Ben­ton be­gins state run to­day

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - Tle­na­[email protected]­ton­courier.com By Tony Le­na­han

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.

9.

“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.”

Spe­cial to The Sa­line Courier

A Ben­ton cross coun­try run­ner com­petes dur­ing the 5A South Con­fer­ence meet Mon­day at Oua­chita Bap­tist Univer­sity in Arkadelphi­a. Ben­ton fin­ished third.

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