Friday, May 05, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Local athletes win five events

Leader sports editor

State track meets for all classifications were held around the state this week, and there were several state champions from local schools in different events.

For a team with only two members competing, the Lady Jackrabbits pulled off a phenomenal accomplishment at the Class 4A state track meet Tuesday in Paragould. Juniors Gracie Hyde and Keiunna Walker combined to score 52 points and finish third in the team standings.

Hyde won the 800- and 1,600-meter races, and finished second in the 3,200. Walker won the triple jump, and finished third in the high jump and long jump.

Hyde has the best time in 4A this year in 3,200, but Prairie Grove’s Bekah Bostian beat her by 32 seconds on Tuesday. It was Bostian’s only event, while Hyde had already run the mile and half-mile races. She set a swift pace and fatigue set in for the Lonoke junior.

“The girl that beat her only ran that one event, and they set a strategy based on Gracie already running a mile and a half that day. I’d say the 3,200 is Gracie’s best event. She qualified for the Meet of Champs in all three, but she’s only going to run the 3,200.”

Hyde was also qualified for the 300-meter hurdles, but chose not to run it at the 4A state meet.

The host school, Pocahontas, which had to move the meet because of flooding of the Black River, won the 4A girls’ championship with 89 points, narrowly edging out Crossett’s 86. Joe T. Robinson finished fourth with 41 points while Monticello was fifth with 39.

In the 5A boys’ meet at Harrison on Tuesday, Sylvan Hills’ Anthony Duncan won the 110-meter high hurdles championship by a relatively wide margin. His time of 14.66 easily beat DeQueen’s Hunter Earney’s times of 15.33.

In the 7A state meet at Fayetteville on Thursday, Cabot junior Casey Gore became the state champion in the 3,200-meter race. Times and distances in nearly every event were hampered by whipping winds at the Pearcy track. Gore’s time of 11:39.85 wasn’t close to her PR, but it still beat Anna Jeffcoat of Rogers by six seconds. Gore was also fourth in a very close 1,600-meter race.

Cabot sophomore Lauren Turner finished second in the 800-meter race. The 7A-Central Conference record holder lost by .81 seconds to Bentonville’s Lainey Quandt, who finished with a time of 2:19.14.

The Cabot boys’ 4x100-meter relay team pulled off a second-place finish to North Little Rock. The Charging Wildcats finished in 42.96, while the Cabot team of Alex Roberts, Brandon Whitley, Tommy Oaks and Conley Hillegas was just .35 seconds off that pace. Cabot was the only team to shave more than a full second off its time in the prelims.

Jacksonville Lighthouse junior Robert Whitfield won the Class 2A championship in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.