Benton boys, Parkway girls take Bossier Parish titles

FAST FOURSOME: Running at the recent Texas Relays and posting their best mark in 2022, but not being satisfied, signals big things may be ahead for the Parkway girls 400 meter relay team.

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The Benton boys brought home the Bossier Parish Championship last week, scoring 166 points more than runner-up Parkway.

In the girls’ division, the result was just the opposite. The Lady Panthers came away with a narrow 13-point victory, scoring 174 points.

Mason Haley and Mark Perry, who each won two events, combined to score 46 points and help lead Benton to the parish title. Haley won the 1600 (4:34.59) and 3200 (10:14.29). Perry won the high jump (6-4) and triple jump (42-5.25).

Perry also finished fourth in the long jump (20-6) ,while Haley ran a leg on Benton’s winning 4×800 relay (8:35.90).

Other winners for Benton included sophomore Clifford Joyce in the long jump (21-3) and Mason Neil in the pole vault (11-6).

Joyce impressed Benton head coach Scott Reeder with his development.

“He keeps getting better every week,” Reeder said. “We got him from the basketball team so it has taken a little while to get him going.”

While they didn’t win, Reeder was also impressed with the 400-meter relay team made up of “football boys.” The team consists of Pearce Russell, Andy Lim, Gray Walters, and Landon Duggan. The team ran a 44.02 and finished third. Parkway, led by Jaylan White, won with a 43.36.

White won the 100 (11.04), edging out Haughton’s John Ecot (11.16). Ecot won the 200 with a time of 22.86.

There were two other double winners in the boys division. Parkway’s Devon Oliver won the shot put (45-1) and discus (134-10.5). Airline’s Kye Lehr won the 110 hurdles (15.54) and 300 hurdles (42.62).

Both Benton and Parkway will travel to compete in the West Monroe meet this Friday before closing out the regular season at the Haughton meet. The District 1-5A Meet, hosted by Benton, will take place the following week on Thursday, April 21.

Parkway coach Kent Falting was very impressed by his Track MVP, sophomore Cheyenne Olson.

“She ran four events for the first time in her life,” Falting said.

Olson won the 800 (2:39) and finished second in both the 1600 (6:01.70) and 3200 (13:29.67). Benton’s Isabella Russell won both the 1600 (5:32.04) and 3200 (12:51.92).

Falting praised the work of senior sprinters Kyla Williams and Jilian Walton. Williams won both the 100 (12.67) and 200 (26.91). Walton finished second in the 100 (12.85).

Both sprinters led the Lady Panthers to wins in the sprint relays. The 800-meter relay ran a 1:47.62 while the 400-meter relay turned in a 49.79.

Besides the Texas Relays, the Lady Panther 400-meter relay has not lost a race this year. Falting thinks the experience in Austin will help the relay team as they look to make it back to the LHSAA State Meet, May 7 at LSU.

“Last year, they finished fourth at the state meet,” Falting said. “I think going to Austin and running in that environment will help them. They ran their best time of the year and they were mad. That’s when you know you have a relay team headed in the right direction.”

Parkway also picked up 18 points in the girls shot put. Jayla James (34-2) won while Amoree Williams finished second (33-11). Other Parkway winners included Maya Jackson in the triple jump (34-3) and Mikaylah Williams in the discus (106-10).

Benton’s Jamie Willis won both the 100 (15.03) and 300 hurdles (48.01). Her time in the 100 hurdles broke the school record in the event.


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