Friday, April 21, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> SH ladies win third straight at Heber

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills girls’ track team continued to keep its winning streak going on Thursday. The Lady Bears won for the third time in a row and fourth time in five meets by taking first place in the Last Chance Relays at Heber Springs on Thursday.

Sylvan Hills’ only loss in its last five meets was at Jessieville, when it finished second by 2.5 points. It would have won that meet had it entered a team in the final event, the 4x400 relay, which the Lady Bears have run the fastest time in the state this year.

All that recent success has Sylvan Hills’ confidence high going into the postseason. The 5A-Central meet will be Tuesday at Beebe, and 5A state the week after.

“We’ve found ourselves in a good position to build upon the success of previous meets,” said Garrison. “As a young team it helps with the confidence levels of our new kids, but the real challenges are upon us. I’m confident the team will rise to the occasion.”

The Lady Bears finished with 78.50 points on Thursday to beat second-place Vilonia’s 66.50, despite several team members missing the event to prepare for prom.

Maumelle was a close third with 65 points while Sheridan and Harding Academy rounded out the top five of 25 schools represented at the meet.

Sylvan Hills held the state’s best time in the 4x100-meter relay until last week’s meet at Lake Hamilton, when Texarkana took it from them by .10 seconds. On Thursday, the Lady Bears snatched it right back. Last week, Texarkana ran a 49.08. On Thursday, the SHHS team of Ayana Harris, Mia Heard, Alexis Lee and Aliya Hatton ran a blazing 48.67.

That’s not only the best time so far this year; it’s only .3 seconds away from the Class 5A state record.

One Sylvan Hills school record fell on Thursday. Heard, a sophomore, shattered her personal best and jumped into the SHHS record books with a leap of 18-feet, 2-inches. Lonoke’s Keiunna Walker, who beat Heard in the long jump at the Jeff Henderson relays at SHHS, came up 13 inches short of her PR, jumping 16-7 to finish in seventh place.

Walker did, however, win the high jump by clearing 5-feet, 1-inch while Sylvan Hills’ Makaila Murphy jumped 4-10 for sixth place and Daviunia Jones cleared 4-8 for eighth place.

Walker and Heard also finished fifth and seventh respectively in the triple jump.

Heard added a couple strong finishes in the sprints as well. She ran a 12.83 in the 100-meter dash for six points, and a 27.01 in the 200-meter dash for fourth place. Lee took seventh in the 200 as well.

The 4x400 relay team was just a tad (.3 seconds) off the pace of its own state-best time, but still took first place easily.

That was despite not having its best 400-meter runner at the meet. Jordan Sanders, Ashley Jefferson, Daviunia Jones and Hatton ran a time of 4:08.72 to beat second-place Vilonia by almost a full 10 seconds.

Jefferson took eighth in the 800-meters, and helped the Lady Bears’ 4x800-meter relay team, which was missing two regulars, to a seventh-place finish.

Brae’zah East took fifth in the shot put with a toss of 32-0.5 and Sierra Towles was sixth in the discus with a throw of 98-4.

Lonoke’s Gracie Hyde won the 1,600 with a time of 5:18.90, and finished third in the 300-meter hurdles by running a 49.71.

Two local athletes won events in the boys’ meet as well. Sylvan Hills senior Anthony Duncan took first place in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.18.

Jacksonville sophomore Orion Turner won the 100-meter dash with a 11.01 against a -.7 wind resistance.