For the fifth year in a row, the Mountain Home High School cross country teams have both won the conference championship, and for the second year in a row, Mountain Home had the individual champion in both the boys’ and girls’ races.
Competing at the 5A West Conference meet at Vilonia, the Mountain Home boys easily outscored second-place Russellville with 35 points, while the Cyclones had 89 points.
Photo: Whit Lawrence
Whit Lawrence won the individual title for the second straight year, finishing 27 seconds ahead of the second-place runner. Also for the Bombers, Andrew Westphal finished fourth, Tyler Firment was ninth, Hendrix Hughes finished tenth, Bryson Hodges was 11th, and Ky Bickford finished 13th. Each of them earned All-Conference honors.
Photo: Marcie Cudworth
In the girls’ race, Mountain Home won the team title easily over defending state champion Greenwood. The Lady Bombers scored 38 points, while Greenwood had 70.
Marcie Cudworth also won the individual title for the second straight year. She crossed the finishing line a whopping 38 seconds ahead of the second-place runner. Also for the Lady Bombers, Jordan Ritenburg finished fourth, Rylee Patterson was eighth, Emily Payne was 12th, and Whitney Wilber finished 13th. Each of those runners earned All-Conference honors.
Head coach Will Norris says, “With it now being the postseason, the goal for today was to focus more on placement and the competition rather than times. I couldn’t be prouder of the way the teams ran today. Five consecutive conference titles on both sides is really a testament to the kids’ hard work and team culture. They have earned it. The state meet is next Friday at Oaklawn Race track (inside of the actual track) in Hot Springs. Both teams are contenders for team titles (the boys are defending state champions), but have their work cut out for them, as the girls will again be facing the defending state champions, Greenwood, and the girls will face powerhouse Lake Hamilton. We will focus on the execution of our race plans and racing with grit – something that the kids have done well down the stretch.”
In the junior high races, Norris says the team numbers were not as high, because they moved the ninth graders up to run in the high school races.
The Junior Lady Bombers finished in fifth place. They were led by Bailey Ritenburg in fifth place and Jayla Yonkers in eighth place.
The Junior Bombers finished in seventh place. They were led by Jackson Free in fifth place.
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