Mansfield High School’s distance team took little time off as they completed their home meet on a Saturday and returned to action the following Tuesday at Magazine. Having representatives in all four divisions, the Tigers made some noise among the 17 assorted schools in attendance.
As she as done most of the season, Mansfield’s Megan Rose took home another medal as one of the top local runners. The junior distance specialist attacked the mild course layout in 22:18. It was her best time of the season around a 5K course.
“She battles every week,” said Mansfield Coach John Mackey of his star pupil Rose. “The younger athletes really look to her as a role model in the running game. It’s a blessing having a talented player such as her.”
Rose crossed the 5K finish line in seventh place among the senior girls’ division. Andrea Balbuena of Western Yell County led all 50 runners with the best measure of the day with a 20:32 clocking. Acorn’s Faith Hill (21:07) and foreign exchange student Betka Dostolova (21:07) who attends Scranton completed the top three.
Devon Pyles, off the Mansfield men’s team, crossed in a solid time at 20:59. That however was well off the winning margin established by Mena native Clint Buck who destroyed the field with a 17:03.
Pyles labored a bit over the Magazine landscape to fall back at 38th position. Teammate Luis Tomita (21:29) closed fast to his in-school rival for 41st place among 81 total men runners.
Junior high runner Brandon Carver was also 41st place for the Tigers in his younger division race. The seventh grader went 9:31 for the mile and one-half course against 129 participants.
Teammate Steven Perez was only three seconds back of Carver. His place was good for 44th overall.
Lennon Woods off the junior Lady Tiger squad faired well among 100 participants. The freshman front runner scored the 22nd position with a mark of 10:40.
“Lennon is still a rookie at the long distance races,” commented Mackey. “She joined cross country this fall after a solid track season last spring. She has missed a few meets with family obligations so this was only her third meet of her career.”
McKenzie Griffin and Delilah McKusker were Mansfield next best junior girls. Each finished near the top 50%. Griffin was 50th place exactly with a measure of 11:35. McKusker was 53rd with a time of 11:38.
Others competing for the Lady Tiger’s were Skyla Honeycutt off the junior girls squad and Alyssa Berry, Corrina Wesley, and Bree George from the senior team.
Berry was a solid number 20 among the 50 players in the older girl group. Her mark of 25:53 bettered her home meet time by nearly two minutes. Wesley completed the long race under 30 minutes for the first time this season.
For the junior boys, Mansfield also competed with Tyler Escalante, Riley Sadoski, Levi Escalante, and Dru Buckner.