Cross Country: Sr. Girls & Jr. Boys Win at Heber Springs

Tuesday was another great day for your Vilonia Cross Country teams, with senior girls and junior boys bringing home first place trophies from the Josh Park Memorial in Heber Springs. Vilonia senior boys and junior girls both finished second at the meet. All four teams ran well!

The Lady Eagles won the 5A-6A division, beating six other teams with a score of 29 points. Their closest adversary, Conway, scored 67 at the meet. Six Lady Eagles finished in the top 10 of 74 runners in their division. Scorers for the Lady Eagles were Lauren Millikin (11), Bryn Westby (11), Shelby Duncan (10), Laci McKay (11), and Emma Buck (10). Katelyn Ohlde (10) and Evy McKissack (10) came in next as displacers for the team. Duncan and teammate Olivia Balentine (10) both set personal records at the meet. The Lady Eagles are currently ranked first in the 5A division and 5th in Arkansas among all divisions.

The junior Eagles won the 5A-6A division, beating seven other teams. The boys had five finishers in the top 15 out of 108 runners, scoring 51 points to win the meet. Scorers for the junior Eagles were Jones White (8), Cade Smithhart (8), Cade Wagner (9), Clayton Jones (9), and Keller Willhite (9). Caleb Hogue (7) and Mason Westby (9) crossed the line next to serve as displacers. Eagles setting new personal records were Landon Mannion (7), Clint Slicer (7), and Mason Enis (7).

The senior Eagles finished ran a great race to finish second out of ten teams behind 6A Faulkner County foe, Conway. JD Otts (12), Tate Smithhart (10), Harrison Janski (10), Daniel Massa (12), and Gabe Goodwin (10) scored for the Eagles, with Brayden Matyja (10) and Jeremiah Lowrance (12) serving as displacers. Smithhart and teammate Gage Helton (12) set personal records Tuesday.

Junior Lady Eagles also ran great to finish second out of 9 teams, also behind Conway. Kaci Buck (8), Carly Eary (8), Katie McKay (9), Payton Hawkins (7), and Baelin Shannon (8) were scorers Tuesday, while Avery Martin (9) and Emily Larocca (8) came in as displacers for the ladies. Larocca set a new personal record at the meet.

Vilonia Cross Country athletes run again September 22nd in Fayetteville at the largest annual cross country event in the state, the Chile Pepper XC Festival. Chile Pepper is an all-day event with an open 10K and 5K early, followed by college races, with high school events beginning at 11:00 AM and ending with a junior high girls race at 2:45 PM. Athletes will race on the University of Arkansas cross country course against many of the best teams in several states. High school teams come from Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and other states to offer a huge, extremely competitive field.

Evan BeaversVMS, FA, VHS