Pictured: Mansfield discus throwers Addison Robles, Kaylee Ward, and Mackenzie Robinson appear at Van Buren track meet
Across all divisions, Mansfield’s early-season track success has been fueled by its growing strengths in the throws and hurdle events.
Evidenced by high marks in these early events at meets in Ozark and Van Buren last week, Mansfield seemed to gain real momentum throughout the nights. The discus, shot put, 100m hurdles, and 300m hurdles were all kind to the Tigers from seventh grade to high school.
Shawn Brown, a Mansfield junior off the men’s team, won the Ozark Hillbilly Relays with a discus toss of 103-10. It was his second victory in the event in as many weeks.
Brooklyn Adams, a sophomore Lady Tiger, took the same event also at Ozark with a toss of 76-6. It was Adams’ first meet of the 2021 season.
Eighth-grader Kaylie Lowery and seventh-grader Kaylee Ward followed suit with blue ribbon victories in the discus. Lowery nabbed the first place award at Ozark’s junior high meet with a 71-10 landing. Ward took the win at the Van Buren 7th Grade Relays with an impressive 75-4 launch.
Ward was far from finished as she also gobbled up more and more ground in the shot put. At Ozark competing on the junior high team, she won the 6-pound toss with a 30-11 mark. Two days later under the Mansfield seventh grade flag, she bested all throwers by nearly two feet. That Van Buren outing saw her turn heads with a 33-8.5 shot put hurl.
Junior Harleigh Mars won the 300m hurdles at Ozark. In only her second race over the 8 barrier race after a nearly two-year absence, Mars went 54.42 for the win.
Daisy Nelson, a developing hurdler from the Tiger seventh grade prep team, was the only competitor to break 19 seconds at Van Buren. She cruised the 10 barrier race in 18.60.
Dominic Shores, another seventh-grade athlete with get up and go, won the Pointer 300m hurdles by nearly 1 full second. His time was 52.22. He was also second in the 110m hurdles by just a blink of an eye. He was behind first place by only 0.26 seconds.
Jadelynn Wood, Shelby Cole, Addie Bowman, and Rachel Johnson all were productive through either the 100m or 300m hurdles for their respective teams.
Sammy Sellers, Cisco Fildes, and Mackenzie Robinson were all productive in the discus.
Sellers looked to be the top junior boys’ thrower at Ozark with a season-best 115-6. His measure held up until a final competitor clipped his toss with one of the last throws.
Teammate Fildes cranked out his best mark with a 96-3 spin of the 1kg discus. He finished sixth in the event.
Robinson showed promise as a seventh-grade beginner. She scored a fourth place mark of 60-9 in the discus against the class 4A and 5A schools in Van Buren.
Mansfield’s junior girls performed the best as an entire unit. The group walked away from Ozark as the meet’s top team eclipsing projected favorites from Ozark, Booneville, Clarksville, and Waldron among others.
Laney Wood was once again terrific in her six-event schedule. The eighth-grader scored points in all her events including victories in the pole vault and 4x800m relay. She was fourth in the 1600m run, fifth in the triple jump, seventh in the 800m run, and fourth as the anchor leg to the 4x400m relay.
Trinity Triska also came up big for the junior girls with scores in the triple jump, 800m run, and two relays. The All-District cross country runner posted the fastest splits in both her relay legs. She went 2:57 for the half-mile in the 4x800m cooperative. She clocked in at 1:10 for her lap of the 4x400m ending event.
Aaliyah Summers, Carter Whiley, Shelbie Fuller, Alyssa Black, Meghan Emery, and Azlynn Stover all scored for the junior Lady Tigers to take home the team plaque.
Mansfield’s senior girls got the most production out of perhaps the smallest roster. The high school squad rallied behind seven girls as most of their squad was obligated to the state-bound basketball team with cheer and play.
The senior Lady Tigers spread themselves thin to cover 14 of 17 possible events. The maximized effort placed them one-half point outside a second-place team finish. Ozark took the top prize at the Hillbilly Relays with 163.5. Clarksville crept in second with 106.5 while Mansfield closed with 106.
Adams, Cole, Mars, and Wood all scored. Darby Jones, Faith Rainwater, and Hope Rainwater did as well.
Faith Rainwater highlighted her night with a personal record of 8 feet in the pole vault. Should the junior duplicate the measure in a certified meet, she will pre-qualify to the class 2A state meet automatically.
Tommy Phang had a huge night for the senior boys. The sophomore placed third in the premiere sprint races with personal records in both the 100m dash (11.81) and 200m dash (24.64). He was also a finalist in the long jump.
Victor Steffen once again scored top three in the high jump. His mark fell a bit from his 5-8 mark at Booneville but was still a solid award winner at a vertical leap of 5-6.
John Branche and Ethan Streets contributed with times in the 1600m, 400m, and 800m runs. With that long-distance help, the Mansfield men collectively finished sixth among all attending schools.
The Mansfield junior boys teetered among the top four schools in Ozark. Trey Powell continued his outstanding season through the sprints and jumps. Austin Ruiz and Boston Elmore produced again at pole vault.
Jonah Martin, Joseph Carter, Rylan Nichols, and Joey Fildes bumped up to the junior team from the seventh-grade squad to score in the 4x800m relay. They also took fourth in that same event at Van Buren among all large schools.
Tobey Towe covered the hurdles for the MJH boys and added to the sprint relays.
Ethan Martin placed in the boys’ seventh grade shot put. Nichols, Shores, Alex Hecox, and Fildes passed the baton in the prep team 4x100m relay.
Ward, Madison Hearron, Chloe Whiley, and Nelson closed fast in the sprint relay to take fifth place in the prep meet. Kayla Carlton, Addison Robles, Chloe Whiley, and Laini Collie took their turn in the new 4x200m relay.