Promoting participation in and support for cross country and track and field in Arkansas secondary schools. 

“Athletics (track and field) is the embodiment of the Olympic motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius”….faster, higher, stronger.”

2006 Year in Review

We hope you enjoy this first attempt to put together a list of top stories.  Our stories listed have to have some direct connection to Arkansas secondary schools and/or to data included in our website.  With the 2007 indoor season approaching quickly, we thought a few minutes looking back on the top stories of 2006 would be a nice breather before the new seasons are underway.  The stories are listed in reverse order (sort of like a David Letterman count down) which we are sure will not match the order others would place.  Oh well, we are just fans and every fan has their own legitimate view. Thanks for the support in 2006 and we hope to continue to improve as The Archive for meets results and the like.  We have limited time to devote to the website or else we would be adding lots more analysis and more commentary (after all we really enjoy watching and officiating at meets and have real jobs that demands some time also elsewise we would probably do this full time).  We try to help the Arkansas and national media who covers the sports and we would appreciate coaches and fans that know local sportswriters to encourage them to sign up for our Alerts. Just send an email to and request to be added. Also, if you enjoy the website, please pass along the website address to your track and cross country friends ….


Some stories seem to deserve mention even if not on the Top 10 List.  We think the following are certainly worth some attention:

·         The Arkansas Girls in cross country just seem to keep getting better. It was only two years ago that our Girls still ran 4K but they have thrived with the move to 5K.  Fully 24 runners posted times of 20 minutes or below in 2006 led by a half dozen below 19 minutes (these met the DyeStat Elite national standards). Erika Setzler (Conway) led the way at 18:45.11 set at the Arkansas/Oklahoma All-Stars meet.  In 2005, the first year for 5K, 16 runners came in under 20 minutes with Melissa Pollreis (Gravette) in the lead at 19:02.53 set at the Mountie Classic. Ways to go Girls!!

·         The Arkansas Boys posted five DyeStat Elite national marks in cross country (sub 16 minutes) with Josh Brewer (Lake Hamilton) leading the way at a swift 15:41 at the Footlocker South meet in North Carolina.

·         Whitney Kerth (Perryville/UALR) put in a terrific season for the Lady Trojans. Kerth was recognized four times at the Sunbelt Women’s CC Runner of the Week and ran the best times for a Sunbelt women in the 4K (14:42.96), 5K (17:18.77) and 6K (21:07.80). Kerth also won the Sunbelt conference meet (17:21.13 for 5K) and was 20th at the NCAA South Regionals (21:24.60).  At Perryville, Kerth was 2nd in the Class 1/2A State CC Meet in 2004 with a PR of 20:14.

·         Mannasha Bell, a 7th grader at Ft. Smith Darby, smoked the track in the Girls 400m with a fast 59.75 at the River Valley JH Conference Meet on 4/20/06. The mark was good enough on the 2006 ArkansasTrackStats Best Performance List. Bell had put in a 59.78 two weeks earlier on 4/16/06 at the Ft, Smith Darby Relays. 


10. 2006 Meet of Champs

The MOC saw 217 performances meet or exceed the ArkansasTracksStats Best Performance marks, 37 of which were qualifiers for the Arkansas All-Time Best List and 9 for the DyeStat Elite national rankings.  If you see only one track meet each year in Arkansas, this is the one.

The PV saw Stacey Yahn (Mena) clear 12’ 4” (ATB, DyeStat) for the win with Stephanie Foreman (Lake Hamilton) close behind at 12’ 0”(ATB, DyeStat). In the Boys competition, nationally-ranked Spencer McCorkle (Bryant) tied with Chad Faulkner (Fayetteville) as each cleared 16’ 0” (ATB, Dyestat). Bentonville took home top medals in both the Boys and Girls 4x800m relays as the Tigers cruised to win in 7:58.60 (ATB) and the Lady Tigers sped to victory in 9:37.76, a new meet and overall record and new ATB leader. Hope blistered the track in the Boys 4x400m race winning in 3:18.52 (DyeStat) while Camden Fairview won the Girls 4x400m relay in a swift 3:57.84 (ATB, DyeStat).

