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AR 2007 Cross Country Preview

the outlook in the "Natural State"

by Bob Kelly

Caveat: This data is compiled solely from prior year state meet results, current year track results, tidbits that have been sent to us and our own conjecture. It is not possible for us to know about all transfers in and out, injuries, new runners, runners who are not competing in the current year or any of a myriad of other factors that make it fun to watch the season unfold. There will be always be surprises. There will be runners who run noticeably better at state than ever before while others that are expected to do well struggle. The winning teams will usually be the willing ….that is, the teams with the will to win and willing to put in the effort to prepare. Enjoy the season.

RECAP of Early Favorites:
1/2A Boys: Acorn
1/2 A Girls: Johnson Count y Westside
3A Boys: Paris/Mountainburg
3A Girls: Genoa Central
4A Boys: DeQueen
4A Girls: Berryville
5A Boys: Siloam Springs
5A Girls: Batesville
6A Boys: Lake Hamilton
6A Girls: Lake Hamilton/Mountain Home
7A Boys: Rogers
7A Girls: Bentonville/Rogers

Class 7A:
Rogers won easily last fall and could have a shot at a perfect score this fall. Look for the Mounties to “6-peat” this fall. Bryant and Conway have the core of their teams back and should compete for a trophy. Never count out Fayetteville.

Early Favorites: Rogers
Teams to Watch: Bryant, Conway and Fayetteville

Individuals (school, class this fall, finish last fall, time last fall for 5k):
Aaron Hamilton (Rogers, SR, 1st, 16:09); Taylor Surly (Rogers, SR, 4th, 16:37); Forrest Roth (Rogers, SR, 5th, 16:42)
Hamilton thrives on the CC course while Surly and Roth turned it on last spring to help Rogers to the first ever 7A track championship. Surly won the 7A state track 1600m in an impressive 4:26 and was 5th in the 3200m behind Roth and Hamilton all at 9:43-45. The Top 5 finishers at State could be well below 16 minutes.

Bentonville and Rogers seem to battle every fall to see who gets to take the big trophy home to Benton County. Bentonville won last year by 46-59 but Rogers, in spite of losing two All-Staters, may have enough to turn the tables this fall on county rival Bentonville. Fayetteville could also challenge if they can fill in the 4-5 spots.

Early Favorites: Bentonville and Rogers
Teams to Watch: Fayetteville

Individuals (school, class this fall, finish last fall, time last fall for 5k):
Erika Setzler (Conway, SO, 1st,19:00); Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, SO, 2nd, 19:08); Natalia Guerrero (Rogers, SR, 5th, 19:21); Courtney Efurd (Rogers, SR)
Setzler and Isaksen look to be the two to beat but Efurd, who was ill last fall and ran poorly at state, put in a 11:37 to win the 7A state track 3200m. This could easily be a race that is not decided until the last 100m. Emily Carpenter (Cabot, SR) ran 2nd to Efurd at state track at 11:38 and should be in the hunt. It is not inconceivable to have the Top 5 under 19 minutes at State.

Class 6A:
Lake Hamilton and Mountain Home look to compete once again for the team title with Lake Hamilton in reach of a perfect score. Marion looks to return 4 of the Top 18 returnees.

Early Favorite: Lake Hamilton
Teams to Watch: Mountain Home and Marion

Individuals (school, class this fall, finish last fall, time last fall for 5k):
David Mills (Lake Hamilton, JR, 5th, 17:28); Amos Gerber (Lake Hamilton,SO, 6th, 17:34)
Mills and Gerber took 4th/5th at the 6A state track meet in the 3200m at 10:25.

Lake Hamilton
slipped by Mountain Home by 27-29 last fall and this year looks like a rematch too close to call. Watson Chapel is a long shot to take a trophy.

Early Favorite: Lake Hamilton/Mountain Home
Teams to Watch: Watson Chapel

Individuals (school, class this fall, finish last fall, time last fall for 5k):
Shannon Hicks (Mountain Home, JR, 21:33); Cabryna Butcher (Marion, JR, 21:41)
Butcher won the 6A state track meet in the 3200m to show she is not to be overlooked this fall.

For more details and all the Classes go to arkansastrackstats.net

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