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November 17, 2017
El Dorado News Times
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State cross country meet both sweet and sour for PC

This article was originally published November 5, 2017 at 5:00 a.m. Updated November 4, 2017 at 11:21 p.m.

HOT SPRINGS - Freshman Ali Looney, of Parkers Chapel, finished seventh Friday in the Arkansas High School 1A/2A Girls Cross Country Championships in Hot Springs. Looney's sophomore teammate, Jana Avery, was unable to cross the finish line due to a physical ailment.

"I’m extremely proud of all of my runners’ efforts at the state meet," said Parkers Chapel coach Justin Welch. "Ali Looney placed seventh overall as a freshman, which is an incredible feat for her. She’s been training and working so hard so I’m glad that it paid off for her. She has such a bright future in this sport for years to come."

Looney finished in a time of 22:46.2 and earned All-State honors.

The Lady Trojans' Kenlee McAuliffe was 48th with a time of 27:14.2 followed by Savanna Slaughter (29:53.8), Drue Thomas (30:26.2), Halley Evers (32.40.8) and Hannah Barbaree (36:04).

Avery had been the leading runner for Parkers Chapel all year so it was a disappointing end to her season.

"Jana Avery unfortunately had a medical issue towards the end of the race which kept her from getting to that finish line," said Welch. "At the time she was in the eighth position and only had about two-tenths of a mile left of the course. There was no doubt that she would have had a top 10 finish. When she was unable to run or walk due to over-exertion she tried her best to crawl to that finish line but eventually her muscles just wouldn’t move any further. The officials had to make the call to DQ her.

"It was such a whirlwind of emotions to me because on one hand, there's this athlete that is just absolutely refusing to give up and I wanted her so bad to be able to finish because she had been training so hard for this all season. Then on the other hand I was concerned for her overall health and safety. The fight inside of her was so amazing to me. She refused to give up. Unfortunately, according to the AAA, she didn’t qualify to be an all-stater but in my book, she’s way more than that. She possesses a true competitor’s spirit."

Parkers Chapel's boys were led by Carter Jones, who finished 34th with a time of 19:40.4. Preston Stivender (20:41.6), Michael Brotherton (21:08.7), Korbin McAuliffe (22:06), T.K. Killingsworth (23:09.2), Dawson Goodwin (23:30.2), Thomas Hardy (23:40.2) and Brendan Winchester (24:07.7) rounded out the Trojans.

In Class 3A, Junction City's Ty Disotell finished 77th with a time of 21:37.40. He was followed by Scott Wallace (21:38.30), Kelley Graves (23:56.00), Chase Jerry (24:01.10) and Braedon Farrar (24:31.90).

Smackover was led by Alex Burris (22:32.00) and William Newton (26:29.80).

In 3A girls, Junction City's Hannah Margis ran a time of 27:37.50.

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