Cross Country Lady Eagles Win Season Opener

The weather wasn't very cooperative, with a heat index around 90 degrees at race time, but Saturday was a great day for Vilonia's first meet of the season.

The senior high Lady Eagles brought home the 1st place team trophy, knocking off several traditional powerhouses in the sport. The first five Lady Eagles to cross the finish line took an average time of 22 minutes and 42 seconds to complete the 5K course. Their winning score of 69 was forty points in front of the second place team, new 5A West conference foe, Russellville. Scorers, the first five finishers for your Lady Eagles, were Bryn Westby (11), Lauren Millikin (11), Shelby Duncan (10), Katelyn Ohlde (10), and Emma Buck (10). Displacers, sixth and seventh place finishers for the team, were Laci McKay and Evy McKissack. Westby, Millikin, Duncan, and Ohlde all finished in the top twenty to earn individual awards in the field of 195 ladies who completed the race. All Lady Eagles ran well, with McKissack and Lauren Goodwin setting new personal records for the 5K distance.

Senior high Eagles ran hard in the tough conditions too. Scoring for the Eagles were JD Otts (12), Harrison Janski (10), Tate Smithhart (10), Gabe Goodwin (10), and Daniel Massa (12). Displacers for the Eagles were Jeremiah Lowrance (12) and Brayden Matyja (10). Otts finished in the top twenty among 301 finishers to earn an individual medal. Goodwin set a new personal record at the race.

Twenty-seven schools fielded athletes in the junior high boys two mile race, where the Eagles finished fourth. Clayton Jones (9) led the Eagles with his 18th place finish, earning an individual award, in the field of 375 young men who completed the race. Following him to complete the scoring for the Eagles were Cade Smithhart (8), Jones White (8), Cade Wagner (9), and Keller Willhite (9). Mason Westby (9) and Caleb Hogue (7) crossed the line next, 0.06 seconds apart, to serve as displacers for the Eagles. Smithhart, White, Westby, and Ethan Crawley (9) all set new personal records Saturday.

Kaci Buck (8) led the junior high Lady Eagles with her third place finish in the field of 319. She was followed by Carly Eary (8), Katie McKay (9), Avery Martin (9), and Baelin Shannon (8) to complete scoring for the team. Payton Hawkins (7) and Jaslynn McReynolds followed those ladies in to serve as displacers for the Lady Eagles. Eary and Buck both set new personal records, and earned medals for finishing in the top twenty.

The Vilonia Cross Country teams plan to build on their great start Tuesday (9/11) afternoon when they hit the trails in Heber Springs at the Josh Park Invitational. Junior high boys start first at 4:30 PM, followed by junior high girls, senior high boys, and senior high girls as each race is completed.

Evan BeaversVHS, FA, VMS