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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
  • Ballard sets personal best in Conway

  • Heber Springs senior Brock Ballard set a personal best time of 16:12 for runner-up at the Wampus Cat Invitational on Saturday, leading the Panthers to third place overall in a meet featuring several larger schools.
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  • Heber Springs senior Brock Ballard set a personal best time of 16:12 for runner-up at the Wampus Cat Invitational on Saturday, leading the Panthers to third place overall in a meet featuring several larger schools. Junior Malachi Cannon also set a personal best time of 17:14, which was good for ninth place, while Brandon George (24th, 18:22), Austin Schmidt (35th, 18:57) Jonathan Ogle (37th, 19:00), Patrick Hill (39th, 19:06) and Chance Donaldson (67th, 20:13) combined to help the Panthers finish with an average time of 17:57. Class 6A Russellville won the meet as a team with an average time of 17:37 and 7A Little Rock Catholic placed runner-up at 17:53. Heber's third place time was tops among teams in classes 1-5A by a large margin as Vilonia placed fourth with an average time of 18:15. Paced by winner Carter Shelton, who won the race with a time of 16:00, 4A Valley View finished sixth with an average time of 18:39. Despite the absence of top runner Madi Fires, who was competing for the Lady Panthers at a volleyball tournament, Heber's senior girls also had a strong showing. The Lady Panthers placed sixth overall as Mary Simmons led the charge with a time of 21:16, which was good for third place. Amanda Matthews (29th, 23:27), Korl Cusick (38th, 23:51), Hannah Mangum (54th, 25:16), Adrianna Simmons (61st, 25:27) and Sarah Archer (72nd) combined for the Lady Panthers' average time of 23:52. Class 7A Mount St. Mary's won the senior girls' race with an average time of 21:22, 7A Conway finished runner-up (22:45), 5A Vilonia took third (22:47) and 3A Melbourne (22:51) finished fourth.
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