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MAUMELLE CROSS COUNTRY | State Champs; Hornets run to title

The Maumelle cross country team.
The Maumelle cross country team.

From the very beginning of the season in Maumelle’s inaugural season as a cross country team, Coach Nick Taylor said the Hornets were going to compete for the boys’ 4A state championship. During the whole season, he also knew defending champion Heber Springs would be the team to stand in the Falcons’ way. But Taylor had a plan, and last Saturday, it paid off.

The Hornets pushed themselves in the last mile and won the state title by three points (42-45) over Heber Springs. In the infield at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs was the first time they had defeated the defending champs all year.

“It was very exciting especially the last half mile,” Taylor said. “I gave the guys a plan and they learned to trust me. I told them how I wanted the first kilometer pace and wanted us to be in a position after two miles.”

While some teams start off very fast in the first kilometer, that was not Taylor’s plan. He wanted a particular pace and for the guys to start moving up at the two-mile mark. He knew the Hornets were a little behind Heber Springs around the two-mile mark. After two miles, the two teams were tied, and that is when Taylor gave his team commands.

“After I found out we were tied, I ran across the field,” Taylor said. “I told the guys to start passing runners, and that was all in the last mile.”

Cody Motes and Zach Williams passed two people with Motes’ surging in the last 100 yards. Adam Hoy passed two guys in the last half mile.

“We had a clutch performance because all year they beat us,” Taylor said. “I’m so proud they put it together when it counted.”

By finishing in the top 10 percent, Hoy, Williams, Hayden Anderson and Sean Adams earned all-state honors with Motes missing it by one place. Following are the finishes for the boys:

5th - Adam Hoy 17:21

8th - Hayden Anderson 17:48

9th - Sean Adams 17:49

13th - Zach Williams 18:05

14th - Cody Motes 18:06

22nd - Darrius Thomas 18:41

23rd - Bret Sherkenbach 18:48

41st - Xzavier Pettus 19:50

71st - Stephen Edwards 20:51

The girls started with six runners but two didn’t finish the race because of various pains. With four runners when five are needed, Maumelle couldn’t compete in the team competition. Caroline Sweet finished 11th in a time of 21:33 and missed the top 10 percent by one second. Jordan Marshall (22:53) was 26th, Akeia Joyner (23:15) was 30th and Kayla Gamble (24:35) was 50th.

The boys’ race was won in 16:14 by Cody Fox from Dewitt, and the girls race was won by Monticello’s Sarah Claycomb in19:37.

Boys team Results:

1. Maumelle 42

2. Heber Springs 45

3. Berryville 76

4. Valley View 178

5. Waldron 181

6. Pea Ridge 186

7. Dardanelle 205

8. Gentry 206

9. CAC 247

10. Prairie Grove 292

11. Subiaco 294

12. Ozark 309

13. Southside, Batesville 338

14. Pottsville 366

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