Posted Date: 10/09/2018
It’s really about survival as much as anything else. The vaunted “Thrill on the Hill” cross country race that the Greenwood Invitational has come to be known was certainly worthy of its nickname.
For most of the runners that are used to much flatter courses, the large hill that spans the length of Greenwood’s Bell Park was to say the least “killer” on the legs.
Even Mansfield’s top runners had their difficulties navigating the two loop thrill ride. Specifically, freshmen Faith Rainwater and Ethan Chapman both felt the burden of the big uphill as they forged medal worthy times at the October 4 event.
Rainwater, who has established herself as a Lady Tiger front runner, only mustered a 15:48 for 13th place among a very large field of junior girl two-milers. If you compared just 3A sized schools, she would have finished third overall.
Chapman, the top Tiger male in all races this season except for one, knocked out a 13:03 measure for the two-mile course. He was the top class 3A runner and fourth among the small school fleet of racers.
Only DeQueen, Heavener, and Clarksville could brag about beating Chapman.
Olivia Bouse of the junior high girls and Mikeal Harrison of the junior boys also landed among the top 15 medal winners.
Bouse went 16:45.50 for the 15th place award. She was supported in the scoring group by Hope Rainwater, Jadelynn Wood, and Shelby Cole.
“Hope ran one of her toughest races,” commented Coach John Mackey of Mansfield. “She is really taking on the mentality of someone hungry to win.”
The Lady Tiger junior girls took second place in the team standings. DeQueen won first with 27 points. MJH had 60.
Harrison was 13th overall in the small school class. It was the ninth grader’s second medal in as many weeks.
The Tiger junior boys rounded out their scoring group with Tommy Phang, John Branche, and Ashton Hinkle. They were fourth as a unit.
Alyssa Berry, Josefin Lofving, Jessica George, Sara Willardsen, and Addison Goetz comprised the scoring five for the senior girls’ team. Collectively the squad finished sixth overall.
The senior men did not qualify for team honors since they did not carry the mandated scoring five. However, Artem Zirka and Renden Emery continued to progress through the challenge of the Greenwood hill.
Zirka finished the 5K race in 22:17.70. Emery crossed at 24:02.90. Both Tiger athletes are underclassmen.