GHS thinclads compete in two Crawford County meets ahead of McDonald Relays this week at Southside

GHS thinclads compete in two Crawford County meets ahead of McDonald Relays this week at Southside

The 2022 outdoor track and field season is nearing an end with only one regular season meet remaining this Thursday at Fort Smith Southside, the prestigious McDonald Relays. The Greenwood High School Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs will take part in the annual event at Southside’s Jim Rowland Stadium beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, Greenwood’s thinclads traveled across the Arkansas River twice in the last two weeks to compete at both Alma and Van Buren. The 5A West conference track and field meet will then be held at Siloam Springs on the 26th followed by the state meet on May 5th at Van Buren. Both Greenwood teams are led by Head Coach Brian Sims and his staff.

Alma Airedale Relays

On Thursday, April 7th, both GHS squads took the first of their two trips to Crawford County to participate in the Airedale Relays at Alma, one of 14 area schools to do so. The GHS girls had five athletes compete in three long distance running events, while the Greenwood boys had a dozen athletes compete in six track events and five field events. The Lady Bulldogs placed seventh overall among nine teams with 16 points and the Bulldogs finished sixth among 11 teams with 61 points.

On the girls’ side of things, Russellville (161), Fort Smith Southside (156), and Van Buren (128) were the only teams to score in triple digits. For the boys, it was Russellville (148½), Alma (107½), and Van Buren (102) leading the pack. The annual meet was held at Airedales Stadium.

For the GHS girls, junior Kaitlynne Elmore, sophomore Paige Andrews, and junior Ashley Koeth had the best finishes across three events. Elmore ran fourth in the 800-meter run (2:39.68), Andrews was fourth (5:52.26) in the 1600-meter run, and Koeth placed fourth (13:33.34) in the demanding 3200-meter event.

Sophomore Maddie Cash placed tenth (3:00.18) in the 800-meter run, Ashley Koeth was eighth (6:26.29) in the 1600-meter run, and senior Abi Coston ran 13th (7:06.65), also in the 1600-meter event.

For the Bulldogs, Shane Debar, Michael Hurt, Noah Embrey, and Lucas Wittig all competed in two running events each and garnered a pair of first place finishes, one second place finish, and one fifth place finish. Greenwood also picked up a pair of first place finishes in the field events along with two fourth place finishes.

Noah Embrey led the way for the Bulldogs with both first-place performances in two long distance track events, winning the 1600-meter run (4:30.26) and the 3200-meter event (9:47.33). The talented junior cross country runner blew away the competition in both races, winning the shorter event by 98 seconds and the longer race by nearly four minutes. He also ran fifth (2:10.07) for Greenwood in the 800-meter run, earning additional team points.

After Embrey, the next best finish for a Bulldog was turned in by sophomore L.J. Robins in the 400-meter dash. Also a basketball player and a top receiver for the GHS football team, Robins had a second-place time of 54.50 seconds. In the 100-meter dash, seniors Shane Debar placed 29th (13.44) and Hunter Kinser ran 30th (13.57).

Senior Michael Hurt joined teammate Shane Debar in the 200-meter dash with Hurt (27.53) coming in 15th and Debar placing 16th (27.71). Junior Lucas Wittig ran 17th in the 1600-meter run with a time of 6:08.37 and 12th in the 3200-meter run finishing the course in 13:39.99.

Shifting to the field events, the sophomores led the way. Greenwood’s Braxton Patterson earned fourth place points in the 110-meter hurdles. The tenth grader cleared the hurdles with a time of 19.61 seconds. Then Josh Allen placed first in the pole vault, soaring 12’3” over the bar and onto the mat below. And yet another sophomore, Landon Nelms, finished first in the high jump with a height of 5’8”. Finally, sophomore Kent Decoster placed fourth in the high jump, equaling his teammate’s performance at 5’8”. Two other competitors also achieved that height to finish second and third.

Lastly, underclassmen Hayden Webb and Ryan Franks both competed in the discus throw and shot put. A junior, Webb placed 10th in both events, throwing the discus 92’10” and the shot 34’8”. The sophomore Franks placed 15th in the discus with a toss of 71’4” and 18th in the shot at 28’11”.

Van Buren Pointer Relays

Last Thursday Greenwood’s track and field teams returned to Crawford County to compete in the annual Pointers Relays at Van Buren’s Blakemore Field. Thirteen boys teams and eleven girls teams took part in the meet with the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs finishing seventh (48 points) and eighth (29 points), respectively. Rogers High School and Russellville topped the boys’ leaderboard while the girls’ competition was dominated by Russellville, Fort Smith Southside, and Van Buren.

The Lady Bulldogs earned first place points in two events and one second place finish, accounting for most of their points. Missing at Alma, junior pole vaulter Taylor Hankins cleared the bar at 10’6” at Van Buren for first place. Kaitlynne Elmore was second in the 800-meter run (2:35.58) and Paige Andrews was second (5:37.93) in the 1600-meter event. Andrews also scored in the 3200-meter run with a sixth place time of 12:25.42.

Other GHS girls who competed at Van Buren included Maddie Cash (9th place - 2:57.47) and sophomore Amiela Morgan (19th place - 3:12.32), both in the 800-meter run. Ashley Koeth was 15th and Abi Coston was 18th in the 1600-meter run with times of 6:30.99 and 7:10.38, respectively. Koeth also competed in the 3200-meter event, finishing 10th with a time of 13:48.18.

For the GHS boys, a host of 13 athletes performed in 10 events, earning six top five finishes, including two first place and three second place finishes. Once again it was distance runner Noah Embrey who led the way with both first place efforts in the 1600-meter run (4:26.04) and the 3200-meter run (9:59.28).

The second place finishers included junior Joshua Johnson (2:04.47) in the 800-meter run, Landon Nelms (6’0”) in the high jump, and Josh Allen (12’0”) in the pole vault. The Bulldogs also got a fifth place finish out of L.J. Robins in the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.53 seconds. Robins also ran 13th (24.36) in the 200-meter dash while teammate Michael Hurt was 37th (27.48). Hurt was also 23rd in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:02.36.

GHS sophomore Noah Chaser placed 11th and 9th in the 100 and 200-meter dashes, respectively. He ran the shorter event in 11.78 seconds and the longer one in 24.13 ticks. Hunter Kinser was 33rd (13.21) in the 100-meter dash and Shane Debar was 35th with a time of 13.96 seconds. Senior Rhett Clements was 24th (1:10.38) in the 400-meter dash.

Juniors David Ambriz and Lucas Wittig also competed in the 1600-meter run along with Noah Embrey. Ambriz placed 22nd (5:53.14) and Wittig ran 24th (6:06.71). Wittig also finished 18th (13:43.73) in the 3200-meter run.

Finally, in the discus throw and shot put, the Bulldogs’ Hayden Webb finished 16th and 18th respectively, tossing the discus 86’8” and the shot 35’7”. Ryan Franks placed 17th and 24th in the same two events with distances of 83’1” and 29’7”.

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