After making an impressive start to their collective track careers at the Bearcat Relays, the first year Mansfield seventh grade track athletes hit the ground running again at Paris.
The annual Eagle Ribbon Run afforded Mansfield and at least a dozen other schools including Ozark and Van Buren a chance to compete one more time before local schools took to Spring Break. Mansfield’s rookie Lady Tigers took home a second place team trophy from the Booneville meet a few weeks ago. This time the Eagle classic simply issued ribbons to top performers but no total team scores were calculated.
Like she did before, Mansfield’s Sadie Roberts shined at the high jump pit. The first year player won her previous competition with a 4’ 2” leap. This time the lanky seventh grader recorded a personal record 4’ 8” to win the event.
Roberts eventually took ribbons in six events. Her next best output was the 4x100m relay. The combination of Haylee Helms, Roberts, Kiara Thomas, and Skyla Honeycutt rounded the one lap cooperative for a first place award in their heat.
Thomas had her moments as well with a third place finish in the high jump and a second place union in the 4x400m relay. Teammates Helms, Harleigh Mars, and McKenzie Griffin joined Thomas for the red ribbon reward in that last relay event.
Thomas, who has been showing signs of the second best Lady Tiger hurdler from grades seventh through ninth, took a tumble in her premier event. Pushing through the 100m hurdles in a four step pattern through seven hurdles, the developing competitor lost footing over the final barrier. A fall just before the finish line left her at a disappointing fifth place in her heat.
Falls seemed to be linked in pairs as fellow hurdler, Mars, found the pavement in a practice session the day before the meet. Hobbled a bit by the incident, the 300m hurdler pushed through the discomfort to take another silver medal in her favored event a day later.
“Harleigh has really been all about the 300’s of late,” commented Tiger coach John Mackey. “She has been running both junior high and seventh grade meets; and scoring in both. She’s following a path played by many a talented Tiger hurdler.”
Griffin has been another bright spot for the Mansfield prep team. The successful cross country runner has been scoring well in all the distance events at both junior and seventh grade outings.
At Paris, Griffin collected a fourth, third, and two second place ribbons. The 800m run, according to her coach, was her best showing of the night. Her 2:58.59 clocking put her right on the heels of the winner of that two lap sprint.
Kelsey Holley and Sarah Fisher both took a first place reward for their respective heats in the discus throw. Each made point production at the shot put circle as well.
Helms managed two blue ribbons from a solid long jump landing and a lead leg start on the 4x100m team.
Faith Rainwater scored in the 800m run and the 4x800m relay. Her late in the evening 3:18.78 measure in the 800m run was a faster pace than her 800m split in the 4×800 and 1600m races earlier in the night.
Honeycutt, Lexi Horn, and Sarah Willis all took home ribbons in the sprint events. Horn scored in the 400m dash while Honeycutt and Willis pointed in the 200m sprint.
Mansfield will host a seventh grade ribbon run when schools return from spring break on Monday, March 27. Field events will begin at 4:00 PM and running to follow at 5:30 PM.