Lady Panthers finish top 10 at state indoor track meet; Panthers compete

February 28, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

FAYETTEVILLE — Competing at less than full strength didn’t keep the Heber Springs Lady Panthers from finishing among the top 10 at the Class 4A indoor track and field meet.

The Lady Panthers were third in two relays, placed in five other events and captured seventh place at Randal Tyson Track Center Friday.

Three Heber Springs athletes were sidelined by injuries, while a fourth athlete missed the competition because of the flu.

“I’m pleased with the effort,” Heber Springs first-year coach Hunter Davis said. “We showed that we can still compete for a state championship without all of our athletes available.”

The 4×400- and 4×800-meter relay teams each finished third. McKenzie Bacerra, Vallie Cantrell, Samantha Gilley and Jillian Herring had a time of 4:44.66 in the 4×400 relay. Sydney Buffalo, Taylor Hammons, Cantrell, and Bacerra had a time of 11:13.30 in the 4×800 relay.

“The relay teams performed well and give us optimism for the season,” Davis said. “Jillian just came from basketball and stepped in and ran well. We had to piece our relays together. I expected our relays to do a little better, but it was a learning experience. We will do better during the outdoor season.”

Freshman Jaylea Hooten finished fifth in the high jump (4-10) and sixth in the 60-meter hurdles (10.90).

Cantrell was fourth in the 3200-meter run (13:45.95) and ninth in the high jump (4-4).

Buffalo captured seventh in the 1600-meter run (6:32.35) and eighth in the 3200-meter run (14:24.78).

Hammons finished sixth in the 1600-meter run (6:23.28).

In the 800-meter run, Becerra was seventh (2:53.44) and Sophie Lawrence claimed eighth (2:51.95).

HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS RESULTS
4A-4 STATE INDOOR MEET
at Fayetteville
60-meter dash: 13. Natalie Buffalo, 8.72; 18. Jillian Herring, 9.37.
200-meter dash: 13. Natalie Buffalo, 29.57; 17. Jillian Herring, 31.97.
400-meter dash: 11. Katherine Rojas, 1:08.03; 14. Ellie Riddle, 1:09.49.
800-meter run: 7. McKenzie Becerra, 2:51.44; 9. Sophie Lawrence, 2:51.95.
1600-meter run: 6. Taylor Hammons, 6:23.28; 7. Sydney Buffalo, 6:32.35.
3200-meter run: 4. Vallie Cantrell, 13:45.95; 8. Sydney Buffalo, 14:24.78.
60-meter hurdles: 6. Jaylea Hooten, 10.90; 11. Samantha Gilley, 11.45.
4x400-meter relay: 3. Heber Springs (McKenize Bacerra, Vallie Cantrell, Samantha Gilley, Jillian Herring), 4:44.66.
4x800-meter relay: 3. Heber Springs (Sydney Buffalo, Vallie Cantrell, Taylor Hammons, McKenzie Bacerra), 11:13.30.
High jump: 5. Jaylea Hooten, 4-10; 9. Vallie Cantrell, 4-4.
Long jump: 14. Natalie Buffalo, 14-0.
Triple jump: 12. Katherine Rojas, 28-4.
Shot put: 15. Brooklyn Barnes, 24-8.5; 17. Autumn Stewart, 13-5.5. 

SENIOR BOYS
The Heber Springs Panthers placed one athlete and two relay teams among the top 10 at the Class 4A Indoor track and field meet Friday.

Dalton McCollum finished seventh in the 400-meter dash with a time of 55.44.

McCollum, Dalton Scoggins, Brad Baker and Nathan Poff captured sixth place in the 4×800-meter relay with a time of 9:23.10.

Colt Allen, Landon Leisenring, Luke Greenwald and Morgan Saltman were ninth in the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 4:02.45.

“They gave their best and performed well for the first meet,” Heber Springs coach Dale Cresswell said. “We got good performance from McCollum and Dalton Scoggins in the 400-meter dash. I believe they will do better as the season goes. The relay teams also ran well. I believe they can get under four minutes soon and 3:45 by the conference meet.”

