Posted Date: 10/11/2021
This 2021 cross country season is winding its way down at a fever pitch with the last of the regular season concluding this month. With only a handful of regular season meets remaining, Mansfield caught the right kind of cough at the UA Rich Mountain hosted Buck Fever Showcase on October 5.
Darby Jones, Faith Rainwater, Laney Wood, Trinity Triska, and Joey Fildes all made house calls to the medallion tent as their names were called among the top runners at the Mena based college’s home course.
Jones and Rainwater were second and fourth respectively in the big showcase 5K senior girls division. The two seniors, who are being recruited to run next season at UA Rich Mountain, posted times worthy enough to warrant offers after the race.
“These two (Jones and Rainwater) have been on Coach Samantha Shores radar all season,” announced Mansfield head coach John Mackey. “It was one of the reasons that we went to their cross country meet. We could have gone to a closer venue on a different day, but it was important to allow our kids the exposure they deserve. No decisions on their part have been made. It’s just nice to be wanted at this point.”
Jones went 22:19.30 for the second place prize. That mark was roughly 29 seconds behind regional rival Miriam Garcia, a foreign exchange student that landed in Acorn this season.
Rainwater came across at 23:42.30. That time was just south of Maria Grano, a well thought of Sebastian County rival from Waldron.
“Our times were pretty solid considering the elevations the players had to run,” noted the Mansfield coach. “Coach Shores showed me a picture of the topographical map. There were some legitimate hills to contend with this day, and the senior high ran it twice.”
Mansfield’s Laney Wood felt the strain of those same hills in the junior girls division. Fortunately for her and her younger teammates, the junior high only had to navigate the mounds once.
Wood did the best out of all junior girl racers. The freshman sensation won her fifth meet of the year and third consecutive race with a stopped watch showing 10:17.10 for the 1.5 mile course.
Wood was 13 seconds better than Cossatot River’s number one player and second place finisher Laci Dixon. She was 33 seconds faster than Mansfield’s second qualifier, teammate Trinity Triska, who came in third place at 10:50.20.
The Tiger’s top junior boy was once again Joey Fildes. The eighth grader rounded the same smaller loop as the girls did. He clocked in at 9:17.60.
Fildes' mark placed him sixth overall. That kept alive his streak of eight consecutive meets this season in which he’s earned a top 10 medal.
For the team scoring, Mansfield came away with runner-up status for both the junior and senior girls races. DeQueen won both team titles with 42 and 34 points respectively.
McKenzie Griffin (15), Hope Rainwater (18), and Katlynn Moore (19) summed up the Mansfield senior girls 43 point total for second place among full teams. Jadelynn Wood (23) was the group’s blocker.
Danielle Lowery (23), Addie Bowman (27), and Ashley Martin (31) finished off the junior Lady Tiger team scoring. Aidan Fildes (32) and Azlynn Stover (38) were the displacers.
For the men’s rankings, Mansfield’s junior boys fell behind four class 4A schools for fourth place. DeQueen (42), Nashville (58), and Dardanelle (105) eclipsed the Tiger total of 108.
Gunner Williams (20), Rylan Nichols (28), Jonah Martin (33), and Joseph Carter (41) joined Fildes for the team ticket. Braxton Bartlett (45) and Holden Powers (48) were the displacers.