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Fort Smith
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Tigers Top 700 Miles In Three Weeks Work


The exact figure is 726.7 miles. That’s how many miles the collective effort of the Mansfield cross country team has put in during their first three weeks of pre-season training.

Leading the way has been Faith Rainwater. The tenth grade Lady Tiger was the 2018 MHS female cross country runner of the year. Close behind have been fellow sophomores McKenzie Griffin and Hope Rainwater.

Faith Rainwater has logged 74 miles since the start of organized team activities. Just barely behind is Griffin at 72 miles. Both have only missed one practice since the summer schedule began. Both incidents were due to illness.

Hope Rainwater hasn’t trailed her Tiger running mates by much. Since the first full week of July, she has reached 69.5 recorded miles. 

“The sophomore girls have been really motivated,” stated Tiger cross country coach John Mackey. “They are an exciting bunch. They fit nicely with our older and younger core.”

For the Tiger men, Ashton Hinkle has recorded the most miles. The cross country check in/out sheet as of last week showed Hinkle at 66.5 miles.

“Some of the guys put in a lot of miles even before training camp began,” expressed the coach. “Our sign in sheet doesn’t reflect all the numbers. There’s probably a lot more miles that have been run that didn’t find the sheet.”

What is known is that Hinkle put in the most non-stop miles of any player just the other day. On Thursday evening with temperatures at a moderate level, the ninth grade athlete ran 7.5 consecutive miles before being stopped by his coach due to darkness.

“You could tell he wasn’t fatigued in the least,” offered the coach. “He was gonna just keep going. He typically runs home after practice. I didn’t want him out on the streets after dark so I made him stop.”

The coach noted the progress of the 2018 Mansfield male cross country runner of the year, Ethan Chapman, as well. According to his coach, Chapman has been running the majority of the summer.

“Ethan started back in May,” said Mackey. “He only writes down his lake runs. I’m sure his total for the summer would be substantial if he recorded everything.”

On more than one occasion, many of the cross country athletes get extra work after evening weight sessions. The Tiger weight room opens about an hour and a half before team sessions begin at the city park. To get extra road work, most of the athletes just run the extra mile to the lake.

So far, 35 different athletes have made an appearance at the Tiger lake runs. Not all of those will make the final cross country roster according to the coach. However, he felt it was a positive sign that the Tigers are trending in the right direction as the 1,000 mile mark is well in sight.

2018 MHS female cross country athletes of the year Faith Rainwater.
Eleventh grader Renden Emery does a light lift before running to the city lake for cross country practice.
Tenth grade cross country runner Ethan Chapman set the school record in the junior high 1600m run last season.
In the center of the team warmups is Mansfield sophomore McKenzie Griffin.
Freshman Ashton Hinkle looks at ease after completing 7.5 non-stop miles of cross country training.
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Tammy Teague
Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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