Heber Springs will compete at the Searcy Relays on March 12 at Lion Stadium.

HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR BOYS RESULTS
4A-4 STATE INDOOR MEET
at Fayetteville 
60-meter dash: 22. Landon Johnson, 7.82; 27. Jacob Smith, 8.16.
200-meter dash: 18. Landon Johnson, 25.06; 26. Alex Roy, 26.56.
400-meter dash: 7. Dalton McCollum, 55.44; 13. Dalton Scoggins, 57.18.
800-meter run: 11. Parker Hill, 2:15.82; 15. Brad Baker, 2:21.67.k
1600-meter run: 11. Nathan Poff, 5:11.44; 22. Brad Baker, 5:24.45.
3200-meter run: 13. Mason Harris, 12:17.30; 14. Reagan Buell, 12:43.22.
60-meter hurdles: 13. Scott Shatterly, 10.69; 18. Trent Nantz, 11.64.
4x400-meter relay: 9. Heber Springs (Colt Allen, Landon Leisenring, Luke Greenwald, Morgan Saltman), 4:02.45.
4x800-meter relay: 6. Heber Springs (Dalton McCollum, Dalton Scoggins, Brad Baker, Nathan Poff), 9:23.10.
High jump: 11. Bent McClain, 5-2.
Long jump: 17. Payton Fry, 15-10; 20. Evan Burgess, 14-2.
Triple jump: 13. Brad Baker, 34-7.5; 18. Trent Nantz, 33-5.24.
Shot put: 17. Landon Johnson, 29-11; 18. Brandon Tate, 29-1.  


Goldman added to Panther Den of Honor

Former Heber Springs coach Johnette Goldman with her plaque presented to her after being inducted into the Panther Den of Honor on Friday. PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELLE McCARTY

February 28, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Johnette Goldman arrived on the Heber Springs High School campus 39 years ago with little fanfare.

But it was a different atmosphere at the Panther Den Friday when Goldman was inducted into the Panther Den of Honor on Friday.

Goldman, who coached girls’ basketball, cross country and track and field, led the Lady Panthers to nine state championships and state runner-up 14 times in cross country and track and field.

Heber Springs won 32 conference championships during Goldman’s tenure. She retired at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

“I appreciate the Panther Den of Honor award and induction,” Goldman said. “I appreciate Heber Springs giving me 39 years of great memories. I appreciate (the late and retired superintendent) Dr. (John) Vandiver and (retired athletic director) coach (Dennis) DeBusk for hiring two gals (Goldman and former girls’ basketball coach Joni Hamby in 1980).”

Head boys’ track and field coach Dale Cresswell was a freshman when she arrived. She didn’t coach the boys’ athletes at that time, but left an influence on Cresswell.

“I always looked up to her and proud that she is going into the Den of Honor,” Cresswell said. “When competing as an athlete here, I noticed what her team did and learned from it. I respected her for everything she did.”

Goldman said all of the success was not just her, but others who helped to make it happen.

“It was all of the athletes,” Goldman said. “They made the difference. Jade asked me to marry him in 1985, and he always supported me. He stayed in the background for a long time. Coach (Harold) Wilson was father of the track program of Heber Springs and taught me everything. He made a difference in students’ lives, just like coach Cresswell does today.”

Goldman’s list of accomplishments is long. She, along with Wilson and Cresswell, are members of the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame.

“All of the people made Heber a great place,” Goldman said. “I’ve been blessed with athletes who would do the extra. I remember Susie Storm was one of the best in the two-mile and she sacrificed one year for the team. She was willing to help in another event for us to get a higher state ranking. Susie finished second, but she went on and competed at the Air Force Academy and protected our nation for 20 years.”

Goldman was more than a coach. She received the 2014 Distinguished Citizens Award from the Arkansas House of Representatives.

“When you talk about Johnette, she is a legend of track in Heber Springs,” Cresswell always tries to the best for the kids, not only on the track, but in the real world.”

With all of the athletic accomplishments, she remembers the team when preparing for the classroom. Goldman was a mathematics teacher.

“Christy Thomas and I first became buddies in college,” Goldman said. “We were been buddies in math for a long time. We spent many nights doing lesson plans. She kept me going many times.”

