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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Panthers hold back, still win

  • Heber Springs senior Dylan Bly scored a meet-high 24 points, leading the Panthers to first place at the Sara Low Relays on Friday in a state-qualifying competition at Panther Stadium.
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  • Heber Springs senior Dylan Bly scored a meet-high 24 points, leading the Panthers to first place at the Sara Low Relays on Friday in a state-qualifying competition at Panther Stadium.
    The three-time defending outdoor state champion Panthers entered with an approach of holding back previous qualifiers in order to focus on gaining state eligible marks in more events.
    For instance senior Brock Ballard, who had won the 800 in four previous meets, instead ran the 400 (2nd 51.14), 1600 (2nd, 4:40.04) and 3200 (5th, 10:58.13) on Friday. The Panthers’ dominant state bound 4x800 team took a rest, almost certainly taking 10 points away.
    But with a total of 91 points, Heber still had enough power to edge runner-up Beebe (88) by three points. Vilonia (76.5) took third, Rivercrest (74.5) finished fourth and Batesville (74) was fifth.
    Bly won the long jump (21’ 3.50”), tied with seven athletes for second in the high jump (5’ 10”), placed third in the 200 (23.79) and seventh in the 100 (11.97). Bly also ran a leg for the 4x400 relay team, which placed first with a time of 3:30.52. Ballard, senior
    Austin Schmidt and senior Marcus Robinson ran with Bly in the 4x400.
    Junior Malachi Cannon placed second in the 800 (2:04.20) and third in the 3200 (10:47.54) ahead of senior teammates Ballard (5th) and Brandon George (6th, 11:06.29).
    Schmidt placed third in the 400 (51.26) and fifth in the 800 (2:08.82), while senior Mason Schroeder was fifth in discus (113’ 6”).
    Robinson placed sixth in the 100 (11.89), sophomore Patrick Hill was seventh in pole vault (10’ 6”) and senior Nate Hills finished seventh in the shot put (40’ 4.75”).
    The Lady Panthers placed second with 91.5 points. Vilonia ran away with the girls’ title, racking up 146 points. Beebe (80.5) finished third, Des Arc (57) fourth and Harding Academy (53) fifth.
    Sophomore Alison Thomas won the high jump, clearing a height of 5’ 1” to qualify for state. Thomas also placed in the 100 hurdles (4th, 17.69), while senior Mary Simmons ¬ an 800 specialist ¬ won the mile with a time of 5:31.55.
    Sophomore Stephanie Music placed in three events, including the triple jump (31’ 8.50”), long jump (15’ 4”) and high jump (4’ 10”).
    Heber’s 4x800 team consisting of sophomore Korl Cusick, junior Adrianna Simmons, senior Amanda Matthews and senior Madi Fires qualified for state with a time of 10:48.64.
     
    The Lady Panthers’ 4x400 (Hannah Mangum, Fires, Thomas and Mary Simmons) relay team finished fourth (4:35.58) and the 4x100 (Alyssa Uphoff, Alexis Evans, Music and sophomore Erin Rezanka also placed fourth (54.71).
    Mangum, a junior, was third in pole vault (8’ 3”) and eighth in the long jump (29’ 9.75”) and classmate McKenzie Cresswell took sixth in both the shot put (28’ 4”) and discus (77’ 9”).
    Alyssa Uphoff, a junior, took fifth in the 400 (1:10.06), Fires placed seventh in the 200 (29.20) despite being a long distance specialist. Rounding out the Lady Panthers’ point total Evans, a sophomore, finished eighth in the 800 (2:53.14).
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