Week 8 Recap
Our week 8 recap will consist of a calm before the storm, as conference results start to fly in from across the state. Only 4 high school meets were run this past week, which should ensure a stable of fresh legs as teams begin their embarking upon trophy season.
Quitman hosted the first of 3 meets on Tuesday. In the girls race, Presley Roberts from Greenbrier brought her A-game and won by 53 seconds, running 20:36 to best hometown favorite Taylor Hooten.It was Roberts 2nd win of the year as she preps for the gauntlet of the 5A west girls race. Maggie Gregory of Pottsville finished3rd place. Under the leadership of Hooten, Quitman was able to defend their home turf and win the team race 36-48 over Benton's girls .
Chad Greenway from LR Catholic had a breakout race, winning his first cross country race of his career in a PR over Greenbrier #1 Dominic Ward. Greenway's winning time of 16:28 puts him in a new class and makes him a consideration for 6A all-state honors if he can keep the ball rolling. Ward is already 7 races deep into his season, and will likely finish with an astounding 10 races for the year. Ward's teammate, Logan Gates, was 17 seconds back in 3rd place and was the 3rd of 4 boys to break the 17-minute mark. Little Rock Catholic won their first team trophy of the year as they bested Benton 52-72.
Over in Heber Springs, Luke Walling of Cave City continued to look as if he's returning to form, running 17:07 to win by over 2:30, as 2nd place finisher Braden Davis of Bald Knob ran 19:46. Preston Wolf of Highland was 3rd in 20:21.Respectfully, Walling hasn't been tested since the Shiloh Saints Invitational since 9/5/2020, and will have to go to the well if he hopes to defend his title. Heber Springs boys won the dual meet over Cave City 24-33.
It was a week of firsts, as Heber Springs junior Maygan Jarvis won her first meet of her career in 23:44 over teammate Vallie Cantrell who finished a sparse 1 second back. Abigail White of Harding Academy was 3rd in 24:07. Heber Springs girls would ensure the home team sweep by defeating Harding Academy 23-46.
Blazer Kid Spot Invitational
Over in NEA, Joe Mack Campbell Park hosted their annual cross country meet by Valley View. Connor Jackson won the boys race going away, in a time of 16:38. Keegan Pointer from Jonesboro would manage to just outkick Brandon Grant from Batesville 18:18-18:19, ensuring that the Jonesboro boys defeated the Valley View boys in a territorial battle.
Mary Beth Bailey from Jonesboro won the girls race in 20:47, holding off 4 really good Valley View runners who made up the rest of the top-5. McMillan-Minton-Knight-Pope was the finishing order, and Valley View girls flipped the script on Jonesboro by cutting their score in half, 23-46.
Finally, teams assembled in southern Arkansas in Acorn to chase PR's, and many runners were successful. Justice Neufeld of Acorn got the win in 16:49 over Dequeen's Johnny Sanchez. Matthew Dunsworth of Clarksville followed in tow to take the 3rd place spot. All 3 of the runners ran their 2nd fastest times of the year. Dequeen boys won their first team trophy of the year by slim margins, besting Mena 61-62.
In the girls race, Chloe Weathers won her first race of the year, defeating some solid small-school talent in Maria Grano from Waldron and Tessa Kuykendal from Ouachita.Weathers is only 2 steps away from going after her first state title of her career. Waldron girls were anchored by Grano to beat Clarksville in the team race 28-48.
Performance of the Week:
-Mary Beth Bailey of Jonesboro finishing ahead of the Valley View pack at their home meet.
-Chad Greenway from Little Rock Catholic earning his first win of the year in a huge PR of 16:28.
- It's been a few years since we've seen a LR Catholic boy at the top of the podium but it's an all too familiar sight. They've been one of the most talented teams of the past decade when they benefitted from the Arkansas All-American volunteer coaching trio of Anderson-O'Mara-Taylor. They have the most sub-4:20 milers of the past 10 years (4).
- Presley Roberts & Mary Beth Bailey both look the part of top 5 finishers in the 5A East if they can manage to have a good day, or maybe even outside shots at the individual race if something crazy happens.