Both the Mansfield junior high long distance teams showed positive results at the first race of the season at Ben Geren Park in Fort Smith on September 9. Not quite reaching trophy status, the pair of teams did take third place for both the girls and boys races.
The Tiger junior boys were oh so close to a second place plaque. In fact that were not very far away from the top trophy either.
Mansfield’s young team of 3K runners totaled 74 points in the team standings among small school entries. Subiaco Academy lead the way with 60 points while Magazine barley edged out the Tigers for second place with 73 points.
First year runner, Ethan Chapman, surprised with a medal winning run around the approximate 2 mile course. The eighth grade player was steady throughout completing the two loop race in 12:48. That timing was good enough for 6th place among the class 1A-4A runners.
Mansfield’s top scoring boys were Chapman, Steven Perez, Dru Buckner, Levi Escalante, and Ashton Hinkle.
Tommy Phang and Darryl Little finished as displacers for the MJH team. In fact, it was Phang’s mid-level finish that broke a tie between Mansfield and Trinity who also tallied 74 points.
In the girls race, McKenzie Griffin was the Lady Tigers top finisher. The eight grader completed the same course as the boys in 15:33.9. She was one place away from a top ten medal.
Rookie runner Olivia Bouse showed her worth as she led the Tiger women for most of the race. Teammate Griffin passed the seventh grader in the final 500 meters to set the pair only seconds apart.
Harleigh Mars, Faith Rainwater, and Jadelyn Wood completed the Lady Tiger scoring five.
Lita Hecox, Shasta Christopher, and Bethany Sartin rounded out the junior girls roster for Mansfield at the Fort Smith race.
Waldron took the top spot in the small school division with a very experienced group of runners. The Lady Bulldogs totaled 22 points for the win.
Trinity landed in second place with 48 points while Mansfield closed in third with 72.