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The Arkansas 4A state No. 1 ranked Pea Ridge girls track team cruised to a championship with the 4A state second ranked Blackhawk boys also taking a title in the annual Blackhawk Relays Track and Field Championships last week.

The girls piled up a huge 67-18 lead over the runner-up East Newton Patriots during the field event competition. Pea Ridge then outscored their Missouri rivals 32-13 in the first three sprint events to leap out ahead 99-37 with just six events left to effectively ice the contest.

"These girls continue to amaze me every meet! They work hard and it's nice to see their hard work pay off!" head girls' coach Heather Wade said.

Pea Ridge won the girls division with 144, followed by East Newton with 117 with district rival Shiloh far behind in third place scoring 66. Decatur was fourth with 57 with Providence with 51, Greenland 45, Farmington 44, Gentry 30, Prairie Grove 30, Siloam Springs 22, Cedarville 19, West Fork 11, Elkins 6, Life Way 6 and Haas Hall Rogers 2.

The boys championship race went down to the wire with the Blackhawks claiming the championship on the last event of the day over the Farmington Cardinals. Farmington ended the field events with a 50-35 advantage over the home team 'Hawks. The 'Hawks then outscored the Cards 51-32 in the first four running event finals to grab a 86-82. From there on it was a battle.

Head coach Asa Poteete said after the meet, "I just want to say that I am very encouraged by the guts and selflessness of our team.

"In track it is uncommon for kids to be willing to do things that they don't normally work on in practice and out of their comfort zone. On Thursday night, we had several instances of this because of a couple injuries. Our kids had every excuse to not even run a 4x400 with guys being out but they wanted to compete and guys stepped up to pull off the points that we needed. We have a very talented group of boys, but I am even more lucky to have a group that sees the big picture and puts their team first. Excited about the next few weeks."

Pea Ridge's run to the top was sparked by a 1-2-3 finish in the boys' 100-meter dash to ring up 24 points in one event. Conner Escajeda and Cooper Elliott tied for first (11.58) with Drew Winn barely back in third (11.60).

Another 1-2-3 finish, this time in the 400, saw Escajeda (52.26), Jordan Witcher 52.96) and Shaed Cates (53.71) racking up another 24 points in a single event to pave the way for final victory. The boys also took first and second in the 200 with Witcher winning (23.61) and Escajeda taking second (24.23). The 'Hawks outscored the Cards 66-20 in the three sprint events.

The 'Hawks' ace sprinter, Cooper Elliott, strained a leg muscle winning the 100-meter race and was scratched for the rest of the meet. The two teams battled it out for the lead down to the last event, the 4x400, with the 'Hawks holding a narrow 149-145 over the Cards. A reshuffled lineup for the 4x400 took fourth in the event, just a point behind third place Farmington in the event, thus icing the contest.

Pea Ridge won with 154, followed by Farmington 151, Shiloh 92, East Newton 88, Gentry 74, Decatur 45, Elkins 14, Greenland 11, New School 9, Providence 6, Haas Hall Bentonville 5, Prairie Grove 5, Haas Hall Rogers 3, Prairie Grove 2, and Cedarville 2.

Freshman Blaklee Winn led the Lady 'Hawks in scoring with 35 points. She won the 100 (13.06), 100 hurdles (16.27) and long jump (17'2") and was a member of the first place 4x100 (52.16) and 4x400 (4:28.35) relay teams. Shelby Dunlap scored 33 points, winning both the 300 hurdles (49.75) and the triple jump (34'9") as well as taking second in the 100 hurdles (16.52).

Cassidy Mooneyhan narrowly missed a state record in the pole vault, but did a personal best -- 11'4" -- to remain undefeated in her specialty event. Mooneyhan scored 20 points in the meet, adding a fourth in the 200 (29.27) and was a member of the 4x100 and 4x400 winning relays.

Jamison Toms scored 15 with a second in the long jump (16'5"), sixth in the 200 (29.27), seventh in the 100 (13.91) as well as the winning 4x400 and 4x100 relays.

Meredith Mitchell scored 10 points in the throwing events with a second in the discus (76'7") and a seventh in the shot (26'9").

Kynley Burton scored 8 with a second in the high jump (5'0") with Destiny Roughton rounding out the individual scoring (4) with a sixth in the high jump (4'4") and she also ran a leg on the sixth-place 4x800 relay (12:19).

Nina Reed, Emma Stein and Katelyn Swope joined Rougton in the relay.

The top scoring girls athlete was Kinsey Sorrell of East Newton who took victories in the 400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200 runs to rack up 40 points. She is the daughter of former Blackhawk All-State track athlete Kern Sorrell who serves as a school administrator in the East Newton District.

Escajeda was the top scorer for the boys, earning 30 with victories in the 100 (11.58) and 400 (52.26). he also took second in the 200 (24.23) and was a member of the winning 4x100 relay. Jordan Witcher racked up 23 points with a win in the 200 (23.61), second in the 400 (52.91), sixth in the long jump (18'8") and ran on the winning 4x100.

Drew Winn scored 16, taking second in the high jump (6'0"), third in the 100 (11.60), and ran on the winning 4x100. The hurdle crew of Justin Koon and Kenny Dorsey scored 13 points each. Koon took second in the 110 hurdles (16.91) and fifth in the 300 hurdles (45.38) with Dorsey taking second in the 300 hurdles (44.15) and fifth in the 110 hurdles (17.46)

Shaed Cates scored in double figures with 12. Cates was third in the 400 (53.71), fifth in the 800 (2:15.9) and was a member of the fourth-place 4x400 and 4x800 teams. Elliott scored 9 in his only event, winning the 100. Other scorers were: Robby Pickthal, discus seventh (98'6"); Zack Humphries, shot put second (37'1"); Zach Woods, pole vault second (12'6"), Lance Nunley, pole vault fourth (11'6"); Matthew Christensen, pole vault fifth (10'6"); and Craig Matthews, high jump fifth (5'8").

The winning 4x100 relay team was made up of Winn, Witcher, Escajeda and Cates. The 'Hawks 4x400 team was Koon, Adam Trammel, Trevor Henry and Colbey Norman with a time of 3:53.0. The 4x800 team was Cates, Kevin Vasquez, Henry and Macquire Smith.

The Blackhawks are gearing up for the 4A-1 District meet to be held April 26 in Gravette. The Blackhawks already have a number of automatic qualifiers for the state meet in May with all top two finishers in the Gravette meet also earning berths. In addition, the top five finishers not in the top two from the six 4A districts will have their tickets punched as well.

The large number of pre-qualifiers with so many athletes ranking high in the district, it is nearly certain that Pea Ridge will have their largest contingent of athletes competing in the state track championships in school history.

Sports on 04/11/2018

Print Headline: Top ranked girls, 2nd ranked boys take track championships

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