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El Dorado competes at Bald Knob Invitational

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News-Times Staff

BALD KNOB - El Dorado’s cross country teams competed at the Bald Knob Invitational Tuesday.

Jadon Cunningham finished in 10th place to lead the Wildcats with a time of 19:07.60.

"The varsity boys were runner up to North Little Rock in the big school division (4A and up) and third overall behind Cave City and North Little Rock," said El Dorado coach John Koonce.

"There were six schools in the upper division, and 13 in the meet. We knew coming into it that North Little Rock and Parkview were going to be the major competition in the upper classification division and we fell just short of North Little Rock.

"We were happy with the fact that we were able to beat Parkview, Marion, and Pulaski Academy who were the teams from our classification at the meet.

"We knew coming in that this was going to be a very competitive meet with a razor thin margin between a few teams and the boys left it all on the course.

"Jaland Upshaw, who is normally our five runner, went lame with a hip injury about halfway through the race, and Hudson McDiarmid went out a little too fast and burned out the last mile.

"We will be able to use this as a lesson in Hudson's case and have a better strategy going forward. Jadon and Brooks had excellent races, with Jadon breaking into the top 10 of a loaded field."

Melanie Miller clocked in at 25:52.00 to finish 35th to lead the Lady Wildcats.

“This was our first race with a complete team in the varsity girls division and we placed 10th overall, fifth in the large school division," Koonce said. "Melanie Miller continues to be our leader with this group, and Alivia Zartuche had her best race of the year.

"I was very happy with both of those girls yesterday. It is good to finally have a result as a full team and no where we need to improve.

"With the way these girls work, there is no doubt that improvement will come now that we have a tangible goal."

In junior high, Austin Richard led El Dorado with a time of 13:02.70, while Addyson Taylor paced the Lady Wildcats with a time of 14:22.60.

"The junior girls placed seventh out of 11 teams represented," Koonce said.

"Addy Taylor and Alexa Dewey lead the way once again. They continue to improve as they wind their junior high season down.

"Austin Richard and Nic Harvey lead the way with the Junior boys team that placed 12th out of 15 teams in the junior boys division.

"Austin and Nic have been neck and neck the past two weeks with Calvin Huang and Edwin Gonzalez just behind them. This team has been improving the past month due to their competitive nature."

Overall, there were 112 runners in the varsity girls division 137 runners in the varsity boys, 123 in the junior high girls, and 134 in the junior high boys.

"This was another competitive meet with a tough course," Koonce said. "We used this meet to supplement a meet that was canceled at Star City in September.

"I saw this as an opportunity to run against kids that we never see, including a number of schools that we will see at our state meet."

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