ArkansasTrackStats.com

Commentary.......Message from the Publishers: State Meet Recaps

11/2001

Wow.....there really is a good reason to run the races in spite of the polls and predictions...sometimes the favorites are knocked off or the margin of victory is much closer.  All of these happened Saturday, November 3, 2001 at the Arkansas High School Cross-Country State Meet at Agri Park at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. After an overnight rain that created a couple of small puddles and generally kept the grass wet, the weather at meet time was a nice 65º with overcast skies, mostly calm and high humidity.  Race officials are to be complimented for keeping the races right on time and in announcing official results promptly.  Recaps of the various races follow. Note that the Girls races were 4K (4,000 meters is roughly 2.5 miles) and the Boys races were 5K (5,000 meters is about 3.1 miles). Note that the “Rank in Final Poll” provided refers to the rank within race classification, not the actual poll. For instance, the poll combines 1A, 2A and 3A but 3A runs separately. Therefore, the highest ranked 1A/2A team would be ranked 1stt for that race and the highest ranked 3A team would be ranked 1st for the 3A race. Also, time splits shown for individuals are estimates only.

 

1A/2A BOYS   9:30 a.m.

    

 

Runner/School

Mile 1

(Place)

Mile 2

(Place)

Mile 3

(Place)

5K

(last 1/10)

Avg/Mile

1. Joey McGarrah, Winslow

5:17 (1)

5:43/11:00 (1)

5:45/16:45 (1)

17:16.50

(31.50)

5:34

2. Brandon Cross, Acorn

5:17 (1)

5:43/11:00 (1)

6:14/17:14 (2)

17:44.63

(30.63)

5:43

3. Heath Phelps, Acorn

5:24 (3)

6:15/11:39 (2)

5:59/17:38 (3)

18:12.19

(44.19)

5:52

4. Joseph Van Milligan, Lutheran

No Time

11:41 (3)

 

6:00/17:41 (4)

18:14.74

(33.74)

5:53

5. Chris Cottman, Acorn

No Time

11:43 (5)

6:16/17:59 (5)

18:29.52

(30.52)

5:58

 

Joey McGarrah of Winslow and Brandon Cross of Acorn set out early to make this a two-some as they passed the mile in 5:17 well ahead of 3rd and gaining ground.  McGarrah, running more like his mid-season form after recovering from a late season health problem, looked determined to take the 1st place medal home but Cross stuck to him tightly as they passed the 1.5 Mile mark stride for stride with a good 100m lead on 3rd.  The pair passed the 2 Mile in 11:00 flat and had the race well in hand with a steadily growing lead over the pack.  Although Cross fought hard to hang with McGarrah, the Winslow runner held his pace the 3rd mile at 5:45 and built a comfortable 29 second lead as Cross was struggling. McGarrah turned the corner to home and sprinted hard as did Cross but the die was cast for the first two slots. Heath Phelps of Acorn had held 3rd the entire race but was tiring down the last 150m stretch as Van Milligan of Lutheran kicked hard and was gaining ground every step to trim Phelp’s lead from 12-13 seconds to a bare two at the finish. Chris Cottman of Acorn moved up from 6th to 5th the last 150m for what would turn out to be an important move for his team as he edged out Jerry Williams of Pottsville.

 

 

School

Score

Places

Avg Time (and per mile)

Spread (Time/Place)

Rank in Final Poll

Acorn

43

1-2-4-17-19

18:46 (6:03)

2:02/18

1

Pottsville

43

5-6-8-11-13

19:12  (6:12)

:49/8

2

Lutheran

47

3-7-9-12-16

19:04  (6:09)

1:11/13

Not ranked

 

                

Cross country races rarely get much closer than did this one. As the runners finished, coaches were realizing that it would come down to how each team’s 5th runner fared.  Acorn at first appeared to have it wrapped up as Brandon Cross, Heath Phelps and Chris Cottman finished 2nd, 3rd and 5th.  Then Pottsville came home with Jerry Williams in 6th, Daniel Riedmueller in 7th and Michael Jones in 11th and still no more Acorn runners. Just as the crowd realized Acorn and Pottsville were in a real race, Lutheran’s Joseph Van Milligan took 4th, Adam Becker claimed 10th and Jonas Rosenhahn grabbed 12th to make it extra tight.  At this point, Acorn had 10 points vs. Pottsville’s 24 and Lutheran’s 26. Pottsville was the first to get their Top 5 in as Evan Huffman took 14th and Jason Willis came in at 16th for an unofficial score of 54. Lutheran was next to get their team home as Matt Reed took 15th and Justin VanLandingham nailed down 19th  tallied 60 points. Still, Acorn was on the course.  Finally Acorn’s James Halitzka came in at 20th and Brandon Falls in 22nd for what appeared to be 52 points. This was going to be very close depending in large part on what other finishers were not on complete teams and did not count in the team scoring. It would not be until the awards ceremony that the final score was known.

