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Tiger Distance Runners Take High Medal Count

Posted Date: 09/15/2022

It wasn’t quite a bus load of medals. However, Mansfield took its fair share of the awards offered at the Magazine Invitational Cross Country Meet on September 6.

With an 86% success rate, nearly every Tiger runner involved in long distance running at the Rattler pit came home with a medal. Twelve out of 14 Mansfield participants posted times worthy of a top 20 finish.

“It was a good day to be a Tiger,” said Mansfield head coach John Mackey. “Every division ran the same distance this meet. The familiarity with the conference course really helped.”

Fact was Mansfield secured medal placements from every runner that had previously navigated the course in past seasons. The only two Tiger players not reaching qualifying times were a pair of novice runners stepping foot on Magazine’s 1.5 mile route for the first time in their careers.

MHS freshman Joey Williams blistered the shorter distance in the fastest time of any Tiger. An All-Conference runner the past two seasons, Williams was second overall in the junior boys race.

Williams won the 2A-4 district title along the same course in 2021. Although not the individual champion this time out, the rising star did set a personal course record along the familiar grounds in a time of 8:35. Only Jakrys Munoz of DeQueen ran a better time (8:28)  for the junior high boys race.

“Joey has been working at a level three clip in practice,” stated Mackey. “That means he’s basically putting in the mileage of a high school senior. So far, his efforts are starting to pan out.”

Mansfield’s junior boys ran the table on medal rewards. All six entries on the Tiger team placed inside the top 20 with many running times similar to the top 20 in the senior high race.

For their collective efforts the Tiger cubs cobbled together a second place team score. Only DeQueen did better, pushing past Mansfield 40 to 44 in the team standings.

Gunner Williams (8th), Jonah Martin (9th), Hunter Whittaker, and Braxton Bartlett (18th) joined their team lead runner as the scoring five. Joseph Carter (19th) offered a blocker position to secure the runner-up plaque for the group.

Sisters Laney Wood and Jadelynn Wood gave the Mansfield senior girls their best boost in secring another runner-up team trophy for distance squad.

Laney Wood claimed fourth place overall in a time of 10:46. Jadelynn Wood came across one place behind that in 11:02.

Raine Hecox (11th), Ashley Martin (16th), and Addison Bowman (17th) joined the sister act for the team rankings. Altogether the senior girls scoring five finished with 31 points. That was only one point away from Waldron’s first place mark in the women’s division.

Sophomore Austin Ruiz scored a sixth place medal for the Mansfield men. As the only Tiger runner in that division, Ruiz’s well placed effort of 8:44 could not qualify for any type of team award. He competed as an individual instead of a five person squad.



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