Acorn Sr. Boys and Girls competed in the State Cross Country Championships last Friday, Nov. 2nd at Oaklawn in Hot Springs.
In the Sr. Boys division Acorn’s Freshman Justice Neufeld was the overall champion, outpacing the large field of 225 runners. Justice ran over the rain-soaked course to take first in 18:06.6. Justice paced himself for the first 2 miles and put himself in position to make a run at the top three favorites for the victory. With just a little under 800 yards to go, Justice took the lead, increasing his lead with every stride and claimed his first State Championship.
Neufeld was named All State and has been invited to run at the Annual Arkansas-Oklahoma All Star Cross Country Meet to be held in Rodgers, Ar. Sat. Nov. 10th.
Brady Lyle was 15th overall and was also All State. Finishing 3rd for Acorn was Matthew Chaney, followed by Chad Sutton, Jacob Cottman, Raymond Hannaman, Brian Kha, and Trysten Richey.
“ Justice ran a perfect race for the conditions and the type of course at Oaklawn. He stayed off the early super fast start but kept close to the front to keep his challengers in sight. As the front-runners began to fall back after their hard pace, Justice began to move up and caught the top three runners. As one fell back, he launched his final effort and took the lead and held it to the finish,” said Coach Willsey.
His victory really finished off another good season for Acorn Cross Country. With top finishes at Magazine, Conference titles, and now a State Champion runner.
The future looks good. Acorn also won the Jr. Boys Conference and will look to move up some younger runners and make a run at the title next year.
corn finished 6th as a team out of a field of 25.
For the Acorn Sr. girls, Ashlynn Bissell paced the Lady Tigers to an 8th place finish in the team race, with a 13th place finish. Bissell was named All State for her efforts.
Kendra Branson was 2nd for Acorn followed by Kimberly Strasner, Alyssa Warren, Makenna Goss, and Amelia Still respectively.
The Acorn Sr. girls finish the season with a runner up finish @ Magazine and a Conference Title.
The Lady Tigers will return all finishers and also have some young runners capable of contributing next year.