9. 2006 State Indoor

Lafayette County Girls nipped Heber Springs 71-67.5 in a 23-team Class 1/2/3A meet while the Ashdown Boys won easily by 91-73 over the Nashville Scrappers in a 20-team meet.

Traci Gillard (Lafayette County Girls) scored 36 points to lead the way including wins in the 55m dash (an ATB mark) and the TJ. In all, there were 58 2006 Best Performances and 25 new All-Time Best marks.  Robbie Buckner led Ashdown to victory with 28.5 points including wins in the 400m and LJ, the latter with a DyeStat Elite national mark. The Boys put up 74 2006 Best Performances, 30 All-Time Best marks and five DyeStat Elite national marks.

In the Class 4/5 meet, Russellville Girls edged out Bryant and Rogers by 62-59.5-55 in a 26-team meet. Forrest City Boys slipped by Fayetteville and Helena-West Helena Central 67-61-54 in a 24-team meet.

Karen Thomas (Camden Fairview) tallied an amazing 44 points with wins in the 55m (ATB mark), 200m (DyeStat Elite mark) and the LJ.  Daleisha Taylor (FS Northside, 400m) and Stephanie Irwin (Lake Hamilton, PV) each won their events with DyeStat Elite national marks. Jeff Henderson (Sylvan Hills) and Donavan Loring (LR Parkview) tied for top scorer at 28 each. Henderson won both the 55m and LJ in DyeStat Elite marks while Loring won the 55m hurdles and TJ at DyeStat Elite marks and added another DSE mark in the LJ.

8. 2006 State Outdoor

1AG:  Union Christian wins by 111.50-60-56 over Trinity and Kirby in 28-team meet. while Julie Wagner (Trinity) nipped Ashley Carrington (Emerson) by 31-30.

1AB:  Union Christian wins by 122-82-75 over Emerson and Delaplaine in 26-team meet. T. J. Cole (Delaplaine) scored 50.

2AG:  Genoa Central wins by 80.5-56.5-45 over Magnet Cove and Bearden in a 34-team meet. Alyssa Merriot (Magnet Cove) took high pints at 31 without winning an event. The Girls posted 60 2006 BPs and three ATBs.

2AB: Jessieville wins by 98-84-47 over Mineral Springs and Magazine. Nathan Hall (Jessieville) led the Boys with 30 points by winning the distance triple of 800m, 1600m and 3200m. The Boys put up 44 2006 BPs.

3AG:  Lafayette County wins the 34-team meet by 64-40-40-39-39 over DeQueen/Central Arkansas Christian tied for 2nd and Newport/Warren tied for 3rd. Traci Gillard (Lafayette County) led all scorers with 44 on wins in the 100m, 200m, LJ and TJ.  The Girls posted 131 marks for the 2006 BPs and six for the ATB List.

3AB:  Ashdown wins by 110.5-70.5-67 over Lonoke and Nashville in a 32-team meet. Robbie Buckner (Ashdown) led the Boys scoring at 27 with wins in he 400m and the LJ. The Boys posted 100 marks for the 2006 BPs and six for the ATB List. Derrik Womack qualified for the DyeStat Elite rankings by winning the PV at 15’ 0”.

4AG:  Batesville wins by 123-87-54 over Monticello and Crossett in a 26-team meet. Cathy Ebenja (Pulaski Robinson) led scorers at 33 points with wins in the 100m and 200m.  The Girls put up 156 marks for the 2006 BPs and 26 for the ATB List.

4AB: Magnolia wins by 108.5-92-74 over Helena-West Helena Central and Hope in a 25-team meet. Roderick Jamerson (Magnolia) and Courtney Alexander (West Helena Central) led the Boys meet with 20 points each. The Boys put up 123 marks for the 2006 BPs and five for the ATB List. Jeremy Cross (Crossett) won the HJ at 6’ 8” that qualified him for the national DyeStat Elite listings. 

