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11/4/00 at Hot Springs AR
Cross Country State Meet
results from www.ArkansasTrackStats.com
With low-hanging clouds filled with gently falling rain onto a grassy infield at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, the 2000 Arkansas State High School Cross Country Championships got underway with the Class 3A Boys at 9:30 a.m.
After the singing of the national anthem, the race begin on the 5K course with a 200 meter downhill followed by a 200 meter uphill which gave the runners a good idea of what the course had to offer. Jamie Rhoden (SR, Heber Springs) took the early lead and passed the mile in the fastest opening mile of the day in 5:02. On the second of three loops Rhoden continued to lead but William Prettyman (JR, West Fork) had mostly closed the gap at the two mile mark as Rhoden passed at 10:48 (5:46 second mile). The two leaders ran stride-for-stride for the next 1200 as the lanky Prettyman pulled away with a strong sprint to win in 16:47. Rhoden held on for second in 16:56. Meanwhile the team race was being played out just behind at the Berryville Bobcats put Michael Simkins (JR, 17:08), Miquel Gil (JR, 17:36) and Drew Killingsworth (SR, 17:37) across for a 3-4-5 finish. Teammates Cesar Lemus (FR, 17:50) and Justin Wyas (FR, 18:41) followed in 7th and 19th to give the Bobcats a convincing 37-87 win over 2nd place Heber Springs.
With host school Lake Hamilton keeping the meet on schedule throughout the day firing off races every thirty minutes, the Class 3A Girls took on the 4K two-loop course using the same start as the Boys 5K course and the same finish area although the actual finish line was some 150 meters further allowing a slight downhill followed by an uphill the last 50 meters. Jana Derlikowski (SO, Pulaski Academy) took the early lead with a 6:20 first mile. The second mile belong to eventual winner Sheena Metz (JR, Dover) as she passed the marker in 13:38. The race was on as Derlikowski and Metz raced within 10-15 meters of one another through the increasingly muddy course until Metz took command the last 300 to take a 17:06 to 17:11 win. Megan Metz (FR, Dover) was closing fast at 17:15. The Berryville Lady Bobcats completed the only sweep of the day led by Lauren Ellis (SO, 17:25) in 4th followed by teammates Tina Wolfenden (SR, 13th), Brianna Smith (JR, 14th), Trista McGinley (SO, 16th) and Ana Arrizon (FR, 22nd). The Lady Bobcats slipped past Dover and DeQueen in 49-64-68.
In the 4A Boys, the first mile had a trio of Dennis Bowling (SR, Siloam Springs), Brandon Hodges (SR, Hot Springs) and Shaun Walker (SR, Greenwood) break from the pack for a 5:11 split. Bowling and Hodges steadily pulled away to cross the two mile mark in 10:52 with Hodges gradually spreading the gap. It was all Hodges the last mile to take the win in 17:12. Bowling cross in 17:29 while Walker faded to 18:01 for 3rd. The Siloam Springs Panthers blew away runner-up Hot Springs with the most lop-sided win of the day, 35-114 for a 79 point gap.
As the 4A Girls got started the rain was letting up and Heidi Vondermehden (SR, Harrison) took advantage of the break to take a solid first mile lead in 6:03. Candace Bowling (SR, Siloam Springs) held contact and tried to narrow the lead in the second but Vendermehden would have none of it as she passed the two mile in about 12:50. The last 1200 saw Harrison senior Tara Loftis make a strong move to give the Lady Goblins of Harrison a 1st (16:07) and 3rd (16:27) finish with Bowling sandwiched between at 16:16. Harrison also got a 5th from Jessaly Halstead (FR, 16:58), 11th from Tiffany Dodson (JR, 17:22) and a 14th from Kim Markham (SR, 17:26). The Lady Goblins cruised to a 34-69 win over Siloam Springs with Watson Chapel placing 3rd with 91 points led by Allyson Robertson's (JR, 17:03) 6th place finish.
