Lady Pan­thers take sec­ond at Elkins In­vi­ta­tional

■ Siloam Springs will host the an­nual Pan­ther Cross Coun­try Clas­sic on Satur­day.

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - SPORTS - From Staff Re­ports

ELKINS — A to­tal of 11 Siloam Springs cross coun­try run­ners set new per­sonal records on Satur­day at the Elkins In­vi­ta­tional — the first race of the sea­son for the en­tire cross coun­try team.

“Great day at Elkins,” said Siloam Springs head coach Sharon Jones. “Five girls and six boys set new per­sonal records. … So fun to watch them im­prove and be proud of them­selves — very good day.

A se­lect group of run­ners par­tic­i­pated in the Mem­phis Twi­light Clas­sic on Sept. 2, but the en­tire team was able to run this week.

“You can see the huge im­prove­ment from last week,” Jones said. “Elkins’ course is very fast, a le­git 5K though. It’s fun to see how much they’ve im­proved from run­ning the same course last year.”

Lady Pan­thers

The Siloam Springs girls cross coun­try team fin­ished sec­ond over­all with five of the top 15 fin­ish­ers.

Ben­tonville won the meet with 21 points, while the Lady Pan­thers came in sec­ond with 48 points, fol­lowed by Spring­dale HarBer 78, Fayet­teville 114, Spring­dale High 115 and Rogers Her­itage 187.

Five Lady Pan­thers set new per­sonal records on Satur­day at Elkins, in­clud­ing sopho­more Chloe Maxwell, who led the Lady Pan­thers with a sixth-place fin­ish of 20 min­utes, 41.24 sec­onds.

“Our big­gest sur­prise was Chloe Maxwell,” said Siloam Springs head coach Sharon Jones.

Maxwell is a new­comer to the team af­ter mov­ing in from the Philip­pines.

“She ran her first 5K last week and is still try­ing to fig­ure out how to run a 5K,” Jones said.

Se­nior Al­lika Pear­son was right be­hind Maxwell with a new per­sonal record of 20:44.60.

Ju­nior Chloe McGooden was 10th over­all at 20:51.22, while ju­nior Brit­tany Pilcher was 11th at 20:52.92. Both were close to set­ting new per­sonal records.

Sopho­more Clau­dia Mer­cado was 14th with a new per­sonal record at 21:22.90.

Maxwell, Pear­son, McGooden, Pilcher and Mer­cado all re­ceived medals.

Sopho­more Re­bekah Rodgers was 21st at 22:05.23, while sopho­more Kai­ley Pentz was 23rd with a new per­sonal record of 22:14.91 and sopho­more Kimberly Guillen 24th at 22:24.58.

Se­nior Me­gan Rush set a new per­sonal record at 23:11.82, while Chloe Rocha was 37th at 25:40.61, Mary Grace Green 52nd at 29:12.80 and Averie Head­rick 53rd at 29:15.02.

Se­nior Caro­line Farine and ju­nior Katie Bishop were out with in­juries, ac­cord­ing to Jones.

Boys

Siloam Springs placed fourth in the se­nior high boys race.

Ben­tonville won the meet with 24 points, fol­lowed by Spring­dale Har-Ber with 33, Spring­dale High 108, Siloam Springs 110, Fayet­teville 116 and Rogers Her­itage 179.

Sopho­more Ker­rig Kelly paced the Pan­thers with a 15th place fin­ish of 17:19.30 — a new per­sonal record.

Se­nior Isaac Leach­man just missed a new PR with a time of 17:48.43, fin­ish­ing 22nd over­all.

Ju­nior Sa­muel Gran­der­son set a new per­sonal record of 17:59.81, while se­nior Caleb El­lis ran a 18:47.94.

Sopho­more Adam Kennedy set a new per­sonal record at 19:14.81, while sopho­more Isaac Price was 60th with a new PR at 19:31.38. Sopho­more Tyler Sharp com­pleted Siloam Springs’ top seven scores in 72nd place at 20:05.86.

Sopho­more Ran­som Van Asche placed 97th at 21:54.00, while Blaise Be­can was 100th at 22:00.88, a new per­sonal record.

Sopho­more Avrey Della Rosa placed 110th at 22:53.61, while sopho­more Theron Perkins was 113th at 23:21.02 and sopho­more Nathan Blair 114th at 23:34.52.

Pan­ther XC Clas­sic

Siloam Springs hosts its an­nual Pan­ther Cross Coun­try Clas­sic on Satur­day, lo­cated on the grounds of Sim­mons Foods.

Jones said Mon­day that 39 schools and more than 1,200 run­ners were al­ready signed up to par­tic­i­pate and more could be added later in the week.

The ju­nior high girls race (two miles) will be­gin at 9 a.m., fol­lowed by the ju­nior high boys race at 9:30.

The se­nior high girls race will start at 10 a.m., fol­lowed by the se­nior high boys at 10:30.

“I’m ex­cited to see all four teams com­pet­ing on our home course this year,” Jones said. “They are all run­ning very com­pet­i­tively and mak­ing great progress. We have a chal­leng­ing course that I think other schools like to run. We should have an ad­van­tage in know­ing it bet­ter than oth­ers.

“I want to in­vite ev­ery­one out to watch our kids com­pete. We’ll have most of the top cross coun­try pro­grams in the state here this Satur­day. It’ll be tough in the team scor­ing, but I hope our kids rise to the oc­ca­sion in­di­vid­u­ally.”

Jones also wanted to ex­press her ap­pre­ci­a­tion for those who help make the Pan­ther Cross Coun­try Clas­sic one of the best meets in North­west Arkansas.

“I want to thank all the par­ents who will be vol­un­teer­ing this week­end. It takes about 60 vol­un­teers to run this meet and our par­ents do a great job. Other coaches al­ways com­ple­ment our par­ent vol­un­teers each year. I also want to thank Tim McCord with Gen­er­a­tions Bank and Mrs. McCord, who come out each year to grill burg­ers and chicken sand­wiches for us. Lastly, I’d like to give Sim­mons Foods Inc. a shout out. They spon­sor our chip tim­ing, do­nate a bunch of chicken breasts for the con­ces­sion stand, and let us run on their cam­pus each year. They are so sup­port­ive of our pro­gram.”

Fun Run

The Siloam Springs cross coun­try pro­gram will be host­ing a fun run prior to its an­nual Pan­ther Cross Coun­try Clas­sic on Satur­day, Sept. 16.

The fun run will be for boys and girls in grades 1-6 and will be held at the Sim­mons Foods field across from the soft­ball fields on Lin­coln Street.

Cost is $12 per run­ner and in­cludes a T-shirt. Checks can be made payable to SSHS Cross Coun­try.

Race day reg­is­tra­tion will be from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m. All run­ners must re­port to the start­ing line by 8:15 a.m. for warm-up.

Race time is 8:30 a.m. for grades 1-3 (800 me­ters/ half mile), fol­lowed by the 1-mile race for grades 4-6.

Medals will be awarded to the top 20 girls and boys in each race.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact as­sis­tant cross coun­try coach Con­lan Efurd at 479-220-9148.

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