Cross Country Ends Regular Season on High Note

Vilonia Cross Country athletes ran their last regular season meet Saturday in Hot Springs. Beautiful running weather held for most of the races, until a cold rain began to fall when the senior high girls ran the last race of the day. Even with several athletes sitting this meet out for varied reasons, these Vilonia athletes performed well, making coaches, parents, and their community proud.

Junior high boys ran first this week, on a slightly longer course than normal. It was a Vilonia Eagle who crossed the finish line first to win the race and lead the team. Jones White (8) completed the 2.085 mile course in 12:05 to score first for the Eagles. He was followed in by Cade Smithhart (8), Caleb Hogue (7), Mason Westby (9), and Logan Kelley (7), the other scorers for the Eagles. Harrison Lock (7) and Landon Mannion (7) came in next to serve as displacers.

Junior high Lady Eagles toed the line next with the weather still beautiful for a race. Kaci Buck (8) led the Lady Eagles, finishing third in the field of 151 runners. She was followed in by Carly Eary (8), the eighth runner in the race to finish. The next three Lady Eagles to score for the team were Payton Hawkins (7), Katie McKay (9), and Avery Martin (9). Baelin Shannon (8) and Jaslynn McReyolds finished next as displacers for the Lady Eagles.

Next to the line were the senior high Eagles. The Eagles were led to the finish line by Harrison Janski (10). Tate Smithhart (10) and Gabe Goodwin (10) were only seconds behind as the three crossed the line almost together, with only five seconds separating Janski and Goodwin. Daniel Massa (12) and Brayden Matyja (10) completed scoring for the Eagles, with Cade Wagner (9) and Gage Helton (12) serving as displacers.

The rain set in as the senior high Lady Eagles warmed up at the starting line, becoming a practical downpour before Bryn Westby (11) finished first for the Lady Eagles. She was followed in by Lauren Millikin (11), Shelby Duncan (10), Emma Buck (10) and Evy McKissack (10) as scorers for the team. Laci McKay (11) and Katelyn Ohlde (10) came in next as displacers. Westby's 19:53 finish time was a personal record, and her first sub-20 finish for the season. The Lady Eagles finished third behind only Bentonville and Springdale Har-Ber, two large school 6A powers from northwest Arkansas.

Only two meets left in the season now. The Cross Country Eagles and Lady Eagles, senior high and junior high teams, head to Siloam Springs October 25th for the 5A West Conference meet. The senior high teams will then run the state championship meet in Hot Springs on November 2nd.

Evan BeaversVHS, FA, VMS