Wednesday, May 18, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Several great performances at 2016 MOC

Leader sports editor

An unusually low turnout didn’t take away from some solid performances by local athletes in the 2016 Arkansas Meet of Champions in Russellville on Saturday.

Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter senior Jordan McNair once again broke his own Class 1A record in the 100-meter dash, but it was only good for second place. McNair, who broke the Class 1A record as a junior with an 11.08, broke it again earlier this year with an 11.00 in the 1A-North Conference meet.

He broke that record and became the first 1A sprinter to break the 11-second barrier with a 10.99 in 1A state meet in Harrison on May 3. On Saturday, McNair ran a 10.93 alongside Marion’s Dmarius Guy. But Mena’s Zach Jewell beat them both with a 10.70.

Jewell and McNair were also first and second in the 200-meter dash. Jewell won with a time of 21.37 while McNair demolished his old personal record of 23.15 (which won the 1A state championship) by running a 22.12 for second place.

Cabot’s Britton Alley matched his Class 7A state championship time of 22.20 to finish in third place. He also took seventh in the 100-meter dash with an 11.15, which is .09 off his personal best time. Alley also finished third in the 400-meter dash with a personal record 50.05.

Alley also ran the first leg of Cabot’s second-place 4x400-meter relay team. Austin Swackhammer and Conley Hillegas were second and third and Rocky Burke anchored for a 3:25.29, just barely falling short of Springdale Har-Ber’s winning time of 3:24.95.

Cabot’s Mark Odom added an MOC plaque to his 7A championship in the 300-meter hurdles. He bested his personal record of 38.74 set in the 7A meet by running a 38.53 on Saturday. Odom had some bad luck in the 110-meter high hurdles. He entered the race as one of the favorites, and it was a very fast race. Nettleton’s Nick Hilson, the 5A champion, and 4A champion Trevern Caldwell of Crossett each beat their personal records by large margins. Meanwhile, Odom’s steps got thrown off when it appeared another runner clipped one of his hurdles early in the race. He finished ninth with a 16.24, almost two seconds slower than his seedtime.

Hilson, who had the fastest seedtime at 14.50, won the race with a 14.32 while Caldwell was second at 14.54. Odom’s 14.56 was the second-fastest seedtime entering Saturday’s competition.

Sylvan Hills’ Anthony Duncan was slightly short of his best time of 14.94. He ran a 15.21 to finish fifth.

Cabot’s Brandon Jones finished third in the discus with a toss of 144-10.

Odom and Alley will compete in the Arkansas High School Decathlon that begins today and finishes tomorrow at Cabot High School. That duo will also help represent Arkansas in the Great Southwest Classic Track Meet in Albuquerque, N.M. the first week of June.

On the girls’ side, the Cabot 4x800-meter relay team finished third behind Bentonville and Rogers with a time of 9:54.14. That team, which broke the school record at the conference meet with a 9:44.96, consists of one runner from each class, including senior Samantha Nickell, junior Hadley Dickinson, sophomore Casey Gore and freshman Lauren Turner.

Turner also finished fifth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 47.16.

Sylvan Hills’ all-freshmen 4x400-meter relay team shattered its previous best time of 4:10.28 it ran to win the Class 5A state championship, but only managed fourth place. The Lady Bear team of Ashley Jefferson, O’Shayla Muldrow, Davieunia Jones and Aliya Hatton ran a 4:05.12, which was the fastest time by any non-7A team, but Conway, Bryant and Rogers were all a little faster.