In their first two outings, the Mansfield junior girls track team was in position for a top two finish. Despite solid finishes for much of the meets, it was the speed of the other contenders that passed the Lady Tigers in the end.
The hurdles have been kind to the Tigers. Danielle Lillie and Harleigh Mars have used the barrier races to give Mansfield a lift. Such was the case as Mansfield used the 100m highs and the 300m intermediates to climb to as high as second at the Paris Eagles Invitational on March 13. By the end however, that ultimate speed from the likes of Two Rivers, Paris, and Waldron dropped the Tigers to fifth in the final team rankings.
Lillie won the 100m hurdles at the Paris home meet. She followed that with a second place ribbon in the 300m hurdles. Mars, just a seventh grader, was nipping at her teammates heels for a strong fourth place finish in the longer barrier race. Together the pair pushed the Tigers forward with a 23 point burst in just those two races.
Ultimately, the collective yield of the junior squad was not enough. The visiting Tigers finished fifth overall like they did at Booneville a week earlier.
Lillie was Mansfield’s main weaponry. The versatile athlete produced in the long jump, 100m dash, triple jump, and sprint relay to go along with her hurdle skills. The eighth grader was second in the long jump at 14’ 5”. She was third in the 100m sprint at 15.02 seconds.
At the triple jump pit, Lillie bounded for a 28’ 7” marker good for sixth place. Then, she anchored the third place 4x100m sprint team at 1:00.23.
Mansfield’s other relay teams went seventh and fifth. The 4x800m team consisting of Mikayla Harrison, Delilah McKusker, McKenzie Griffin, and Lennon Woods were seventh. The 4x400m concluding relay team was fifth behind the combination of Harrison, Mars, Griffin, and McKusker.
Daniella Santander and Kiara Thomas squeaked over the opening height at the pole vault pit for a third place tie. The winter winds that blew in on that Monday night made progress in that vertical event near impossible.
Janna Coplin scored in the discus throw at 63’ 9”. Hailey Walker equaled a personal record of 4’ 6” in the high jump for another Tiger score.
Walker took a fourth place mark in the 200m dash. Lennon Woods went 6:18 for a fifth place 1600m run.
Seventh grader Haylee Helms placed in the top eight at the 800m run to round out the Tiger scoring.
Mansfield’s junior girls will host their own invitational on Thursday, March 30. The team expects a large amount of entries as local programs return from spring break.