Heber Springs cross country teams claim top 10 finishes in 4A

2019 Heber Springs Girls Cross Country Team
The 2019 Heber Springs Girls Cross Country Team. Pictured, front, from left, Allison Wildman, Katia Rubio, Waverlee Decker, Sydney Buffalo, McKenzie Becerra, and Natalie Buffalo. Back, from left, Taylor Hammons, Maddie Vowels, Sophie Lawrence, Maygan Jarvis, Ellie Riddle and Vallie Cantrell.

November 21, 2019

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs High School cross country teams capped a successful season by finishing among the top 10 at the Class 4A state meet in Hot Springs and two runners named to the all-state team.

The Lady Panthers, who were ranked third going into the state meet, finished third, with Sydney Buffalo selected to the all-state team. The Panthers, who were ranked 10th, claimed eighth place, with Nathan Poff named to the all-state team.

Poff finished 13th in the boys’ race, while Buffalo was 17th in the girls’ race.

“Our top five boys’ runners set personal bests,” Heber Springs head coach Dale Cresswell said. “The girls ran well. All I want every meet is for each runner go out and do their best.”

For the girls, Vallie Cantrell and McKenzie Becerra finished among the top 50 at 24th and 34th places, respectively. Taylor Hammons (52nd), Maygan Jarvis (54th), Sophie Lawrence (69th), Allison Wildman (89th) and Waverlee Decker (92nd) were in the top 100. Katherine Rojas was 120th.

Four boys’ runners finished among the top 100 — Parker Hill (57th), Gabe Tate (67th), Mason Harris (80th) and Brad Baker (90th). Reagan Buell (128th), Dalton Scoggins (168th), Scott Shatterly (168th) and Evan Burgess (192nd) also competed.

“Our standards at Heber Springs are always high,” Cresswell said. “We have a lot of good young runners, like Harris and Hill. Hill missed most of the season because of an illness. He ran at the conference meet and one of the reasons the team moved up two spots at the state meet.”

The future looks bright for both programs.

“We have a lot of good young runners coming up,” Cresswell said. “We have runners that will come up from the junior high team who can help us next year. Both teams worked hard all season. They will never hear any complaints from me when they work hard and do their best.”

Cresswell hopes momentum will carry over into the spring for track and field.

“All of them will be on the track team, but not just as distance runners,” he said. “We expect a few football players to compete. I expect us to have a successful track season. “

Smith, Nelvis to compete at Europe vs. USA dual meet

September 2, 2019

By ASU SPORTS INFORMATION

INDIANAPOLIS – After strong showings at the USATF Outdoor Championships in July, a pair of former Arkansas State All-Americans have earned another distinguished honor.

Caitland Smith and Sharika Nelvis will represent Team USATF at the historic The Match Europe vs. USA, held Sept. 9-10 at the Dinamo National Olympic Stadium in Minsk, Belarus.

Marking a return to the famous intercontinental duals of the 1960s and 1970s, the best of Europe’s athletes will face Team USATF in the last major athletics competition before this year’s IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Smith and Nelvis are part of a delegation of 139 elite athletes that includes 28 Olympians, eight Olympic medalists and 11 world championship medalists. Other notable selections include nine-time Olympic medalist and 16-time World Championship medalist Allyson Felix, Olympic gold and silver medalist and four-time World Champion Brittney Reese as well as Rio gold medalist Michelle Carter.

The two-day meet with 37 events will be broadcast live, Sept. 9-10 on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT.

Smith most recently finished eighth in the women’s 100m at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, while Nelvis placed fourth in the 100m hurdles.

A full list of selections can be found here.

Little Rock finishes 7th at Memphis meet

August 31, 2019

By LITTLE ROCK SPORTS INFORMATION

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Little Rock Director of Track & Field/Cross Country J.P. Behnke set out to bring in a strong recruiting class. That new talent was on display at the season-opening Memphis Twiglight Classic with underclassmen posting top three men’s finishes and two fo the top three women’s finishes.

In all, the Trojan men finished seventh with all five scorers posting top-50 marks while the women placed ninth.

