Saturday, May 07, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers blow up records

Five school marks fall at Class 7A state track meet

Leader sports editor

The Cabot boys’ track team fell short of a championship, but turned in five school record-breaking performances and won three event championships to finish third in the 7A state track meet Thursday at Conway. Fayetteville, the favorite going in, won the meet with 132.5 points. Springdale Har-Ber was second with 115 and Cabot scored 87 points. Conway was fourth with 74 points and Bentonville rounded out the top five with 68.5.

For the second time in two weeks, junior Jarrod Barnes broke the school record in the long jump, and this time it was good enough to win the meet.

After breaking the old record by 1.75 inches at 21-feet, 11-75 inches, he finished second in the 7A-East/Central Conference meet. But his leap of 22-3.50 on Thursday topped his own school record and just beat Fayetteville’s Tyson Morris by a half inch.

It was Barnes’ only event championship, but not his only school record. The football commitment to the University of Arkansas also broke the Cabot school record in the triple jump by a fraction. Barnes leapt 44-3.75 to finish third, and the .75 is what put him past the oldest of all Cabot records set by Steve Burks in 1971.

Senior Mark Odom, already owner of the school’s 110-meter hurdles record, broke the 300-meter hurdles record held by Joe Bryant since 2010. Odom ran a blistering 38.74 to beat Rogers’ Tony Roller by exactly one second.

Odom also broke the 110-hurdles record again Thursday, but couldn’t overcome Conway’s Kevon Holder. Odom lost to Holder in the first of five meetings this year, but beat him the last four times before Thursday.

Holder, however, ran his best time ever of 14.41 to beat Odom’s 14.56. The Cabot school record coming into this season was 15.49.

Junior Panther Britton Alley is the state 200-meter dash champion with a personal record time of 22.20.Alley also PR’ed in the 100-meter dash to finish third with an 11.06, and was fourth in the 400-meters with a 50.36.

The Panthers’ 4x100-meter relay team also broke the school record, but finished .1 seconds behind Har-Ber for second place. The team of Alex Roberts, Connor Daigle, Conley Hillegas and Brandon Whitley finished in 42.88 seconds, eclipsing the old record of 43.10 set just two years ago.

Senior Brandon Jones PR’ed in the discus to finish second with a toss of 147-8.

Cabot’s 4x400-meter relay team finished third with a time of 3:27.99. The 4x800 relay team finished seventh.

Junior Matt Stanley took sixth in the high jump at 6-2 and Rocky Burke was eighth in the pole vault at 13-0. Jack Moore took eighth in the 800-meters and Gardner Howze took eighth in the 1,600. The Panthers’ 4x800 relay team also finished eighth.

Fayetteville also won the girls’ meet with 127 points to beat Bentonville’s 112. The Lady Panthers scored 15 points for 11th place.

Cabot’s 4x800-meter relay team couldn’t duplicate its school record-breaking performance of a week ago, finishing seven seconds slower and in fourth place. Last week’s time would have been second on Thursday, but still five full seconds behind state champion Rogers’ time of 9:38.69. The 4x400-meter relay team finished fifth for Cabot.

Freshman Lauren Turner took fourth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 47.26, and Caytee Wright finished tied for seventh in the high jump at 4-10.