5AG:  Camden Fairview wins by 90-69-64 over Russellville and Bentonville in a 24-team meet. Karen Thomas (Camden Fairview) posted 50 points to lead all scorers with four individual wins in the 100m, 200m, 400m and LJ. Mary Edwards (Bryant) won the 800m by the closest of margins over Erin Gatling (Van Buren) by 2:19.76-2:19.77, both good enough for the ATB List. The Girls put up 196 marks for the 2006 BPs, 31 do the ATB List and four for DyeStat Elite rankings.

5AB: Fayetteville wins by 91-51-50-50 over Texarkana, Lake Hamilton/LR Parkview.  Donavan Loring (Parkview) put up 36 points in the Boys meets with a double jump win in the LJ and TJ.  For the first time since 2002, the 3200m had five runners under 10 minutes led by Alex Bearden (Lake Hamilton) at 9:47.75. The Boys posted 177 marks for the 2006 BPs, 13 for the ATB List and four for DyeStat Elite marks.

7. 2006 State Cross Country

1/2G: Greers Ferry Westside wins their first CC title with a win by 39-51-70 over Johnson County Westside and Des Arc in a 7-team meet.  Alex Patterson (Des Arc) won the individual tile in 21:00.84.

1/2AB: Jasper added a 3rd state title trophy with a win by 21-53-83 over Acorn and Murfreesboro in a 9-team meet. Johnny Purvis (Jasper) won easily in a nice 16:22.77. Purvis ran a fine 15:56.76 for 3rd in the Arkansas/Oklahoma All-Stars Meet.

3AG:  Genoa Central won their 2nd state Girls CC title winning by 35-61 over Lamar in a  9-team meet. Freshman Grace Heymsfield (Elkins) won the tile in an impressive 19:28.38. Heymsfield clocked 19:14 at Chile Pepper for 9th overall on the 2006 BPs.

3AB: The Genoa Central Boys also won their 2nd sate CC title with a win by 65-83-97 over Paris and Mountainburg in a 9-team meet. Junior Barrett Kerth of Perryville won in 17:37.91.

4AG:  Heber Springs took home their 3rd State CC title with a win by 33-44-86 over Berryville and DeQueen.  Junior Kelsey Hatcher (Central Arkansas Christian) won in 20:48.49.

4AB: The Heber Springs Boys won their 2nd State CC title by winning 31-77-103 over DeQueen and Huntsville in a 15-team meet. Junior Aaron Edwards (Berryville) won in 17:21.31.

5AG: Batesville won their 5th State CC title by 34-123-145 over Siloam Springs and Harrison in a 13-team meet.  Harrison senior, Tia Young, won in 19:12.82 to lead three runners under the 20 minute mark.

5AB:  Siloam Springs won their 6th title with a win by 50-85-148 over Beebe and Greene County Tech in an 18-team meet.  Soph Luke Allen (Harrison) led the Boys at 16:57.24.

6AG:  Lake Hamilton won their 5th girls title by 27-29 over Mountain Home in the 5-team meet. Soph Shannon Hicks (Mountain Home) won in 21:33.53.

6AB:  The Lake Hamilton Boys won their 2nd state title with a win by 24-75-92 over Mountain Home and Marion in a 9-team meet.  Senior Josh Brewer (Lake Hamilton) won in 16:02.97 that was the best winning time for any classification. Brewer ranked #1 on the 2006 BPs as he ran 15:41 at the Footlocker South.

7AG: Bentonville won their 6th state CC title with a 46-59-101 win over 7A West rivals Rogers and Fayetteville in a 14-team meet.  Erika Setzler (Conway freshman) led five girls under 20 minutes with an outstanding 19:00.04 time and nudged out fellow freshman Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville) who clocked 19:01.49.. Setzler posted an exceptional time of 18:45.11 to edge out Alyssa Potter (Bentonville, 18:46.10) for the #1 2006 BP rankings.

