MAGNOLIA – Southern Arkansas University hosted the Lois Davis Invitational Saturday morning in Magnolia. El Dorado's varsity boys placed fourth in a high class meet, which was won by Lake Hamilton. Ruston was second followed by Parkway and the Wildcats, who finished ahead of Ouachita Christian, Genoa Central, D'Arbonne West, Magnolia, Choudrant, Junction City, Monticello and Parkers Chapel.
:All three of those are elite level cross country programs and this was a great chance to see where we stack up against teams like those,” El Dorado coach John Koonce said of the top three finishers. “We are certainly closing that gap, but we still have a little ways to go. I feel like all the boys competed well and they are still showing improvement. We did beat a team in Ouachita that beat us at the beginning of the year, so we were happy with that result.”
Jadon Cunningham finished 18th out of 113 runners with a time of 18:50. Hudson McDiarmid was 20th with a time of 19:04. Brooks Coan was 30th at 19:34, JD Halstead was 32nd at 19:50, Hayden McDiarmid 36th 20:08, Jaland Upshaw 38th 20:13, Carson Ricker 60th 21:44, Eloy Rodriguez 61st 21:44, Ruben Berrequin 64th 22:09, Collin Taylor 68th 22:22, Hunter Meeks 23:35, Braden Griffin 24:07, Shane Ward 24:28, Ian Hernandez 25:47 and Alan Villegas 27:09.
Junction City's Ty Disotell was 33rd with a time of 19:51.7. Other Dragons included Alex Graves 67th, Zac Brewer 71st, Trey Walker 86th and Chase Fennell 93rd.
Korbin McAuliffe finished 65th to lead Parkers Chapel. He was followed by Spencer Frisby 73rd, Thomas Hardy 77th and Wyatt New 102nd.
Smackover's Alex Burris finished 92nd.
In senior girls, Parkers Chapel's Jana Avery placed 15th with a time of 23:47.8. Ali Looney was 36th, Kenlee McAuliffe 53rd, Taylor Fortune 61st, Madison Sullivan 64th and Rebekah Hardy 65th.
Melanie Miller finished 29th to lead the Lady Wildcats. She was followed by Victoria Lewis 39th and Iankel Gonzalez 63rd.
“We pulled one runner before the race and one runner during the race,” Koonce said. “We were excited coming in because this was going to be our first race with everyone healthy and we would be able to compete as a team but things just didn't fall into place for us today in that regard. The girls have been working hard all year and things will come together before the year is over.”
El Dorado's junior high girls finished fourth behind Lake Hamilton, Genoa Central and Monticello. Addy Taylor led the Lady Wildcats, finishing 18th out of 135 runners with a 15:21. Alexa was 22nd in 15:41 followed by Hope Walthall 41st 16:44, Haven Margis 45th 16:52, Aubree Ezell 50th 17:13, Katelyn Hayden 17:55, Presley Givens 18:55, Adrianna Arnold 19:20, Sara May 19:31 and Henley McAdams 25:33.
“This was Addy Taylor's best race of the year by far,” said Koonce “She has always been a very strong runner but she is finally breaking through and finding another level and Alexa Dewey is right there behind her. I was very pleased with the junior girls performance today.”
Seventh graders Bella Frisby and Franzi Kahlert led PC, finishing 21st and 26th respectively. They were followed by Makenzie Morgan 32nd, Reaux McAuliffe 46th, Kallie Martin 51st, Zellie McNabb 82nd, Lexi Killingsworth 96th, Faye Whitaker 97th, Bo Keaster 105th, Alyssa Purifoy 113th, McKenzie Rainwater 125th and Emery New 128th.
Abby Williams finished 83rd to lead Junction City. She was followed by Serenity Brown 123rd, Kazarrie Gray 124th, Olivia Malone 132nd, Isabella Henry 134rd and Taliyah Hoof 135th.
Gretchen Goodwin finished 85th for Smackover followed by Autumn Howard 87th, Kaleigh Jerry 108th, Katie Benson 110th, Abby Brewer 112th, Brooklyn Johnston 114th, Autumn Parker 127th, Aniyah Jones 129th and Jada Lewis 133rd.
In junior high boys, El Dorado's Nic Harvey placed 40th followed by Austin Richard 42nd, Edwin Gonzalez 45th, Calvin Huang 46th, Jacob Neugebauer 66th and Lex Nash 92nd.
“This has been a huge building year for the junior boys but we are seeing progress each week with only one returning runner from last year,” said Koonce. “We are finally seeing these new guys break through and find another level.”
Parkers Chapel was led by Patrick Copes 58th followed by Clay Evers 63rd, Brody Goodwin 94th, Dalton Roden 95th and Will Hardy 98th.
Evan Phillips finished 87th for Smackover followed by Brennan Holland 106th and Hank Griffin 107th.