Next up was the much anticipated race of the day featuring the favored Mt. Home Bombers against the defending champion Rogers Mounties and the runner-up favorites Cyclones of Russellville. As expected Eric Gross (SR, 16:06) of Mt. Home led the pack through the first mile in 5:08 followed closely by teammates Logan Thomas (SR, 19:19) and Peter Marston (SR,16:39), Scott Swearengin (SR, 16:45) and Jake Conley (JR, 16:58) of Rogers, Chris Behrens (SR,16:45)of Cabot and Erick Brock (JR,16:48) of Russellville. The pack slopped through what became known as the One Mile Mudpie and began to break away. Gross and Thomas took command in mile two to pass in 10:18 while Swearengin and Marston had formed a second group. The race , which was virtually tied at the 1.5 mile mark with one report estimating that Russellville actually led with Rogers and Mt. Home close behind in 60-62-63 points, slowly began to shift to the Bombers favor with the Mounties hanging tight while the Cyclones dropped off. Marston made a big move to edge out Swearengin and Mt. Home grabbed 1-2-3 finish. Barry Holland (SR, 17:12) grabbed 10th for the Bombers while Derek Curry (SO, 17:34) managed 23rd. Swearengin finished his Mountie cross country career with a solid 4th while Conley plucked 6th. Mt. Home won handily in 39-65-81 a Rogers grabbed the runner-up trophy to give the Rogers cross country program its 21st consecutive year with a 1st or 2nd place finish at State.
By now the course was becoming sloppy all the way around but Bentonville's Jamie Owensby (JR, 15:22) ran an impressive race with a 5:57 first mile and passing the two mile in 12:05. Running alone in front of teammate and sister Amanda Owensby (SR, 15:55), Jamie broke contact early and never was threatened. If anyone wondered is she had recovered from her season-long injury, she put those concerns to rest quickly. The Lady Tigers got a 1-2-3 finish when Jessie Barnes (FR, 16:09) pulled away from Rogers' Liz Santos (SO, 16:13) and Andrea Peerson (FR, 16:15) who held on for 4th and 5th. However, the race was far from over. Bentonville's Erin Turrentin (SO, 16:36) managed 9th while Fayetteville's Nikki Williams (JR, 16:42) grabbed 10th and Megan Bourke (FR, 16:45) finished 12th. Cassy Grimes of Rogers came in 13th (SR, 16:46) followed closely by Fayetteville's Katie Howard (JR, 16:55) in 15th. Fayetteville's Amanda Land (FR, 16:56) landed in 16th while teammate Sidney Swonger (JR, 16:57) managed 18th. Rogers' Caitlin Kelly (JR, 17:25) crossed for 27th followed closely by Lady Mountie Cheryl White (SO, 17:30) in 28th. The suspense was on. Fayetteville had put their top 5 in an amazingly tight 15 second spread from 10th to 18th and Rogers had their 5 but Bentonville's 5th was no where to be seen. Were the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Mounties to pull the upset of the day? In fact, Fayetteville had their 6th and 7th and Rogers had their 6th in before Amanda Walden (SR, 18:12) sealed the Lady Tigers 4th consecutive championship with a 48th place finish. At the final count Bentonville won a surprisingly close 62-71-75 victory with Fayetteville edging out Rogers who had been picked 6th.
In the 1A/2A Boys race (these smaller school classifications are combined in cross country) Acorn's Brandon Moore (SR, 17:43) led from the start with Bergman's Joe Reed (SR, 17:47) in hot pursuit. The duo passed the mile in 5:19 and were still together at the two mile in 11:15. By now the course was very sloppy and ankle-deep mud prevailed in most every valley. Josh Loar (SR, 17:54) of Acorn stayed close behind on the verge of losing contact. The three pulled away from the field and raced within yards of one another until the last 800 when Moore put the race away with Reed splitting the two Acorn runners almost perfectly. Acorn won easily in 26-69 over Pottsville. Acorn grabbed 5th with Brandon Cross (JR, 18:30), 7th with Chris Cottman (JR, 19:19) and 14th with Jeremy Carter (JR, 20:28). Pottsville was led by Paul McClendon's (SR, 18"08) 4th place and Daniel Riedmueller's (SO, 19:32) 9th.
The final race of the day saw Ashley Dixon of Harding Academy and Dianne Miller of Pea Ridge duel it out the entire way trading the lead several times. Miller led at the mile in 6:26 and Dixon at the two mile in 13:21. Over the last 800 Dixon tried to stretch her lead but Miller held on. Miller took a slight lead but Dixon had too much the final 200 an eaked out a 16:31 to 16:32 win. Annie Miller of Shiloh Christian held off Ashley Henson of Alpena for 3rd in 16:51 to 16:57. Harding Academy also got 15th from Catrina Kelly (JR, 19:05), 16th from Kathryn Churchman (SO, 19:08), 23rd from Laura Riley (SO, 19:24) and 30th from Micah Rine (SR, 19:37) to take the team win 64-73 over Decatur. Andrea Hobbs (JR, 17:30) led Decatur with a 6th place finish.
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