7AB:  Rogers took home their 14th Boys state CC title with their 5th straight State Meet win in a seemingly easy 21-124-138 win over Van Buren and Bryant. Mountie junior Aaron Hamilton won the race in 16:09.27 to lead six Mounties in the Top 13 places.  Hamilton ended the year ranked 2nd on the 2006 BP with a 15:46 time at Chile Pepper.

6. National CC recognition

Rogers Boys and Bentonville Girls were among the Nike South Top 10 all season with each ranked as high as 8th and each finishing at 10th. 

The Lady Tigers finished 2nd at the always tough Southern Stampede on 9/16/06 at Missouri Southern in Joplin behind only nationally-ranked Olathe, KS.  On 9/30/06 Bentonville won the Girls 2 mile race at the OSU Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, OK. Bentonville then placed 2nd on 10/14/06 at the Chile Pepper in Fayetteville just ahead of regional power West Plains, MO and Benton County rival Rogers losing only to #2 Nike South/#25 Nike National ranked Tupelo, MS. Bentonville won the inaugural Class 7A State meet while picking up their 6th State Meet champ trophy.

The Mounties got off to a bad start with their first opening meet loss at Carthage, MO in a decade but regrouped the next week at Monett, MO for a solid win over mostly the same teams and seemed to get better each week.  Rogers stormed to the win at the Cowboy Jamboree on 9/30 on the tough 5K course and finished an impressive 7th at the Nike South XC Invitational in a field loaded with regional and national leaders. At the Chile Pepper, the Mounties came up short in perhaps the meet’s best field ever by taking 6th behind #7 Nike South Potosi, MO and #1 Nike South The Woodlands, TX among other regionally-ranked teams. At the Class 7A State Meet, Rogers easily won their 14th Boys title and the school’s state leading 28th title by a 21-124-138 over Van Buren and Bryant. The title was the 5th straight and 7th in the last decade for the Mounties who return 5 of their Top 7 and bring up a talented group from the JV squad.

5. Triple Jump marks

The TJ once again stretched the All-Time Best List as Donavan Loring (LR Parkview) improved on his leading marks from 2005 with a new #1 overall and outdoor at 48” 9” at the 4/14/06 Lake Hamilton Classic and new #3 overall and #1 indoor at 46’ 10.25” on 2/4/06 at the ATCA Indoor Classic. These marks were good enough for 22nd indoor and 27th outdoor on the DyeStat Elite national rankings.  Javia Jacobs (Magnolia) took 10th on the ATB List with a leap of 45’ 10.25” at the MOC.  Loring now owns the Top 3 jumps ever.

The Girls also stretched the ATB with four new marks led by Whitney Jones (Searcy) and Karen Thomas (Camden Fairview) at the 5A State Outdoor on 5/17/06 where both jumped 38” 6.75” for a tie for 2nd overall. Kayla Daniels (Crossett) took the 5th spot on the ATB at 37’ 10.25” at the MOC while Nekeia Rideout (Bearden) grabbed 6th at 37’ 7.5” at the Class 2A District 7A meet. 

4. New track and field All-Time Bests

The Arkansas All-Time Best List had 120 new marks from the Girls of which 14 were new Top 10 marks and two of those were new #1 marks.  Bentonville lowered their leading 4x800m mark set at the 2005 MOC with a new best set at the 2006 MOC at 9:37.76, nearly two seconds better.  Stephanie Foreman (Lake Hamilton) set a new #1 for the PV at 13’ 0”. In total, the Girls ATB List now includes 965 performances.

The Boys added 77 new marks to the ATB List with 11 Top 10 marks and three new #1s.  Texarkana posted a 41.13 in the 4/100m relay on 4/4/06 at the Bryant Invitational to slip past the old mark of 41.14 set by Pine Bluff in the 1990 MOC. Donavan Loring (LR Parkview) improved his leading TJ marks to 48’ 9” outdoor and 46’ 10.25” indoor. Spencer McCorkle (Bryant) set new indoor and outdoor PV marks. In total, the Boys ATB List now includes 825 performances.

