Back for more? GF sets its sights on another state cross country title
By Scott Loftis
The Green Forest Tigers won three consecutive state championships in cross country from 2014-2016. The Tigers finished third last fall, but coach Bradley James believes his team has a chance to reclaim the Class 3A title at this year’s state meet on Nov. 2 in Hot Springs.
Green Forest’s girls also have a shot at state glory. The Lady Tigers have finished second to Genoa Central the past two years.
“I think it’s going to be a tight race team-wise as well as individually,” James said.
Green Forest tuned up for the state meet by winning both team titles at the Rogers Mountaineer Classic on Tuesday.
Senior Lexington Hilton won the boys race in a time of 17:05.70 and freshman Jake Lopez finished fourth in 18:14.70. The Tigers had eight runners among the top 25.
On the girls side, Green Forest senior Karina Maravillas won the individual title in 20:12.40. Juniors Jennifer Martinez (22:29.00) and Lucy Rios (22:56.60) finished sixth and seventh, respectively, and senior Lyndsay Anglin (23:16.90) was 10th.
Hilton’s time of 16:03.57 at the Huntsville Invitational on Oct. 16 is the fifth-best time in the state this season and the second-best by a runner in Class 3A. Maravillas has the state’s time by a Class 3A girl — 19:38.90 at the Bobcat Back 40 on Sept. 29.
Winning a state team title requires depth, and James said both Green Forest teams have an opportunity to win.
“I think both teams have a shot at it,” he said.
It’s a rebuilding year for Berryville’s cross country teams, and they aren’t likely to be in the hunt for the Class 4A team titles at the state meet on Friday, Nov. 2, in Hot Springs.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some talented athletes on the Berryville roster.
On the boys side, the Bobcats have a bright future with a sophomore class led by Braden Scrivner. Scrivner finished 14th at the state meet as a freshman.
At the 4A-1 conference meet on Tuesday in Huntsville, Scrivner took fourth place in a time of 17:27.69.
Berryville coach Andrew Killingsworth said Scrivner ran 17:03 on the same course two weeks earlier.
Senior Eduardo Rangel finished 14th at the conference meet in 18:21.81.
Junior Cecilia Doss has had an outstanding season for the Lady Bobcats, Killingsworth said.
“She has run a PR (personal record) almost every single race,” Killingsworth said.
Doss finished fourth at the conference meet with a time of 21:03.06.
“She’s really trying to break that 21-minute mark,” Killingsworth said. “She gets after it. She’s one of those kids that’s pedal to metal, never complains. I’m really proud of her.”
Senior Alexis Steele was 13th at the conference meet with a time of 22:47.30.
Eureka Springs senior Kayden Eckman finished second in the 2A Region 4 cross country meet on Oct. 20 at Magazine.
Eckman finished in 17:41.00, 28 seconds behind first-place finisher Jordan Foster of Caddo Hills. Junior teammate Tyler Stephenson finished eighth in a time of 18:59.00. Other Eureka Springs runners were Donte Kruse (15th, 21:31.00); Austin Moloney (22nd, 22:42.00); Damien Asbury (25th, 23:18.00); Adam Black (28th, 23:49.00) and Sam Gay (31st, 24:03.00).
On the girls side, Eureka Springs sophomore Katelyn Ross was 10th in 26:19.00 and senior Ana Tapia finished 19th in 27:02.00.
On Tuesday, the Highlanders competed at the Rogers Mountaineer Classic. Eckman took second in the boys division (18:04.70) while Stephenson finished seventh (19:04.40).
Eureka Springs will compete in the state cross country championships on Friday, Nov. 2, in Hot Springs.