photo by GEORGE “CLAY” MITCHELL
Van Buren’s Jacob Eason leaps during the 7A West Conference meet at April 27, 2013, at Van Buren High School. Eason scored 20 of the Pointers 27 points at the meet.
photo by GEORGE “CLAY” MITCHELL
Van Buren’s Sydney Ford runs during the heat of the 100-meter hurdles at the 7A West Conference meet on April 27, 2013, at Van Buren High School.
Bentonville girls and Rogers Heritage boys captured conference titles at the 7A-West Track and Field Meet at Van Buren on Thursday.
The Lady Tigers dominated the girls division, racking up 175 1/2 points, well ahead of runner up Fayetteville at 129 1/2. The War Eagles may not have been as dominating as the Bentonville girls, but still had a comfortable 137-122 margin over second-place Bentonville.
Har-Ber girls finished third with 89 points, 50 of that coming from defending heptathlon champion Payton Stumbaugh. The junior track star finished first in the 100-meter dash, 100 hurdles and 200 dash while taking second place in the long jump and the 300 hurdles.
As much as Stumbaugh was pleased with her day, losing the 300 hurdles at the finish line still bothered the junior. This was just her third meet of the spring after an injury during the indoor track season.
“I needed to redeem myself in the 200,” Stumbaugh said. “I felt like I got tired in the 300 (hurdles) and I wasn’t running my hardest. It just makes me mad because it the same thing happened last year.”
For Van Buren, a fifth-place finish is about what Lady Pointers track coach Hays Lemley expected in what is considered one of the most talented girls’ conferences in the state.
“We had some good performances, but the 7A-West is so strong and deep that it is hard to qualify (for state),” Lemley said. “We have some quality girls on our squad that gave us some points and qualified for state.”
Rebekah Gibbons finished second in the 3,200 run behind a 7A-West record-setting performance from Rogers’ Maggie Montoya, who has signed with Baylor. Gibbons also finished third in the 1,600.
Maria Santillana finished fourth in the shot put and fifth in the discus. Serena Shores finished fourth in the 300 hurdles and Bailey Gossett was fifth in the shot put, while the Lady Pointers’ relay teams finished fourth in the 400 and fifth in the 3,200 relays.
Van Buren’s Jacob Eason racked up 20 points to lead the Pointers, who finished seventh with 27 points. Eason finished second in the triple jump and third in the 300 hurdles. He also scored in the long jump (seventh) and the 100 meters (eighth).
“Overall it was a good day. I was pleased with it,” Eason said. “ I thought I ran pretty well in the 300 hurdles. Coach told me the (Spencer Sullivan) at Bryant is a good runner and I have not beaten (Jorge Gonzalez) from Fayetteville.”
Eason, though, admitted he could have done better in the triple jump.
“I was disappointed in the triple,” Eason said. “I was a foot off my best jump. I was surprised at how I did.”
Lemley said with the number of events Eason competed in Thursday, it makes for a long day.
Jacob was entered in the maximum number of events — four running and two field events,” Lemley said. “He performed as well as I could think on a day like this. His best event is the 300 and he is solid in the triple jump. He now gets to solely concentrate on that for next week.”