(Pictured Above) Rose, George, and Wesley smile before the start of the Ft. Smith 5K.
Spotted in the plush green fields of Ben Geren Park in Fort Smith, a red Tiger Rose stood tall.
Mansfield cross country runner Megan Rose finished first place in the small school standings at the Fort Smith Invitational XC Meet on Saturday morning.
Rose, Mansfield’s most decorated senior long distance runner, dominated the class 1A-4A division. The 3-time all-star crushed the nearest small school competitor by 3 minutes and 34 seconds.
The winning time for Rose was 23:13.1. The measurement looms large as it was only 10 seconds slower than her season ending state finals run from a year ago.
“We are certainly exciting to see Megan begin her senior year close to where she left off last season,” said Mansfield mentor John Mackey. “She puts in the time and deserves the honor. It was a very solid outing for the first meet of the season.”
Classes 5A-7A also ran in the same 5K race as the lower divisions. However, the scoring was calculated separately. When figuring in the larger school finishes, Rose was fourth overall in the 59 person race.
Only two players from Van Buren and a Greenwood Bulldog ran faster times than the Mansfield product.
Lady Tigers Corrina Wesley and Jessica George had good days as well. The senior and sophomore finished fourth and tenth respectively in the smaller divisional standings. Because of their placements in the top-ten, all three MHS runners walked away with medals.
“With those three top-ten times we would have been in line for a first place trophy,” commented Mackey. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have the necessary five finishers to compete for the title.”
Mansfield newcomer Natalie Brewer was taking the ACT Test. Sophomore sensation Lennon Woods was home resting a sore lower leg possibly the result of shin splints. Senior Bree George was obligated to work a job as part of her high school JAG class. Finally, tenth grader Addison Goetz remained idle as she just recently was added to the roster.
In the high school men’s race, Tigers Devon Pyles and Joris Felius finished in 16th and 18th place respectively.
There were 50 small school runners and 111 total men in the 5K competition.
Pyles averaged 6:37 per mile pace for an overall time of 20:32. Felius, an exchange student running in his first American distance race, clocked in at 20:51.3.