A chilly drizzle couldn't slow the Heber Springs boys' 4x800 relay team on Saturday at the Meet of Champs at Panther Stadium.
A chilly drizzle couldn’t slow the Heber Springs boys’ 4x800 relay team on Saturday at the Meet of Champs at Panther Stadium.
The Panthers posted a new school record time of 8:05.60 while beating 7A contenders Bryant (2nd, 8:09.88), Rogers (3rd, 8:21.75), Rogers Heritage (8:21.75), Springdale (5th, 8:24.30), Conway (6th, 8:30.63), Fayetteville (7th, 8:32.74) and 6A Texarkana (8th, 8:33.29).
Senior Austin Schmidt gave the Panthers a comfortable cushion and sophomore Patrick Hill maintained it with Bryant closing ground. After briefly falling behind, junior Malachi Cannon jumped back on top in the final 400 meters before giving way to senior Brock Ballard, who pulled away as anchor.
Ballard, a University of Memphis signee who entered the Meet of Champs with the top 800 time in the state this year (1:58.92), placed fifth in the 800 with a mark of 1:59.75 after leading the majority of the race.
Little Rock Catholic’s Kieran Taylor won the 800 with a time of 1:57.03, edging Valley View’s Sean Martin (1:57.26).
Heber’s 4x400 relay team consisting of seniors Dylan Bly, Marcus Robinson, Willie Adkins and Schmidt finished fifth with a time of 3:30.10. Bryant won the race at 3:19.40. Bly, Robinson, Adkins and freshman Pierce Mitchum represented Heber in the 4x100 relay.
Senior Mary Simmons, who has signed to run track and field at Arkansas Tech, was the lone competitor for Heber in the girls’ meet. Simmons placed third in the 1600 with a time of 5:24.29 – behind winner Alex Ritchey (5:16.66) of Mount St. Mary’s and Mary Agnes Redding (5:20.42) of Jonesboro.
Cabot’s Lexi Weeks shattered the overall state record in the pole vault, clearing 14’ and Springdale Har-Ber’s Payton Stumbaugh set a new overall state record in the 200 (24.49).