When the team scores were announced, Acorn and Pottsville were tied at 43 and Lutheran was a very close 3rd at 47.  The tie was broken as Acorn’s 6th runner, Mark Christiana, finished 21st in the team score (24th overall) compared to Pottsville’s Justin Smith at 35th (40th overall).  Coaches can use this as an example for years to come how not only the Top 5 count but the 6th and beyond can literally make the difference in the team results.  As in the Girls race, it is too bad that a 3rd place trophy could not be awarded as Lutheran finished so close to the leaders, doubly impressive as they had not been ranked.  While Acorn won with pure upfront strength (1-2-4 finish),  Pottsville ran a terrific team race with a spread of only 49 seconds and eight places!! Lutheran had a very respectable spread of 71 seconds and only 13 places.

 

 

 

 

1A/2A GIRLS   10:00 a.m.

    

 

Runner/School

Mile 1

(Place)

Mile 2

(Place)

4K

 

Avg/Mile

Last ½ Mile

1. Ashley Dixon, Harding Academy

6:15 (1)

6:51/13:06 (1)

16:11.07

6:28

3:05

2. Kristen Kennerly, Magnet Cove

6:17 (2)

6:59/13:16 (3)

16:31.86

6:37

3:15

3. Melissa Arnold, Decatur

6:15 (1)

No Time (5)

16:38.74

6:40

No Time

4. Annie Miller, Shiloh Christian

6:17 (2)

No Time (4)

16:40.79

6:40.4

No Time

5. Megan Bradshaw, Lutheran

6:15 (1)

6:51/13:06 (1)

16:41.95

6:40.8

3:36

 

 

The Top 5 emerged early to set the pace and take charge with Bradshaw, Dixon and Arnold crossing the Mile mark at 6:15 followed closely by Miller and Kennerly at 6:17.  The 2nd mile saw Bradshaw and Dixon open what looked like a safe lead of 5-6 seconds over the next three with nothing but downhill remaining.  Dixon took off first and turned in a nice 3:05 last 800m while Kennerly moved into a safe 2nd with 200m to go although trailing the leader by nearly eight seconds.  Arnold passed the 200m to go mark in 5th but was closing fast on Bradshaw and Miller. Miller hung on to 4th as Arnold passed her near the finish and a fading Bradshaw slipped just behind Miller for 5th after aggressively running the first two miles.  Andrea Hobbs of Decatur (6th at 16:57.73) and Ashley Henson of Alpena (7th at 16:59.83) also broke the 17 minute barrier. Hats off to all of the Top 7 as they each clocked their fastest time of the season in the State Meet. 

 

 

School

Score

Places

Avg Time (and per mile)

Spread (Time/Place)

Rank in Final Poll

1. Harding Academy

62

1-11-14-16-20

17:46.24 (7:06)

2:17/19

3

2. Magnet Cove

88

2-13-17-19-37

18:12.01 (7:16)

3:28/35

2

3. Shiloh Christian

89

4-9-12-30-34

18:14.50 (7:17)

3:00/30

4

 

 

Harding Academy won this race with traditional cross-country tactics…..pack your top five closest together in time (2:17) and place (19) to claim a strong victory. Of course, it never hurts to have the individual champion as they did with defending champ Ashley Dixon.  Then it got very interesting.

 

Magnet Cove and Shiloh were locked in a duel for runner-up from the git go.  As the runners passed the 200m to go mark, the race was still on the line and each team’s front runners were struggling to move up.  Magnet Cove had a 3-4 point lead but was by no means home free. Shiloh’s Andrea Kendrick picked up some ground as she passed Lindsay Kelly of  Pea Ridge at the finish by only .43 seconds and they were helped out when Magnet Cove’s third runner, Brittney Eickhoff, slipped behind Laura Riley of Harding Academy and Sarah Johnson of Centerpoint in the last 30m.  Each team’s 4th and 5th runners would easily hold their place down the stretch and Shiloh’s bid would come up just one point short.  Too bad there is not a 3rd place trophy as Shiloh had a tighter spread in both time (3:00 to 3:28) than Magnet Cove and in place (30 to 35) that normally wins the day. However, Magnet Cove had four in the Top 20 to overcome the spread as Shiloh’s 4th came in at 30th.

 

 

3A BOYS   10:30 a.m.

    

 

Runner/School

Mile 1

(Place)

Mile 2

(Place)

Mile 3

(Place)

5K

(last 1/10)

Avg/Mile

1. William Prettyman, West Fork

5:08 (1)

5:32/10:40 (1)

5:34/16:14 (1)

16:46.21 (32.21)

5:24

2. Michael Simkins, Berryville

5:22 (3)

5:50/11:12 (2)

5:45/16:57 (2)

17:30.87 (33.87)

5:38.9

3. Cesar Lemus, Berryville

5:22 (3)

5:50/11:12 (2)

No Time (3)

17:31.50

5:39.2

4. Valentin Ahumada, Oak Grove

 

No Time

 

11:12 (2)

 

No Time (4)

 

17:39.14

 

5:41.6

5. Miquel Gil, Berryville

5:22 (3)

5:50/11:12 (2)

No Time (4)

17:39.69

5:41.8

 

