Lady Panthers take second at Elkins Invitational
■ Siloam Springs will host the annual Panther Cross Country Classic on Saturday.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.