Benton begins state run today
ARKADELPHIA — Both the Benton boys and girls cross country teams took third-place finishes at the 5A South Conference meet Monday at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia.
For the girls, Benton junior Emma Selph would take second overall at the meet and led the
Lady Panthers to 58 team points for that third place, while Lake Hamilton won the meet with 28 points. Lakeside took second with 36, with El Dorado placing fourth with 115.
“We had some good runs today and we had some struggle,” Benton Coach Matt Ginther said. “Emma Selph ran in lead for most of the race. She had a great day finishing second in conference.”
Selph’s 20:10.30 was just 7.3 seconds off the first-place pace, with
Lake Hamilton’s Olivia
Pielemeier taking first overall at 20:03.00.
There was a trio of Lady Panthers bunched in places 13-15, with sophomore
Abby Mcelhaney taking 13th in a time of 22:18.30, lone senior Cintya Olvera 14th in 22:29.80 and sophomore Melina West 15th in 22:33.3. Freshman Morgan Calaway rounded out Benton’s scoring with an 18th-place finish in 22:48.70.
Earning top-30 finishes for the Lady Panthers was sophomore Emma Schlitz (24th – 23:30.7), freshman Mallory Crosby (26th – 24:13.40), sophomore Emily Reyes (28th – 24:39.80) and junior London Stanger (29th - 24:51.70).
On the boys’ side,
Benton sophomore Samuel Morales led the Panthers with a 10th-place finish in a time of 17:28.40. Benton’s 74 points for third was bettered by meet champion Lake Hamilton, which dominated with 18 points, and
Lakeside (64). El Dorado (111) and Sheridan (124) rounded out the top five.
“Samuel Morales had a strong run and there is more in his tank,” Ginther said. “Running is tough in conference against Lake Hamilton and Lakeside, and it only makes us faster and tougher.”
Benton senior Brendan Redmond (12th – 17:39.7) and junior Gage Epperson (13th – 17:39.80) took top20 honors, while junior Jesse Bennett (22nd – 18:28.50) and junior Zac Benham (29th - 18:53.50) rounded out the Panthers scoring. Junior Tyler Smith was 30th in 19:07.30.
Next up for Benton will be the 5A State Meet at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs on Saturday, Nov.
“We have to learn to hurt as much as we can hurt and empty the tank,” Ginther said. “We are getting closer.
“Our top nine boys and girls will run at state. Most of the spots are locked up, but we will have a few close battles settled in practice.”
A Benton cross country runner competes during the 5A South Conference meet Monday at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. Benton finished third.