Defending champion William Prettyman of West Fork led the pack from the very start and took a clear lead at the 400m mark. From there he was off to the races running alone.  By the Mile mark Prettyman had a 12 second lead (5:08) which was lengthened to 32 seconds at the 2 Mile mark (10:40/5:32)  and to 45 seconds by the end of the race. Meanwhile a pack of Berryville Bobcats were bunches together for most of the race in the 3-7 slots as Michael Simkins, Cesar Lemus and Miquel Gil cleared the way for yet another Berryville 3A championship.  Valentin Ahumada of Oak Grove ran with the Bobcats and eventually grabbed 4th as he outdueled Gil the last 300m in an exciting finish. Just ahead of them Simkins and teammate Lemus raced the last 800m almost stride for stride with Simkins taking a narrow lead of about .6 seconds with a final sprint the last 50m. Derek Sherwood (6th, 17:40.94) and Justin Cajero (7th, 17:44.99) of DeQueen ran together most of the way in 6th-8th place with Montrail Brooks (10th, 17:50.35) of Warren and Antonin Jadoul (8th, 17:45.35) of West Fork fighting for a spot. David Shelby of Lamar ran in the second pack the entire race and held on the last mile for 9th in 17:49.08.

 

School

Score

Places

Avg Time (and per mile)

Spread (Time/Place)

Rank in Final Poll

1. Berryville

35

2-3-5-11-14

17:44.29

(5:43)

:36/12

 1

2. West Fork

98

1-8-23-27-39

18:24.93

(5:56)

2:52/38

 4

3. DeQueen

99

6-7-12-33-41

18:29.53

(5:58)

2:03/35

 2

 

The Berryville Bobcats led all season in the Coaches Poll and they led from start to finish in the race as well as they had 4 of the Top 10 at the Mile mark and 4 of the Top 11 at the 2 Mile mark.  Led by senior Michael Simkins, sophomore Cesar Lemus and senior Miquel Gil, the Bobcats also tallied top finishes by freshmen Jose Ramirez (11th, 17:52.83) and Drew Ray (14th, 18:06.54) to take the championship trophy back home to Carroll County yet again win a crushing win over runner-up West Fork. The Bobcats achieved an excellent spread of only 36 seconds and 12 places.

The race for runner-up was heating up as the race went on.  West Fork used the win by Prettyman to good advantage in putting pressure on the DeQueen pack who was closing on West Fork the entire race.  DeQueen actually had a tighter time spread than West Fork (2:02 to 2:52) and a tighter place spread of 35 to 38.  However, the race came down to which 5th runner would have enough the last mile to secure the win.  In the final analysis, DeQueen needed to be only 2-3 seconds faster at the 3rd, 4th or 5th positions to move up the needed 1-2 places to claim runner-up. Instead, West Fork edged out a close lead for the trophy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3A GIRLS   11:00 a.m.

    

 

Runner/School

Mile 1

(Place)

Mile 2

(Place)

4K

 

Avg/Mile

Last ½ Mile

1. Becca Wallis, Eureka Springs

6:11 (1)

6:51/13:02 (1)

16:26.12

6:34

3:24

2. Jana Derlikowski, Pulaski Academy

6:23 (2)

6:47/13:10 (2)

16:33.17

6:37

3:23

3. Amber Rappe, Dover

No Time (3)

No Time (3)

16:36.17

6:38

No Time

4. Stephanie Craig, Central Ark Christian

No Time

No Time (5)

16:48.17

6:43

No Time

5. Lauren Ellis, Berryville

No Time (4)

No Time (4)

16:56.58

6:46

No Time

 

 

Becca Wallis of Eureka Springs (1st, 16:26.12) put a quick end to the suspense as she took an early lead and promptly stretched it to 11 seconds at the Mile mark over 2000 runner-up Jana Derlikowski of Pulaski Academy (2nd, 16:33.17) who crossed at 6:23.  Close behind Derlikowski coming down the dam was a pack made up of Amber Rappe of Dover (3rd, 16:36.17) , Lauren Ellis of Berryville (5th, 16:56.58) and Stephanie Craig of Central Arkansas Christian (4th, 16:48.17).  Wallis kept pressuring the field during the second mile although Derlikowski narrowed the gap a little to only eight seconds and opened a small lead on the rest of the pack with Rappe hanging on.  Wallis held on as Derlikowski made a final charge that came up a little short. Rappe closed a little and opened a finished with a safe lead over Craig who slipped past Ellis the last 800m. 

 

 

School

Score

Places

Avg Time (and per mile)

Spread (Time/Place)

Rank in Final Poll

1. Berryville

62

4-5-14-17-22

17:27.64 (5:38)

:56/18

1

2. Perryville

69

6-9-10-19-25

17:35.47 (5:40)

:43/19

Not Ranked

3. Dover

74

3-7-8-21-35

17:32.95 (5:39.7)

 

:53/32

4

 

 

