RUSSELLVILLE – The Bryant Hornets track team competed in the Russellville Cyclone Invitational Friday night, earning a second-place finish in what is regarded as the biggest and most competitive regular season meet of the season in the state of Arkansas.
The Hornets scored 72.5 points to finish behind team champion Bentonville (82 points). Little Rock Central (66), Rogers Heritage (55), and Little Rock Catholic (47) finished out the top five teams. Twenty four teams scored in the meet, which featured 13 out of the 16 teams in class 7A.
“I was extremely proud of how the guys competed,”Bryant Coach Steve Oury said. “We were missing a couple of key performers, but we had some team players, like Mar’kevius Nelson and Makiya Hunter, who stepped up and did their best. Darian Jarrett had a phenomenal meet, as did Steven Murdock and John Winn. Justin Combs broke through and cleared the 14-foot barrier in the pole vault, which was great.” Darian Jarrett led the Hornets with a first-place finish in the long jump (21-9), a fourth place finish in the 400-meter dash (50.77 - state qualifier), tied for a fourth-place finish in the high jump (6-2), and was on the winning 4 x 400-meter relay team, along with Austin Vail, Steven Murdock, and John Winn (3:24.49). Winn also placed second in the 400-meter dash in a time of 50.14, while Murdock earned a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter dash in a time of 23.10.
Also earning a first-place finish was the 4 x 800 meter relay team of Murdock, Charlie Terry, Clifton Hampton, and Mark Winn (8:27). Hampton later placed sixth in the 1600-meter run in 4:42.48, while Terry earned a fourth-place finish in the 3200-meter run in 10:07.38.
Also scoring for the Hornets was Justin Combs, who earned a third-place finish and a state-qualifying mark in the pole vault with a new personal record of 14-0, the 4 x 100 meter relay team of Mar’kevius Nelson, Pierce Finney, Austin Vail, and Makiya Hunter (fifth place in 44.54), and Dillon Daniels in the 300-meter hurdles (seventh place in 43.27).
“Bentonville is just loaded across the board,” Oury said. “They have quality and exceptional depth. They are going to be tough for anyone to beat, but my guys enjoyed competing against all the great athletes at this meet. It gave us an idea of what the 7A West conference and 7A state meet will be like.”