High school cross country wins fifth straight title.
The girls cross country team at Siloam Springs High School won its fifth state championship in a row on Nov. 2 at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs
The Lady Panthers placed all seven of its scoring positions in the top 35 for a total of 86 points, putting them 16 ahead of the second place finisher, Jonesboro, and 38 ahead of the third place finisher, Vilonia. This was an improvement from the previous week at the 5A-West Conference Meet, where Vilonia finished behind the Lady Panthers by just two points. Top placers from Siloam Springs in the day’s race included Chloe McGooden, who finished seventh overall with a time of 21:09.3 and received a medal for placing in the top 10.
Sophomore Quincy Efurd placed 14th with a time of 21:43.5 and junior Candy Dubon placed 16th after running a 21:47.7. McGooden, Efurd and Dubon earned all-state honors for placing in the top 17 runners, or 10 percent of participants. Head coach Sharon Jones said after the race that Efurd and McGooden played an important role in the team’s overall strategy.
“Chloe ran tight last year, and our goal for today was for Chloe to run relaxed,” Jones said. “Our two words this morning were ‘calm’ and ‘confident,’ because we are running from a place of victory. We have been there. We won last week (at the conference meet). We just need to do it again, so this morning we just tried to get the girls calm. We tried to get them to step up to the starting line like they would any 5K and just run their best.”
This is the eighth state championship won by the Lady Panther’s cross country in the history of the program, with other titles won in 2001, 2002, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. According to Efurd, the victory was just a result of the team doing their best.
“We had a big group discussion before the race, and we were all like, ‘win or lose we’re all in this together,’” Efurd said. “Even if second place is our best, it doesn’t matter because we all know that we did the best we could.”
The Siloam Springs girls cross country team won their fifth straight cross country championship on Nov. 2 at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs.