GF gets another cross country title, BV's Perez wins again
HOT SPRINGS -- Carroll County was well represented on Saturday at the cross country state championships.
Leading the way were the Green Forest Tigers, who won their second consecutive Class 3A state championship. Berryville senior Oliver Perez took home the Class 4A individual championship for the second year in a row, and Eureka Springs sophomore Gabi Bloch finished third in Class 2A.
Green Forest coach Bradley James said his boys team stepped up in a big way to win.
"Four of my boys ran their fastest race of the year, and that is what you want in the state race," James said. "The rest of them were all up there in the top of the group where they were supposed to be."
James said winning two championships in as many years is special, and he hopes to build off it.
"It is important," James said. "We are trying to build a tradition here and keep that tradition going of having good runners, especially distance runners, so it is really nice to defend that state title."
Berryville was hoping to being home a Class 4A boys championship, but lost to Heber Springs by four points despite Perez's individual championship.
"He is just such a talented runner," Berryville coach Andrew Killingsworth said of Perez. "To go back-to-back like that is quite a feat. He would've liked to have brought home a state championship for his team, but he did the best he could."
Despite coming home without the first-place trophy, Killingsworth is very proud of what his team accomplished.
"You can't be sad about getting a runner-up finish, but they were looking for gold," Killingsworth said.
Heading into 2015, the Berryville girls had finished fifth at three consecutive state championships. Killingsworth wanted his girls to improve upon that, and with a third-place finish, they did.
"All of them ran wonderful times and gave it their best shot," Killingsworth said. "We are a young team. All of my top four runners were sophomores, so that's beautiful."
The Pottsville Lady Apaches won the race, but had it not been for Pottsville having a few late additions to the team, Berryville could have finished second.
"Pottsville only had six girls and two of them joined the team last week," Killingsworth said. "We didn't know they were going to be in the running or we would've come home with a trophy."
The Green Forest girls finished seventh, and James said he is proud of the effort the Lady Tigers showed.
"We had six PRs (personal records) in the girls state race," James said. "It is a promising future looking ahead."
Defending state champion Nathan Andress showed up in support of Eureka Springs, helping cheer the Highlanders on to a third-place finish.
"I thought our boys ran really hard," Eureka Springs coach Kathy Manus said. "They wanted more, but it was a good day."
The Lady Highlanders also came away with a third-place finish, led by Gabi Bloch.
"My girls ran a good race," Manuss said. "For Gabi to do what she did as a sophomore makes it that much more impressive. She has two more years left."
Individual results are as follows:
4A Boys: Heber Springs won with a score of 51 points and Berryville finished second at 55. Berryville's Oliver Perez won with a time of 16:38.7 and teammate Andrew Galicia finished fifth at 17:18.6. Carlos Garduno finished 11th at 17:53.4 for Berryville and teammate Elijah Smith finished 12th at 18:04.6. Berryville's Dakota Hurt finished 30th at 18:47.7 and Eduardo Rangel finished 35th at 18:59.9. Berryville's Jacob Johnson finished 42nd at 19:09.2 while teammate Jonathon Wood finished 59th at 19:43.1 and Brandon Kruzan finished 62nd at 19:45.9.
4A girls: Pottsville won with a score of 61 points and Green Forest finished third at 96. Prairie Grove's Bekah Bostain won with a time of 20:05.5 and Berryville's Samantha Preston finished 15th at 22:08.8. Bethany Kruzan finished 19th at 22:25.6 for the Lady Bobcats and teammate Nora Waller finished 26th at 23:15.6. Berryville's Mary-Kennedy Jackson finished 27th at 23:17 and Ally Teague finished 40th at 24:11.4. Cecilia Flores finished 47th at 24:28.3 and Berryville's Juanita Vilatoro finished 50th at 24:32.1. Berryville's Claira Watson finished 60th at 23:50.5 and teammate Melanie Berinstein finished 65th at 26:00.4.
3A Boys: Green Forest won with a score of 76 points. Noah Eskew of Jessieville won with a time of 16:47.9 and Green Forest's Patrick Hunter finished fifth at 17:44.3. Green Forest's Gabriel Ramos finished seventh at 18:07.5 and teammate Jacob Thompson finished ninth at 18:09.1. Rafael Rosales finished 16th at 18:29.5 and teammate Ashley Henley finished 19th at 18:58 for the Tigers. Green Forest's Vincente Vega finished 23rd at 19:17.9 and teammate Jose Lozano finished 25th at 19:20.2. Jose Mendez finished 28th at 19:27.4 and Carlos Lemus finished 29th at 19:29.8 for the Tigers.
3A Girls: Genoa Central won with a score of 24 points and Green Forest finished seventh at 197. Kendall Hays of West Fork won with a time of 20:47.9 and Karina Maravillas finished ninth at 21:28.7 for the Lady Tigers. Green Forest's Yolanda De Los Santos finished 44th at 24:53.5 and teammate Belinda Pineda finished 45th at 24:53.6. Lexi Diaz finished 72nd at 25:45 for Green Forest and Rubi Perez finished 74th at 25:48.8. Green Forest's Andrea Lopez finished 77th at 25:54.2 and Trinity McMahan finished 88th at 26:30.3. Laraina Cenobio finished 93rd at 26:34.5 and Esly Lopez finished 117th at 29:05.3.
2A Boys: West Side High School won, scoring 34 points and Eureka Springs finished third at 62. Bennett Pascoe of Conway Christian won with a time of 17:12.4 and Eureka Springs' Wyatt Pavelsek finished sixth at 17:48.9. Kayden Eckman finished 13th at 18:28.6 for the Highlanders and teammate Mathew McClung finished 14th at 18:28.8. Eureka Springs' Dalton Arnold finished 26th at 19:06.9 and Dalton Kesner finished 27th at 19:21.6. Jeremiah Cline finished 55th at 20:12.9 and teammate Brandon Ray finished 62nd at 20:25 for the Highlanders. Linzy Wolfinbarger finished 63rd at 20:28.4 for the Highlanders and teammate Garrett Cross finished 80th at 21:09.
2A Girls: Trinity Christian won, scoring 25 points and Eureka Springs finished third at 119. Elizabeth Gillette of Trinity Christian won with a time of 18:54.4 and Gabi Bloch of Eureka Springs finished third at 20:05.7. Sara Bloch finished 15th at 23:02.6 and Naomi Floyd finished 25th at 24:02.2 for the Lady Highlanders. Eureka Springs' Rachel Adams finished 38th at 24:52 while teammate Heidi Kirk finished 68th at 26:47.9 and Justice Bogue finished 79th at 28:12.5.