What was supposed to be an easy win for Berryville almost turned into a major upset as Perryville came from nowhere to give the Lady Bobcats a scare.  After the first three runners from each team had finished Berryville held only a slim 23-25 lead. Thanks to a strong finish by Dover’s 2nd and 3rd runners (Jennie Baumberger, 8th, 17:22.30 and Megan Metz, 9th, 17:23.56) who slipped ahead of Perryville’s 2nd and 3rd in the last half mile, Berryville would lengthen their lead the last mile for a 7 point team win. Fast finishing Dover nearly picked up Perryville as Dover’s 5th runner fell about 10 seconds short of the needed place.  Actually Berryville appeared to be in trouble early as they only had two runners in the Top 10 at the Mile mark and Batesville Southside (ranked No. 2 in the Final Poll) had four. As the runners completed the loop and headed back up the dam, the anxious Berryville fans could be heard asking who was the team running in a tight group with four runners between 6th and 12th.  Perryville was making a serious challenge to the Lady Bobcats with Kim Pitts in 6th  (7th, 17:20.75), Whitney Kerth in 7th  (10th, 17:24.19), Paula Leach in 8th (11th, 17:24.71) and Charly Kelley in 12th   (20th, 17:43.46). Berryville’s Anabel Trujillo (6th, 17:18.41) surged the last mile to move ahead of the front Perryville runners to give Berryville a chance.  The victory was secured as Shawna Miller (15th, 17:30.09) and Elizabeth Brantley (18th, 17:40.07) each moved up a spot over the last 200m and Trista McGinley (23rd, 17:53.03) held her own. 

4A BOYS   11:30 a.m.

    

 

Runner/School

Mile 1

(Place)

Mile 2

(Place)

Mile 3

(Place)

5K

(last 1/10)

Avg/Mile

1. Quincy Googs, Fair

5:16 (1)

5:36/10:52 (1)

5:31/16:23 (1)

16:55.33 (32.33)

5:27

2. Steven Helmick, Robinson

5:16 (1)

5:50/11:06 (2)

5:39/16:45 (2)

17:15.52 (30.52)

5:34

3. Chris Pentracosta, Hot Springs

5:19 (2)

No Time (3)

17:05 (3)

17:36.09 (31.09)

5:41

4. Nate Tubach, Siloam Springs

5:25 (6)

No Time (6)

17:10 (4)

17:41.26 (31.26)

5:42

5. Markita Smith, Fair

5:22 (3)

No Time (5)

17:10 (4)

17:43.93 (33.93)

5:43

 

The Top 5 in this race went pretty much as expected except that Fair’s Markita Smith (5th, 17:43.93) improved his time about 28 seconds as he made a strong bid to run with the front runners until finally succumbing to Nate Tubach of Siloam Springs (4th, 17:41.26) the last 200m in a hard sprint down the home stretch.  Quincy Googs  of Fair (1st, 16:55.33) set the pace from the start and passed the Mile mark in 5:16 with Joe T. Robinson’s Steven Helmick (2nd, 17:15.52) on his shoulder.  Chris Pentracosta of Hot Springs  (3rd, 17:36.09) and teammate Lucas Hanson (7th, 17:52.27) were stride-for-stride at the Mile in 5:19 with Smith within striking distance as they came off the hill at the dam.  Tubach was tucked in behind several runners 3-4 seconds back of the lead pack. The leaders changed little the second mile as Googs took control and opened a comfortable 14 second lead over Helmick who likewise opened a commanding lead over the next group. Googs added to his lead in Mile 3 to build a 22 second lead and Helmick was in safe possession of 2nd by 18 seconds over Pentracosta.  Hanson had run with Pentracosta well into Mile 3 began to fall back and eventually lost contact as Taylor Munro of Vilonia (6th, 17:50.83) snuck by him the last 300m.  Tubach and Smith turned the corner for home nearly together and Tubach put on one final effort to pull ahead.

 

School

Score

Places

Avg Time (and per mile)

Spread (Time/Place)

Rank in Final Poll

1. J. A. Fair

51

1-4-12-15-19

18:09.62 (5:51)

1:56/18

Not Ranked

2. Siloam Springs

64

3-7-16-17-21

18:25.39 (5:56)

1:13/18

1

3. Monticello

94

9-10-18-20-37

18:48.55 (6:04)

1:17/28

Not Ranked

 

 Siloam Springs had been ranked at the top of 4A all year in the Coaches Poll and certainly had the depth to defend their 2000 title with seven of the Top 20 Class 4A times.  J. A. Fair sported three Top 20 times although one was the leader in Quincy Googs (1st, 16:55.33) .  The pre-meet prediction had Siloam going 4-6-10-17-18 vs. Fair’s 1-8-14-25-29…..so much for pre-meet predictions!  Fair took first as expected with individual champion’s Googs efforts and Tubach (4th, 17:41.26) held his spot.  So far so good for the Panthers.  Siloam’s James Hendrix (8th, 18:07.15) improved his spot in the prediction by two places but Fair got a pleasant surprise as Markita Smith (5th, 17:43.93) claimed 5th instead of 8th putting Fair up 9-13 after two runners instead of only 9-10.  Now the sparks began to fly. Fair’s Thomas Bishop (14th, (18:37.57) held his spot while Siloam’s third runner could only manage 18th vs. a predicted 6th and the Fair lead widened to 17-26 instead trailing 20-23 for a swing of 12 points.  Fair widened the lead further as Bret Brown (17th, (18:39.82) bettered the prediction by ten spots and actually came in ahead of Siloam’s third.  Now Fair had a 32-43 lead and unless the 5th runner wiped out, the victory was close at hand.  Brandon Gilmore (21st, 18:51.41) closed the gate for Fair and the trophy was on its way from Benton County to Little Rock. Fair had won a classic team championship by having each of their Top 5 best Siloam’s Top 5 and taking advantage of the individual champion to seal the title.

