Already an individual state indoor track champion, Mansfield freshman Daisy Nelson attended her first outdoor track meet of the season on March 13.
Booked solid with simultaneous softball and track schedules, Nelson swapped her cleats for spikes for the day to attend the Van Buren Junior High Pointer Relays. The decision was a good one as the All-State indoor champion showed up and showed off in front of mostly large school competition to take home the individual high point award.
Nelson won the 100m and 200m dashes. She also picked up a pair of individual second places in the 100m hurdles and long jump. She took third place in the pole vault along with a fourth place 4x100m relay score. Her point total over six events peaked at 43.25 points to snatch the high point prize and run away from entries hailing from larger schools such as Russellville, Greenwood, and Fort Smith.
“Van Buren was a good place to get the outdoor season started for Daisy,” opened up Mansfield veteran coach John Mackey. “She committed to early season softball right after the indoor track finals. Van Buren was going to offer real competition and give her a chance to see quality runners. She was terrific.”
Mackey had to keep up with his young star via live results from MacDonaldtiming.com. His high school team was attending the Booneville Bearcat Relays on the same night. He relied on men’s coach Ethan Bowman to manage the two junior squads in Van Buren.
Nelson and company gave a solid team account. They finished first among small schools and fourth overall. Only Russellville, Greenwood, and the Southside freshmen outpaced the Lady Tigers. Eleven total teams scored.
Danielle Lowery showed versatile athleticism by scoring in the shot put, discus, and two relays. She joined forces with Ashlynn Whittaker and Annabell Martin in one relay and Molly Beck, Madison Hearron, and Nelson in another.
The Mansfield junior boys tied for fifth in the overall team points. They too were the best among small schools in attendance.
Northridge and Alma were in the three-way tie with the Tigers. Russellville took the top spot just like in the women’s events. Southside, Van Buren, and Greenwood occupied second through fourth positions.
Ethan Martin was among the highest places for the Tigers. The freshman pushed the shot put 41-11 for second place.
Braxton Bartlett was the other best Mansfield measure. He went 25.42 in the 200m dash to take second place overall. He was also fifth in the 100m dash and anchored the fourth place 4x100m relay with Dominic Shores, Zander Walters, and Dawson Robinson.
Cadien Ore whirled the 1kg discus for a new personal best. The ninth grader sent the implement 124-09 for a fifth place standing.
Shores and Alex Hecox scored multiple places through two hurdle events. Shores’ crossing in 18.98 over the 110 m hurdles was the quickest Tiger mark for fourth place.
Joey Williams placed the highest in the men’s distance races. The Class 2A All-State cross country runner ran the 1600m in 5:33 for 9th and the 800m in 2:31 for 5th. He was also the anchor of the fifth place 4x800m relay with Joseph Carter, Hunter Whittaker, and Gunner Williams.