A year from now, the 4x200m relay will once again be a scored event at the state track meet. With the knowledge that it’s being reinstated after a nearly 20 year absence, many locations are running the race as an exhibition race this season.
Mansfield was all in as the first opportunity to run the midlevel sprint relay was offered at Van Buren on March 6. Tiger runners John Branche, Codi Chick, Austin Carlton, and Jaicy Griffin volunteered to make the four consecutive half lap efforts.
Passing along the baton in 1:41.16, Mansfield’s four senior high track athletes came from behind to win the Pointer Runners Meet by a narrow four hundredths of a second.
Fort Smith Southside had been leading the race from the start. Mansfield anchor leg Jaicy Griffin had his work cut out for him as he turned on the jets to catch the powder blue Maverick at the tape.
Photoelectronic timing sorted out the images giving Mansfield the win. Southside fell to second followed by West Fork and Clarksville for the top four finishers.
The relay win was one of many highlights for the Tigers’ senior boys team as a busy week of outdoor meets kicked off.
Sophomore Ethan Chapman broke two personal records in his two mid-distance events. Following a strategy mapped out pre-race, the current MHS cross country player of the year nailed his first PR in the 1600m run.
Looking to break his old junior high school record, Chapman did so by nearly 5 seconds. His new mark of 5:08.27 was set by winning the second section of the men’s 1600m race.
Less than a hour later, Chapman took to the oval once again in the shorter two lap 800m run. Again, personal history fell. The long, lanky runner rounded the half mile equivalent in 2:17.72.
Mansfield also ran a respectably fast time in the 4x400m relay. Carlton, Renden Emery, Victor Steffen, and Branche joined in that order to complete the task in 4:05.20. That mark was 10 seconds faster than their 4x400m relay time at Booneville two days earlier.
At Booneville on March 3, the entire MHS men’s team took fourth place overall competing at the full 17 event schedule.
Chick was outstanding in the high jump taking second place with a leap of 5-10. Emery was third in the triple jump. Chapman took second in the 800m run. Bri Sanderson and Jacob Brown scored at the discus ring.