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Week 9 State Cross Country Meet Recaps  November 12, 2002



State Cross County Meets


Oaklawn Park Infield, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas


Grass, rolling hills; Girls run 4K; Boys run 5K


Mild temperatures, wet grass

 Class 5A Boys. The defending champions, the Russellville Cyclones, entered the 2002 State Cross Country Meet with three of the Top 5 best times, a No. 1 ranking in the Arkansas 4A/5A and an early season No.7 ranking in a national poll.  The Rogers Mounties were ranked 5th at one point during the season in the Arkansas 4A/5A Poll, had come up one place short each of the prior two years and did not have a Top 10 runner.

Russellville knew entering the meet that their strength was upfront and that they needed two others to close the gap fast enough to secure the trophy.  Rogers entered the meet boasting 16 of the Top 50 best times and knew its hopes rested on its depth.  After strong performances at the Cowboy Jamboree and the Chile Pepper Festival, Rogers began to believe that they could make a run for the Cyclones.  After easily defeating Fayetteville at their home meet the weeks before, Rogers confidence grew heading into State.

The Cyclones did exactly what was expected by placing three in the Top 6 as senior Chase Feltner took a 3o-second win in 15:45.38.  Bryan Garner, the Cyclone senior, took a surprising third in 16:29.05 while senior Travis Feltner was sixth in 16:43.02, an off day for the 800 meter specialist who was fighting asthma.  After three runners in, the Cyclones had 10 points and a strong position.

Junior Burt Hicks of Lake Hamilton helped break up Russellville as he took second in 16:15.67, well off his 5K best on his home course.  Freshman Raven Fuller finished an impressive fourth in 16:33, just edging out sophomore Luis Flores of Rogers who crossed in 16:35.  J.T. Reinert was in first for Fayetteville in 7th while Caleb Gordon of Rogers slipped into 8th with Ryan Garner of Lake Hamilton close behind in 9th.  Jesse Thill of Fayetteville closed out the Top 10.

The team was beginning to shape up after the contenders each had their third runners home.  Russellville’s ten points (1-3-6) led the field while Rogers tallied 24 (5-8-11) and Fayetteville was close by at 30 (7-10-13).  Sophomore Stefan Mueller took eleventh for the Mounties while junior Dan Hicks was fourteenth for Fayetteville.

Rogers was the first to get their fourth home when sophomore Michael McCullough came home in 12th.  Fayetteville’s fourth was sophomore Ryan Soto in at 20th, Russellville’s fourth was 39th as senior Nathan Smith was in a seven runner pack within ten seconds of one another.  Rogers now tallied 36 with Russellville at 48 and Fayetteville ‘s Bulldogs nipping the Cyclones’ heels at 49.

The deciding fifth runners would once again determine the outcome of the meet.  Rogers junior Zach Hines came home in 18th to give the Mounties an even 50.  Fayetteville’s senior Cliff Pittman took 25th to give the Bulldogs a total of 73.  Russellville’s fifth was hot on the heels of the fourth as junior Ryan Newton was 40th overall to give the Cyclones a score of 83.  Rogers actually placed all nine runners in the Top 32, a sensational display of depth.

Note: The 5A West Conference again showed their strength in cross country by claiming four of the Top 5 teams as Springdale joined Rogers, Fayetteville and Russellville with a fifth place finish.  Springdale and Mountain Home tied at 153, but Springdale ‘s sixth runner broke the tie.

Class 5A Girls.  In one of the fastest 5A races in recent years, seven runners finished the 4K course in under sixteen minutes with sophomore Ashley Williams of Mount St. Mary’s leading the way in a swift 15:05.83 over the wet course.  Lake Hamilton’s twp super juniors claimed 2-3 as Beth Madson clocked 15:17 and Patricia Bradbury finished in 15:36.  Senior Candice James of Bryant took 4th in 15:41 with sophomore teammate Brooke Higgs was 5th in 15:45.  Not far behind was Rogers freshman standout Staci Papageorge in at 6th in 15:49 about 40m ahead of Fayetteville senior Niki Williams at 15:57.

No. 1 ranked Bryant had held onto the top spot in the poll all year and were the favorites to win at State.  With a 4-5 finish by Candice James and Brooke Higgs, the Lady Hornets set the bar high for any challenger. As it turned out, setting the bar high was a good thing.  Rogers also put two in the Top 10 when junior Andrea Peerson came in 9th at 16:05.  After two runners Lake Hamilton led 5-9-15 over Bryant and Rogers.  Springdale was a close 4th at 23 (11th and 12th).

Bryant scored next as freshman Mary Edwards finished 13th while Rogers’ third was17th as junior Ana Laura Salinas, a strong 400m/800m trackster, raced home.  Bryant now led 22-2803 over Lake Hamilton (2nd-3rd-23rd)  and Rogers (6th-9th-17th) with Mount St. Mary’s a close 4th at 40 (1st-15th-24th).

Junior Jessica Graham of Bryant raced nearly stride-for-stride with senior Erin Dalbey of Rogers, another 400m/800m runner, with Graham taking a 1.1 second lead to gain 18th.  Bryant added to their lead 40-51 over Rogers as the other contenders fell off the pace.

