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Cold Winds Whistle At Runners Festival


Posted Date: 03/07/2023

After finding the controlled temperatures inside the University of Arkansas’s indoor track facility to their liking, the Mansfield High School track team found the cold winds of Van Buren much to their dislike.

A select few Lady Tigers and Tigers made their way to the first outdoor meet of the 2023 track season. Gathered on top of Pointer Trail in Van Buren, the runners only track event saw whistling winds and 30 degree temperatures greet the participants.

All-State indoor runners Jadelynn Wood, Laney Wood, Carter Whiley, Azlynn Stover, and Trey Powell led the small group of MHS runners in an abbreviated schedule of events.

Senior Jadelynn Wood had the longest assignment among the Tiger teammates. Her tasks included the 100m high hurdles, 300m intermediate hurdles, 200m dash and 4x100m relay. It was in the 100m hurdles that the veteran player heated up.

Working against the winds, Wood found a rhythm over the 10 barriers to finish first among small school entries and fourth overall. The time was a modest 18.91 seconds. Roughly one second above her best, it was a mark her head coach was satisfied with under the conditions.

“I think in the last five years, we’ve only seen the sun once at the Van Buren Running Festival,” confessed Mansfield head track coach John Mackey. “Jadelynn got the night started with a quality run despite the clouds and the cold. She set the tone as the others took her lead.”

Mansfield was involved in only eight events as a portion of their regular players were still involved in the class 2A state basketball tournament. As such, Wood’s points from both hurdle races and the relay were the brightest spots for the Tigers against the mostly large classification schools in attendance.

Wood along with sister Laney and teammates Whiley and Stover cobbled together the sixth place 4x100m relay team. Forged with two middle distance runners, Laney Wood and Stover, and two sprinters, Jadelynn Wood and Whiley, the quad squad clocked in at 56.60 seconds for the one lap.

“Hey, we executed pretty well for a mixed group of relay runners,” offered the coach. “Our handoffs put us in a position to beat several schools. The girls take pride in our blind relays.”

Powell from the men’s team, gave a strong account through his two sprints races. His 100m dash time of 11.91 was only 0.45 seconds of the pre-qualification standard granting automatic entry into the state finals. His 200m dash time of 24.52 was only 0.72 seconds off the state standard.

“I believe Trey will get those marks rather quickly,” emphasized the coach. “We really wanted him to just get some work in while not risking muscle strain given the poor conditions. He did just that and safely held his own.”

Powell’s shorter sprint landed him sixth place out of 84 athletes competing in the 100m dash. His 200m time was the fastest among small school participants and 13th among 82 individual runners.

Summer Frazier, Ashley Martin, Carissa Vaughn, and Ashton Hinkle covered the distance events for Mansfield. Austin Ruiz posted a 400m time with his first track race since the conclusion of the men’s basketball season.

 

 

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Mansfield School District
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