Booneville track coach Josh Walker was named the conference 4A-4 coach of the year after the Bearcats won the district track meet last Thursday in Waldron.
Walker deflected the attention to his squad.
"No one gave us a chance to beat Maumelle or even Dardanelle, as they beat us in all meets with both of us attending," said Walker. "When it comes down to it, you can never measure the heart of a Bearcat. These boys came to win, and that’s exactly what they did. I’m very proud of this whole team."
Walker said he believed there was a chance to win the event but figured it would take personal bests almost across the board.
The Bearcats built what turned out to be an insurmountable lead through the 110-meter hurdles — it was 138 points to 22 for Dardanelle — but scored only 35 points the rest of the way to finish with 173 to Maumelle’s 168. Dardanelle was third with 148.5.
The Bearcats had a third or better placement in all field events including wins by Grant Wiggins in the pole vault at an even 14 feet and Landon Vance in the high jump at 5’ 10".
For Wiggins it was a new district record, breaking Booneville’s Mark Merrill’s district mark set in 1981, also in Waldron. Wiggins cleared 14’ 8" in a regular season meet last year, also in Waldron.
In the pole vault, and high jump last week, Bearcats were also second with Jimmy Scott second in pole vault at 11’ and Cody Harrel second in high jump with the same jump as Vance. Hunter Mullins added a sixth in the pole vault and Matt Berry and Michael Springs were fourth and seventh in the high jump.
The Bearcats were second through fifth in the long jump — Josh Smith, Harrel, Justin Shackleford and Vance, in order — for 23 points.
Harrel was second, Smith third, Springs fourth and Berry seventh in the triple jump.
Dalton Gray was second in the discus and third in the shot put. Shackleford added a fourth in the discus and Ethan O’Bar and Bryson May were fourth and seventh in the shot.
Jacob Krepps, Tripp Williams, Shannon VanNortrick and Cole Emerson were fourth in the 4x800-meter relay and Springs, Smith and Vance were second, third and sixth in the 110-meter hurdles for the big lead.
Shackleford finished fourth in the 100-meter dash and ran a leg of the 4x400-meter dash team that included Berry, Vance and Smith, which finished second.
Berry was seventh and Shackleford eighth in the 400-meter dash; Springs was fourth in the 300-meter hurdles, Krepps fifth in the 800-meter run; and Vance and Berry were sixth and eighth in the 200-meter dash before a third place finish by James Ray, Berry, Springs and Shackleford in the 4x40-meter relay secured the win.
Qualifying for the state meet, which was set for yesterday (Tuesday) were Wiggins, Scott, Harrel, Smith, Gray, Vance, Springs, Berry and Shackleford.
On the girls side Booneville was third to the host Lady Bulldogs and Maumelle as Logan Lyle and Allie Vaught joined the qualifying party with a first place finish in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 55.1 seconds, and the discus with a throw of 99. 8", respectively.
The 4x800-meter relay team of Shaye Terry, Sabrina Ramsey, Riley Taylor and Lyle was third, Paige Burr was fifth in the 100-meter hurdles, Taylor took seventh in the 1600-meter run and Paige Joyce, Daisy Lear, Virdiana Vazquez teamed with Lyle to take fourth in the 4x400-meter relay.
Ramsey was eighth in the 400-meter dash, Paige Barr added a fifth in the 300-meter hurdles, Lear was sixth and Joyce seventh in the 200-meter dash; Joyce was sixth and Vazquez eighth in the triple jump; Vaught took fourth in the shot put with Shawna Long eighth; Lyle and Terry tied at fifth in the pole vault and Mariam Vazquez, Virdiana Vazquez, Lyle and Taylor were fourth in the 4x400-meter relay.