Freshman Early Villegas completed t4eh Rogers scoring with a solid 26th for a few brief seconds the Lady Mounties faithful sensed an upset.  However, Kim Bergen, another Bryant freshman, closed the door with a 30th place finish to secure the win for the Lady Hornets by 69-76 over the hard charging Lady Mounties.

Rounding out the Top 10 were sophomore Laura Broderdorf of Mt. Home in 8th and junior Jessi Barnes of Bentonville in 10th.

Note:  Bryant won the official race scoring five runners. Had the scoring been of the first six, then Rogers would have snuck in by 110-113.  Rogers would also have won if 7, 8 or 9 runners were scored.  In a two-team dual meet, Bryant would have won 25-30 scoring five.  The Lady Mounties would have won the dual if 7 or more runners were scored.  Bryant put their first five in a nice 91second spread while Rogers finished with a slightly tighter 75 second spread.

4A Boys.  Sophomore Quincy Googs of J. A. Fair took the overall win in 17:21.03 while Arkadelphia’s junior Daniel Henry was 2nd in 17:37.  Others in the Top 5 were junior Cole Johnson of Hot Springs, junior Chris Henry of Marion and senior Calvin Davis, Jr. of Monticello.

In the team race, Hot Springs Lakeside staked out a strong early lead after three runners behind senior Josh Benfers 6th place, senior Chris Arrison in 7th and sophomore Danny Jackson in 9th.  At this point Lakeside led 19-34-38 over Vilonia and cross town rival Hot Springs.  Vilonia’s Jim Coghlan took 10th while Taylor Munro secured 12th and soph Dennis Pabin was 15th.

After four runners had cleared the finish line, Lakeside clung to a slender 44-49 lead over Vilonia with Siloam Springs slipping past Hot Springs with a 62-67 score.  Proving yet again how cross country depends on the entire team, Vilonia put their five between 9th and17th which turned out good enough to hold off Siloam’s charge by 66-83.  Siloam ran as a pack placing their first five from 12th to 19th and just nipping Lakeside by 83-91 for runner-up.

Note:  Siloam Springs won the spread contest for all divisions with an outstanding 23-second differential. Vilonia was close behind at only 28 seconds.

4A Girls.  Junior Dianne Miller of Siloam Springs took the individual crown with a convincing 30-seocnd win in 16:23.28.  Vilonia junior Brittany Knight was 2nd in 16:53 while freshman teammate Kazmyn Bailey was 3rd.  Junior Becca Davis of Siloam took 4th ad Marion junior Hayden Wood crossed in 5th.

After two runners Vilonia (2nd-3rd) and Siloam (1st-4th) were tied at 5-5 with Harrison (6th-9th) and Greene County Tech (7th-8th) not far back tied at 15-15.  Vilonia edged ahead 16-18-27 over Siloam and Harrison after three runners. Not to be outdone Siloam came back to tie the race at 33-33 after four runners were in. Harrison was still in the hunt at 41.

With two seniors racing down the stretch, Siloam took a close 53-54 win over Vilonia as Lindsey Butts outlegged Jessica Robinson for 20th place overall.  Harrison finished strong for 3rd at 60 points as the Lady Goblins put their first five between 6th and 19th.

Note:  Harrison won the spread contest with a nice 58 seconds.  There was only one senior in the Top 20.

3A Boys.  What the 3A Boys lacked in speedy times they made up for it in the competitiveness of the Top 9.  John  Lagunas of DeQueen ran a solid time for a freshman to win in 17:12.36 and take the overall title by 38 seconds.  Then the scurry to the finish began.  Junior Derek Sherwood of DeQueen led an eight runner pack that finished between 17:50 and 18:00.  Teammate Justin Cajero was 3rd and DeQueen was setting the stage with a 1-2-3 finish.  Next came two Lumberjacks from Warren as Cory McDade was 4th and Montrall Brooks took 5th.  DeQueen’s Rex Hamel was 6th and Valentin Ahumada of Oak Grove was only .28 seconds behind in 7th.  Jerry Williams of Pottsville took 8th only .46 seconds ahead of Lamar’s Michael Weller in 9th.

DeQueen led 6-38-47 over Heber Springs and Berryville after three runners.  The lead widened 12-54 after four runners and closed a little after five as DeQueen’s fifth was 40th to seal the win 52-87 over Heber Springs.  Berryville scored 98 for 3rd.

Note:  Both 2nd place Heber Springs and 3rd place Berryville had a 60-second spread.  The Top 22 finishers had no seniors signaling a strong field for 2003.

3A Girls.  Freshman Leigh Ann Moore of Pocahontas posted the 3rd fastest time of the day among all divisions in a convincing 25 second victory in 15:31.49.  Senior Ashley Dixon of Pulaski Academy took 2nd in an excellent 15:55 while senior teammate Jana Derlikowski was 3rd.  Hamburg freshman Megan O’Neal claimed 4th as soph Shawna Miller of Berryville was 5th.