4A GIRLS   Noon

    

 

Runner/School

Mile 1

(Place)

Mile 2

(Place)

4K

 

Avg/Mile

Last ½ Mile

1. Candice Cross, Crossett

6:02 (1)

6:32/12:34 (1)

15:38.53

6:15

3:04

2. Dianne Miller, Siloam Springs

6:02 (1)

6:35/12:37 (2)

15:43.52

6:17

3:06

3. Tiffany Dodson, Harrison

6:05 (2)

6:43/12:48 (4)

16:12.36

6:29

3:24

4. Shannon Brown, Searcy

6:10 (6)

6:43/12:53 (6)

16:17.19

6:31

3:24

5. Natasha McBride, Siloam Springs

6:08 (5)

6:43/12:51 (5)

16:24.47

6:34

3:33

 

This race promised to be competitive for the individual title as four runners had best times within about 15 seconds and their had been little competition between them during the year.  Laura Insell of Batesville (DNF)  have the edge as she had run 16:01 on the Agri Park course at Chile Pepper besting Dianne Miller (2nd, 15:43.52) of Siloam Springs (16:21) and Tiffany Dodson (3rd, 16:12.19) of Harrison (16:26) en route.  True to form Miller took an early lead and passed the Mile marker in 6:02 with Crossett’s Candice Cross  (1st, 15:38.53) just a half step behind. Next in quick order came a string of runners with Dodson at 6:05, Insell at 6:06, Natasha McBride (5th, 16:24.47) of Siloam at 6:08 and a group consisting of Shannon Brown (4th, 16:17.19) of Searcy, Allyson Robertson (6th, 16:30.77) of Watson Chapel, Brianna Greene (7th, 16:32.90) of Harrison, Brittany Knight (8th, 16:40.22) of Vilonia and Rebecca Davis (9th, 16:51.93) of Siloam all at about 6:10-6:12.  Cross made a nice move on the loop to take 1st going back up the dam with Miller and Insell close behind.  Insell made a major move the next 400m to pass the 2 Mile in about 12:30 (6:06-6:24) and built a 30m lead with 600m to go when suddenly she hit the wall and began to swerve from side to side. Insell valiantly held on until the 250m mark when she collapsed and dropped out. Cross had posted a 12:34 at the 2 Mile mark with Miller close at 12:37. Both swept past the fallen Insell and picked up the pace but Cross had too much left and actually added to her lead the last 300m to claim the victory.  Dodson, who had fallen back to 4th going up the dam, moved into 3rd and Natasha McBride fell victim to Searcy’s Brown who moved from 6th to 4th at the finish with a strong last 600m.

 

 

 

 

School

Score

Places

Avg Time (and per mile)

Spread (Time/Place)

Rank in Final Poll

1. Siloam Springs

34

2-4-8-9-11

16:39.17 (6:40)

1:35/9

2

2. Harrison

48

3-6-10-14-15

17:03.99 (6:49)

1:30/12

1

3. Vilonia

78

7-12-16-18-25

17:48.15 (7:07)

2:43/18

Not Ranked

 

 

This was yet another race that did not pan out as projected. Siloam Springs had gotten off to a good start early in the season as Harrison was trying to put together a team to try to defend their 2000 title that was seriously hindered by graduation.  Not until very late in the season did Harrison get rolling and with only two weeks left had climbed back ahead of Siloam in the Coaches Poll. Harrison was running super-charged the last couple of weeks and Siloam had been struggling.  Vilonia looked good on paper but not quite high enough to challenge the favorites.  As the teams passed the Mile marker, Siloam held a slight 44-48 lead with runners in 1-5-10-13-15 while Harrison tallied 3-8-11-12-14.  The race was on and Lady Panther fans were hopeful.  As the teams headed back up the dam with about .8 miles to go, Siloam had padded the lead to about 40-52 as their 3rd-5th runners had managed to move up 1-2 spots each and Harrison’s 4th-5th fell back a spot. With Insell dropping out, Siloam picked up a few points as did Harrison but the big event came when Rebecca Davis (9th,16:51.93), Heidi McBride (10th, 16:58.29) and Stephanie McBride (12th, 17:17.64) held their own and moved up 1-2 spots denying Harrison the opportunity for a winning finish.  The Lady Panthers won in a hard fought race with a time spread of a respectable 1:35 but a place spread of only 9 spots.

 

5A BOYS   12:30 p.m.

