Berryville, Eureka Springs runners win individual titles
HOT SPRINGS -- Berryville junior Oliver Perez won the individual Class 4A state cross country championship Saturday and led the Bobcats to a second-place finish in the team standings.
Heber Springs won the boys team championship.
Perez finished the 5,000-meter race in 16 minutes, 28 seconds.
"It is just something I love doing," Perez said. "I am happy out here. I was hoping someone would be there to push me, but it is what it is."
For Berryville, Andrew Galicia finished ninth in 17:37. Jonathan Wood finished 14th in 18:06. Elijah Smith finished 17th in 18:16. Brayn Maldonado finished 21st in 18:50. Dylan Holman finished 22nd in 18:53. Dakota Hurt finished 24th in 19:03. Jacob Johnson came in 46th in 20:01. Jose Pedraze finished 69th in 20:48.
"At the end of the day, I can confidently say everybody ran at their best," Berryville Coach Andrew Killingsworth said. "Nobody made mistakes and we had great performances. This makes it a bit easier when I say that Heber Springs solidly beat us."
Berryville's girls team finished in fifth place for the third year in a row. Ozark won the team competition and Sarah Claycomb of Monticello won the individual title with a time of 19:17. The highest-finishing Lady Bobcat was Misty Rhymer in 24th with a time of 22:32. Samantha Preston came in 25th in 22:36. Alli Depew finished 33rd in 23:13. Nora Waller finished 41st in 23:34. Kayla Gonzalez finished 42nd in 23:35. Bailee Girouard came in 50th in 24:23. Mary Kennedy Jackson finished 52nd in 24:28. Ashleigh McCullough finished 64th in 25:49. Melanie Beristain finished 65th, also in 25:49.
"This is the first time in years we have had a full team at state," Killingsworth said. "I am very proud of our girls. It's much the same story because so many of our girls ran PR's."
The Eureka Springs boys finished fifth in the Class 2A team standings, as West Side won the team competition. Nathan Andres of Eureka Springs won the individual competition, however, with a time of 17:55. Matt McClung finished fifth in 18:14. Wyatt Pavelsek came in eighth in 18:29. Sam Todd came in 65th in 21:21. Dalton Arnold finished 72nd in 21:41. Linzy Wolfinbarger finished 79th in 22:26. Brandon Ray finished 92nd in 23:44. The Eureka Springs girls finished third, behind Trinity Christian and Acorn. Elizabeth Gillette of Trinity Christian won the individual championship in 20:55. For Eureka Springs, Gabby Bloch finished fourth in 21:37. Sara Bloch finished 20th in 23:43. Rachel Adams finished 26th in 24:28. Nicole Morrison finished 39th in 26:21. Heidi Kirk finished 45th in 27:04.
"They were very relaxed and ran very hard," Eureka Springs Coach Kathy Manus said. "It has been a good season."