Pulaski Academy (1st-2nd) led 3-8 over Berryville (3rd-5th) after two runners and held to a narrow 13-20 lead after three.  Berryville made a move with a 12th and 15th finish while PA posted a 10th and 19th tandem to keep a slim 32-35 lead.  The Lady Bobcats’ would bring home the championship trophy to Berryville as their fifth runner slipped in at 17th well ahead of PA’s fifth in 27th to win by 52-59.  Dover claimed 3rd with 93 by placing four between 9th and 16th with a fifth at 41st.

Note:  Berryville earned the win with a 50-second spread.  Nine of the Top 20 were freshmen.

1/2A Boys.  What could be better in cross country than a photo-finish after more than three miles of running?  Two seniors, J. D. Buchholtz of Little Rock Christian and Jason Depree of Emerson, gave the crowd just that as Buchholtz won by only .36 seconds with a 17:33.39 clocking.  Adam Becker led Little Rock Lutheran at 3rd while LR Christian’s Matt Buchholtz and Trad Williams of Wickes completed the Top 5.

Christian (1st-4th) took a brief 5-10-10 lead over Lutheran (3rd-7th) and Emerson (2nd-8th) after two runners.  Lutheran took the lead after three were in by a 19-20 score over Christian and padded their lead after four to 38-45. Lutheran sealed the win when senior Aaron Walter finished 24th.  Christian fifth runner crossed in 40th place t give Lutheran a comfortable 62-85 win in the battle of the Little Rock church schools.

1/2A Girls.  Senior Shannon Vaughn of Oark took a narrow 16:28.52 win over runner-up Kristen Kennerly of Magnet Cove who clocked 16:36.  Lauren Hagans of Christian took 3rd in 16:54 while Lutheran’s Janine Hanssen was 4th in 16:57. Leslie Priskey of Genoa Central completed the Top 5 at 17 minutes even.

After two runners Magnet Cove (1at-12th) was tied with Harding Academy (5th-8th) at 13-13 and held a narrow lead over Eureka Springs (6th-9th) at 15.  The three teams remained tight after three runners with Harding and Eureka tied at 26 and Magnet Cove close behind at 29.

With four runners in the finish chute Harding and Eureka made it a two team race as Eureka took a 40-41 lead.  When Harding senior Jessica Brown finished 17th just 2.4 seconds of Eureka’s Nicole Base, the two teams were in a dead heat at 58-58.  Using the 6th runner tie breaker gives Harding the edge. Magnet Cove held on for 3rd with 95 points.

Note:  Harding’s average time of 17:58 would have been good enough for 2nd in Class 3A, 3rd in Class 4A and 9th in the big school Class 5A.

Meet Statistics:

·         101 teams participated (42 Girls and 59 Boys)

·         831 finishers (367 Girls and 464 Boys)

·         Largest race was 5A Boys with 18 teams and 162 finishers; Boys 3A also had 18 teams

·         Largest Girls race was Class 5A with 17 teams and 144 finishers

·         Smallest race was 4A Girls with only 7 teams and 54 finishers

·         9 Girls finished under 16:00 for 4K and 31 were under 17:00

·         Only one Boy clocked under 16:00 for 5K and only 10 were under 17:00 (all were on the 5A race)

·         5 Girl’s teams had an average time of under 17:00 and 8 teams were under 18:00

·         Only one Boys team averaged under 17:00 and 7 were under 18:00

·         Of the 16 trophy winners, the Final Arkansas Coaches Poll correct on 10 as to the place and correct on 3 others as to taking a trophy of some kind; only Harding Academy Girls, Pulaski Academy Girls and Fayetteville Boys won trophies and were not predicted to do so by the Final Poll


GIRLS (under 16:30 for 4K)

Ashley Williams, Mount St. Mary’s



Beth Madson, Lake Hamilton



Leigh Ann Moore, Pocahontas



Patricia Bradbury, Lake Hamilton



Candice James, Bryant



Brooke Higgs, Bryant



Staci Papageorge, Rogers



Ashley Dixon, Pulaski Academy



Niki Williams, Fayetteville



Laura Broderdorf, Mt. Home



Andrea Peerson, Rogers



Jessi Barnes, Bentonville



Jessica Cox, Springdale



Ana Guilliams,Springdale



Dianne Miller, Siloam Springs



Mary Edwards, Bryant



Alicia Owensby, Bentonville



Lizzie Phillips, Mount St. Mary’s



Shannon Vaughn, Oark




BOYS (under 16:45 for 5K)

Chase Feltner, Russellville



Burt Hicks, Lake Hamilton



Bryan Garner, Russellville



Raven Fuller, Conway



Luis Flores, Rogers



Travis Feltner, Russellville






1/2A:  Eureka Springs

3A: Dover, Berryville, DeQueen, Pulaski Academy

4A:  Siloam Springs, Vilonia

5A: Bryant, Rogers, Fayetteville, Lake Hamilton, Mt. Home


1/2A:  Little Rock Lutheran, Little Rock Christian, Acorn

3A: DeQueen, Heber Springs, Berryville, Dover

4A: Vilonia, Siloam Springs

5A: Russellville, Rogers, Fayetteville, Conway, Lake Hamilton

© ArkansasTrackStats.com 11/23/2002