A few Greenwood High School track and field athletes have qualified to compete in the upcoming Class 5A state meet at Hot Springs on Thursday. Head Coach Brian Sims and his thinclads have completed their regular season schedule, including recent meets at Van Buren, Fort Smith Southside, and the 5A West conference meet last week. Unfortunately, the annual Bulldog Relays set for April 9th were cancelled due to bad weather and could not be rescheduled.
The 5A West conference meet was held last Friday, April 30th, at Russellville High School. Athletes from Russellville, Greenwood, Alma, Mountain Home, Siloam Springs, Van Buren, Vilonia, and Greenbrier participated, with Vilonia winning both the girls and boys league titles. The GHS boys finished in eighth place while the Lady Bulldogs placed sixth overall.
Anchoring the Greenwood girls was Taylor Hankins, who won the pole vault event, clearing the bar at 10’6” for first place points. Senior Macie Cash ran fourth in two separate events, clocking in at 12:22.40 in the 3200-meter run and 5:25.75 in the 1600-meter run.
Paige Andrews ran fifth (12:23.84) and Ashley Koeth ran sixth (12:38.86), finishing right behind Cash in the longer event. The Lady Bulldogs’ 4x800 meter team also scored fourth place points with a time of 10:43.03. The GHS ladies finished with 34 total points.
On the boys’ side, two Bulldogs managed to place among the top six finishers in their respective events. Long distance runner Noah Embrey earned second place points in the 3200-meter event with a time of 10:09.42 and fifth place points in the 1600-meter run (4:37.86).
Kent Decoster finished sixth in the high jump at 5’8”. The next best performance by the GHS boys was the 4x800 meter relay team, finishing seventh (8:55.33). The Bulldogs finished the meet with a total of 17 points.
On April 22nd both GHS teams competed at the prestigious McDonald Relays, one of the largest track and field meets in the state, held annually at Fort Smith Southside. Representing almost every classification, 23 area schools attended the event at Jim Rowland Stadium. Predictably, the larger schools dominated the top ten places for both girls and boys.
Rogers High School won the girls’ competition with 123.83 points, just ahead of Bentonville High School in second place (105.50). Fort Smith Southside won the boys’ title with 107.50 points, also besting Bentonville (97). All three schools come from Class 6A. For Greenwood, the Lady Bulldogs earned 24.50 points, good enough for 12th place overall, while the GHS boys placed 17th with five points.
More than a dozen Bulldogs competed in the meet, but only Noah Embrey earned points with a fourth-place finish (10:07.96) in the 1600-meter run. The GHS girls had five athletes place in the top six, scoring enough points to finish in the middle of the crowded field.
Senior Macie Cash scored points in two events, finishing third (12:23.34) in the 3200-meter run and sixth (5:22.57) in the 1600-meter run. Taylor Hankins placed third in the pole vault with a height of nine feet even. Paige Andrews ran fifth (12:36.08) in the 3200-meter run and the 4x800 meter relay team placed fifth with a time of 11:07.75.
On April 19th Coach Sims took his thinclads across the Arkansas River to Van Buren’s Blakemore Field, one of ten area schools to take part in the annual Pointer Relays. Besides Van Buren and Greenwood, other teams competing included Fort Smith Southside, Alma, Cedarville, Greenland, Mansfield, Ozark, Russellville, and Waldron high schools.
The largest school in the meet, Southside easily won the boys competition with 203 points, far ahead of second place Russellville (93 points) and third place Waldron (88). The Greenwood boys placed seventh with 31 points.
For the girls, the hometown Lady Pointers held their ground with 135 points for first place, followed by Russellville with 102.50. Like the GHS boys, the Lady Bulldogs also placed seventh with 51 points.
The GHS ladies had five athletes place among the top six in their respective events, including three first place finishes. Macie Cash placed first in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:26.34 and finished second (12:04.07) in the 3200-meter event.
Kaitlynne Elmore earned first place points in the 800-meter run with a winning time of 2:37.01, just ahead of GHS teammate Madelyn Wilkinson in second place (2:37.26). Ashley Koeth placed fourth in the 3200-meter run with a time of 13:02.67. The other first place points for Greenwood came in the pole vault when Taylor Hankins cleared the bar at 10’6”.
For the GHS boys, five Bulldogs placed in the top six in their events with one second place and two third place finishes. Noah Embrey placed second in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:42.11. Riley Farr finished third in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:11.47 and Embrey ran third in the 3200-meter event (10:31.53).
The other two scorers for Greenwood included Gavin Ciesla and Hudson Trice, both in the 800-meter run. Ciesla ran fifth (2:13.71) and Trice ran fourth (2:14.60). The next best competitor for Greenwood was senior Jayden Jasna, who finished seventh in the long jump at 19’7”. Thirteen different Bulldogs competed in the meet.