Eureka runner electrifies Watts
Coach Hassell Bell loaded three of his four Eureka Springs Highlander cross country teams in the bus Tuesday and took his runners to Watts, Okla., to Natural Falls State Park for their first meet of the season.
The Highlanders faced top competition from six Oklahoma and Kansas teams, with both the junior high boys' and girls' teams finishing third.
The senior boys had two finish in the Top 20, while the senior girls were shorthanded, as just two were available to run. The other senior girls were receiving scholastic awards through the Renaissance program and missed this meet.
Coach Bell said the weather was great, cool and clear, but somewhat windy, and that the teams were looking forward to racing at the Berryville meet this Saturday, Sept. 11.
SENIOR HIGH TEAMS
Highlanders- Wes Prado and Max Vaughn both earned medals for finishing in the Top 20. Prado was 6th overall in 19:11 over the 5K course (3.1 miles), while Vaughn was 19th in 20:45. Both are ninth graders.
Nathan Drebenstedt was 42nd in 26:47, Jordan Parsons 44th in 27:12; Paul Sebby 45th in 27:13; Cody Lehr 50th in 32:47, and Matt Lackey finished in 32:51.
"Some senior boys will need to step up and provide some help for Wes and Max if we are to compete for team honors," Coach Bell said.
Lady Highlanders- Callie Smith and Abbie Jeppsen were the lone entries for this one. Smith medaled with her 18th place finish in 15:22 over the 2-mile course. Jeppsen finished 37th in 17:15.
"It was a nice race for both girls," Coach Bell said. "Our other senior girls were at the Renaissance awards. I have high expectations for this team, so I'm looking forward to the team running together Saturday at Berryville."
JUNIOR HIGH TEAMS
Junior Boys- The team finished third of seven over the 1.5-mile course,with Top 15 runners medaling. The team was led by eighth-grader Taylor Williams, who was 15th overall. Tony Marquez, a seventh-grader, was 18th.
"This team is a work in progress," Coach said. "We've got some hard-working seventh graders. And, nice run, Tony!"
Steven Hickman was 19th, John Overman 20th, Jacob Burlingame 21st, Kevin Kerley 29th, Forrest Kline 30th, Robert McClung 32nd, and Greg Watson 36th.
Junior Girls- The team finished third out of seven teams over a 1.5-mile course. Three girls medaled.
Casey Henderson was 5th in 10:47, Shelby Sebby 10th in 11:34, and Kasi Weston 14th in 11:54.
"We had lots of good effort, and strong leadership by our eighth-graders," Coach Bell said. "A nice surprise was Kasi's finish."
Alta Johnson was 29th in 12:50, Kendra Smith 48th in 14:03, Holly Wilkerson 57th in 14:58, Aleisha Huntley 69th in 17:15, Sierra Johnson 71st in 17:51, Bailey Featherstone 72nd in 19:15, and Brittni Jones 73rd in 19:16.