The Lyon College athletic program recently recognized their 2018 Scot Hall of Fame class on November 17. Among those selected was former Heber Springs standout athlete Jennifer Presley-Griffin.
Presley-Griffin, a member of the Lyon College class of 1996, began her collegiate career as a member of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville women's track team ('91-'93) before transferring to Lyon College ('93-'96). While at Lyon, Jennifer the cross country team (1993-1996). She was an All-AIC and All-District athlete in cross country. After graduating from Lyon, Griffin continued running at a recreational level and competed in half marathons.
Presley-Griffin taught fifth grade at Heber Springs School District for two years. She has also been involved in the Batesville School District for twelve years, teaching mainstream at the third, fourth, and sixth grade levels, as well as, the Elementary Alternative Success Program. Jennifer serves at the Compass Church in the Children's Ministry Department teaching Sunday School.
While in high school at Heber Springs, Jennifer was selected Athlete of the Year for Arkansas' Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was chosen by the Democrat-Gazette as the Female Athlete of the Year. She was a multi-sport athlete running cross country in the fall, playing basketball in the winter, and running track & field in the spring. Jennifer was team-minded, as she would compete in all six track & field events that the AAA allowed, to help her team.
Many athletes just dream of making it to state. Jennifer Presley-Griffin not only made it, but made it in multiple events. She made it to the Meet of Champs for all four years. Jennifer was among the elite top five at the Pentathlon every year.
In the 1988 State Track Meet, her freshman year, Jennifer Presley Griffin was second in the 100 Hurdles, second in the 400, and third in the 300 Hurdles. At the Meet of Champs she was fourth in the 400. In the 1989 State Meet, Griffin was first in the high jump, 100 Hurdles, and 300 Hurdles. At the Meet of Champs, she earned first place in the 300 Hurdles, third in the high jump, and fourth in the 100 Hurdles. Jennifer was second in the Pentathlon. In the 1990 State Meet, she was second in both hurdles. At the Meet of Champs she was fifth in both. Jennifer placed fourth in the Pentathlon. For her senior year, she decided to concentrate on the 800. In the 1991 State Meet, she was first in the 800 with a 2:18.10. Her first lap was faster than the 400 winner's time. Griffin won the 800 at the Meet of Champs, as well. She placed second at the Pentathlon and holds the Pentathlon State Record for the 800.
Her cross country two mile time was 12:20. At that time, Arkansas high school senior girls raced two miles, rather than the 5K. In basketball, Jennifer still holds the Heber Springs Sr. Girls' Rebound Record of 729 in a season. In track, she ran her 1600 in 5:28, high jumped 5' 2", long jumped 17' 3, ran the 400 in 59.6, anchored the 4x400 Relay, and was well known for her grace through the 100 Hurdles and 300 Hurdles.
Jennifer would like to thank many Heber Springs coaches that helped develop her gifts, among these: Eric Simmons, Inky Williams, Christy Dunlap Wallace, Todd Thompson. She had the most supportive parents of whom any athlete could ask, Charles and Sherry Presley. She competed with a great group of athletes that complimented her talents. Jennifer is well aware of the Lord's hand on her life and His gifts to her whole family.
All of us were blessed to have been part of Jennifer's growing up, not just her athletic prowess, but also seeing the years of God's work in her life and her family's life to be