The junior girls cross country team at Mansfield is young. So young in fact that only seventh and eighth graders traveled with the team on its trip to Magazine on Thursday, September 14. However, being young didn’t stop the Tiger cubs from winning their division of the annual 1.5 mile race.
Behind plaque obtaining performances by Faith Rainwater, Olivia Bouse, and Jadelyn Wood; Mansfield took home the first place team plaque. Split into divisions after the overall medals were distributed, Mansfield bested Greenland for the team title.
Rainwater ran her best race so far in the early season. The eighth grader kicked it into another gear down the stretch to led the Tiger qualifiers. Her 10:33 time was the tenth fastest finish among over one hundred runners.
The performance by Rainwater gave her a top-ten medal as well as the third place plaque in her division.
Bouse, a Mansfield seventh grader, finished one second behind her older teammate. After closing fast into what seemed the medal margin, Bouse was barely edged by her own teammate just before the line.
Bouse was the eleventh fastest runner overall with a time of 10:34. That measurement did however push her into fourth place among divisional plaque winners.
Wood, another Lady Tiger seventh grader, climbed the ranks of the Mansfield qualifiers to finish third best on the team. A week ago the rookie runner was the team’s number five scorer at the Fort Smith Invitational.
Completing the half-mile shorter course at Magazine, Wood ran the race in 10:52. The mark was 17th overall. To the surprise of the excited runner, it was seventh best among the 3A-4A participants for a plaque earning reward.
Rounding out Mansfield’s top five finishers were McKenzie Griffin and Harleigh Mars. Completing the course and serving as displacers for the Tigers were Lita Hecox, Shasta Christopher, and Bethany Sartin.
Among the Mansfield junior boys, Ethan Chapman was again the top Tiger. For the second week in a row, Chapman finished among the overall medal winners.
At the Magazine Rattler Run, Chapman blazed the 1.5 mile course in 8 minutes and 21 seconds. The mark was the tenth fastest time among nearly 130 runners. It was also the third best mark in the 3A-4A division.
Overall, Mansfield’s boys dropped off the pace a bit from last week’s Ft. Smith run. Two of the Tiger’s faster players were obligated to the football contest going on at the same time.
Mansfield’s top five runners at Magazine were Chapman, Tyler Escalante, Levi Escalante, Darryl Little, and Ashton Hinkle. Tommy Phang was the lone displacer off the Tiger team.
Tyler Escalante ran 9:20 for 33rd place. Levi Escalante went 9:21 for 34th. Added to Chapman’s 8:21, the list of top three Tiger runners included all eighth graders.