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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Freshman Wood On Fire Despite Rainy Conditions

Arkansas River Valley Business Directory

It’s been quite some time since the area has seen any significant rain. Leave it to Caddo Hills to host a cross country meet and invite the rain. 

Despite intermittent heavy downpours, Mansfield set fire to the racing field with a flurry of solid finishes across the board at their most recent road trip. Highlighting those Tiger flames were the glow of three team plaques and a standout spark by freshman Laney Wood.

Laney Wood leads the Caddo Hills race from start to finish.

Wood, the team’s shiniest star of late, smoked the 42 person field in the junior girls race for her third win of the season and her second consecutive victory this past week. The freshman sensation took the overall victory at Caddo Hills on Saturday after taking the Lamar Cabin Creek small school run four days earlier.

“Laney has been on fire of late,” said Mansfield head coach John Mackey. “She’s so determined. It’s really fun to watch. Not many can keep up with her step for step.”

Turns out, Wood did hear footsteps coming from behind as she neared the Indian Run finish line. Fortunately, they were the splats of Lady Tiger teammate and training partner Trinity Triska. 

Triska was only four seconds behind Wood. In consecutive order, the pair crossed in 10:51 and 10:55 for the 1.5 mile loop.  

The one-two splash did not go unnoticed by Mansfield’s head coach. 

Trinity Triska places second overall at Caddo Hills.

 “It was good getting Trinity (Triska) and some of the other volleyball players back,” exclaimed the coach. “Having those two run together makes both better. When all the girls are back, we run better.”

Triska, Wood, Azlynn Stover, and Addie Bowman have been playing many nights for the school volleyball team. Triska and Stover are varsity starters on the volleyball team and have to work hard to fit in the occasional cross country meet. Wood and Bowman lean more towards running and miss the occasional volleyball match.

This weekend the group of four had a rare weekend off and joined Rileigh Parker to form a five-person squad headed to Caddo Hills. Together the unit scored enough points to take third overall in the team standings. Only Magnolia and Bismark scored higher team totals.

The plaque was one of three team awards the full Mansfield groupings collected on the day. The senior high girls scored a second place team finish in the opening race. The junior boys capped the morning with second place team finish in the last race.

Darby Jones posted a 19:37 for third place overall in her opening senior girls’ race. Realistically, that time more likely converts to a 22:12 as the course fell short of the full 5K run. Nonetheless, Jones and company ran well factoring in the soggy conditions of the mud puddled course.

Jones took home yet another individual medal as did teammate Faith Rainwater who finished seventh. McKenzie Griffin came in ninth. Jadelynn Wood went 18th, and Hope Rainwater went 20th. 

Mansfield’s lone blocker, Katlynn Moore, was 21st place as the team collected 56 points. The runner-up point total was bested by only Magnolia High School, a class 4A school with 50 points.

Mansfield junior boys took home their runner-up plaque falling once again to Waldron. The pair of boy teams have met several times this season with the Bulldogs edging out the Tigers each time.

Joey Fidles is third overall at Caddo Hills.

Joey Fildes once again took top honors off the Tiger squad. The eighth grader placed third overall with a 1.5 mile mark of 9:26. 

Gunner Willimas was 12th. Braxton Bartlett followed a good week of practice to take 18th place. Rylan Nichols and Jonah Martin were separated by only two places as the pair crossed at 19th and 21st respectively. Joseph Carter was the team’s first displacer at 22nd place.

Mansfield junior boys collect runner-up trophy.
MHS sr girls endure the mud of Caddo Hills course.
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