Sophomore Carter Reynolds paced the men with an 18th place finish, running the four-mile race in 21:07.45, while freshman Colby Swecker’s time of 21:24.22 placed him 25th. Sophomore Ricardo Banks ran 21:36.02 to finish 35th as three underclassmen led the Trojan men.

Junior Jarred O’Conner posted a time of 21:54.24 to finish 43rd while senior Emilio Medina ran 22:07.88 to round out the scoring five for Little Rock and bringing an upperclassmen presence to the top five.

On the women’s side, junior Vianney Sanchez posted a 5k time of 19:48.14 to place 52nd and lead the women before two freshmen made their mark. Rookie Ariana Garcia ran 19:57.55 to finish 58th and she was closely followed by Jordan Edwards’ time of 19:57.79 for a 59th place finish.

Senior Hunter Paul finished 72nd with a time of 20:29.79 and freshman Amanda Gordon rounded out the scoring five with a mark of 21:29.79, placing 88th.

Little Rock will head up the road to Conway for the UCA Cross Country Challenge on Saturday, Sept. 7.

No. 8 Arkansas wins Hurricane Invitational

 Pos.ArkansasTime
1Abby Gray12:46
2Isabel Van Camp12:58
3Quinn Owen13:00
8Adoette Vaughn13:02
14Greta Taylor13:31
 Pos.Team ResultsScore
1Arkansas28
2Tulsa46
3Oklahoma69
4Oklahoma State81

August 31, 2019

By ARKANSAS SPORTS INFORMATION

TULSA, Okla. – The No. 8 Razorback women’s cross country team wrapped up the first meet of the season claiming the team title with a score of 28-points, paced by individual champion Abby Gray, Saturday morning at the Hurricane Invitational hosted at Mowhawk Sports Complex.

“I was super excited to see them get out there and compete today,” said head coach Lance Harter.

“We had a lot of new faces, but the one veteran that reappeared was Abby Gray. Today’s meet was a great breakthrough for her to be able to take command of a race midway through the meet, and being able to capitalize on a win and hopefully that gives her confirmation of how much she worked this summer to get back to her old form and the payoff started today and hopefully it’ll continue in the weeks to come.”

Abby Gray had a breakthrough performance, leading the Razorbacks with a first-place finish needing only 12 minutes, 46 seconds to complete the two-mile course in Tulsa.

“Isabel Van Camp, Quinn Owen, and Adoette Vaughn were three freshmen who made their debuts in uniform and had very positve efforts on the course.  The whole theme of the race was to just be competitive. I didn’t care about time or place really, I just wanted them to go out and be competitive,” Harter continued.

“Overall I’m very pleased with our performance today. We’ll go back to work for a few weeks and rejoin their teammates and hopefully, everyone rises to the occasion for our next meet on Sept. 21.” Harter finished.

Following Gray, were the aforementioned Van Camp (12:58) and Owen (13:00) who finished second and third, respectively. Rounding out the scoring for the Razorbacks were Vaughn (13:02) and Greta Taylor (13:31) in eighth and 14th-place.

Next up for the Razorbacks will be a split trip to the site of the 2019 NCAA Championships, The LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, for the John McNichols Invite on Sat, Sept. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind. and the Missouri Southern Stampede in Joplin, Mo.

For more information on Arkansas Cross Country including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.

No. 20 Razorbacks finish second in Tulsa

 Pos.ArkansasTime
5Myles Richter20:26
9Carter Persyn20:34
10Josh Shearer20:35
13Jayce Turner20:45
15Graham Brown21:00
 Pos.Team ResultsScore
1Oklahoma State36
2Arkansas52
3Tulsa56
4Oklahoma67

August 31, 2019

By ARKANSAS SPORTS INFORMATION

TULSA, Okla. – The No. 20 Razorback men’s cross country team wrapped up the first meet of the season taking second-place with a score of 52-points, paced by Myles Richter, Saturday morning at the Hurricane Invitational hosted at Mowhawk Sports Complex.

“The whole idea is to kick off the rust from the summer training and start thinking out racing and we accomplished that goal today,” said head coach Chris Bucknam.

Myles Richter had a fantastic run in his Razorback debut, leading the Razorbacks with a fifth-place finish needing only 20 minutes, 26 seconds to complete the four-mile course in Tulsa.

“I thought our kids did a good job of competing. I’m pleased with Graham Brown and Carter Persyn,” said Bucknam.

“This was Graham’s first race since the NCAA Championships last season, he’s been battling an injury, missing the indoor and outdoor seasons. He was our No. 5 last year and was a regional performer for us. So it’s great to see him back and healthy. Carter Persyn is another guy who was hurt most of last year and he’s healthy, and I’m just pleased to see both of those kids back in action and in the mix and healthy. Myles Richter did a fine job and so did Josh Shearer. Now we go to work and get ready for Boston” Bucknam finished.

Following Richter, were the aforementioned Persyn (20:34) and Richter (20:35) who finished ninth and 10th, respectively. Rounding out the scoring for the Razorbacks were Turner (20:45) and Brown Taylor (21:00) in 13th and 14th-place.

Next up for the Razorbacks will be a trip to the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown on Sept. 20 in Boston, Mass.

For more information on Arkansas Cross Country including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.

Williams Baptist repeats at Lyon College

News Photo
WIlliams Baptist University Sports Information

August 30, 2019

By WILLIAMS BAPTIST SPORTS INFORMATION

BATESVILLE – A year ago the Williams Baptist University men’s cross country team won a meet for the first time in school history. Today, the Eagles repeated that feat at the same course and race. WBU won the Lyon Invitational, hosted by Lyon College in Batesville.

The team won with 36 points. They finished one point ahead of Lyon (37) and 13 points ahead of Crowley’s Ridge College (49). It was head coach Tim Shepard‘s first race as the head Eagle.

“Today was only a 5km race, but I think my guys have gained some confidence. They showed their competitive nature. We are not where we want to be just yet, but if we build on this we can surprise some people,” said Shepard.

The Eagles took home the individual places of fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth. Lucas Goodrich (SO/Dexter, Mo.) led the way with a 5km time of 19:10, followed by Ruben Whitney (FR/Fayetteville) and Jack Wafler (SR/Memphis, Tenn.). Whitney finished in fifth with a time of 19:25, while Wafler ran the race in 20:04, good enough for sixth place. Joey Colvert (SR/Bryant)’s time of 21:10 placed him in ninth place for the race.

Karlis Smith (FR/West Memphis) was the fifth finisher for Williams after coming in 12th place with a time of 22:20. Meanwhile, Isaiah Cook (FR/Hoxie) finished in 14th place with a time of 23:44.

This was the first time Whitney, Smith and Cook represented WBU at the collegiate level.

Williams Baptist wins in Batesville

News Photo
Photo by Williams Baptist University SID

August 30, 3019

By WILLIAMS BAPTIST SPORTS INFORMATION

BATESVILLE – The Williams Baptist University women’s cross country team opened its season in style, coming in first place at the 2019 Lyon College Invitational. The 5km race was the opening meet of the season and was hosted by Lyon in Batesville.

The team placed six runners in the race, including five of the top 10. Emily Weiss (FR/Gosnell) led the team with a time of 24:40. She finished in third place overall. It was her first collegiate race. The team finished with 18 points, 21 points ahead of second place Crowley’s Ridge College.

“We are not where we want to be yet, but I have high expectations for these ladies. I have some newcomers with some grit and some returners that know how to lead. It is just the first meet, but my goal is for them to build on this for the rest of the season,” said Head Coach Tim Shepard.

Kyla Downes (JR/Cleveland, Tenn.) finished fourth overall with a time of  25:42. In seventh place overall and third on the team was Kelcey Cooper (JR/Yoakum, Texas) with a time of 27:52. Meanwhile, Ka’lee Daniel (FR/Mountain Home) ran the race in 28:03, good enough for ninth place overall.

Following them was Rachel McKuin (SO/Blytheville) in 10th place and Amy McMorris (FR/Atoka, Okla.) in 13th place. McKuin ran the race in 28:59 and McMorris in 29:32.