    

 

Runner/School

Mile 1

(Place)

Mile 2

(Place)

Mile 3

(Place)

5K

(last 1/10)

Avg/Mile

1. Chase Feltner, Russellville

4:56

(1)

5:14/10:10

(1)

5:02/15:12

(1)

15:44.31

(32.31)

5:04.62

2. Travis Feltner, Russellville

4:56

(1)

5:14/10:10

(1)

5:02/15:12

(1)

15:47.70

(35.70)

5:05.71

3. Burt Hicks, Lake Hamilton

No Time

10:12

(4)

5:16/15:28

(3)

15:57.74

(29.74)

5:08.95

4. Jake Conley, Rogers

5:00

(3)

5:11/10:11

(3)

5:17/15:28

(3)

15:58.33

(30.33)

5:09.14

5. Tyler Harlan, Fayetteville

5:02

(6)

5:12/10:14

(5)

5:24/15:38

(5)

16:08.09

(30.09)

5:12.29

6. Bryan Garner, Russellville

5:00

(3)

5:16/10:16

(6)

5:36/15:52

(6)

16:23.35

(31.35)

5:17.21

7. Derek Curry, Mt. Home

No Time

10:19

(10)

5:35/15:54

(7)

16:26.18

(32.18)

5:18.12

8. Eric Brock, Russellville

5:00

(3)

10:16

(6)

5:43/15:59

(8)

16:31.10

(32.10)

5:19.71

9. Graham Linder, Bryant

No Time

10:18

(8)

5:44/16:02

(9)

16:34.02

(32.02)

5:20.65

10. David Stafford, Bryant

No Time

10:18

(8)

5:50/16:08

(10)

16:40.01

(32.01)

5:22.58

 

The much anticipated Class 5A Boys race began with a large of pack of runners bunched together as the field squeezed onto the trail at the 400m mark.  By the time the lead group reached the 800m mark heading up a slight incline, things had already begun to spread out a little. Heading toward the dam it appeared to be mostly a Russellville race as the lead pack consisted mostly of black jerseys.  As the lead runners came to the Mile mark at the end of the dam, juniors Chase Feltner and Travis Feltner of Russellville had taken a slight lead with a 4:56 mile followed closely by senior Jake Conley of Rogers, junior Bryan Garner of Russellville, senior Eric Brock of Russellville and senior Tyler Harlan of Fayetteville. Sophomore Burt Hicks of Lake Hamilton, freshman Luis Flores of Rogers and senior Jorge Andrade of Rogers led the next pack still very much in the hunt.  The second mile served its purpose as the leaders noticeably separated from the field as the Feltner’s held onto their lead while Conley closed the gap and Hicks made a strong move to get into the heat of the race.  Harlan clung to 5th while Garner and Brock kept close contact just a couple of strides behind.  Two Bryant seniors, Graham Linder and David Stafford, moved into the Top 10 with junior Derek Curry of Mt. Home and junior Nathan Smith of Russellville nipping at their heels while Flores and Andrade continued to run well while falling back a little.  The third mile told the tale as the Feltner’s put the race away with a strong 5:02 mile while Conley and Hicks battled for 3rd with a 5:16-17 mile. The Feltner’s passed the Mile 3 mark literally stride-for-stride and turned to look at each other as the final sprint down the stretch run began.  Chase and Travis sprinted toward the chute as the long line of spectators rooted them home.  Hicks rounded the corner just a step ahead of Conley and glanced over his right shoulder only to have Conley surge by on the left. For 30-40m it looked like Conley’s tactics would prevail but Hicks recovered just in time to eek out 3rd as Conley set a PR and Hicks ran within a second of his best time of the season. There would be no more change of places down the finish as the rest of the Top 10 finished. When it was over, in addition to Conley, seasonal PRs would be set amongst the Top 10 by Harlan (10 seconds), Curry (11 seconds) and Stafford (14 seconds).

 

 

School

Score

Places

Avg Time (and per mile)

Spread (Time/Place)

Rank in Final Poll

1. Russellville

28

1-2-6-8-11

16:14.81

(5:14.45)

1:03/10

1

2. Rogers

97

4-16-19-27-31

16:53.88

(5:27.06)

1:21/27

4

3. Fayetteville

104

5-14-22-28-35

16:57.71

(5:28.29)

1:29/30

2

 

According to the Coaches Poll and virtually every fan, this was a race for 2nd and the prognosticators were not disappointed as Russellville took a convincing and well-earned victory by 28-97 over Rogers.  Not only did the Cyclones win the race at the top (Chase Feltner and Travis Feltner going 1-2) but they placed two more in the Top 10 (Bryan Garner in 6th and Eric Brock in 8th) and their 5th (Nathan Smith) was 11th. This is every cross-country’s coaches dream….not only having the race leaders but also great depth.  If this was not enough, the Cyclones also placed Erik Hensley (16:51.65) in 12th   and Jon Shirron  (17:10.07) in 24th.  Much to the rest of the Class 5A’s chagrin, four of the Cyclones Top 5 (both Feltner’s, Garner and Smith) return in 2002.  The Cyclones were undefeated for the year and were ranked No. 1 in the Coaches Poll all year.

 

Rogers had started the year out in wobbly fashion as they could only manage 2nd at Carthage, Missouri in a meet they normally dominate. Things got better for the next few weeks but the Mounties had a rough outing at the Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater and a disappointing showing in 10th place at the Chile Pepper dropping to 5th in the Poll. The Mounties seemed unable to shake the illness and injury bug and were upset by an improving Fayetteville team at the Mountie Classic. The team that Rogers fielded at the State Meet had lots of question marks as two of the normal Top 5 (including an All-State performer) were unable to run and the lineup featured only three runners who had finished in the Top 50 at the State Meet before.  The hill was pretty steep.

