The Best From Around of the Natural State

Across the board, March was one of the best months that Arkansas Track and Field has ever witnessed.

From record-shattering performances and big wins coming almost daily, it has been impossible (literally) to keep track of the state's hottest athletes.

We have highlighted some of those athletes who have kept us busy over the last few weeks and will share why you should keep your eye on them entering the final five weeks of the track season.


River Hardman - No distance runner in the state of Arkansas has come close to having the kind of season Hardman has been putting together in 2024.

After picking up three podium spots at the Arkansas Indoor State Championships, Hardman has since run state-leading times in the 1,600m and 3,200m, cementing himself as the "top dog" in this loaded distance division.

With his debut in the 800m on the horizon, the senior star from Russellville could be eyeing his third AR #1 mark, which would put Hardman in rare air amongst some of the best distance runners the state has ever seen.

Sloan Jones - Considering the indoor season he enjoyed, it has come as no surprise that Jones finds himself ranked first in the state in the two hurdles events.

The Central Arkansas commit was incredible in the first month of the outdoor track season, picking up four wins across three events, as well as a 4th place finish in the 110m hurdles at the Texas Relays last weekend.

In the 110m hurdles, Jones finds himself ranked 40th in the country, having run his state-leading time of 14.05 last weekend. With .77 seconds separating Jones and the next fastest hurdler in the state, the Fayetteville senior has his eyes on winning his second straight state title in the event.

Rocco Patrick - Over the last two seasons nobody has been as dominant as Rocco Patrick.

The senior from Prescott picked up right where he left off last track season, winning the first ten throws competitions he has competed in this spring. Most recently, Patrick swept both throws events at the Don Pierce Lakeside Relays throwing 163-8 in the discus and 53-4 in the shot put.

Patrick finds himself ranked first in the state in both throwing events, which bodes well for his aspirations of winning a second pair of state titles next month.

Kayden Brown - After winning the 60m and 200m dash events at the Arkansas Indoor State Championships, Brown finds himself with the fastest time in the 100m dash just one month into the spring.

The sophomore sensation from Gravette was a busy man in the first month of the outdoor season, competing across five different events while picking up wins in all but one.

Now established as one of the state's best sprinters, Brown has a chance to add to his win total, which currently sits at five, and zero in on winning his first outdoor state title next month.

Zack Harrell - The indoor state champion in the pole vault spent little time finding his way to the top of the rankings this spring, having already jumped 15-0 at the Whitney Smith Relay Carnival last weekend.

Harrell is undefeated in three competitions so far this season in the pole vault, picking up wins at various NWA meets.

The senior from Bentonville has accomplished some great things in his pole vaulting career, which includes a podium finish at the adidas Outdoor National Championships. While a state championship still eludes him, Harrell should be the favorite to win the event at the 6A State Championships in May.

Solara Koser - At this point, I sound like a broken record, but Solara Koser is simply incredible.

Among some of the most talented and multi-disciplined track athletes the Natural State has ever seen, the junior from Fayetteville has been on fire throughout the first month of the season. After picking up a pair of victories at the Y-Timing HS Running Festival at the start of March, Koser has gone onto even bigger and better things, which includes two top-10 finishes in the 100m and 300m hurdle events at the Texas Relays.

Koser currently sits with the AR #1 in both hurdles events and AR #2 in the 400m, making Koser the biggest threat to individuals and teams chasing state titles this spring.

Gabbie Bishop - We all knew Gabbie Bishop was good, but I don't think anybody expected her to be one of the biggest breakout stories in the entire country this spring.

After a mysteriously quiet cross country season culminating with an 11th-place finish at the NXR South Regional Championships, Bishop has seized her moment and now finds herself atop the state rankings in the 800m, 1,600m, and 3,200m events.

In nine races across the three distance events, Bishop has won 8 of them, her lone loss coming in the Elite 1,600m race at the Texas Distance Festival, where she finished 4th and ran a blistering 4:49.85.

Donna Douglas - I am not sure what is going on with Arkansas throws but toss Donna Douglas into the same conversation as Rocco Patrick. Is there anyone more dominant than Douglas right now?

The senior from Nettleton has been unbeaten in the shot put competition since April 28th, 2022, which is 16 straight wins for those of you keeping track. In the discus event, there isn't much of a difference as Douglas has been unbeaten since March 15th, 2023.

The game plan for the future Tennessee Volunteer is simple: keep doing exactly what you have been doing - winning. If Douglas continues on the path she's headed, which would include a 4th and a 5th state championship next month, there's a very real conversation to be had as to who the "GOAT" of Arkansas throws is and I would be willing to throw my hat in the ring for Donna Douglas.

Skylar Sterritt - Sitting with the fastest time in the state in the 100m dash event. Skylar Sterritt is staring down history.

The sophomore from Sheridan has wasted no time this outdoor season after winning three events at the Arkansas Indoor Championships this winter (60m, 200m, and high jump), winning three more at the Roy "Doc" Walker Hog Relays in the 100m, high jump, and long jump.

As a freshman, Sterritt won two 5A state titles last season and finished 3rd and 4th in the high jump and long jump, respectively. Sterritt will be eyeing the triple crown this season, a feat accomplished by only a select few in Arkansas state history.

RaNayla Moten - Speaking of quick starts, RaNayla Moten has been on a tear to begin her outdoor track season.

Following in the footsteps of her former teammate, current UCA Bear, and 8-time state champion Raghan Allen, Moten is unbeaten on the track this outdoor season and currently holds the AR #1 time in the 200m dash.

While Moten will be looking to defend her teammate's state title in the 200m, the senior from Conway currently ranks 3rd in Arkansas in the 100m dash and could be eyeing the Wampus Cats' fourth straight sweep of the 100m and 200m dash events at the state meet.