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The Pea Ridge Blackhawk boys and girls track team took home a large number of awards from the 2019 Arkansas Meet of Champions competition held last week at Lake Hamilton High School at Pearcy.

The annual Meet of Champions, the only competition like it held anywhere in the United States, pits the state champions from all six high school classifications. In addition, the top 10 overall times/marks that were not first place finishers in their respective meets also received invitations to attend.

A record number of Pea Ridge athletes received the coveted invitation to compete including: Kynley Burton, Blakelee Winn, Cassidy Mooneyhan, Lauren Wright, Zach Woods, Shaed Cates, Kevin Vasquez, Sander Van der Veen, Josiah Small, Shelby Dunlap, Connor Escajeda, Jamison Toms, Adam Trammel, Patrick Elliott and Cooper Elliott.

Junior Cassidy Mooneyhan became the second Pea Ridge athlete to ever win a Meet of Champs gold medal, clearing 12 feet 6 inches to take the girls' pole vault competition. Mooneyhan defeated Lake Hamilton's Edie Murray who was the 2017 and 2018 Meet of Champions winner. This was her sixth gold medal taken in statewide competition including three 4A outdoor state titles and two indoor state titles. Her mark of 12'7" is the eighth best mark ever recorded by a high school athlete since 2000.

The only other time a Blackhawk athlete has won a gold medal at the Meet of Champions was accomplished by Diane Miller in 2001 when she won the 3,200-meter run in 11:51.11. That mark was achieved when Pea Ridge was a 2A class school and is the only time a small school athlete won a gold on that event.

Sophomore Blakelee Winn was a big winner in the all-star competition, taking home half the awards with two fifth places in the 100-meter hurdles (15.90) and 100-meter dash (12.45) while taking seventh in the long jump (16'5") and eighth in the 200-meter (26.46).

Senior Shelby Dunlap ended her long and successful career with the 'Hawks by earning a seventh-place award in the 100-meter hurdles (16.66).

The 4x100-meter relay team took home a sixth place, the highest non-6A team finisher. The sprint quintet raced home in 51.08 with relay members Claire Hale, Jamison Toms, Shelby Dunlap and Cassidy Mooneyhan.

"I'm very proud of all these girls!" coach Heather Wade said. "They have worked hard all season and accomplished so much. The Meet of Champs is a great way to end a season!"

Senior Connor Escajeda also closed out his very successful prep career on the Ridge with a fourth place finish in the 400-meter (50.48). He was also a key runner in the 'Hawks' sixth place 4x100-meter relay team. The team composed of Escajeda, Adam Trammell, Cooper Elliott and Patrick Elliott completed the oval in 43.58, a scant .2 seconds behind Pine Bluff. Like the girls teams, the boys were the top non-6A school in the final standings.

Junior Zach Woods continued his late season meteoric rise in the pole vault, adding 6 more inches to his personal best by soaring 14'6" to finish in the seventh spot. He had finished fourth in the 4A state final with a 14'0" effort. Woods will be one of the top athletes in the state next year in the event, giving Pea Ridge a chance to sweep the boys/girls vaults in 2020.

Track season will finally come to an end this week at Fayetteville High School with the annual two-day Arkansas Decathalon/Heptathalon competition. It will begin Wednesday with the final events on Thursday.

Sports on 05/15/2019

Print Headline: Blackhawk Meet of Champs athletes take home one gold, nine awards

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