Pictured above, Senior Eden Jones of Mansfield takes this selfie with teammates Audrey Walker and Lennon Woods as they leave for dinner after day one of the state heptathlon.
Mansfield’s senior girls track wrapped up the official sports schedule for the high school with the running of the 20th annual state heptathlon.
Hosted by Cabot HS on May 17 and 18, the large scale specialty event pitted some of the best female athletes from across the state in a two day track competition. Charged with completing a variety of events, the top players from class 1A to 7A took on the challenge of the throws, sprints, hurdles, jumps, and distance race to find the top track athlete in 2017.
Mansfield’s Eden Jones and Audrey Walker represented the Tigers. It was Jones’s third trip to the state heptathlon. It was Walker’s second attempt.
Both gave a good account of themselves and represented the school in a positive way. Neither were in contention for the coveted top prize. However, they did score strong points in their familiar events and finished ahead of many in the field.
Jones inched her way towards the 3,000 point mark. The recently graduated senior accumulated 2,895 points and finished 37th among the large cast of players in attendance.
Walker was slightly ahead of her Tiger teammate after day one but fell in the rankings after an unknown foul was called in the shot put on day two. Because of that zero event, the new graduate dropped to 58th place with 2,302 points.
Walker had amassed 1,520 points on the first day’s four event schedule. A season best 14-6 in the long jump pushed her production. An 18.83 second run over the 100m hurdles and a 29.28 crossing in the 200m dash also gave her solid marks. The discus was not Walker’s forte but she did score to wrap up day one’s total.
The shot put was not Walker’s friend either on the final day of competition. However, the sprint oriented player did well in the high jump and the 800m run to get another 800 points to finish her Tiger career.
Jones stayed with Walker’s pace on the first day gaining 1,505 points over the first four events. A 14-7 long jump, 19.28 second 100m hurdles, and a 29.19 second 200m dash were her best tallies. Similar to her teammate’s toss, the discus provided Jones with little production.
Day two saw Jones rally in the competition as her best events were on the schedule. A high jumper and 800m runner through her entire career, the All-State player saw large dividends in those two areas. The shot put was another nemesis that offered little to her total score.
Arkansas State signee and the class 3A state champion in the 100m hurdles, Allie Hensley, won the heptathlon with 4,393 points. Sydney Lane, the class 3A state high jump champion and ASU recruit, was second with 3,908 points.
“It just goes to show that class 3A girls are among the best in the state,” commented Mansfield coach John Mackey. “Our sized state talent was as good as it has been in years. When you see three class 3A girls in the top ten, you know that we saw some of the best this season.”
Mansfield freshman and All-District athlete Lennon Woods traveled with the group to Cabot. Since each school is mandated to bring a worker and since Woods is to young to enter the heptathlon, Mackey used the Tiger cub to help him runoff over three hours of high jump competition.