Heber Springs honored its record shattering track and field team with a banquet on Monday night at the Methodist Church Auditorium.
Heber captured its second Triple Crown in three seasons while winning the outdoor and indoor titles for the third consecutive year, plus the Panthers brought home their second cross country title in three years.
Panther senior Ethan Bly, who compiled high point honors with 40.5 points at the state outdoor track meet while winning the 100, 200 and 400, received the Calvit-Pruitt High Point Award and the Outstanding Panther Award for sprints and field events.
Bly earned All-State recognition in five events, including the long jump, 4x400 relay, 100, 200 and 400.
Senior Clint Ligon, who was hampered by injury most of the season after posting a meet-high 46 points at outdoor state as a junior, was awarded with the Comeback Panther of the Year Award.
After a below standard conference meet, Ligon came on strong at state with 18 points as he won the 110 hurdles and placed second in the 300 hurdles. The senior received All-State recognition in both events. Ligon was selected by the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette as a member of the All-Arkansas Prep team and is invited to attend a banquet featuring Peyton Manning as guest speaker on June 1 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
Seniors Andrew Powell, Evan Peeler and Logan Henley all received Panther Awards. Powell, who wore eight state championship rings to the banquet, was honored with the Josh Park Memorial Award Scholarship. Powell is Heber's 2013 senior class valedictorian and will continue his education at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
Junior Brock Ballard, who received All-State recognition in the 1600 and 4x800 relay, earned the Outstanding Panther Award for distance running.
Senior Jorge Garcia (4x400 relay, 4x800 relay), senior Daniel Henley (4x400), junior Austin Schmidt (4x400 relay, 4x800 relay) and senior Zack McArthur (4x800) also earned All-State recognition.
Each athlete that contributed towards this season's Triple Crown received an award at the conclusion of the banquet. Those who scored at least one point at state cross country, indoor or outdoor include senior Cody Ellis, Ligon, Bly, Ballard, Powell, Schmidt, Garcia, senior Derrik Fisher, Daniel Henley, Logan Henley, McArthur, senior Devin Redding, sophomore Malachi Cannon and freshman Patrick Hill.
The Lady Panthers, who won the state cross country meet and finished runner-up at both indoor and outdoor, had six athletes who earned outdoor All-State, including sophomore Sarah Peeler (pole vault), Madi Fires (1600), junior Mary Simmons (800, 4x800 relay), senior Grace Bodron (4x800 relay), sophomore Adrianna Simmons (4x800 relay) and junior Hannah Johnson (4x800 relay).
Mary Simmons and Fires won the Outstanding Lady Panther Award for running, Peeler won the Outstanding Lady Panther Award for field events and senior Shelby Clark was honored with the Dick McFall Memorial Award.
Sophomore Hannah Mangum, junior Amanda Matthews and Fires each received a Lady Panther Award for their hard work.
Page 2 of 2 - Softball
Heber's softball team, which advanced to the 4A East Regional Tournament after tying Southside Batesville and Lonoke for first place in the 2-4A Conference standings, also presented their awards on Monday night at the Methodist Church.
Sophomore Skye Miller earned All-State recognition, while sophomore McKenzie Cresswell, senior Alexis Ingram, senior Courtney Verser, sophomore Courtney Rackley, sophomore Hannah Mangum and Miller each received 2-4A all-conference accolades.
Sophomore Makenzie Martin earned the Lady Panther Award and junior Madi Fires earned a spot in the All-Star Junior Classic.