The Bryant Hornets competed in the biggest cross country meet in the region Saturday, finishing 32nd out of 64 teams at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Invitational in Fayetteville. Bryant was the ninth Arkansas team and sixth from class 7A. For the second meet in a row, freshman Charlie Terry led the way for the Hornets, placing 88th out of 494 finishers in a time of 17:10. Sophomore Connor Wilson placed 97th in 17:15, with Nicholas Schmidt (203rd in 18:11), Clifton Hampton (284th in 18:43), Dru Wen (290th in 18:46), Tyler Purtle (300th in 18:51), Jim Dellorto (310th in 18:58), and Spencer Adami (322nd in 19:02) completing the Hornets lineup.
"I liked our effort out there," Bryant Coach Steve Oury said. " We had a mixed bag as far as performances go. Charlie Terry and Connor Wilson did a good job of fighting the traffic, but I felt like some of our other guys just couldn't break free from the congestion and run as fast as they are capable. The windy, humid conditions also played a factor. With a team as young as ours, this will be a valuable learning experience that we can draw from in future meets."
The Bryant Jr. Hornets tangled with some of the best junior high cross country teams in the south Saturday at the Chile Pepper Invitational in Fayetteville, placing sixth out of 36 teams. The Hornets scored a total of 231 points to finish behind Rogers, Fayetteville Woodland, Springdale Central, Bentonville Black, and Siloam Springs.
"I was very happy with how the boys competed," Oury said. "This was the first 5k that a lot of them have ever done, so you can't underestimate how much difference that extra mile makes. They did a good job of gutting out that last mile and competing, even though they were hurting.
Ben Majors showed the way for the Jr. Hornets, earning a top-20 finish with a 16th place time of 18:30 over the 5k (3.1 mile) course. Stephen Cockmon (40th in 19:09), Joey Colvert (62nd in 19:41), Jhorman Cruz (73rd in 19:54), Samuel Martin (79th in 20:01), Ian Britt (82nd in 20:01), Ricky Barrientos (99th in 20:16), Zane Pitman (101st in 20:18), Eric Stewart (107th in 20:23), Peyton Reber (118th in 20:31), Michael Higgs (119th in 20:33), and Chandler Reep (128th in 20:43) rounded out the Hornets who competed.
"Ben Majors ran a brave race and left it all out there on the course," Oury said. "Stephen Cockmon did a great job as well. I was very proud that we had three seventh graders who earned a spot on the squad for this meet. Jhorman Cruz, Ricky Barrientos, and Michael Higgs are very promising young runners. Coach Porter at Bryant Middle School and Coach Daniels at Bethel Middle School are doing a great job with those kids."