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The varsity boys were oh so close to a state championship at the 4A State Track and Field Meet last week in Pocahontas. The Blackhawks scored a school record 65 points at the state meet, giving them third in the final standings.

The 'Hawks were just a half point behind second-place Nashville at 65.5 to 65, and were only a mere 5 points back of the 24-time state champion Crossett Eagles who scored 70.

The Blackhawk 4x100 relay team, are one of the best in the state with a solid chance for the gold medal before they were eliminated in the district meet with a lane violation disqualification. Had they made the meet and finished as high as fourth, a likely prospect, they could have won the school's first ever state track team championship.

As it was, they had sterling performances and were actually leading Crossett by 3 (48-45) before the last three events though Nashville was on top with 59.5 Crossett scored 17 in the 200, the 'Hawks scoring 7 and Nashville 3 to flip the standings. Crossett then charged ahead with 62 with Nashville trailing with 62.5 , Ashdown was in the mix with 57.5 and the 'Hawks with 55.

None of the top four teams scored in the 3,200 so it came down to the last event. The 4x400 relay decided things and although the quartet of Connor Escajeda, Cooper Elliott, Shaed Cates and Jordan Witcher came through to win the team's only gold medal in 3:29.2, Crossett was right behind in second to claim 8 points and the team title. Nashville had to take at least sixth to hang on to second place, and they did just that, gaining the 3 points they needed. Ashdown took third in the 4x400, allowing the 'Hawks to pass them up for third place overall.

The final team standings were: Crossett, 70; Nashville, 65.5; Pea Ridge, 65; Ashdown, 63.5; Heber Springs, 53; Cave City, 43; Gentry, 35; Waldron, 29; West Helena, 25; Pocahontas, 25; Shiloh, 24; Robinson, 21.5; Fountain Lake, 21; Booneville, 17.5; Riverview, 16; Arkadelphia, 12; Gravette, 11; Monticello, 10; Mena, 8; Huntsville, 7; Bauxite, 7; Harrisburg, 5; Hamburg, 5; Highland, 5; Pottsville, 4; Stuttgart, 4; Westside, 3; Baptist Prep, 3; with 21 teams not scoring.

Copper Elliott led the scoring with 13.5 points, taking a third in the 200 (22.99), a fourth in the 100 (11.33) and was a part of the first-place 4x400 with Connor Escajeda joining him along with Shaed Cates and Jordan Witcher (3:29.3).

Cates and Escajeda also scored in the double figures with 10.5 with each also taking silver medals. Cates was second in the 800 in 2:06.2 with Escajeda taking the runner-up spot in the 400 in 50.85.

Jordan Witcher scored 7 with a third in the 400 (51.12) and a eighth in the 200 (23.72) to go with his gold in the 4x400. Drew Winn scored 6 with sixth place in the 100 (11.38) and long jump (20'4").

Zach Woods scored sixth with a third place in the pole vault (12'2") with Lance Nunley scoring 5 with a fourth-place finish in the same event (11'8"). Rounding out the individual scoring was Kenny Dorsey who took seventh in the 300 hurdles (42.68) and eighth in the 100 hurdles (17.14).

The 'Hawks' 4x800 relay took eighth in their event in 8:58.67. Runners were Trevor Henry, Mac Smith, Josiah Small and Cates.

The meet marked the end of a remarkable year for new head coach Asa Poteete. The team's accomplishments were by far the best ever recorded by a Pea Ridge boys track team with great things perhaps on the horizon.

The boys 4x400 relay is moving on to the Meet of Champs this week to compete with the best relays from all classes across the state.

Track season will conclude next week with the state decathlon/heptathlon championships in Cabot.

Sports on 05/09/2018

Print Headline: Track boys finish third at state

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