Completing the second leg of Mansfield’s three week long championship series, the senior high cross country team stockpiled seven more medals to their growing bounty. At the Tom Stuthard Top 25 Regionals at Acorn on October 25, Mansfield’s long distance athletes weaved another productive workday.
As she’s done all season long, Mansfield senior Megan Rose not only led the Tiger franchise she was also in contention for the day’s top prize prize. After a solid 21:57.60 finish to an extended Acorn 5K course, Rose ended up as the silver medalist.
“Coach (Keith) Willsey moved the start and added a couple of turns since we went down there in September,” announced Mansfield cross country coach John Mackey. “It looked to be running about a minute to a minute and a half longer. If you figure in the added distance, Megan was probably running about 27 seconds faster this time around than last time there.”
According to her coach, Rose is running really well right now. Since October began, the next level recruit has finished no worst than third place. In the five events she’s run in the Halloween month, two were outright wins and two were second place completions in the small school divisions.
Alina Homan of Jessieville was the Regional Champion. Her time was an efficient 21:12.0. Last season at the state finals the pair of 5K contenders were separated by a mere 1.7 seconds.
Mansfield took home a total of five senior girls’ awards and two from the men’s division. The seven set collection of individual medals were scattered among Rose, Lennon Woods, Natalie Brewer, Alyssa Berry, Corrina Wesley, Devon Pyles, and Joris Felius.
Woods and the rest of the scoring company behind Rose ran nearly the entire race working as a pack. By the end, the thirteenth place Woods was only 5, 10, and 14 seconds ahead of her scoring teammates.
After Woods’ finish time of 25:13.7, Brewer came in two spots later at 25:18.0. Berry and Wesley were in consecutive order after Brewer. Respectively the pair clocked in at 25:23.2 for sixteenth place and 25:27.7 for seventeenth.
On the whole Mansfield finished third overall in the team standings with 59 points. Waldron, who moved up a host of freshmen from their junior high winning 4A-4 District Championship team, won the event with 39 points. Acorn who also moved up two scoring freshmen as well was second at 49.
For the Tiger men, Pyles was again the top cat. The senior picked through the 55 player field settling in at number 10 by the end. Exchange student Joris Felius climbed to nineteenth place.
Pyles’ time of 19:26.70 was his second best measure of the season. Currently the All-District selection is ranked number 19 out of 304 ranked class 3A runners in the state.
From the same Mile Split resource, Felius of the Tigers is ranked number 20 in the state. At the Stuthard Regional run, the Netherlands native crossed in 20:11.0 for his top 25 medal.
Mansfield’s complete senior high roster competing at the Regionals included sisters Bree and Jessica George along with sophomore newcomer Addison Goetz.
Both Mansfield’s senior high squads will advance to the Arkansas Activities Association state finals hosted by Lake Hamilton at Hot Springs Oaklawn Park on Friday, November 3.