 

Fayetteville meanwhile was on a roll.  After placing a surprising 5th place at Chile Pepper as the 2nd Arkansas team, Fayetteville seemed to have everything going their way. They traveled to Rogers and took a close 40-43 win over the home team by taking three of the Top 5 places.  The Coaches were impressed enough to move the Purple Bulldogs to 2nd the Final Poll.

 

For Rogers, it was good they actually ran the meet and did not rely on the Poll.  Russellville set out from the start to win the meet and at the Mile mark held a clear lead as four Cyclones were in the Top 10 (Chase Feltner –1st, 15:44.31, Travis Feltner – 2nd, 15:47.70, Bryan Garner – 6th, 16:23.35 and Eric Brock –8th, 16:31.10).  Rogers was a clear 2nd at this point with three in the Top 10 (Jake Conley –4th, 15:58.33, Luis Flores – 19th, 16:59.98, and Jorge Andrade – 16th, 16:54.99) and their 4th in 13th (Caleb Gordon – 31st, 17:19.11) and 5th in 14th (Zach Hines – 27th, 17:16.98). Fayetteville was struggling with only Tyler Harlan (5th, 16:08.09) in the Top 10. 

 

Russellville more than held their own in the second mile as their top five (two Feltners, Garner, Brock and Nathan Smith) were well seated in the Top 11.  Rogers began to spread out a little with Conley in 3rd, Andrade in 12th, Flores in 13th while Hines had dropped back to 25th and Gordon to 27th.  Fayetteville attempted to close the gap as Harlan held onto 5th and Jordan Hamilton (14th, 16:53.05) and Matt Blair (22nd, 17:02.39)  moved up to 15th-16th.  With Fayetteville closing and Rogers slipping, the story appeared to be shaping up as to what would each team 4th and 5th runners do the last mile.

 

Meanwhile the Cyclones put the race away in the third mile with sparkling finishes by the Feltner’s while Garner, Brock and Smith held their places against the field.  Today was the Cyclone’s day and they made the very best of it.  In the race for runner-up, there was still plenty of suspense. Rogers got their leader (Conley) across before Fayetteville (Harlan) and held a slender 4-5 lead.  Hamilton edged past two runners the last 50m and gave Fayetteville a brief 19-20 lead over Rogers as Andrade captured 16th for the Mounties.  Rogers then moved up as Flores took 19th and Blair slipped to 22nd for a narrow 39-41 Rogers lead with two runners to go.  Hines out sprinted Fayetteville’s Alex Nimmo (28th, 17:17.32) down the home stretch to take 27th as Nimmo took 28th. Rogers widen their lead to a precarious 66-69.  The 5th man would, in fact, tell the tale.  Gordon closed the barn door for Rogers just in time for 31st to nab Fayetteville’s Josh Luper (17:27.70) who took 35th.  The Mounties had mounted (no pun intended) an unexpected comeback to keep alive a string of 22 consecutive years of a Rogers team bringing a trophy home from State. 

 

The story of the day was that Russellville showed to be a strong team from top to bottom and did exactly what they were supposed to do. In fact, the pre-meet estimate was for Russellville to score 26 points and they actually scored 28. No surprise here.

 

For Fayetteville, they beat the prediction of 118 by scoring 107 as each of their Top 5 met or beat the prediction. 

 

The big news was that Rogers returned to more normal for them as they easily beat the prediction of 118 with two sophomores and a freshman stepping up.

 

 

5A GIRLS   1:00 p.m.

    

 

Runner/School

Mile 1

(Place)

Mile 2

(Place)

4K

 

Avg/Mile

Last ½ Mile

1. Katya Kostetskaya, Jonesboro

5:42

(1)

6:20/12:02

(1)

14:55.59

5:58.24

2:53.59

2. Beth Madson, Lake Hamilton

5:42

(1)

6:20/12:02

(1)

15:07.19

6:02.88

3:05.19

3. Ashley Williams, Mount St. Mary’s

5:58

(3)

6:15/12:13

(3)

15:35.92

6:14.78

3:22.92

4. Niki Williams, Fayetteville

6:12

(8)

No Time

(4)

15:47.58

6:19.03

No Time

5. Patricia Bradbury, Lake Hamilton

6:11

(7)

No Time

(5)

15:55.76

6:22.30

No Time

6. Katie Howard, Fayetteville

6:13

(10)

No Time

(8)

15:57.98

6:23.19

No Time

7. Andrea Peerson, Rogers

6:10

(6)

6:33/12:43

(7)

16:02.87

6:25.15

3:19.87

8. Julie Coats, Conway

6:12

(8)

No Time

(11)

16:03.36

6:25.34

No Time

9. Kara Pongonis, Springdale

6:15 (11)

No Time

(9)

16:04.29

6:25.72

No Time

10. Brittany Beck, Mt. Home

6:16

(12)

No Time

(14)

16:04.86

6:25.94

No Time

 

What was expected to be a fast race was just that but with a few twists.  First,  senior Jamie Owensby (33rd, 16:58.23), the defending champion, and sophomore Jessi Barnes (21st, 16:31.35), 3rd in 2000, were expected to lead Bentonville in the hunt for yet another state championship.  Second, few had seen freshman Katya Kostetskaya (1st, 14:55.59) of Jonesboro run in 2001.  At the end of the day, there would be a new individual champ and some new faces in the Top 10. 

