There’s a reason the two finishers in a district track meet are invited to the state meet. They might be good enough the next time out to win it.
Cody Harrel, for example, landed 21’ 4" from the long jump line in the District 4A-4 meet in Waldron. In the 4A state meet in Heber Springs last Thursday the junior went 21’ 11 1/2" and won an individual state title.
Like a first or second at district, a win automatically qualifies Harrel for the May 11 Meet of Champs at Lake Hamilton.
Harrel’s win accounted for 10 of Booneville’s 22 points in the state meet, good enough for 12th.
"Obviously I’m extremely proud of all our kids and I feel fortunate to have many who were given the opportunity to participate in this year’s state track meet," said track coach Josh Walker. "Even in unfavorable conditions, Cody Harrell was able to bring home a state championship in the boys long jump. Also, Grant Wiggins had a strong second place finish in pole vault."
Wiggins accounted for eight more by placing second in the pole vault. A junior Wiggins, competing in less than ideal conditions, was off his school record mark of 14’ 8" at 13’ 4".
Sophomore Landon Vance, who won high jump in the state 4A indoor meet placed fifth in Heber Springs with a jump of 6’.
Walker also noted that Josh Smith just narrowly missing a qualifying time in a speedy group of 110-meter hurdlers and that junior Dalton Gray, who had qualified in both the discus and the shot put, did not attend the meet.
All of the state qualifiers return next season.
With the first freshman qualifier in school history running one leg of the 3200-meter relay, the Lady Cats took seventh in the meet. Taylor Rhinehart, Logan Lyle and Lauren Lloyd joined Riley Thompson in the event.
Coach Lesia Deeds’ squad also got points from her daughter, Hallie Davis, who tied for fourth in the pole vault, and took seventh in the 300-meter hurdles. Placing ninth in the 100-meter hurdles, Davis was just out of the scoring in that event.
"I look forward to continuing to work with these kids and I’m anxious to see what next year brings for our Sr. boys track program," said Walker.