3. Girls pole vault continues to soar

Following a national trend, the Arkansas Girls also continue to push the bar higher in the PV. While Stephanie Foreman (Lake Hamilton) set a new overall #1 at 13’ 0”, she was not alone. Foreman’s mark was good enough for 7th on the DyeStat Elite national outdoor rankings. Foreman and Stacey Yahn (Mena) ranked 14th on the DyeStat Elite indoor list with an 11’ 6” vault at the ATCA Indoor Classic on 2/4/06. Moreover, Yahn vaulted 12’ 4” at the MOC to tie for the 3rd best vault ever. Mallory Lawrence (Russellville) tied for 5th overall with a 12’ 0” vault at the 5/17/06 Class 5A State meet. Another 18 vaulters qualified for the ATB List also.

2. Former Arkansas high schoolers excel

Former Arkansas high schoolers certainly had an impact on the national scene and the international track circuit.  Below are the top performers in 2006 and some of their efforts.

Antwon Hicks (Hot Springs/Ole Miss/adidas) finished an exceptional track career at Ole Miss with multiple NCAA D-1 indoor and outdoor short hurdle titles.  Hicks opened 2006 with an impressive 2nd place at the prestigious Millrose Indoor Games in New York on 2/3/06 with a 7.64 clocking for the 60m hurdles. At the USA Track and Field nationals in June he took 8th in the 110m hurdles at 13.71 in a loaded field. 

Michael Tinsley (Pulaski Robinson/Jackson State/adidas) was the #1 ranked university 400m hurdler all year and capped his college career with an NCAA D-1 title in the 400mh with a 48.25 timing at the NCAA Outdoors in June at Sacramento, CA.  Tinsley had the 5th best prelim time of 50.09 about made his move with the top time in the semi-finals at 49.15.  He then went to the USA Track and Field championships where he took 6th in 49.68. 

Dan Lincoln (Hot Springs/Arkansas/Nike) continued to dominate US steeplechase with his 3rd straight US title at the USA Track and Field meet in Indianapolis in June with a somewhat slow (for Lincoln) 8:22.78.  Lincoln ran well on the European Circuit during the summer and fall where he set the American Record at a sparkling 8:08.82 at the Golden Gala in Rome, Italy surpassing the old mark set in 1985 by the great Henry Marsh. Lincoln’s time is 4:20 per mile over barriers.

Wallace Spearman (Fayetteville/ Arkansas/Nike) opened the year with two World Indoor Records at the Visa Championship Series in Fayetteville. On 2/10/06, Spearman scorched the oval for a 31.88 300m to break the old mark of 32.19 set by Brazil’s Robson de Silva in 1989.  The next day, Spearman teamed up with his Team USA mates to post a 3:01.96 for 4x400m for the new world indoor record. Spearman ran an unofficial 45.94 2nd leg. Outdoor saw more of the same. At the USA Outdoor Track and Field in June Spearman cruised to the 200m national title in 19.90.  On 9/16/06 at Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece he won the IAAF World Cup in Athletics 200m in 19.87 for a meet record and a PR.  Later that meet he anchored the winning Team USA 4x100m effort.  On 9/28/06, Spearman won the 200m at the Daegu International Meeting in Daego, South Korea with the 3rd best 200m clocking ever in 19.65.

1. National leader in Boys PV

Spencer McCorkle (Bryant) led the All-Time Best List coming onto 2006 with a 17’ 0” mark set at the 4/28/05 Panther Relays in Magnet Cove. He also owned the #6 mark at 16’1 “ set on 3/5/05 at the 4/5A Stat4e Indoor. 

At the Arkansas Invitational Indoor on 1/14/06 at the Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, McCorkle soared 17’ 3.5” which ended up leading the national indoor rankings on DyeStat for 2006 and setting an Arkansas All-Time Best for both indoor and overall. McCorkle followed this leap up on 2/4/06 at the ATCA All-Comers also at the TTC with a winning vault of 17’ 0”. 

The Wampus Cat Relays on 4/13/06 in Conway saw McCorkle set a new outdoor best for Arkansas at 17” 2” that held up for 4th best outdoor on the DyeStat Elite national rankings.

© December 31, 2006