2005 State Cross Country Meet Preview
Where: Infield of Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas
When: Saturday, November 5, 2005
Course: Grass and rolling hills
Class 1A/2A Boys – 9:30 a.m.:
Just because these are the smallest schools never underestimate the competitiveness and the potential surprises. This year should be no different. Class 2A Jasper appears to be the team to beat having won in 2004 with only one senior in their Top 5 and running well in recent weeks losing only by 35-39 to Class 4A Greene County Tech at the Harding Academy meet. Class 1A Acorn may be a little off their normal form but never count them out as they will be ready to take on the leaders as they have two of the Top 6 times in 2005. Jessieville, Izard County, Harding Academy, Wickes, Mountainburg and Eureka Springs will all be trying to take a trophy home.
Favorites: Acorn and Jasper
Top 5 best times reported: Charles Yeager, Jasper (16:43); Johnny Purvis, Jasper (16:45); Nathan Hall, Jessieville (17:12); Joseph Lara, Acorn (17:18); Leon Becker, Acorn (18:14)
Class 1A/2A Girls – 10:00 a.m.:
Harding Academy won in 2004 with only one senior and finished 4th in their home meet recently behind Class 3A and 4A teams. Last year’s runner-up, Genoa Central, also returned four and brings one of the Top 6 times. However, Greers Ferry Westside is the next highest ranked team and could be legitimate contenders. Eureka Springs and Little Rock Lutheran (who moves up to Class 3A next year) also have one of the top times and could be in the team chase. Watch out for Des Arc if they come with a solid 4th and 5th to run. This could be one of the best individual races of the day with the Top 3 possibly going well under the magic 20-minute mark.
Favorites: Genoa Central, Greers Ferry Westside and Harding Academy
Top 5 best times reported: Emily Carpenter, Carlisle (19:26); Hannah Clardy, Arkansas Baptist (19:41); Michaela Krocova, Kirby (20:01); Beth McGowan, LR Lutheran (21:06); Callie Smith, Eureka Springs (21:27);
Class 3A Boys – 10:45 a.m.:
While the Coaches Poll suggests Heber Springs and DeQueen will take the trophies home, no team dominates the Top 15 times so it could be a day of surprises. As is so often the case, the 4th and 5th runners will tell the tale and the blockers could be crucial. John Lagunas of DeQueen returns to defend his title and has the best reported time by 100m or more.
Favorites: DeQueen, Heber Springs and Mena
Top 5 best times reported: John Lagunas, DeQueen (16:38); Justin Smith, Heber Springs (17:06); Chris Ariola, Shiloh Christian (17:24); Steven Andrews, Central Arkansas Christian (17:34); Coby Sanders, Heber Springs (17:32)
Class 3A Girls – 11:15 a.m.:
The Coaches Poll suggest that Heber Springs will take an easy win with DeQueen close behind even though neither has a runner with a Top 5 time. Berryville, Lamar and Mena are close by to DeQueen and certainly cannot be ignored. This should be a very good individual race and could see the fastest time of the day as well as the Top 4 under the Magic 20 Mark.
Favorites: DeQueen, Heber Springs and Lamar
Top 5 best times reported: Melissa Pollreis Gravette 19:02; Kelsey Hatcher Central Ark Christian 19:25; Ashley Miess, Pulaski Academy 20:06; Alex Patterson Des Arc 20:33; Cammie Collier Mena 20:48
Class 4A Boys – Noon:
This race could come down to the wire and may well be won by the team who steps up a notch. Greene County Tech has a strong Top 3 and Beebe has four of the Top 12. Harrison’s front three could be Top 10 but the 4th and 5th may be question marks. Siloam Springs is improving with two possible Top 10 finishers. The Coaches Poll ranks Harrison on top. Michael Miller of Greene County Tech has the best reported time by 20 seconds.
Favorites: Beebe, Greene County Tech, Harrison
Top 5 best times reported: Michael Miller Greene, County Tech (16:50); Luke Allen, Harrison (17:11); Chris Roberts, Beebe (17:12); Seth Freeman, Greene County Tech (17:19); Cody Vondermehden, Harrison (17:29)
Class 4A Girls – 12:30 p.m.:
Monticello has led the poll all season with Batesville very close behind. However, Batesville has run well and easily won the Harding Academy meet with their Top 5 at 22 minutes or better. Harrison and Siloam Springs always seem to peak at State and they will need to do just that top take a trophy home. Watch out for Beebe as they have three of the Top 17 reported best times. This should be one of the best team races of the day.
Favorites: Batesville, Harrison, Monticello, Siloam Springs
Top 5 best times reported: Nicole Smith, Batesville (19:46); Chelsea Weaver, Monticello (19:56); Tina Young, Harrison (20:35); Kelsie Wilson, Batesville (20:50); Rachael Gavin, Batesville 20:59
Class 5A Boys – 1:15 p.m.:
Fayetteville has the clear advantage and the strong lead in the Coaches Poll over Rogers. These two teams battled at the 5A West meet with the Bulldogs having too much up front. In a larger meet, especially if Fayetteville’s 4th or 5th has an off day, would be just what Rogers needs to 4-peat. Be on the lookout for improving Bentonville and anyone who overlooks Lake Hamilton with their Top 2 is asking for trouble. Bryant can look to have one of the Top 3-4 but needs to move the 4th and 5th up to get a trophy. The individual race should be an exciting race from start to finish with 7-8 runners having a legitimate shot at winning. This race could see a lead pack together until the last 200m.
Favorites: Bentonville, Bryant, Fayetteville, Lake Hamilton, Rogers
Top 10 best times reported: Alex Bearden, Lake Hamilton (15:46); Ethan Blakely, Bryant (16:02); Josh Brewer, Lake Hamilton (16:03); Raven Fuller, Conway (16:06); Aaron Hamilton, Rogers (16:06); Willy Pickhardt, Fayetteville (16:18); Wes Packhard, Fayetteville (16:19); Nathan Peters, Russellville (16:23); Christian Moore, Fayetteville (16:26); Tyler Beaver, Springdale Har-Ber (16:28)
Class 5A Girls – 1:45 p.m.:
By all rights Bentonville and Rogers should take another two trophies home to Benton County. Both teams are strong up front and have excellent depth. Bentonville won the 5A West but in a larger meet the Lady Mounties have a good chance for an upset IF they run very well and get some help. Fayetteville, as usual, runs in a pack but needs their 5th to move up 30 seconds to earn a trophy. Bryant has good depth but will need to move up to be in the hunt. Fans should really enjoy watching this race, as the quality of runners is impressive and could see the Top 10-12 under the Magic 20 Mark on a good day.
Favorites: Bentonville, Bryant, Fayetteville, Rogers
Top 10 best times reported: Katie Dalton, Bentonville (19:14); Alyssa Potter, Bentonville (19:25); Rachel Conley, Rogers (19:31); Hanna Bryant, Bentonville (19:42); Leigh Ann Moore, Jonesboro (19:43); Kim Peek Springdale, Har-Ber (19:43); Ellen Heimbach, Rogers (19:53); Brittany Blackmon, Russellville (20:11); Mary Edwards, Bryant (20:14); Kayla Milner, Fayetteville (20:16)