BA girls win District AA Track Meet

By CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,

The Benton Academy Lady Raider Track team took First Place in the MAIS District AA Track Meet held at Pillow Academy on April 17. 

"We think this is the first time in 13 years that Benton Girls have won a varsity district track meet, so we are pretty excited about that," said Coach Casey Arbuckle.

With a team comprised of a mix of Junior High and Varsity students, the Benton Girls placed in the top three in most of their events, allowing several of the girls to advance to the North State meet next week.

In the Triple Jump, Jewell Vandevere placed 1st with a distance of 31'3'', and Hannah Waldrup came in close at 2nd with a distance of 30'2.5''.  Waldrup also placed 3rd in the Long Jump with a distance of 14'4.5''

In the High Jump, Chloe Warren took 1st place with a jump of 4'8'', and Hannah Waldrup took 4th place with a jump of 4'4''.

In Discus Catie Merrell won 2nd Place by throwing 89'6'', and Madilyn Manor placed 3rd with a distance of 85'6.5''.

Madilyn Manor also won second place in Shot Put by throwing it 28'6''.

Gracie Ward placed first in the 3200m run with a time of 14:03, and Isabella Magyar placed 3rd with a time of 15:59.

In the 1600m run, Gracie Ward took another 1st place ribbon with a time of 6:44, while Isabella Magyar came in close behind at 2nd with a time of 6:48.

Jewell Vandevere took home 1st place in the 800m race with a time of 2:44, and Allie Rae Pingrey won 2nd with a time of 3:00.

Chloe Warren won 1st Place in the 400m Dash with a time of 1:10:06, while Sarah Bailey Jackson won 4th place with a tiime of 1:16:51.

The Benton Girls won 1st place in the 3200 Relay race with a time of 12:15, and they also won first place in the 1600 Relay race with a time of 4:48. They later brought home 3rd place in the 800 Relay with at time of 2:22.6.

The Benton Girls placed 4th in the 400 Relay with a time of 55:80.

Jewell Vandevere placed 1st in the 300m Hurdles with a time of 51:27, and Brittany Bigford place 1st in the 100 m Hurdles with a time of 20.46.

Arbuckle said that she is excited to have a team of girls who are always dedicated to bettering themselves week after week.

"When we started track last year, Brittany Bigford was doing 100m Hurdles in 26.7 seconds," she said. "This year she got first in the district with a 20.3. That is a six second improvement in a year, and that is really tough to do."

Arbuckle said that some of the Benton Girls are currently ranked on the state level after their performances at district.

"Gracie Ward is ranked now in the top 5 in the state for the 2 mile and the 1 mile, so I was very impressed with her yesterday," she said. "And right now Chloe Warren is ranked #1 in the State AA High Jump. Jewell Vandevere is ranked #1 in the state for the 400m Dash."

Arbuckle said that the Benton Girls will continue to work on their personal goal in order to place at North State next week.

"Our goal right now is for our girls to finish in the top 4 of their events next week so they can qualify for State," she said.

The MAIS AA North State Track Meet will take place at Lee Academy in Clarksdale, with field events starting on Wednesday, April 24, and running events starting on Saturday, April 27.