Friday, May 20, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Eagle overtakes Panther for title

Leader sports editor

Cabot’s Mark Odom carried a 50-point lead over Crossett’s Trevean Caldwell going into the last event of the Arkansas High School Decathlon on Thursday, but Caldwell finished 15.27 seconds ahead of Odom in the 1,500-meter race, which was worth 92 more points than Odom’s 569, and gave the senior Eagle the 2016 championship.

Caldwell finished with 6,201 points to Odom’s 6,159. Hayden Hampton of Genoa Central High School in Texarkana was third with 6,087.

Caldwell was actually in third place going into the grueling final race, but Hampton was almost seven seconds slower than Odom, and dropped to third place in the final standings.

All three athletes were in the final flight. Odom was six points ahead of Hampton with three events to go, and they were supposed to be three of his weaker events.

Day two started with Odom’s best event, the 110-meter hurdles. He was the 7A state champion in that event, but Caldwell was the 4A state champion and the two runners had near exact times. Caldwell won the event by 1/100th of a second at 15.00 while Odom finished in 15.01.

The discus was where Odom dropped some needed points. He has thrown 130 feet in the past, but only managed 102-2 on Thursday. With the pole vault, triple jump and 1,500-meter race left, Odom led Hampton 4,678-4,672 while Caldwell was more than 100 points behind at 4,548 and his weakest event up next.

Odom did better than expected by clearing 10-feet in the pole vault, but Hampton took the overall lead by going 10-6. Caldwell only managed 9-feet, 1/4 inch and fell 232 points behind Hampton while Odom trailed by 31.

Caldwell made the most of his last two events. Odom did well in the triple jump, bounding 41-8 1/2, but Caldwell picked up 151 points by going a meet-best 45-8. Hampton went 39-10 ¼ to drop 35 points behind Odom.

The Cabot senior had the fastest 100-meter dash time, posting an 11.26. Caldwell had the top performance in the 400-meter race, the 110-hurdles and the triple jump. Hampton had the best throws in shot put and discus.

Beebe’s Connor Patrom took home a plaque for finishing in eighth place with 5,659 points.

Patrom had Top-10 finishes in nine of the 10 events. He had the sixth-best time in the 400-meters. He was seventh in the pole vault and triple jump, eighth in the 1,500 and 110-hurdles and ninth in the 100-meter dash, long jump and shot put.

Rounding out the Top-10 plaque-winners, Kylan Robinson of Batesville finished fourth, Bryant Harris of Gentry was fifth, Tony Roller of Rogers was sixth, Pine Bluff’s Lawrence Nelson was seventh, Brandon Shaw of Rogers-Heritage was ninth and Springdale Har-Ber’s Zach McWhorter finished 10th.

Cabot senior Caytee Wright was highest finisher among local athletes in the Heptathlon. She finished 13th with 3,435 points.

Parkview’s Jada Baylark, who took third last year behind Lexi and Tori Weeks of Cabot, won the event this year with 4,517 points. She beat Pulaski Robinson’s Asia Anderson by 56 points. Those two were more than 300 points ahead of third-place Allie Hensley of Clinton.

Rounding out the Heptathlon plaque winners were Bryant’s Haley Hood, Rivercrest’s Sydney Lane, Rogers’ Hannah Martin, Genoa Central’s Eden Crow, Pocahontas’ Natalie Toney, Bryant’s Jadyn Lewis and Vilonia’s Allie Skouras.