You might call them the new Tigers, but Mansfield’s seventh grade track athletes are growing up fast as the season draws to an end. With the experiences gained by at least five of the younger Tigers, Mansfield’s rookies managed a third place standing at the Greenwood Seventh Grade Relays on April 4.
Mansfield has been using McKenzie Griffin, Haylee Helms, Harleigh Mars, Sadie Roberts, and Kiara Thomas on both the seventh grade and junior high teams this season. Competing in as many as two meets per week the core quintuplet have accelerated their learning curve. Because of their shared experiences, the group has given both squads a foundation to build upon.
At Greenwood, the five helped the seventh grade team in it’s pursuit of high rewards. They laced up against host town Greenwood, and invited schools from Alma, Fort Smith Trinity, Van Buren Northridge, Van Buren Butterfield, and Greenwood East Hills.
Greenwood won the cozy competition with 151 total points. Northridge closed fast with 130 points to take second. Mansfield (85) took third with a strong battle against big school bruisers Butterfield (83.5) and Trinity (76) in hot pursuit.
Roberts was in the high point conversation once again as the field events specialist pointed at four venues. She was second in both the high jump and triple jump. She took fourth in the long jump, and ran a leg on the fourth place 4x100m relay team.
Mars was second in the 300m hurdles. Her time of 58.84 was just off the winner’s pace.
Mars was also a part of two scoring relays teams. As the third leg of the 4x400m relay, the strong willed competitor pulled the team into contention. Likewise, she also offered the 4x800m squad their best split as the third leg on that group as well.
Griffin anchored the second place 4x400m team. She and Mars ran nearly the same splits of 1:14 to pull the unit away from the pack to within mere steps of the win. The total four person time of 5:14.94 was second overall.
Griffin had the longest meter schedule of any Lady Tiger athlete at Greenwood. Along with anchoring the last 4x400m relay, she ran a 6:43.43 time in the 1600m race. She went 3:07.66 for a third place 800m. At the beginning of the night, Griffin anchored the 4x800m relay for a fifth place award.
Joining the relay gang was Helms. The versatile athlete began all three disciplines as the lead runner. Her efforts on the distance relay and the two sprint teams contributed to 17 points for the Tigers off the cooperative races.
Helms also pointed in the women’s pole vault with a 6’ 6” clearance. That second place mark equaled teammate Thomas’s measure but was evaluated higher because of total scratches. Thomas fell to fifth.
Thomas was involved in two of the three relays for Mansfield. She was the third runner in the 4x100m grouping and second around the track in the concluding 4x400m relay.
The Lady Tiger with the second most total yardage at Greenwood was Faith Rainwater. The diminutive runner took a turn on the 4x800m team, ran the 1600m, and 800m distance races.
Mansfield gained points as usual from Kelsey Holley at the discus ring. The first year track player threw 53’ 0” for the fifth place reward. She was supported in the throws by teammate Sarah Fisher. Fisher collected eighth place in the discus (46’ 1”) and a seventh place ribbon in the shot put (23’ 9”).
Skyla Honeycutt anchored the 4x100m relay. She also competed in two individual sprint events to give Mansfield added production.
Lexi Horn and Sarah Willis completed the Mansfield roster as the two competed in the 400m and 200m dashes respectively.