 

The race started out fast as Kosteskaya  and sophomore Beth Madson of Lake Hamilton (2nd, 15:07.19) took the early lead at the Mile mark passing in a quick 5:42.  Owensby, Barnes and freshman Ashley Williams (3rd, 15:35.92) of Mount St. Mary’s all clocked about a 5:56 first mile.  Next came a pack led by Andrea Peerson (7th, 16:02.87) of Rogers with Patricia Bradbury (5th, 15:55.76) of Lake Hamilton, Katie Howard (6th, 15:57.98) of Fayetteville, Julie Coats (8th, 16:03.36) and Megan Bourke (15th, 16:19.70) close behind.

 

The race soon opened up as Madson and Kostetskaya left the others behind and turned the race into a two-runner footrace.  By the 2 Mile mark, the leaders had an 11 second lead and they were running strong. Ashley Williams made a bid to join in with the fastest second mile of the race but could not close enough.  Niki Williams and Bradbury moved well into 4th and 5th while Peerson held 7th with Howard and Kara Pongonis (9th, 16:04.29) of Springdale following in 8th and 9th.

 

The last half mile saw Kostetskaya take off like a rocket and claim a 12 second win. Madson finished hard also taking 2nd with 28 seconds to spare.  Ashley Williams slowed a little after a fast second mile but had room to spare as she crossed 12 seconds ahead of Niki Williams.  Bradbury outkicked 400m/800m runner Howard for a 2 second lead. Not far behind was an exciting finish where four runners led by Peerson all finished within 1.99 seconds.

 

 

School

Score

Places

Avg Time (and per mile)

Spread (Time/Place)

Rank in Final Poll

1. Fayetteville

72

3-5-14-15-35

16:19.02

(6:31.61)

1:19/32

2

2. Mt. Home

108

9-12-24-29-34

16:37.58

(6:39.03)

:58/25

3

3. Bentonville

111

11-20-23-25-32

16:40.40

(6:40.16)

:44/21

1

 

 

The Bentonville Lady Tigers were the consensus picks to defend their crown and after the Mountie Classic the week before State they appeared to be ready as they took five of the Top 13 spots and soundly whipped Fayetteville and Rogers.  The race for runner-up seemed to be Fayetteville’s for the taking as they would have to fend off Mt. Home and Rogers. 

 

The race started off well enough for Bentonville as Owensby and Barnes were in the Top 5 at the Mile mark with Lake Hamilton the closest challenger with Madson and Bradbury in 1st and 7th.  Fayetteville was in the hunt with 8th and 10th while Rogers was trailing as Peerson held 6th. 

 

Fayetteville made a move during Mile 2 as Niki Williams moved into 4th with Howard in 8th, Megan Bourke (15th, 16:19.70) in 15th and Amanda Land (16th, 16:23.70) in 16th.  Bentonville was slipping fast as freshman Alicia Owensby (12th, 16:14.28) led the Lady Tigers in 6th with Barnes in 12th.  Rogers had slipped as well while Peerson held to 7th, the Lady Mounties 2nd runner, senior Caitlin Kelly (27th, 16:51.31) was about 25th. Conway was now making a move as the Lady Wampus Cats held 11th with Julie Coats and also had freshman Chelsea Silvestri (14th, 16:16.40) and freshman Kristin Linder ( 22nd, 16:32.05) in the Top 20.  Mt. Home was also making a bid for a trophy as sophomore Brittany Beck held 14th and junior Julia Masotto (13th, 16:15.70) was about 20th.  The race for runner-up was wide open and would depend on who could finish the strongest.

 

As the runners came racing down the long 500m straightaway to the finish line, the race was set up.  Fayetteville had run well the last 800m with Niki Williams hanging onto 4th, Katie Howard moving into 6th, Bourke claiming 14th and Land crossing in 16th. When Dianna Ramos (17:06.13) finished in 36th, the Lady Purple Dogs had pulled the upset of the day in winning the championship.  The race for runner-up had now come down to Mt. Home and Bentonville with the Lady Bombers having the edge.  After two runners, Mt. Home held a 21-31 lead with Beck and Masotto besting Alicia Owensby and Barnes.  Bentonville’s Erin Turrentine (24th, 16:47.52) came next at 24th to just nudge out Mt. Home’s junior Lauren Partee (16:49.71) in 25th and the Lady Tigers closed the gap to 45-54.  Freshman Kristy Parker (16:50.61) moved Bentonville closer at 74-79 as she claimed 26th over junior Megan Matty (16:54.85) of Mt. Home in 30th.  As is so often the case, the 5th runner would make the race. For Mt. Home, freshman Laura Broederdorf (17:02.75) would take 35th and close the gate while Jamie Owensby could only manage 32nd. 

 

Fayetteville eventually won as their first three did much better than the best times would have indicated and Bentonville had a surprisingly off day that no one foresaw.  Mt. Home did what they had been predicted to do and took advantage of Bentonville’s charity. Conway ran a terrific race for 5th as did Lake Hamilton who was 4th.  While Rogers’ first three placers exceeded the prediction the regular 2-3 runners slipped as did Bentonville’s crew leaving the Benton County Girls without a trophy.

 

 

© ArkansasTrackStats.com 11/2001