Saturday’s Warrior Invitational turned into a coming out party for Barton’s Clarabeth Black, who introduced herself to the junior high cross country scene. The seventh grader finished fourth in the Middle School girls’ division, running the 1.7 mile-course in a time of 11:59.23.
Parkers Chapel’s Bella Frisby finished fifth with a time of 12:05.92.
Vivian Still of Glenbrook School won the race in a time of 11:20.21 followed by Genoa Central’s Savannah Williams (11:34.91) and Glenbrook’s Emily Chanler (11:55.66).
Barton coach John Koonce praised Black for her debut race.
“She turned in an outstanding performance to finish fourth. For a 7th grade kid that is new to running to come out and finish fourth was very pleasing. Just like Jadon and Hayden in varsity boys, this was by far the best performance by a 7th grader since I've been here.”
Frisby, an eighth grader, led the Lady Trojans in the meet.
“We had a really good performance from Bella Frisby in the junior high girls’ event,” said Parkers Chapel coach Justin Welch. “I’m very proud of her effort. She has a lot of potential in this sport.”
Also for PC, Franzi Kahlert finished 21st followed by Reaux McAuliffe (26th), Zellie McNabb (46th), Ellye deYampert (96th) and Emery New (98th). Hannah Pridgen, Kaitlyn Clark and McKenzie Rainwater rounded out the Lady Trojans’ runners.
For Barton, Haven Margis finished 32nd followed by Carly Meadows (36th), Hadley Margis (39th), Madeline Kneeland (48th), Aubree Ezell (60th), Katelyn Hayden (76th), Kameron Cross (77th), Layla Webb (81st), Aubree Orr (82nd) and Hannah Gatson (103rd).
“We are very young with our junior high girls’ team, without a 9th grader on the team, so I didn't know exactly what to expect,” said Koonce. “But the kids really stepped up and laid it all out there today. I was very pleased with the rest of the girls as well. Haven Margis has had to take little time off this summer due to health so it was great to see her have the performance that she had today.”
Smackover’s junior girls were led by Emily Camacho (51st), Tatum Watson (61st), Kaleigh Jerry (66th), Abby Brewer (69th), Joleigh Saulsbury (73rd) and Savanna Green (93rd).
Barton’s boys were led by seventh grader Jay Cooper Reep, who finished 32nd. Cooper Conner finished 46th followed by Jacob Neugebauer (52nd), Sebastian Marquez (53rd), Jack Neely (58th), Nic Harvey (63rd), Hunter Nutt (65th), Lex Naash (70th), Ismael Gonzalez (72nd), Samuel Odom (90th), Eli Rodriguez (101st) and Michael Moore (120th).
“The junior high boys were lead by seventh grader Jay Cooper Reep. He is a competitor and he always goes all out. I was very pleased with his performance today,” said Koonce. “He was followed by fellow seventh grader Cooper Connor that stepped up and did a little better than I even expected. Jacob Neugebauer finished third and he is probably the most improved kid within the program. He has worked very hard and that work is paying off. Sebastian Marquez and Jack Neely rounded out the top five.
“Both junior high teams are very young. Even though those middle of the pack finishes aren't what we want right now, it actually has the makings of a bright future if the kids stick with it.”
Smackover’s boys were led by Evan Phillips (43rd), Zander Olds (66th), Brayden Snow (81st), Phillip Bailey (94th), Ethan Tarver (97th), Braxton Griffin (98th), Colin Maroney (102nd) and Gage Fowler (109th).
PC’s boys included Patrick Copes (71st), Dalton Roden (88th), Dyson Dougan (91st), Brody Goodwin (96th), Jordis Battisto (110nd), Eli McNabb (113th), Coleman Slaughter (114th), Cameron Garcia (117th) and Kaden Robertson (118th).
In varsity boys action, El Dorado finished second in the team standings, scoring 75 points to place behind Pleasant Grove’s 71.