at 17-feet, 11-inches, beating Baylark by two inches and pulling to within three points. Tori jumped 17-8 3/4 to fall behind another 17 points. After two events, Lexi’s lead over Tori was 1,548 to 1,384.

Tori threw the discus four feet farther than Lexi with a toss of 89-1, gaining 32 points back, but lost 30 of those in the 200-meter dash, the final event of day one. Lexi finished with the fourth-best time at 25.68 while Tori was fifth best at 26.02. Baylark, who had fallen to third place with a 61-foot discus throw, climbed back into second place with the best 200 time of 24.92.

After one day, Lexi led the heptathlon with 2,760, Baylark had 2,701 and Tori was third, but 172 points behind with 2,588. She beat Lexi in all three events of day two, but the deficit proved too large.

Tori jumped right back into contention with a personal best high jump of five feet while Lexi managed just 4-6. Baylark only did 4-7 3/4, instantly pulling Tori back into contention with 644 points to Lexi’s 481 and Baylark’s 534.

With two events remaining, Lexi led Baylark by six points and Tori by nine. Tori threw the shot 27-2, a mere two inches farther than Lexi, and picked up three points to pull within six. Baylark threw it 28 feet to take the lead going into the last event.

“I’m excited,” said Tori. “After yesterday and looking at the points, I didn’t think there was any chance I would come back and beat her. After the high jump I almost caught up. In the shot put we were almost the same, so I knew I had to beat her in the 800. I did but just not by quite enough. I’m still very happy we were able to finish one and two.”

Cabot senior Danielle McWilliams finished seventh for the second-straight year, marking back-to-back years in which a trio of Lady Panthers finished in the top seven. Asia Anderson of Joe T. Robinson was fourth, Allie Hensley of Clinton took fifth, Haley Hood of Bryant was sixth, Kirby Smith of Des Arc finished eighth, Lauren Holmes of Fayetteville was ninth and Nikirah McKinney of Forrest City rounded out the Top-10.

Cabot junior Caytee Wright finished 28th in her first heptathlon. There were 72 competitors in the event.

In the Decathlon, Beebe junior Connor Patrom turned in the second Top-10 finish of his career, finishing 10th overall. Joey Saucier of Heritage High School in Rogers won the decathlon. Patrom finished in the top-10 in five of the 10 events in the 73-athlete competition.

Cabot sophomore Britton Alley finished 35th overall. He finished fourth in the 100-meter dash and fifth in the 400-meter race.