Honey bun relay runners (pictured, left to right), Blake Wilkins, Bri Sanderson, Skylynn Harris, Zayne Dugan, Shawn Brown, and Brooke Wright of Mansfield pose after their debut race for throwers.
Mansfield’s junior teams made their way for the final regular season track meet at Waldron on April 10. Although the stakes were high as team members jockeyed for final numbers going into the conference championships this week, it was the Waldron Honey Bun Relays that set-off the most buzz.
As a way to slow the meet down and give sprinters a rest between the 4x100m relay and the 400m dash, Waldron has typically inserted a relay race just for throwers into the master meet schedule. It is know as the Honey Bun Relays.
The rules are clear. Only throwers may enter, and members can be from any team. Pass the baton from one person to the next until the four teammates get the stick around one full lap of the track. The winning team gets a pack of honey buns for reward.
Mansfield gathered together four boys that fit the bill. The girls had to borrow players from another school. The results were some of the most entertaining races of the season.
Mansfield’s men came close to victory as they lead three-quarters of the way. Shot put thrower Shawn Brown started off in front or close to it by the time he handed to Bri Sanderson.
Sanderson, the biggest and nearly the tallest Tiger on the team, amazed with a burst of speed along the back stretch to put Mansfield well ahead.
Zayne Dugan took the baton at the far corner and kept pass around the last curve. Coming into the last exchange the race tighten as anchor Blake Wilkins took the stick.
One final sprint to the finish had players from all schools crowding the track to take a look. It was a rumbling, bumbling big man sprint to the line as an estimated six teams came crashing towards the tape.
Mansfield could not maintain its lead as the Mena anchor put the hammer down. Looking more like a running back than a lineman, the Bearcat thrower pulled away in an actual sprint. Mansfield dropped to second as Waldron, Danville, and others came lumbering across to the roar of a raucous crowd.
Skylynn Harris and Brooke Wright took part of a combined team for the Mansfield women. Somehow after watching the best or rather beast of the boys’ race, the girls relay was not quite the spectacle.
Mansfield’s girls came in somewhere towards the middle of their relay. Friends of the Tigers put the blame on the out-of-town throwers making up the rest of the squad.
Besides running in their first race of the season, it was the Mansfield throwers that did the work in their normal events. Harris, Wright, Dugan, Sanderson, and Wilkins all had steady marks placing them high in the rankings.
Harris took top honors in the junior girls shot put. She chunked the iron ball 36’ 10.5” for a school record and blue ribbon win. Wright was back of that with a 31’ 6.5” toss for eighth place.
The pair of Lady Tigers were both in the hunt at the discus ring as a couple of tosses over 80 feet found the top three places. Harris went 87’ 0.5” for second. Wright went 83’ 9” for third.
Dugan went over 40 feet for the first time this season putting the 4kg ball. His 40’ 1” landing was second overall. Teammate Sanderson was close behind that with a third place put of 39’ 5.75”.
Sanderson was the top Tiger at the discus ring. The freshman sent the 1kg disc 109’ 11” for fourth place overall. Wilkins dropped one into the sector just behind that at 109’ 1” for sixth place. Dugan had a mark of 108’ 4” but was denied a place because meet rules only allowed two scorers from one team.
Brandon Carver was another Mansfield main attraction when he won the pole vault for the first time this season. Typically falling behind vaulters from Ozark and Booneville, Carver got to jump fresh for the first time in a while. It made a difference as the eighth grader went 10’ 6” for the win and a MMS school record.
Faith Rainwater picked up points in the distance races. She was 7th in the 1600m run and part of a fourth place 4x800m relay team.
Hope Rainwater, McKenzie Griffin, and Olivia Bouse comprised the Lady Tiger distance relay.
Bouse, just a seventh grader scored in the 800m run and anchored the girls 4x400m relay for more production.
Shelby Cole a member of that 4x400m team put up a fifth place 300m hurdle race earlier in the night. She also ran her best time over the 100m hurdles this season clocking in at 18.89.
Renden Emery scored for the boys in the 110m hurdles. He was sixth at 19.42. He was also part of a 4x400m relay team that punched in at 4:14.05 for fifth place.
Tommy Phang, Dru Buckner, and Tyler Escalante made the rounds with Emery in that four lap cooperative. Escalante was the fastest to cover the 400m distance in 1:01.40.
Sadie Roberts scored well in the women’s pole vault and high jump.